Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid and his girlfriend, ex Friends star Courteney Cox, were among those at the Cinemagic Festival in LA during a visit by First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness this week.
Young filmmaking talent from Northern Ireland celebrated the 5th Cinemagic LA Film and Television Festival for Young People.
The Northern Ireland leaders attended the event as part of their US visit this week, and were also met by Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody.
Speaking at the event the First Minister Peter Robinson said: “The Northern Ireland Executive has invested in our creative industries sector to ensure we have the people and the infrastructure to produce world class productions.
“Northern Ireland’s creative industries sector is continuing to grow at a remarkable pace creating employment opportunities for hundreds of people and generating millions of pounds in our local economy,” he said. “The creative skills and experiences our young people gain through Cinemagic and working with industry experts leaves them well placed to follow their chosen career.
“Working in Belfast, Dublin, England, France, and the US Cinemagic is truly a global success. Cinemagic plays a vital role developing our young people by providing opportunities for both personal and professional development.
“I commend Cinemagic’s CEO Joan Burney Keatings and all the Cinemagic staff for their hard work which has resulted in young people from Northern Ireland having the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents.”
The deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “Large scale productions in the north of Ireland like HBO’s Game of Thrones and Hollywood films like Dracula confirm our global appeal as a filming location.
“Cinemagic provides valuable opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to engage with the film and television industry. The Cinemagic festival will inspire and motivate our young people to get involved in the creative industry. Working with people from different backgrounds develops our young people’s creative and social skills.
“Cinemagic through their work initiate conversations between young people and relationships are formed that will contribute towards building a united community.
“I thank Cinemagic for their foresight and hard work which has resulted in over half a million children and young people having the opportunity to get involved, take on responsibility and build their confidence.”
During the festival young people will get insights into organisations such as The Jim Henson Company, HBO, Walt Disney Animation Studios, 20th Century Fox, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, New York Film Academy, Aero Film, Creative Visions Foundation.