Malone College pupils hope movies prove unsinkable

Titanic task for film students

By Paul Ainsworth

TWO local film students are hoping for Titanic success in two different competitions, with short movies featuring Belfast’s infamous “unsinkable” liner.

Malone College Year 14 pupils Conor Maguire and Joel Somerville have both reached the finals of separate prestigious contests for student filmmakers.

The teenagers, who study Moving Arts at the South Belfast school, both adopted Titanic themes for their work, with Finaghy local Conor shortlisted in the top three finalists for the Best School Film category at the upcoming British Student Film Festival.

Meanwhile, Joel, from outside Dunmurry, impressed judges at the Cinemagic Titanic Festival, with his short film in the final 10. Judges include Downton Abbey screenwriter Julian Fellowes – who recently penned his own Titanic drama – and Joel is hoping to land the top prize of a week-long course at a New York film school.

Their Moving Image teacher Patrick Cassidy spoke of his pride in the pair, and explained the themes behind their work.

“The Cinemagic contest was open to young filmmakers from across the world, so to make it to the final shortlist is amazing for Joel,” said Patrick.

“His film ‘What If’ is about Joel discovering his own family connections to Titanic, and he shot scenes at the dry dock where it was built. Meanwhile, Conor’s film, ‘A Regrettable Theory’, deals with the images of a Titanic passenger, but also contains themes relating to the Irish famine. It’s a very thought provoking piece, and as one of the finalists in the British Student Film Festival (BSFF), it will be screened for judges and fans in Newcastle, Bristol, Liverpool and London. Of course, it’s all the more fitting that their work will be screened in the 100th year since the sinking of the Titanic itself.”

Joel will discover if he has won on March 28, when the Cinemagic winner is announced in the new Titanic Belfast building, while the finals of the BSFF will take place in London on April 27.

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