8 FEB 2024

Gruppo Alcuni, between consolidated IP's and the new bet for teen animation

Francesco Manfio, CEO of the Italian studio, describes the company's focus on Kidscreen and reveals more details about the Cartoon Artist course they created to discover new animation talent.

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Francesco Manfio

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Gruppo Alcuni is one of the most essential Italian Studios specializing in animation. With consolidated IPs like "Mini Pet Pals,"; "Mini Dinos," and "Leo da Vinci," the company is betting on a new target, teenagers with "The Black Diamond Race." Francesco Manfio, the company's CEO, explained this strategy to Señal News.

Gruppo Alcuni is one of the most active European studios. What new productions are you presenting at Kidscreen this year?
"First of all, 'Leo da Vinci 2' has recently been completed and has already aired on Rai Kids and KiKA. This new season about the adventures of the Tuscan genius and his friends is made up, like the previous one, of 52x13 episodes and is co-produced with Rai Kids, HR, ARD, and Cosmos Maya. We are confident that 'Leo da Vinci 2' will confirm the excellent ratings of the first season, which has been distributed worldwide."

What about your preschool brand, "Mini Pet Pals"? Is there any news in sight?
"We will be presenting the brand new 26-episode spin-off at the summit. In this new adventure, the 'Mini Pet Pals' will make some new friends: the super-fun Mini Dinos! The series is about the meeting of two worlds that, at first glance, look extremely different. Mini Pet Pals and Mini Dinos find the other group's habits, games, and ways of thinking surprising. By learning to embrace new ideas, they all value their differences. Gruppo Alcuni strongly believes in using children's content to promote open-mindedness, kindness, and mutual support, which are fundamental values for a peaceful society."

Could you tell us more about the much-awaited "The Black Diamond Race," Gruppo Alcuni's debut in tween animation?
"It's an exciting challenge for us in terms of target and format (9x45'). The story takes place in Europe and India in 1929, and we had to do a lot of research to reconstruct the characters, locations, and cars of that time accurately. The series revolves around a gripping, action-packed car race that sees a teenage hero and her team up against a ruthless villain. At stake is the prodigious black diamond. 'The Black Diamond Race' is a Gruppo Alcuni, Rai Kids, Broadvision, RTVE, and Motion Pictures co-production. Episodes 1-4 will be completed in summer 2024."

A growing production studio like Gruppo Alcuni must constantly look for new animation talents...
"We are always looking for new talent, but those who apply to our studios and are enthusiastic about animation often complain about the lack of schools to develop their skills. This is precisely why we founded 'Cartoon Artist' in collaboration with the Autonomous Province of Trento and the Trentino Film Commission. It's a course that gives about 20 young people the opportunity each year to improve their skills in the field of animation. Thanks to these courses, finding new talent to integrate with our existing staff at Gruppo Alcuni has become less of an effort."

By Romina Rodríguez

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