PREVIEW/Cartoons under the Mole

The twenty-third edition of Cartoons on the Bay, held for the third year in Turin (Museo Nazionale Del Risorgimento Italiano, Palazzo Carignano, April 11-13): we talk to director Roberto Genovesi about the main fixtures of the event which was born in Amalfi, Campania in 1997, then migrated to Positano and subsequently moved up the Peninsula (Tigullio and Venice) to find its home in a locality that is not very “on the bay” but is very cartoon in terms of its long-running production tradition.

Genovesi has also been the director for ten years: a decade that has seen the world of animation change significantly and, as a result, also the event itself.

«In the beginning» the director explains «the ratio of videogames and cartoons seemed pervasive, with a great collaboration between the two types of media in terms of narration. However, this turned out to be much slower than it appeared and, above all, moved in a different direction from a simple “dialogue” of contents that were decanted from one media to the other».
In fact «the dialogue became a professional one, i.e. the cartoon animators adapted themselves to the universe of videogames and interactive products: in fact they use the same programs. Plus cinema became a question of digital processing: with live action films that are 80% animation, actors moving on green backgrounds and make- up that often involves morphing». Television animation went from multimedia to cross-media. «An increasing number of titles», again explains Genovesi «are born with a business plan that immediately integrates live action, comic strip, gaming, publishing… An excellent way to “un-package” the risk of high production costs”.

Which brings us to Cartoons on the Bay: when you introduced the term cross-media to the definition of the festival it was still an obscure word.
«I have always backed this aspect. We were advanced, 10 years ago. But immediately after we said it, it had already happened. »

In the meantime the structure of the event has also changed.
«The festival schedule has changed: whereas before we divided the days into various sections dedicated to the different types of media, now the program consists of events in which they dialogue with each other. »

What are the top features scheduled?
«While confirming that Thursday remains “pitch day”, Friday will feature a meeting between international broadcasters to discuss their schedules and junior audiences: do kids watch different things according to latitude or is there a common denominator?
Is it possible to produce cartoons that everyone likes?
These questions will be discussed by the director of Rai Ragazzi, Luca MilanoLinda Granath of Swedish TV, Pierre Siracusa of France Télévision and Linda Simensky of Pbs Kids Usa.
Also on Friday there will be a round table on cross-media creative writing with the participation of Rhianna Pratchett (“Tomb Rider”), Jeff Wamester (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) and Marino Guarnieri (“La Gatta Cenerentola”).
And Bill Plympton, Pulcinella Career Award 2019, will hold a masterclass. On Saturday there will be the meetings with other Pulcinella award-winners, Michel Ocelot (director of “Kirikù”, whose new “Dilili à Paris” will be screened) and Benoît Sokal (creator of the “Syberia” game series).
There will also be the traditional presentation of the new Rai animated productions.
And to finish, at the end of the festival, the awards for the various catego- ries in competition, for the professionals cited above, for Marvel as the “studio of the year”, and for Rinaldo Traini, the creator of Lucca Comics & Games – the “special award 2019”»

This is for members of the trade. What does the public get out of it?
«The opportunity, for the duration of the Festival, to view, free of charge, premieres as well as recent and retrospective animation films.
There are also lots of surprises and screenings in the Schools Program which, in the past, had up to 600 viewers a day.
Then there are two exhibitions: 90 years of Mickey Mouse through the pages of the comic books, and “Drago Nero” (also a Cross-media award), the Bonelli comic strip which Rai Ragazzi is about to turn into a cartoon. With regard to the theatrical premieres: in addition to the already mentioned “Dilili à Paris” by Michel Ocelot, “Terra Willy – Planète Inconnue” by Eric Tosti will also be presented. »

“Cartoons on the Bay” is being held in Turin for the third year running. A successful collaboration?
«Turin has been a very involved city, with a high cultural profile. It has forced us into an ongoing challenge to do better. All the schools in the region have participated, from elementary to specialist institutions (Link University, IED, Centro Sperimentale…)».

Nella sezione: Focus on italy