Northern Ireland news

World of film and cinema at fingertips during virtual Cinemagic Belfast Festival

Irish actress and Cinemagic patron Saoirse Ronan will take part in the festival

A world of film and cinema will be at fingertips next month when the annual Cinemagic Belfast Festival goes virtual.

Actress Soirse Ronan and presenter Dermot O'Leary are among the line-up for the month-long event, which will include film screenings, workshops and tutorials.

Organisers said they took the decision to move the majority of the 2020 programme online as it had been "an extremely difficult year for the film exhibition sector due to the ongoing effects of Covid-19 and the uncertainty this has brought with it".

Festival-goers will have the chance to participate in industry masterclasses, question and answer sessions with film-makers as well as enjoy an international programme of new feature films.

Leading film critic Mark Kermode will present an online version of his annual 'In Conversation' event, while there will be craft workshops and tutorials focusing on costume design and children will be able to learn from Bafta illustrator and animation director Robin Shaw.

Cinemagic patrons Saoirse Ronan, Dermot O'Leary and Derry girls star Saoirse-Monica Jackson will also be taking part in virtual events to inspire and motivate young audiences.

Joan Burney Keatings from Cinemagic said: "After months of hard work amid a difficult landscape for everyone, we are proud to share an uplifting and inspiring programme for all ages to enjoy.

"As a leader in the field of youth film exhibition and engagement with the screen industry, we are providing a unique window to the world and celebrating diverse stories from all walks of life."

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