Magherafelt schoolgirl wins ‘Most Promising Actress’ accolade

Alice Coogan, a pupil at St Mary's Grammar School, Magherafelt, with Casting Director Georgia Simpson at the Coca-Cola Cinemagic Film and Television Festival's annual awards in Belfast City Hall. Alice was awarded most promising actress for television and film after participating in an intensive Cinemagic workshop with Casting Director Georgia Simpson (Good Vibrations, Cherrybomb, Five Minutes of Heaven). Cinemagic Belfast is funded by Northern Ireland Screen supported by DCAL. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography
Alice Coogan, a pupil at St Mary's Grammar School, Magherafelt, with Casting Director Georgia Simpson at the Coca-Cola Cinemagic Film and Television Festival's annual awards in Belfast City Hall. Alice was awarded most promising actress for television and film after participating in an intensive Cinemagic workshop with Casting Director Georgia Simpson (Good Vibrations, Cherrybomb, Five Minutes of Heaven). Cinemagic Belfast is funded by Northern Ireland Screen supported by DCAL. Photo by Simon Graham/Harrison Photography

A MAGHERAFELT schoolgirl has won the prestigious ‘Most Promising Actress’ for television and film at the Coca-Cola Cinemagic Film and Television Festival.

Alice Coogan, a pupil at St Mary’s Grammar School, was awarded the most promising actress accolade after taking part in an intensive Cinemagic workshop with Casting Director Georgia Simpson who started in Good Vibrations, Cherrybomb and Five Minutes of Heaven.

Many top celebrities joined Alice at the glittering ceremony, hosted by UTV’s Marc Mallet, at Belfast City Hall,

Funded by Northern Ireland Screen and supported by the department of Culture and Learning, a host of industry professionals and invited special guests were welcomed to the annual Coca-Cola Cinemagic Gala Awards Ceremony.

Industry professionals including leading Northern Ireland-born film producer, Mark Huffam, CBE, (Your Highness, Game of Thrones), BAFTA award-winning director, Aisling Walsh, (Song for a Raggy Boy, Wallander), actress, Bronagh Waugh, (Hollyoaks), make-up artist Maria Moore (City of Ember, Hunger) television producer, Chris Cowey (Top of The Pops), production manager, Terry Bamber (Quantum of Solace, Luther) and screenwriter Ben Schiffer (Skins, Not Safe For Work) were joined by young people who participated in Cinemagic’s 2011 activities and special guests, First Minister, Peter Robinson, deputy First Minister, Martin McGuiness, Arts Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín and Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile.

After 17 action packed days of film screenings from around the world, educational workshops, masterclasses, and industry discussions, the festival culminated with a celebration for young people.

The winning films of the festival were announced by a panel of 25 young people, who watched and reviewed all of the ‘in competition’ films over the last two and a half weeks, six filmmakers were announced as the winners in a number of categories in the annual Cinemagic ‘Young Filmmaker Competition’, supported by Northern Irish Tourist Board, 12 young people, aged 16-26, were recognised for their achievements in the ‘Talent Lab’ masterclasses and a special award was presented to film producer and Cinemagic patron, Mark Huffam, for his contribution to film and television in Northern Ireland.

Joan Burney Keatings, Cinemagic Chief Executive said “We are delighted to have engaged with thousands of young people this year, through moving image, and in doing so, inspired and motivated them through new opportunities.”

Richard Williams, CEO, Northern Ireland Screen said: “Northern Ireland Screen is delighted to have seen the eclectic programme of screenings and educational events at the Cinemagic Film Festival in Belfast this year for the young people of Northern Ireland.”

Arts Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín said: “The awards evening is a great opportunity to nurture and celebrate the creativity and skills of our young people and highlight the outreach and educational activities that have taken place throughout 2011. Inspiring young people and channelling their natural inventiveness is important. It gives young people the opportunity to contribute to our society and to help drive change.  Cinemagic’s success in doing this is indeed an inspiration to us all.”