Aardman Animations Peter Lord, Waltz With Bashir Director Ari Folman to Be Honored by Italys Cartoons on the Bay Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

Aardman Animations’ founder Peter Lord and “Waltz With Bashir” director Ari Folman are set to receive Pulcinella Career Awards at Italy’s Cartoons On The Bay TV animation festival which is broadening its scope.

The event launched in 1996 by Italian state broadcaster RAI has now expanded beyond TV toons to comprise video game productions, the comic book world, transmedia storytelling and metaverse animation content.

Reflecting its more high-tech horizons, the fest’s 27th edition – which will run May 31-June 4 in the Southern seaside city of Pescara – will also be celebrating “Cuphead,” the hit Canadian video game that’s become a Netflix series, and bestowing its creator Maja Moldenhauer with its new Transmedia Award.

In another high-caliber get, British puppet studio Mackinnon and Saunders, which worked with Guillermo del Toro on “Pinocchio,” will be feted by Cartoons on the Bay with its Studio of the Year Award. The studio’s co-founder Ian Mackinnon has been recruited to be on the fest’s jury.

More than 300 entries from all over the world will be competing for Pucinella Awards in sections that span from the Preschool TV Show category (for ages 2-4) to Youth TV Show (ages 11 and over).

Industry execs from across continental Europe, especially Germany, France, Belgium and the Balkans, are expected along with attendees from the U.K. and Ireland, the U.S., South Korea and China.

Artistic director Roberto Genovesi, who is transforming and revamping the event, is also introducing a new prize called the Arlecchino Award, in recognition of the animation piece “that is best able to narrate the complexities of gender identity to a young audience,” he said.

The country of honor at Cartoons on the Bay will be Germany. Besides involving a focus on the latest German TV animation product, this means that delegations from Germany’s two public broadcasters, ZDF and ARD, will be descending on Pescara for a panel discussion with head honchos from other European pubcasters on the challenges of making animation product for the public TV sector and how Europe’s animation market is recalibrating with the arrival of streamers, social media and the metaverse.

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