Flixel Contest Explores The World of Magical Cinemagraphs

Everyone loves a little magic. It probably has to do with that childlike wonder we hold onto–always searching for the unexplainable. There’s something inherently magical about cinemagraphs. People often reference the “moving images” in Harry Potter when describing a cinemagraph. In the series, they depict a world where newspapers have photos that move, and paintings on the wall come to life, revealing these little worlds outside of the ones we live in.

Harry Potter Magical Cinemagraphs Example

Cinemagraphs are like the moving images in Harry Potter, acting as windows into another world. They’re little magic tricks; they trick the viewer into thinking they’re watching a photo come to life. All of a sudden, a woman’s dress billows in the wind while the rest of the scene remains frozen, or a portrait blinks while staring back at you. The most magical cinemagraphs steal attention by surprising the viewer with unexpected movement in an otherwise still image.

We put on a contest, #FlixelMagic, to celebrate The World of Magical Cinemagraphs. The outline: “It’s time to unleash your inner kid. Create a cinemagraph that celebrates your sense of wonder and adventure. Think Harry Potter and your favourite fairytales. Be playful; explore the medium in new ways; have fun with it!”

Check out the magical cinemagraphs created by the winners of the #FlixelMagic contest.

3rd Place: Jimmy Cheung

Jimmy is a photographer and cinemagraph artist based in NYC. His content is always full of life and emotion. His cinemagraph looks like something straight out of a fairytale.

“I find the butterfly life cycle very magical, it has the incredible feeling of rebirth which is what I wanted to have in this cinemagraph.”

A post shared by Jimmy Cheung (@ohjimmyfilms) on

2nd Place: Marko Roth

Marko is a world traveller who produces stunning videos, photos, and cinemagraphs on his trips around the globe. We couldn’t help but fall in love with the endless flicker of this beach bonfire, depicting a moment forever trapped in time. (It also made us a little envious, too!) What does Marko have to say about his entry?

“I can watch a bonfire for hours! There is some kind of magic in there🔥”

A post shared by Marko Roth (@markoroth) on

1st Place: Kayla Surico

We could watch this ferris wheel spin forever. Theme parks are filled with bright colours, and little bits of magic. This cinemagraph encapsulates the state of #FlixelMagic, where time stands still in a simple and hypnotic way. I talked to Kayla and she described how this cinemagraph came about. She was running around a fair with a few of her friends, and made a stop at the fun house. They got lost in the maze, laughing at their their reflections in the wavy mirrors surrounding them. Moments like this one are perfect for magical cinemagraphs, and Kayla took advantage of hers.

“Before going down the slide, I noticed my friend Anna admiring all of the lights from the surrounding rides and I felt like it was a perfect moment to capture a cinemagraph. The lights flashing on the ferris wheel behind her were so mesmerizing, it truly felt like a magical moment.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our #FlixelMagic contest! Keep spreading that Flixel magic 💥

(Flixel Marketing Manager)

When Cassandra was six, she was asked to share a story with her class…and hasn’t stopped telling them since. Now she does so through photography, video and writing, but with the same sense of wonder - and love for glitter - as her inner kid.