Gilford actor in the spotlight for Cinemagic film

A new short film featuring Gilford actor Jude Hill has helped give aspiring young filmmakers a taste of the movie business through a programme delivered by the award-winning youth film festival, Cinemagic.

The production of a new short film ‘Rian’, filmed recently in Armagh is supported by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

The project is funded by the PEACE IV programme,financed through the European Union and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body with match-funding provided by the NI Executive Office and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

The initiative engaged 20 young people in the borough, aged 18-25, to form a trainee production crew, and it features two local actors - Jude Hill from Gilford and Savanna Burney Keatings from Moira (Grace and Goliath, Sunflower).

Actress Savanna Burney Keatings, writer Ryan Rafferty, Evia Aigbokhae, ABC Council, PEACE IV Good Relations Officer, Cllr Kevin Savage, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Joan Burney Keatings, Cinemagic CEO and producer of Rian, Vincent McCann, Programme Manager, The Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre actor Jude Hill and young filmmaker Olivia Beatty. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Jude has recently finished the feature film ‘Belfast’, which will be releasing next year, and is directed by and stars Kenneth Branagh, and features Dame Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe and Ciaran Hinds.

A host of local crew members were involved in the Cinemagic film, including its producer, Armagh-born Cinemagic Chief Executive Joan Burney Keatings, and Armagh writer Ryan Rafferty.

The film project, which is directed by Keith O’Grady, equips young people with film industry knowledge through online pre-production masterclasses and on-set skills development.

This has included masterclasses in directing, writing, assistant direction and producing.

The project has culminated in a production that is set to charm audiences with its heart-warming and adventure filled story, while also showcasing young talent in front of and behind the camera.

Joan Burney Keatings said that “we have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with young talented and creative young people who are interested in the film industry and we were thrilled to be able to offer them the opportunity to learn from industry professionals and earn a credit on a film.

“It is fantastic to see young people from all backgrounds come together and work on a common goal and illustrate what can be achieved working as a team on this innovative opportunity.”

The project is supported through the Dialogue Programme within the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council’s PEACE IV Action Plan.

ABC Lord Mayor, Councillor Kevin Savage, welcomed the project, stating that “it offered a unique opportunity for young people from across communities in the borough to express themselves and their talents through the medium of film-making”.

He added that “this was another example of how the PEACE IV programme has opened opportunity for people to come together, learn with and from each other and develop friendships through a wide range of activities and events in sports, arts, culture and education”.

The film will be screened early next year at Cinemagic events online and at a special celebratory showcase.