Thousands of cosplayers and fans gathered at the main exhibition venue of the 17th China International Cartoon & Animation Festival in colorful makeup, unusual costumes and lavish hairstyles. The festival kicked off in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, on Sept 29 and will run through Oct 4.
As the only state-level event of its kind, the festival has drawn nearly 120 top animation and cartoon companies from over 50 countries and regions,with all activities held in-person and virtually. More than 300 renowned franchises are involved, including Hello Kitty, one of the world's most famous "cats", and the Marvel universe of superheroes.
Organizers revealed the festival has strictly followed a set of epidemic prevention procedures, with all participants -- including exhibitors, guests and spectators -- required to show a negative nucleic acid test taken in the previous 48 hours before entering.
Several large-scale activities -- including a parade, a cosplayers' gala, and a competition for voice actors -- have been postponed, but rehearsals for those shortlisted for the final will go on.
Stanley Tong, an action blockbuster veteran who has helmed nine films starring Jackie Chan over the past three decades, also attended the festival. Interestingly, Tong revealed he is looking for opportunities to shift to the animation industry, as his trademark shooting model -- traveling overseas to shoot Chan's death-defying stunts in exotic locales -- has faced hurdles due to the pandemic.
On Tuesday night, the Golden Monkey King Awards -- the festival's top honor -- announced 31 winners selected from 89 shortlisted entries from 1,176 submissions from 16 countries and regions.
As a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the founding of Communist Party of China, the festival committee specially set up an award category to highlight domestic animation works featuring stories of the CPC. The number of these "red" comics and animated works has reached more than 130, accounting for 11 percent of all submissions.
While Cong Wei Bian Guo (Never Changed) won the special award for red revolutionary tales, Lin Hai Xue Yuan (Tracks in the Snowy Forest), a 52-episode animated series, snapped the top prize at the Golden Monkey King's General Awards.
As one of the festival's top highlights, masterclasses held on Sept 30 gathered several top animated directors, such as Su Da, head of Shanghai Animation Film Studio, and Amp Wong, director of this year's highest-grossing animated blockbuster Green Snake.