Cookstown’s South West College performing arts students were treated to an inside industry view when actor James Stockdale and Cinemagic visited them this week.
James, 15, has gone on to secure roles in A Christmas Star and new short film Delicate Things with the support of film charity Cinemagic.
On Monday, his new short film, which was made by students aged 18-25, was screened at the Burnavon and students given the opportunity quiz him.
Course tutor Brian McMahon said he hopes that through links with the film charity his students can gain some invaluable industry experience.
He told the Mail: “Creating links with the industry is very important.
“You can go and learn in a course, mechanicing, plumbing, whatever it is, but unless you’re seeing other people doing it.
“It is networking. But I’ve said to the students. To get work, you have to network.”
And that’s just how James, a student at the Royal School, got his big break.
Since starting with Cinemagic he said he has been busy working on a number of projects, which this weekend will take him as far away as Canada to see an elephant.
But he told the students he loves what he does and “wouldn’t change it for the world”. Now the hope is that Brian can secure similar breaks for his students through links with charity.
“Brian was telling me about the course that he’s running and I thought that I would come down,” said Cinemagic’s International Executive Shauna Shivers.
“We do everything from film education to master classes, premieres and its jam packed.
“A lot of actors would use Cinemagic to springboard themselves. We saw a niche to linking young people with industry professionals.
“What they learn in school is important to the lead up to that, but we can get them speaking to industry professionals and help them to get into the industry.”