The Man of the Hour: Enzo D'Alò

by Russell Bekins

Enzo D'Alò at the festival, just a few miles from his home town of Napoli. Photo by Russell Bekins.

Italian animation director Enzo D'Alò is in an enviable position. A jurist for this year's "Cartoons on the Bay" festival, he now has years of projects lined up for his Turin-based company, Lanterna Magica. The Italian success of his animation feature Lucky and Zorba (Il Gatto e la Gabbianella) means that he can now pick his projects.

The first is an adaptation of a German classic, Momo, a co-production with German-based Tarus Film, which is now in the storyboard stage. Working with writers Walter Cavazzuti and Michel Fuzellier, he went from a first draft that weighed in at 400 pages, through twelve versions of the script. "We've tried to reduce the gothic atmosphere of the piece," D'Alò commented as a television camera crew set up for an interview in a busy hotel lobby. "We've added new animal characters and made the Grey Lords more kind."

In the early stages of development for D'Alò is The Tempest, based on the Shakespeare classic, and Pinocchio, which he plans to set among the poor street kids in his native Naples.

Still, it's not all a bed of roses. Lucky and Zorba, despite completion of an English sound track, is still looking for distribution outside Italy.

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