Nicktoons Festival Aims at New Animators

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Looking to diversify its programming lineup beyond replays of SpongeBob SquarePants, Nicktoons next week will bow the Nicktoons Film Festival, showcasing some of the best in international animation.

The festival, along with several acquired and originally produced shows set to air over the next 12 to 15 months, is an attempt to redefine Nicktoons as more than a repository for older Nickelodeon animated titles, said vice president and general manager Keith Dawkins.

A 30-minute animated special will run Sundays from Oct. 24 to Jan. 23 as part of the The Nicktoons Film Festival competition, a showcase of independent cartoon filmmaking by animators from around the globe.

Dawkins said the specials feature shorts submitted by animators. The winning project will earn a $10,000 prize and a full-length airing on the network Jan. 24.

The competition also positions Nicktoons as a home for new and innovative animation content, Dawkins said.

In addition, Dawkins said Nicktoons will add internationally produced animated programming, including variations of the anime genre, to further differentiate its programming from its sister Nickelodeon service. Among the new acquisition include the U.K. animated series Skylands, which Dawkins describes as “Star Wars-esque” in terms of its storyline and action.

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