Larne Cinemagic trainee works on film screened in California

Brian Livingstone film industry professional; Tony Devlin, Panavision; Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Chief Executive, Cinemagic with Cinemagic film trainees Amy Hinds from Newtownabbey and Felix Surplus from Larne.
Brian Livingstone film industry professional; Tony Devlin, Panavision; Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Chief Executive, Cinemagic with Cinemagic film trainees Amy Hinds from Newtownabbey and Felix Surplus from Larne.

A young Larne man was one of 24 Cinemagic film trainees given the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals to bring a new short story to life on the screen.

Felix Surplus from Larne was involved in Cinemagic’s new short film, ‘Sasha of the Sea, an inspiring story of teenage bravery, love, growing up and friendship, which was screened at Newport Beach Film Festival in Orange County, California, at the end of April.

Its plot centers on how a young Irish girl’s fondness for the sea is tested when her father goes missing in a fishing accident, opening her eyes to the greater meanings of life and love.

The short film was crafted by a Northern Ireland born team and was written by Maire Campbell, directed by Sammy Nutt and produced by Cinemagic Chief Executive, Joan Burney Keatings MBE. A host of Northern Ireland actors feature in the short film including Erin Galway Kendrick (from Newtownards); Richard Clements (from Bangor) and Karen Hassan (from Belfast).

Felix and his fellow 23 Cinemagic young film trainees were given the opportunity to help bring it to life on screen.

Joan Burney Keatings said: “We are thrilled that SASHA OF THE SEA was selected to feature in The Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) programme. This festival seeks to bring to Orange County, California, the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. During the festival up to 40 shorts programs are presented each year.

“For SASHA OF THE SEA to have secured a position in the programme line up is a fantastic achievement. It is particularly rewarding for the young film trainees who were involved in the creative process. The fact that their short film is entertaining captive audiences around the world and prompting discussions is an amazing achievement.

“It is so rewarding for Cinemagic to know that we are creating platforms for young people to demonstrate their talents. In fact, the last four years have been particularly exciting for Cinemagic. We have produced two feature films; secured worldwide distribution for our first feature film A CHRISTMAS STAR; developed two “behind the scene” documentaries, produced over 45 short films and supported hundreds of young trainees to work in the film and television industry. We’re also in the process of planning the world premiere of GRACE AND GOLIATH later this year”

In recent years Cinemagic trainees have gone on to secure work with various film and television companies including BBC, HBO, Disney, Sky Atlantic, RTE, and Bedlam Productions. Cinemagic patrons include Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan.