Cartoons on the Bay more global


ROME -- The 12th annual Cartoons on the Bay festival on Thursday announced what may be its most international lineup ever, with 176 programs set to screen from 25 different countries.

The April 10-13 festival, now in its second year in the seaside city of Salerno, south of Naples, features more productions from the U.S. and from Italy than from any other country. But the festival also continued its trend of featuring more productions from developing countries, particularly from Asia.

In that vein, this year's lineup includes one production from Malaysia, two works from China, three from India, four from South Korea and seven from Japan. Among other up-and-coming content-producing regions, Eastern Europe and Latin America are well represented.

Five films were nominated in each of the eight competitive categories for the Pulcinella Awards, the festival's top prize. Among them are "Squirrel Boy" from Cartoon Network Studios; The National Film Board of Canada's "Sleeping Betty"; "Gladiators" and "A Bicycle Trip," both co-produced by Italy's RAI Fiction; "Miyory in the Sacred Forest" from Japan's Nippon Animation Co.; and "Wanted" from South Korea's Electric Circus.

Additionally, Walt Disney's new series "My Friends Tigger and Pooh" -- one of the highlights of last year's festival when a short preview screened -- will be back with full episodes this time around.

The festival's move to Salerno, the largest city on Italy's picturesque Amalfi Coast, came last year after the festival outgrew its previous homes in the smaller villages that dot the coastline.