English-speaking prod'ns reign at Italian toon fest

'Charlie and Lola' takes two nods

The second season for the British series for infants "Charlie and Lola" took home two awards at the Cartoons on the Bay festival and English-language productions dominated the awards, taking home eight of 12 main prizes.

Productions from Italy, France, Estonia and Iceland were given awards at the festival, which concluded Sunday, but it was films from the U.S., Britain and Canada that took home the lion's share of prizes.

The international aspect to prize winners has been typical for the Cartoons on the Bay event, which is now in its 11th year. With nearly 1,000 participants, and films and programs from about 36 countries, the Salerno, Italy-based festival is the most important animation festival in the world.

"Charlie and Lola" — from Tiger Aspect Prods. and director Kitty Taylor — was the only product to win awards in two categories: best series for infants and the best program overall.

"Ruby Gloom" from Canada's Nelvana Studios won the prize for the best series for children; British spy comedy "The Secret Show" from writer-director Tony Collingwood won for the best action/adventure television series; the award for best pilot went to Nickelodeon's "Monster Safari"; "Guide Dog" from U.S. writer-director Bill Plympton was given the award for best character; the U.K.'s "Peter & the Wolf" won for best European production; and Cartoon Network Studios' "Class of 3000" won for best soundtrack.

Other winners were "Minuscule" from France's Futurikon Studios, which won for the best TV series for any age; "The Little Short-sighted Snake" from Film Estonia, which won for best educational and social program; "Anna and the Moods" from Iceland's Caoz Studios, which won for best television special; and Italy's "Wives Supermarket," which was named the festival's best short film.

Special mentions were given to RAI Fiction's "How to Cook Italian by Arturo & Kiwi," created by Italian director Andrea Zingoni; "Ayakashi," from Japan's Toei Animation; and "Santapprentice," from France's Alphanim Studios.

In other developments, RAI Fiction — a subsidiary of state broadcaster RAI — said Sunday that it will produce more than 30 new television series and films this year, including an as-yet-unnamed 3-D full-length film from 69-year-old animator Bruno Bozzetto based on Bozzetto's character Minivip, the sidekick to comic superhero Vip, created in 1968. Bozzetto was given the Pulcinella lifetime achievement award for Italian animators last year.

The same award this year to the Pagot family, which brought generations of Italians the cartoon chicken Calimero. The award was accepted by Marco Pagot, the son and nephew, respectively, of Calimero co-creators Nino and Toni Pagot. The Pulcinella award for foreign animators was given to 77-year-old Croatian Zlatko Bourek, a 1965 Palme d'Or nominee at the Festival de Cannes and one of a small handful of Eastern European animators recognized internationally during the Cold War.

After the prizes were announced, the final event of the April 19-22 festival was a screening of a restored copy of "I Fratelli Dinamite" (The Dynamite Brothers), Italy's first full-length animated film, produced by Nino and Toni Pagot in 1949.

Because of its growth, Cartoons on the Bay relocated to the port city of Salerno this year after 10 years in the nearby villages of Amalfi and Positano.
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