10 JUN 2024

Francesco Manfio: "European broadcasters must think together"

The CEO of Gruppo Alcuni reveals the strategy that will allow European animation to grow globally and highlights the new co-production with Spain and India.

10 JUN 2024

Francesco Manfio

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Italian animation company Gruppo Alcuni has a consolidated place in Italy through their numerous productions with Rai, like "Cuccioli" and "Mini Cuccioli." "These series allow us to develop our brands, which are born from an Italian idea, and then, they have success all over the world," commented Francesco Manfio, CEO of Gruppo Alcuni, to Señal News.

Currently, the company is taking a step further and working on co-productions that are born from cultural and economic premises that merge. That is the case of "The Black Diamond Race," a Gruppo Alcuni, Rai Kids, Broadvision, RTVE, and Motion Pictures co-production. "'The Black Diamond Race' is an itinerant story for Europe and India, where there is really a Spanish part and an Indian and Italian one. One of the protagonist is Pedro, who is a Spanish boy, then, there are Ada and Franco, who are two Italian boys, and there is also Rani, who is an Indian girl. This is a co-production that had to be done," asserted Manfio.

Manfio remarked that Public broadcasters from European leader countries like Italy, Spain, and Germany must think together about what stories can capture European children's attention. "If we build stories that are Pan-European, that can really please European children, maybe we can start to create a small base in Europe that allows us to be stronger in the global Animation arena," he said. He has suggested creating brands with roots in Europe and then exporting them with more weight. "We could have more weight with toys because we have more chances if we are strong in Italy, Spain, and Germany. We could have more weight with the editorial part, of course. We can go to America and say there is a top brand in Europe but not a top brand in Italy, Spain, or Germany. We have this problem that we have to solve to grow because otherwise, we will be forced to play a championship in Serie B," he affirmed.

Gruppo Alcuni is bringing "The Black Diamond Race" to the Annecy Film Festival, and the series has four fundamental components that can make it a global success. "'The Black Diamond Race' has a chance of success because it has nine episodes of 45 minutes each, which is crazy," said Manfio. They are nine short films with all the organizational problems of nine films, 45 minutes of storyboard, 45 minutes of editing," Manfio commented.

The second highlight point is the target, tweens. "We are talking about a series that does not unfold as the Europeans normally do. In pre-school, we are solid; in Kids, we are perfect, but in later ages, no," he commented. The third characteristic of the "Black Diamond Race" is that it is a bridge between two continents that have never worked together, Europe and India. "This is another fundamental point," said Gruppo Alcuni, CEO.

Last but not least, "The Black Diamond Race" was settled in 1929. He anticipated that the series would be CGI, so 3D with all the costs of CGI, but with very flat colors, with a really beautiful animation. The incredible thing in Black Diamond Race is the quality of the animation," he concluded.