Local Teens Supported Into Film & Production

A new creative academy is to support local young people in their aspirations to start a career in Northern Ireland's expanding screen industries.

Up to eighty teenagers aged 16-19 will participate in the Production Design and Film Construction Academy, developing skills in production and set construction and design, including painting, carpentry and hairdressing.

Participants will have the opportunity to work alongside local talent Enda Kenny, a costume designer who worked on Academy Award nominated 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and make-up artist Connie McGrath who worked on the television series 'Krypton' and Paramount Pictures' production of 'The Lost City of Z'.

Supported by Belfast Harbour, the scheme will be delivered by Nerve Belfast and Northern Ireland Screen.

CEO of Belfast Harbour Joe O'Neill said the investment is part of their strategic ambition to establish Northern Ireland as a leading European creative and media hub.

He said: "We believe that this new academy, which we are supporting with NI Screen and the Nerve Centre, will be a great starting point for those seeking to develop a career within the sector and help ensure that young people have the right skills to access the many and varied job opportunities that the screen industry offers."

Belfast Harbour's plans for the expansion of the Belfast Harbour Studios complex at Giant's Park include six new studios and supporting workshops to complement the existing studios, workshops and production offices.
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The Production Design and Film Construction Academy will run between November and May in two phases. The first phase will run from November to December offering a series of masterclasses and workshops facilitated by industry professionals in areas such as costume, makeup and set decor.

Participants will then be invited to apply for the second phase, which will commence in January through to May. This phase will provide young people with the skills to work as part of the art and construction departments on a production of a short sci-fi film to be shot in April.

David McConnell, Education and Careers Manager at Northern Ireland Screen said: "We want more young people coming into this exciting industry and the Production Design and Film Construction Academy is specifically designed to provide students with hands-on experience. It is exceptionally important to develop and keep local talent and this programme provides the opportunity for young people to understand the various roles within the industry.

"It's absolutely fantastic that Northern Ireland Screen is taking real, practical steps to bridge the gap between education and industry. Getting young people into working studios and being taught by industry professionals is an opportunity like no other."

Jennifer McAlourm, Screen Academies Manager at Nerve Belfast added: "Building upon the success of the BFI Film Academy and the Foundation Academy for Animation, Nerve Belfast intends to provide new entrants with the technical skills, creative opportunities and 'real world' production experience that they need to gain employment within our local screen industries. This is an exciting programme for young people and we are thrilled to be working with local industry professionals to further develop home-grown talent."

The academy will be based at Nerve Belfast at Havelock House, the former home of the UTV studios. Applications can be submitted here.


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