Italo toon fest sees record entries

Event to be held on Amalfi coast in Positano April 5-9

Italy’s Cartoons on the Bay, the competitive fest dedicated to animated TV series, will celebrate its 10th anniversary with entrants from a record 37 countries, up from last year’s 23 countries and the 12 at the first edition.

Fest, held on the Amalfi coast in Positano April 5-9, sees a slew of entries from Eastern European countries including first-timers Croatia, Russia, Poland, Slovenia and Ukraine.

Cartoons on the Bay differs from the more auteur-oriented international animation fests of Annecy, Ottawa and Hiroshima, according to fest director Alfio Bastiancich.

He credits the increase in co-productions as the reason the fest has gained in prestige. Cartoons “bridge the U.S. majors and European animators,” he explained.

“In the mid-1990s, the American companies almost held a monopoly, but now European quotas impose the airing of co-productions on some channels. Almost from the outset we put the European productions up against American ones, and the juries (reflected) this mix as well.”

Globalization is seen as another reason the European and American toon industries are aligning. “More and more European producers create their product in the same studios in India where Disney or Warner goes,” Bastiancich explained.

The fest also has an active market — a newly digitized on-site video library allows buyers, producers and creators to look at the fare.

In addition to the Pulcinella awards handed out in eight categories, the fest will honor Roy Disney and Italian animation master Bruno Bozzetto with career awards. DIC Entertainment will receive honors as best studio.

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