Cartoons on the Bay to Honor Aardman, Rainbow

British studio Aardman Animation, home to the clay-animated Wallace and Gromit property, and Italy’s own Rainbow, producer of the TV series Winx Club, will both be named Studio of the Year at the 2005 Cartoons on the Bay. Rai Trade’s poplar TV animation festival is set to return to Positano, Italy, from April 7 to May 1.

This year, a total of 40 nominated works will compete for the coveted Pulcinella Awards in the categories Preschool Series, Children’s Series, Action and Adventure Series, All Audiences’ Series, TV Series Pilots, Short Films, TV Specials and Social and Educational Programs. The international jury will also select Grand Prize winners for Best Animated Character of the Year, Best Series of the Year and Best European Program of the Year.

Receiving this year’s Career Award will be Oscar-winning maverick American cartoonist/animation director Gene Deitch and Italian brothers Roberto and Gino Gavioli. The Gaviolis worked for Gamma Film to create hundreds of Carosello episodes and a series of indelible characters that played a significant role in Italian culture in the 1960s and 1970s.

During the 1950s Deitch revitalized Terrytoons studios, providing early animation experience to many future notable talents including Ernest Pintoff, R.O.Blechman, Jules Feiffer, Ralph Bakshi, and James Flora. Creator of the Tom Terrific character, Deitch moved to Czecholoslovakia in the late 1950s and produced theatrical and television shorts, including his Oscar-winning film, Munro and a series of faithful Krazy Kat cartoons for TV. Still working, Deitch recently completed a new film, Bark George, with Jules Feiffer.

In addition to providing a showcase for international TV productions, Cartoons on the Bay will host previews of upcoming movies, special events, conferences, presentations and a bevy of celebrated figures from the world of animation and entertainment. For more information, go to www.cartoonsbay.com.