Cartoons On The Bay, the winners of the Pitch Me! contest

A story that interweaves family and environmental protection, the world of work that transforms humans into magical and perhaps out-of-the-ordinary creatures, a painful narrative told through the eyes of a boy about deportation to Auschwitz. 
These are the themes that most engaged the jury of the Pitch Me! award, the competition at Cartoons On The Bay dedicated to animation projects produced by young talents.  
Eleven finalist projects were presented at the festival held in Pescara, running until June 2. 
First prize was won by Zilìa, a project directed by Marialuisa Fiori, Sara Cuperlo, Licia Fiorentini, Chiara Musa, and Mariana Califano. The story follows the protagonist Zilìa, who must save the island of Marigosa and the people she loves from the fury of the sea that she herself has unleashed. She is left with only two choices: sink into its depths or learn to navigate them. “The ‘visual impact of the work is very strong – stated the jury in their award motivation. It is a story of maturity, a life journey in which the protagonist must accept leaving her island. It is a very engaging family story with natural elements such as the sounds of the whale, the winds and the sea.  A poetic story with very strong and diverse themes.” 

The project NightShift won second place because, in the jury’s motivation, “it has a very strong multiplatform potential. With a theme that concerns everyone.” Written by Ivana Murianni and directed by Mauro Landriscina, Nightshift  tells the story of “Q”, an employee of a large multinational company who has no life outside of work. His only joy is his stable employment, which is lost when a wave of layoffs hits the company despite all his hard work, dedication, and nights spent working overtime. Those nights were Q’s happiest moments because, when the sun goes down, his office transforms into a far less boring dimension: the “Overufficio” (the oversize office), populated by magical creatures and bizarre transfigurations of his most workaholic colleagues. 

In third place, the work La Mamma di Mario Papà was described by the jury as “an urgent story to be told with a unique technique that mixes reality and imagination.” Written and directed by Karen Di Porto, La Mamma di Mario Papà is an animated documentary starring Mario, the son of parents deported to Auschwitz after the October 16, 1943 roundup in Rome. Miraculously saved that day when he was only two and a half years old, Mario’s story is narrated by Mario himself. The film transitions from the child he was to the elderly man he is today, as he shares his life story and his relationship with memory. 

The jury that viewed and selected the projects is composed of Agnès Bizzaro (Content Director Cartoon Springboard), Sara Cabras (Producer of TV series and cartoons Direction of Rai Kids) and Elena Capparelli (Director of Rai Play and Digital).