Liam Neeson opened the third annual Cinemagic New York Film and Television Festival for Young People at 75 Wall Street Condominiums in New York City last Monday. The festival comes as part of a Imagine Ireland, Culture Ireland’s year of Irish arts in America.

The 22-year-old film charity, based in Belfast, caters to young people and provides unparalleled opportunities to learn from leading film and television industry professionals. It is recognized for being able to engage young people in social issues, says The Irish Emigrant.

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Liam Neeson, a patron of Cinemagic, was on hand on Monday to officially open the New York branch of the festival, which runs for five days and hosts an invited audience. The festival works “to deliver a packed programme of educational and entertaining film screenings, workshops and special events for young people aged 4-25.” Working with Cinemagic in New York are a number of top organizations, including HBO, the New York Film Academy, Sony Wonder Technology Lab and the Tribeca Film Institute.

Chief Executive of Imagine Ireland Eugene Downes says ““The Festival is not only a terrific showcase of Irish film, it also offers the young participants an opportunity to explore their creativity in a way that is both fun and educational. Cinemagic is an exceptional initiative and a welcome addition to our showcase of Irish film in the US in 2011”.