Cinemagic boosted by Amazon donation

Cinemagic, a Belfast charity that educates children and young people, has received a £2,000 donation from Amazon thanks to a Northern Ireland-born Amazon employee who now lives in the US.

The donation was made to film charity Cinemagic. The charity offers young people the chance to develop real skills and explore opportunities in film and TV. The organisation also hosts the annual Cinemagic Belfast Festival, the leading film and television festival for young people in the UK and Ireland.


The support from Amazon will go towards educational workshops and screenings for young people from marginalised areas throughout Northern Ireland.

The donation was made following a nomination to support the charity by a Northern Irish man who now lives and works at Amazon in New York.

Roger Woodend, a strategic sales leader at Amazon Web Services (AWS), is originally from Coleraine and chose to support a charity back home that’s close to his heart. He said:

“As a native of Northern Ireland now living and working in the US, I wanted to help make a difference to the lives of young people back home. I started helping Cinemagic a couple of years ago with event planning, as well as raising the charity profile and fundraising in the US.”

“I helped support Cinemagic’s annual event in Los Angeles where young people from across all communities and backgrounds in Northern Ireland meet a host of professionals in the field of film, TV, broadcasting, arts, entrepreneurship, and musical theatre. The event serves as a showcase for Cinemagic as a global player in the creative industries and celebrates Northern Ireland’s success stories internationally.”

Joan Burney Keatings MBE, CEO of Cinemagic, added: “We are so grateful to Amazon for this donation. We believe every young person should have the opportunity to develop their creative skills and talents, and this donation will help us as we aim to create those opportunities for young people all over Northern Ireland.”

Community donations and employee volunteering are just two of the ways Amazon supports the communities where it operates. Amazon has supported more than 500,000 students across the UK with free computer science and STEM education programmes through Amazon Future Engineer.

Amazon helps community organisations transport meals and other essentials to families in need through its pro bono logistics programme, Amazon Local Good, including more than seven million healthy breakfasts to children at risk of hunger in partnership with Magic Breakfast. And through its Multibank initiative, co-founded with former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Amazon has supported more than 200,000 families experiencing poverty, with the donation of more than 2 million surplus essential goods.

Amazon partners with Comic Relief to help people tackle poverty and is the official home of the charity’s iconic Red Nose. Last year, together with its employees, customers, and partners, Amazon raised over £2.7 million to fund projects that support people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and tackle issues such as homelessness, mental health problems, and food insecurity across the UK, and around the world.

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