by Jack Diablo
The Citrus Cel Animation Film Festival is back again and extra juicy for 2011! Now in its second year, the festival is a celebration of animated film as a “creative and commercial force” and promises to deliver an exciting and unique experience for anyone and everyone interested in the medium of animation.
Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success, featuring top-rate animated shorts and features including an Oscar-nominated film and several shorts from the legendary Bill Plympton. Festival Director Shane Douberly knows that a recipe for success is not something to mess with and has kept much of the festival’s structure intact. This year’s headliners include a feature-length Plympton film and two, yes two, Oscar nominees. All the films to be shown will be handpicked from a mountain of submissions from every corner of the globe.
Even with the grassroots promotion of last year’s event, around 1000 people took part in the first Citrus Cel Animation Film Festival generating a lot of buzz in the community. “We got a great response and it really got people talking, asking if we planned on doing it again,” says Shane. I myself can personally attest the inspirational power of this project. During the “Orange You Glad There’s Music Videos” program last year I found the inspiration to start the Jacksonville Music Video Revival. “Orange You Glad…” returns this year featuring a very appropriate video from Gorillaz, a virtual musical project composed of cartoon characters!
Many great programs with clever titles return this go-’round featuring everything from student projects to experimental and gritty shorts. There is truly something for everyone this year. Moms and dads can even bring the kiddos out on Saturday for the family-friendly “Vitamin C” program following the community animation workshop at the Cummer Museum. Another exciting development is the 26-hour animation competition attached to this year’s line-up. Professional animators and aspiring students have already signed on to participate and compete for the top laurels.
The locations of the festival’s events were carefully thought out. The creative vibe of historic 5 Points provides the perfect setting for such an undertaking, and the Cummer Museum lends a level of prestige. One of Douberly’s goals with the festival is to establish Jacksonville as a city with a healthy and growing creative economy. With the Art Institute right here in town and Full Sail University not that far away, his goal to establish Jacksonville as a hub of sorts for the industry is not far off from reality.
Believe it or not, Jacksonville is home to a number of notable ad agencies, production houses, web developers and other creative companies that specialize in turning bright ideas into realizable profit for businesses of all sizes and do so “with a lot of love,” as Shane puts it. “This is what Drips Black does,” he adds about the local video and animation production house he operates with partner Bill Waller. Drips Black is the lead sponsor of this year’s event with help from other Jacksonville outfits including the Art Institute, Brown Dog Creative and EU. Shane has also received support from big names in the software industry such as Adobe, Toon Boom, Red Giant and Stop Motion Pro.