Saoirse Ronan among famous faces in Belfast for Cinemagic children's film festival

Saoirse Ronan is among the many faces from the world of TV and film who will take part in this year's Cinemagic festival

THE 30th Anniversary Cinemagic festival opens today, with more than 30 days of unmissable opportunities for young audiences on the programme, including personal appearances by cinematic big hitters including Oscar-nominated Irish star Saoirse Ronan and legendary actress Hayley Mills.

Running until November 3, the programme features over 100 public films and events, 30 industry workshops and masterclasses and 75 film education workshops.

Today's opening will be marked with a special Northern Ireland preview of much-anticipated animation Abominable from Universal Pictures and DreamWorks, about a teenager and her Yeti friend, who are both trying to find home. This leads the way for a wide range of films including documentaries, shorts, and animations celebrating world cinema.

Additional special screenings including a preview of the latest Aardman Animations feature Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmagedden on October 12, featuring a Q&A with co-directors Will Becher and Richard Phelan and an 80th anniversary screening of cinematic classic The Wizard of Oz in Belfast Cathedral, on October 30.

Cinemagic patron Saoirse Ronan, best known for her award-winning roles in movies such as Atonement, Brookyln and Lady Bird, will turn her attention to comedy in a special evening panel event on October 3 with industry professionals including Derry Girls' Saoirse Monica Jackson, before a screening of the 2011 movie Bridesmaids, her all-time favourite funny.

Hayley Mills, famous for films including The Parent Trap and Polyanna, will present a screening of Whistle Down The Wind in Queen’s Film Theatre on October 20, while actor Dai Bradley, aka Billy Casper from Kes, will present a 50th anniversary screening of Ken Loach’s acclaimed coming-of-age drama on October 13.

Other highlights include Armagh cinematographer Seamus McGarvey introducing the hit musical The Greatest Showman, in which he was director of photography, and leading film critic Mark Kermode presenting his 2019 pick, the Japanese animated coming-of-age fantasy film Kiki's Delivery Service, both on October 26.

There are also lots of hands-on workshops for children and young people to get involved in, from learning about SFX make-up and prop making to voice acting with puppets and stop-motion animation.

:: For full programme and booking visit

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