One of the most interesting films of this edition, competing in the Orizzonti section, is an Italian cartoon. It’s not a kids cartoon, on the contrary. It’s Gatta Cenerentola (Cindarella the Cat) by Alessandro Rak, Ivan Cappiello, Marino Guarnieri and Dario Sansone, vaguely inspired by the theatrical work by Roberto De Simone, its roots are in an oral tale of the Neapolitan tradition reported by Giambattista Basile in ‘Lo cunto de li cunti’. The context however is different and the story is set in a dystopian and futuristic Naples, a sort of Italian Ghost in the Shell, with the voices of Alessandro Gassmann, Massimiliano Gallo, Maria Pia Calzone, Mariano Rigillo and Renato Carpentieri. 

Cinderella is a mute girls who grows up in the bowels of a huge ship, the Megaride, anchored in the port of Naples. Her father had dies, killed in a conspiracy. Her stepmother –who is in love with a criminal boss who soon prefers Cinderella to her – and her stepsisters abuse of her. Decay, drug trafficking, neomelodic music, alleyways, beggars, money laundering. Holograms hover in the ship, recorded by a sophisticated system. These are memories, ghosts of a forgotten past, of a future – her own, but also the future of the city – in a delicate balance between the decay of the present times and the noble feasts of the past. Everything is born in Naples, in the MAD factory that three years ago sparked magic with Rak and The Art of Happiness. The film is based on the actors’ voices, the animation comes later. “We are victims of the society we are portraying – sais Rak, but we are also responsible. We acknowledge its stereotypes but also its strengths, its defect as well as its beauty”. 

“We split the work equally – the other directors explain- also arguing at times. We four are the ones with the most experience, so we took on a little more responsibility, but 15 people collaborated to the production for the drawing and animation and other skills, making it aesthetically interesting. We used very little motion-capture, mainly for the pre-vids and to understand the characters’ movements. The rest is animation, frame by frame. We used an open-source program called Blend, implementing some of its functions. It’s a free software of great use. We used 3D to move and frame the characters as if they were on set, but the final result is given by the eye, it’s absolutely pictorial”. Maria Pia Calzone, who interprets the Stepmother, said: “when they called me for an animation film I thought they already had the images. Instead, I was acting, it was like jumping into space. I identified with the role, I dressed like the Stepmother, in a tight dress and high heels. Because your voice changes, if you’re wearing high heels or if you’re in flat shoes”. 

“One could say –adds Alessandro Gassmann – that we did an ‘emotion capture’. I also had some dubbing experience, in foreign cartoons, so they had been already made. To be a part of this Italian project was particularly important. The animation team gave a body to the characters, we gave them a soul”. 

The film will be released in cinemas September 14, and will be distributed nationally in 85 copies, 35 of them will be in Campania, because of it’s particular identity. According to the producer Luciano Stella, who collaborated with Carolina Terzi and her Sky dancer, the film cost 1 million 200 thousand euros, against the 7 million spent on D’Alo’s Pinocchio and the 50 for The Little Prince. It will be screened in cinemas preceded by the short Simposio suino in re minore by Francesco Filippini, listed for the David di Donatello.