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Hangzhou gets really animated
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The Fourth China International Cartoon and Animation Festival is being held from yesterday to Saturday in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province.

The first day is reserved for professionals.

Artists performat opening ceremony of the 4th China International Cartoon and Animation Festival held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, April 28, 2008.

Sponsored by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and Zhejiang Provincial Government, the festival this year is held in the Hangzhou Leisure Expo Park in Xiaoshan District.

"Holding the festival is an important way of supporting China's growing animation industry,'' said Jin Delong, the deputy editor of SARFT.

Jin believes the festival will be a good opportunity to showcase state-of-art animation concepts and sharpen China's edge in the field by exchanging ideas with domestic and overseas artists.

Although Hangzhou is yet to be rated at the top for the fast developing industry in China, thanks to its rich economic and cultural strengths it is quickly catching up with provinces strong in this area, notably Hunan and Guangdong.

Artists perform at opening ceremony of the 4th China International Cartoon and Animation Festival held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, April 28, 2008.

The festival has become the largest of its kind with a large overseas contingent. Over 300 animation enterprises from 37 countries and regions are taking part in the festival this year.

The event last year in Hangzhou attracted 430,000 visitors, but this year attendance is expected to exceed half a million.

The festival is to stay in Hangzhou permanently.

The event this year is centered on a theme of "Colorful Animation and Quality Life." Building on the success of the previous festivals, this festival is looking to overcome previous problems with space and time.

During the festival there will be exhibitions, forums, competitions and some interactive events. Participation by overseas venture capitalists also affords participants a rare chance to secure extra funding. Prize money totals 2 million yuan (285,330 U.S. dollars) this year, almost double last year's.

The city has five state-level animation centers and more than 100 animation games businesses employing about 10,000.

Last year the city's production of animation ran to 15,000 minutes running time. The Hangzhou city government spends 50 million yuan on the industry.

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