NI’s Young Film-makers celebrated on the big screen

It was lights, camera, action as Northern Ireland’s young film makers showcased their talent and creativity. The Moving Image Arts Showcase, in its 10th year, hit the big screen in style covering everything from ‘on the edge of your seat’ horror films, to laugh out loud comedies, Lego mania, weepies and good old fashioned romance. The audience definitely experienced a rollercoaster of emotions!

25 students from across GCSE, AS Level and A Level saw their work screened this week at CCEA’s annual Moving Image Arts Showcase at the Brunswick Cinema, Derry~Londonderry and the Queens Film Theatre (QFT), Belfast.

Joel Simon, Director of Flickerpix Animations was guest speaking at the QFT event, and he had this to say:

“Northern Ireland has become something of a hub for the creative industries and it’s an exciting time to be making films and animations here. CCEA’s Moving Image Arts makes it possible for young people to develop their knowledge, creativity and skills in filmmaking. The work I’ve seen today is a testament to the strength of these students’ imaginations, creativity and sheer perseverance, I’m delighted they have the platformto share their stories with us through the medium of film. The subject clearly gives lots of opportunity to actually make films and animations and that experience will prove to be invaluable to anyone wanting to pursue a career in this field.”

CCEA’s CEO Justin Edwards commented:

“These events allow us to showcase the best work produced by Moving Image Arts students across Northern Ireland. 2016 is a particularly special anniversary, as we celebrate 10 years of the Moving Image Arts Showcase and the A-Level Qualification. Back in 2004, GCE AS Moving Image Arts was the first ever online assessed A Level in the UK, with 69 students, across seven schools, sitting the examination. Today, we have 610 GCSE students and 709 GCE students sitting the subject. The films and animation showcased today were outstanding. Congratulations to all our Moving Image Arts students for realising their vision through creativity and hard work.”

CCEA’s Education Manager for Moving Image Arts, Ingrid Arthurs commented:

What a way to celebrate 10 years of the Moving Image Arts Showcase! Every year our students continue to raise the bar with the standard of film and animation they produce.  Experts from across the film industry are increasingly impressed each year by the talent displayed by our young film makers. CCEA is delighted to work with its industry partners to make it possible to celebrate this unique subject in such a positive and high profile way. It gives our winning students genuine acknowledgement for the great films they have created.”

Bernard McCloskey, Head of Education at Northern Ireland Screen and chair of the judging panel commented:

“Congratulations to all the students who have had their work screened at this years’ Moving Image Arts Showcase, you all have so much to be proud of. Northern Ireland Screen are privileged to have worked so closely with CCEA in the development of the Moving Image Arts qualification and to support the annual showcase.  During the last decade we have watched a wonderful array of films and animation from GCSE, AS and A2 students, highlighting the sheer talent that exists within Northern Ireland. At NI Screen we want to continue to cultivate this immense talent and keep Northern Ireland as a prominent base for film making and animation.  Events such as the MIA showcase is a stepping stone for many of these students to a future career in the ever-growing industry.

Additional Information

Moving Image Arts First Place Winners – 2016

Each shortlisted film was selected by a panel of experts, which included representatives from Foyle Film Festival, Northern Ireland Screen, Cinemagic and CCEA. It is sponsored by City of Derry Crystal.

The winning films were chosen for their strong production values, story, originality and audience appeal.

Best GCSE Animated Film

Winner: Toby Killen (Malone College) for ‘Hunted’.

The judges were impressed by this genre parody and which proved that even the littlest lego is a force to be reckoned with.

Best GCSE Film

Winner: Louis Kerr (St Columb’s College, Derry) for ‘Special Delivery’.

The judges were particularly impressed with this extremely well-directed, well-photographed and well-written short. This was a superbly creepy and unsettling short.

Best AS Animated Film

Winner: Joe Gallagher (Holy Cross College, Strabane) for ‘Hell to Pay’.

The judges felt, and I’m sure the audience agrees, that was a superbly witty piece with wonderful characters, sharp dialogue and a brilliant sense of visual style.

Best AS Film

Winner: Caolan Clarke (Abbey Grammar School) for ‘The Parable of the 7 Brothers’.

The judges felt that this was a striking original work with a unique approach to storytelling and a truly compelling visual style

Best A2 Animated Film

Joint Winner: Yasmine Herron (Sullivan Upper School) for ‘Why do I like Christmas?’.

The judges felt that this was a wonderfully witty and extremely well-made animated short. The great character design work and creative use of sound were particularly appreciated.

Best A2 Animated Film

Joint Winner: Gage McAlister (Dalriada School) for 'The Balloon Effect'.

The judges found that this was a beautifully designed short with a lovely visual aesthetic and charming tone.

Best A2 Animated Film

Joint Winner: Gage McAlister (Dalriada School) for ‘The Balloon Effect’

Judges found that this was a beautifully designed short with a lovely visual aesthetic and charming tone.

Best A2 Film

Winner: Matthew McGuigan (St Malachy’s College) for ‘Ardelinis’.

The judges felt that this was a superb piece of film-making which displayed an exemplary grasp of directing, cinematography, writing and directing.

Northern Ireland Screen

“Northern Ireland Screen is the government-backed lead agency in Northern Ireland for the film, television and digital content industry, driving global growth through boosting our economy, celebrating our culture and enhancing our children’s education.”

Northern Ireland Screen

Joel Simon of Flickerpix animations

Joel Simon studied at the Royal Academy of Fine-Arts in Liège.

He later studied Visual Communications in Manchester, England, where he discovered the joys of claymation by experimenting with a Super8 cine camera and characters made of plasticine.

This enlightening experience turned into a vocation for animation, as he spent his first two years in Belfast, Northern Ireland working on "Ciderpunks", a 10 minute animated mockumentary on the early goth scene, which won awards at animation festivals around the world.

In 2003 he established Flickerpix Ltd with an aim of producing high quality animated programmes for all ages. In 2008, Flickerpix became part of the Waddell Media Group.

Joel directed children’s series Buska & Barney for UTV; the acclaimed series On The Air for BBC NI, numerous animated TV commercials and shorts like Horn OK Please (IFTA for Best Animation 2007) and MACROPOLIS which has been selected in over 200 international film festivals, and won 16 awards to date.

He exec produced Zig&Zag - The Animated Series for CBBC / RTE.

The studio has broadened its portfolio by producing animation in a variety of new animation techniques, combining CG, motion graphics and traditional illustrations.

Some of Joel's work has featured in BAFTA-winning programmes for CBBC, Comic Relief, Children In Need, Channel 4, Discovery, Sky One, BBC ONE and Sesame Street US.

Joel regularly conducts talks and workshops on the subject of animation

Flickerpix Animations

“We work in a quaint seaside village called Holywood, some five miles outside Belfast, in Northern Ireland. Since 2003, our studio has grown from a small window-less room in East Belfast, producing animated stings for local TV to a studio whose work has been celebrated and awarded on all five continents.  Our animated creations have appeared on CBBC, Channel 4, Sesame Street USA, Discovery, RTE, ABC, Berlin Film Festival and on BBC One’s big events Comic Relief and Children In Need. We've had the pleasure of working with talented individuals from all over the world, and bring to life the words and motions of artists like Harry Hill, Billy Connolly, Richard Curtis and Seamus Heaney.”

Flickerpix Animations

Background to MIA

The only qualification of its kind in the UK, CCEA Moving Image Arts has grown in popularity over the past 12 years with over 1500 students taking the course annually across both A Level and GCSE.

Introduced in 2004, Moving Image Arts is an applied CCEA A-Level course which offers a hands-on and creative approach to the teaching of the moving image. Also available at GCSE level, MIA gives students the opportunity to produce their own creative film portfolios, offering a wide range of opportunities to develop creativity, digital literacy and enterprise skills.

In 2016, there are 610 GCSE students and 709 GCE students sitting the subject.

Moving Image Arts Microsite

Note to Editors

Media enquiries to MarComms, Mobile 07718 424 373, Email