MARCHE/Land of Animation d’Auteur

The only Italian presence at the Oscars 2019 leads to the Marche region, under the banner of animation: in fact, cartoonist Sara Pichelli, originally from Sant’Elpidio, participated in the “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” project -which won the prized statue for the best animated feature film.

This news once again turns the spotlight on to the long-running special relationship between the Marche region and animation which promises to result in the creation of a regional animation district.
But let’s put things in the right order.

This natural vocation is rooted in both the training activities – with reference to the Scuola del Libro d’Arte (Art Book School) in Urbino as well as the Academies of Macerata and Urbino – and the works of filmmakers whose names increasingly appear at top international cinema events.
This strongly authorial characterization generated the successful neologism “Animarche” – coined by the Marche Film Commission, the sector for which the Fondazione Marche Cultura (Marche Culture Foundation) is responsible.
In this way “Animarche” has begun to shape itself as the qualifying brand of a composite panorama which emerged more clearly in the “census” that the Marche Film Commission conducted of Schools/Academies and specific training structures, which was followed by a similar “register of filmmakers”.

Two different trends were identified: one, with industrial intentions and objectives (a brand for everything: Rainbow, which is based in Recanati), the other – which can be defined as being “auteur” or “arty” – that characterizes more the region’s cultural and human profile.

The “auteur” trend, identified by its valuable and personal outline, recognizable individually but also as a “school”, appears composed of single professionals, without very strong links to the marketing of the product and thus, for certain aspects, is more experimental in terms of the thematic profile and realization.
The confirmation and expansion of this “excellence” of the Marche region has come, in recent times, from the successes of filmmakers like Simone Massi and Roberto Catani who both trained at the Scuola del Libro d’Arte in Urbino and are both supported by the Marche Region through the
POR-FESR 2014-2020 regional development Fund (read news).

Simone Massi, we should remember, led the team of 20 animators from the Marche, all trained at the Scuola del Libro in Urbino, who created the drawings for “Samouni Road”, the feature by Stefano Savona which won the Golden Eye Jury Award for the best documentary film at Cannes.

His maestro is Roberto Catani, winner of the Grand Prix at the Sommets du Cinema d’Animation in Montreal with his last animation feature “Per tutta la vita”, the world premiere of which was presented at the prestigious 61st Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm in Leipzig.

The meeting between Italian animation producers and Film Commissions organized by Cartoon Italia at MIA in Rome last October fits into this scenario.
On that occasion the proposal launched by Cartoon Italia to create regional animation districts found – as it was logical to expect – the Marche Film Commission to be among its most enthusiastic interlocutors.

For the film commission the Cartoon Italia initiative was the right opportunity to conceive “Animarche” as a total project, structural and not episodic, aimed at promoting the Marche as the land of animation.
“The project’s objective is to create a “Regional Animation Cinema District” that is “strong, qualified and detectable”, announces Anna Olivucci, head of the Marche Film Commission “and that is capable, first and foremost, of recognizing a regional identity that is at one with entities originating from the Marche region that are effectively (and successfully) in operation and which builds a creative production chain upon this that integrates training, production and distribution/promotion, with a profound overall valorization of the region and its authorial and entrepreneurial skills”.

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