Cartoons on the Bay Kicks Off in Positano, Italy

Neither news of the war nor the pouring April rain could dampen the spirits of the organizers and attendees of this year’s edition of Positano’s Cartoons on the Bay. Organized by Rai Trade, this seventh edition of the animation event offers an eclectic showcase of 35 works in the competition as well as screenings of 123 projects from around the world.

On Wednesday night, the Italian premiere screening of Jeff McGrath and Cathy Malkasian’s The Wild Thornberrys Movie kicked off the festivities. The Klasky Csupo production will be released in Italy on April 18. Other films set to premiere here are Pascal Morelli’s Corto Moltese: The Arcanes Secret Court (a co-production of Ellipsanime, France 2 Cinema, Rai Fiction and Neuroplanet Luxembroug; Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, and Disney’s Jungle Book 2.

In addition to the premieres, the festival offers several conferences focusing on different aspects of television animation. A special tribute to respected animator and teacher Jules Engel, and an “animathon,” a team competition for creating cartoons in record time on the theme of peace (with the participation of 70 local students, under the guidance of toon experts Andre Leduc and Florence Bolte) are two of this year’s other highlights.

The winners of the festival’s Pulcinella Awards will be announced on Sunday, April 13. Cartoons on the Bay is billed as the first and only international festival dedicated solely to television animation. The president of the festival is RAI managing director Roberto Di Russo, and the fest’s director is Alfio Bastianich. For more information about the event, visit www. cartoonsbay.com