Independent section to run Aug. 30-Sept. 8

ROME

The Venice Film Festival’s independently run Venice Days will open Aug. 30 with hotly-anticipated toon “Pinocchio,” directed by Italy’s Enzo D’Alo and co-produced by several European countries.

Long-gestating 2D “Pinocchio” adaptation pairs D’Alo, a top toonster known for hits including “The Blue Arrow” and “Lucky and Zorba,” with illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Cosmopolitan, among other publications, and in portmanteau pic “Fear(s) of the Dark.”

Late Italo pop star and musician Lucio Dalla wrote the soundtrack.

Pic is co-produced by Italy’s Cometa Film, Luxembourg’s Iris, Gaul’s 2d3D Animations and Belgium’s Walking the Dog. It will be released in Italy on Dec. 21 via Lucky Red. Gaul’s Rezo is handling world sales.

D’Alo’s “Pinocchio” is not to be confused with Guillermo Del Toro’s stop-motion “Pinocchio,” backed by the Jim Henson Co., with a tentative 2014 completion date.

D’Alo has called his work closer in spirit to Italian author Carlo Collodi’s original fairy tale, written in 1880, than the 1940 Disney “Pinocchio,” which, he claims, introduced “non-existent characters.”

Venice Days topper Giorgio Gosetti said he was proud to open the section “with the distinctive mark of an animated film that is a masterpiece of Italian craftsmanship and transcends national boundaries, just like Collodi’s novel.”

The Venice Days section, modeled on Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, closes Sept. 8.

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