By Sharon Katz
So, the movies are over, the awards are granted, the ceremony is behind us.
Even the post festival party at a great little cafe opposite the cinema is a distant memory.
The grand prize went to "Life Without Gabriella Ferri" by Priit and Olga Parn. This is a complex, sensual, poetic film. "Wallace & Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf And Death" by Nick Park took the special jury prize. Even though they are masters of the art, these filmmakers were pleased and genuinely touched by the recognition. You can view all the winners in the AWN News .
This has been quite a festival. In addition to the large number of competition and showcase screenings, Oscar Grillo - one of the grand gentlemen of animation - was here to screen several programs of his favourite animation classics. Mohamed Ghazala screened two programs of African animation, there was a Focus On India, a business showcase, presentations from Indian, Belgian and Italian schools of animation, and training workshops. Various retrospectives and special programs rounded out the packed schedule.
Of the Italian competition I can say very little because of the language barrier, but it looked from the outside like a huge success. Italian submissions were much higher in number than for any year previous, and I'm sure I Castelli Animati has played a large role in igniting this current interest in animation production in Italy.
So we are off to catch our planes which, between us all, will crisscross the world. What will remain with us of the festival? There is no geographic centre of animation, a place where one could live and be really immersed in this art form. Instead we must rely on the internet for brief communications and the festivals to bring us together in person, to give us the opportunity to really get to know each other, to re-ignite old friendships, to exchange ideas and share knowledge.
Saluté to team Castelli Animati. We know how much hard work you've put into making this festival happen. We are profoundly grateful.
Sharon Katz is a visual artist working in still and animated imagery. Her award winning animations screen at art and film festivals around the world, and her drawings and paintings are held in art collections in Canada and abroad. You can visit her website at www.sharonkatz.net/about  and reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .