By Kelley Carlson
Spike & Mike is bringing back its “New Generation of Animation” festival to La Jolla this fall, and fans can expect to be in for a treat.
About 20 new shorts representing a variety of styles, mediums and countries will be shown, along with one repeat, “Hidden Life of the Burrowing Owl,” which is back by popular demand.
The festival premieres at 7:15 p.m. Oct. 16, and in observance of National Dessert Day, event sponsor Burger Lounge will give out cupcakes to the first 100 fans. The admission for that show will be a special price of $10.
“It’s a way to kick things off, and we appreciate the fans — they’re always the first to come,” said Craig "Spike" Decker, producer and one of the co-founders of La Jolla-based Mellow Manor Productions Inc.
The “New Generation of Animation” festival debuted in La Jolla earlier this year, and it proved to be popular, with shows often selling out.
“The community came out strong — we had all types, ages and (cultures),” Spike said.
People understood that this festival was intentionally different from another Spike & Mike event, “Sick & Twisted,” he added. “It was a hurdle we were trying to get over.”
To acquire shorts for the latest “New Generation of Animation” festival, Spike said he literally scoured the world.
His favorite one is “Love & Theft,” a short by Andraes Hykade of Germany, which won the Best Original Music award at the Annecy Animation Festival 2010 in France.
“I first saw it this summer (at Annecy) ... it’s been taking lots of other awards (as well). It’s a magnificent film — a masterpiece visually. I’m excited to see it on a large screen,” Spike said.
There are a number of other award winners in the festival lineup, such as “At the Ends of the Earth” by Konstantin Bronzit (Audience Award, Annecy Animation Festival), “Loom” by Regina Welker (Best in Show, Siggraph 2010), “Let’s Pollute” by Geefwee Boedoe (Best Animated Short, Orlando Film Fest), “Going West” by Anderson M. Studio (Animation Grand Prize, New York Museum of Art 2010) and “Morir de Amor” by Gil Alkabetz (International Audience Award, “Short Cuts,” Cologne, Germany).
Spike said he also intentionally sought new episodes of “KJFG” by Alexei Alexeev after receiving positive feedback from the previous “New Generation of Animation” festival.
“This is one of a few opportunities to see these international films in any format, let alone in a great theater, and we've spent a lot of time and personal effort choosing and filtering out only the best and most entertaining films that the international market has to offer,” he said.
The festival is being shown exclusively in La Jolla, and the audience can expect a pre-show filled with giant balloons and ‘60s music emanating from speakers.
“It’s a nice venue (MCASD), and the festival deserves to be seen in the right atmosphere with the highest quality we can do,” Spike said. “If people liked the show last time, they’re gonna love this. It’s like having every flavor of Ben & Jerry’s at one party.”