This year, the guest country was Germany that offers a wide range of opportunities through federal and regional film funding programmes which are also available for international co-productions. The country organizes the Animation Production Days, a coproduction and financing market for the animation industry that aims to connect European producers. "It's wonderful to have this connection between Germany and Italy, there is a great potential between both countries," mentioned Marlene Wagener, Head of the event.
On the other hand, executives from German main players as KIKA, ZDF and ARD gave an overview of the German animation and children’s entertainment industry. KIKA is a joint venture of ARD and ZDF, and both offer a full range of programmes for all audience on their main channels, "KIKA's mission is to inform, educate, advise and entertainment, and it is close to the lived experiences of 3 to 13-year-olds, providing space for experimentation, exploration, orientation, participation and presentation," said Sebastian Debertin, Head of International Content, Acquisitions & Co-productions, KiKA.
As a collaboration example between Italy and Germany, Arne Lohmann, Arne Lohmann, Vice President Junior, ZDF Studios, showed "Mofy", a coproduction between ZDF and Rai Fiction, produced in Florence by Misseri Studio/Associati Audiovisivi. "Mofy is a good example of the kind of preschool shows that we are looking for," he said. "We get involved in a variety of shows and we are very open to coproductions," he added.
From ARD, Patricia Vasapollo, reminded that they did a lot of shows with Italian partners in the last years, as example two seasons of "Geronimo Stilton"; two seasons of "Leo Da Vinci", alongside with Gruppo Alcuni and the live action project "Home Sweet Rome". "We are looking for family entertainment IP's," she affirmed. "European public broadcasters have to work more together in order to compete with the commercial TV and digital platforms," she indicated.
MADE IN ITALY
As Italian event, COTB highlighted “The Power of Made-In-Italy In The Global Industry” with the testimony of Anne Sophie Vanhollebeke, producer at Studio Campedelli, who mentioned that in the last 10 years Italian animation did not represent the concept of Made in Italy as it does today. “Some time ago we had to work with Asian companies and before, students had to go abroad to study and train, and this has changed. At present, we multiply by five the people who are working in the sector and this could be done thanks to the alliances that have been made with international partners because Rai could not do it alone and now we must think about how to increase this concept of 'Made in Italy' internationally and 'Zerocalcare' is an example to follow.”
Pietro Pinetti, CEO at Studio Bozzetto, stated that the company always aims to invest in the country. The executive gave the series "Tip The Mouse" as an example, which was distributed in 140 countries, but mentioned that the series was produced in the first period of the tax credit and financial aid and that the creative group that developed it could not be given continuity. In the same panel, Pedro Citaristi, CEO at Red Monk, said that lately they have been investing in infrastructure with a new studio in Milan where 80 animators work and the company also invests a lot in training with schools to create professionalism in Italy and not have to go abroad, so that animation students can train. To illustrate these ideas, Citaristi mentioned the productions they made from Red Monk and that attracted foreign partners, such as 'Home Sweet Rome', which was filmed in Rome and represents a way to export the beauty of Italy abroad. "It is a series that was born in Italy, produced in Italy and will be exported to the market international."
On the other hand, Giorgio Scorza, CEO & Creative Director at Movimenti Production, pointed out that "Made in Italy" means making projects in Italy, exporting Italian creativity and Italian storytelling, and "animation is a great advantage we have to do this,"he said. "We must export Italian IPs abroad, and also our Italian producers and executive producers must be trained for the needs of the international market." Finally, Francesco Manfio, the General Manager at Gruppo Alcuni pointed out two aspects of the "Made in Italy" concept, the first is the taste of Made in Italy, "it is something beautiful, curated, and I would like this idea to also go into cartoons", he said. The second aspect mentioned by Manfio is the Italian law that talks about what Made in Italy has to be, designed and made in and for Italy. The General Manager at Gruppo Alcuni pointed out that if foreign companies want to acquire Italian companies they can do so without problem, while on the contrary it cannot be done. "It's a competition problem," he said.
For the Animated Feature category, the Jury awarded the following prizes:
• Best Animated Feature – "Where Is Anne Frank" by Ari Folman (Belgium) produced by Le Pacte. The film also wins the Pulcinella Ciak d’Oro, awarded by Flavio Natalia, Ciak director.
• Best Director – "Metamorphosis" by Michele Fasano (Italy) produced by Sattva Films Production and School.
• Best Screenplay – "Oops, I Murdered The Person I Like Likes" by Ross Ozarka (New Zealand) produced by Ross Ozarka Films.
• Best Animation – "The Amazing Maurice" by Toby Genkel (Germany) produced by Ulysses Filmproduktion GmbH, Cantilever Media Limited.
• Best Soundtrack – "Saleem" by Cynthia Madanat Sharaiha (Jordan) produced by Digi Tales.