We’ll Always Have Rapallo!

The 14th edition of the fantastic Cartoons on the Bay Festival offers four days of jam-packed panels, special screenings and tributes to Don Bluth and Italian studio Atlantyca.

Italy’s Cartoons on the Bay festival has always been a fantastic way to unwind after the madness of the MIPTV market in April. The 14th edition of the four-day event (April 15-18), which takes place in Rapallo, Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure (the Golfo region of Tiglio) will offer the usual mix of TV previews, special tributes, one-on-ones with directors, producers, TV execs and charming contests and local flavors.

Widely acclaimed American animator Don Bluth will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s edition of the festival. Bluth, who set a new standard for independent animators by breaking away from Disney in 1979, setting up his own studio (Sullivan-Bluth) in Ireland, and directing animated pics such as The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, The Land Before Time, Anastasia and Titan A.E. as well as the laserdisc game Dragon’s Lair has been invited to speak at the event.

Atlantyca, the acclaimed Milan-based studio and publishing company behind such shows as Geronimo Stilton, Dive Olly Dive and the upcoming Oscar and Co., will receive the festival’s Italian Studio of the Year honor at this year’s festival. The studio’s chairman Pietro Marietti, CEO Claudio Mazzucco and exec producer Caterina Vacchi will present a special panel on the first day of the event.

Panels and Pulcinellas

This year’s edition will also feature a slate of panels that explore the role of animation in spreading positive messages about tolerance and cultural, social, religious and political diversity. ‘Our program will highlight how cartoons have reflected a wide range of diversities and continue to show how some see diversity as a threat and others see it as cultural enrichment,’ notes the festival’s artistic director, Roberto Genovesi. The festival has devoted various panels and screenings to animated projects produced in China, Iran, Egypt and Dubai.

Gisella De Pace (ICE), Kevin Geiger (Magic Dumpling), Isaac Wu Chen (Be Top Multimedia), Wu Tao (Blue Dolphin Animation) and Kieron Seamons (Sandman Animation) will offer new insights into the Chinese animation sector and present upcoming projects and co-productions. Also on tap is a panel on the new Chinese-Italian co-production Marco Polo, with Francesco Testa, Cristina Lastrego, Luca Milano and Alfio Bastiancich (president of ASIFA Italy). RAI will also present a premiere of its upcoming animated series, Water and Bubbles, with exec producer Max Carrier Ragazzi, Maganimation animation supervisor Claudia Arcangeli, author Elena Mora and director Guido Manuli.

The festival will also award Pulcinella Awards in nine different categories (Preschool Series, Kids Series, Tween Series, Young Adult Series, Pilot, Short Film, UNICEF’s Educational and Issues Film, Interactive Animation, and Cross-Media Project). Christy Dena, Maya Goetz, Gary Goldman, Nicole Keeb and Diana Manson make up this year’s distinguished panel of judges.

The Pulcinella Nominees:

TV Series for Preschool: Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures, Fifi and the Flowertots, Fun with Claude, Guess with Jess, Pipi Pupu e Rosmarina

TV Series for Kids: Angelo Rules,
Fanboy & Chum Chum,
 Geronimo Stilton,
 Mystery After Mystery – The Holy Shroud Told to Kids,
 Sally Bollywood

TV Series for Tweens: Marie & Gali,
Marvo the Wonder Chicken,
 The Penguins of Madagascar,
 Bunny Maloney,
 The Show with the Mouse (Where Willi Goes)

TV Series for Young Adults: Flying Trapeze,
 Kinky & Cosy,
 The Little Sun,
 Kung Fu Masters of the Zodiac

Pilot for TV Series: 
Animated Fairy Tales,
 Pumpkin Reports,
 Cavity Express,
 Marfy of Dreams,
 Verne on Vacation

Interactive Animation: Ciro,
Diabolik: The Original Sin,
 Superbike 2009, 
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, 
Free Running

Short Films:Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty,
 The Gruffalo,
 The Lady and the Reaper, 
The Promise,
Tora Chan

For more info, visit www.cartoonsbay.com.