The International Animated Film Society (ASIFA-Hollywood) announced the nominees and honorees for the 51st annual Annie Awards on Jan. 11, with CalArtians named among those recognized for their contributions to the animation industry across multiple categories.
Nominated in several categories is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, directed by CalArts alum and former adjunct faculty Jeff Rowe (Film/Video 11) and co-directed by Kyler Spears (Film/Video 13). Rowe’s solo directorial debut is up for the coveted Best Feature; he and Spears are also nominated for Best Direction – Feature. Additionally, Rowe is part of the film’s writing team, which is nominated for Best Writing – Feature.
Up for Best Feature – Independent is Curiosity Studios’ The Inventor. Directed by Jim Capobianco (Film/Video BFA 91) and Pierre-Luc Granjon, the film was among the feature films in competition at the 2023 Annecy Film Festival.
In the Best Student Film category, CalArts student Justine King (Film/Video BFA 24) is nominated for “The Little Poet.” The short, which is King’s third year student film, previously won the Walter and Gracie Lantz Animation Prize at the 2023 Character Animation Producers’ Show and was named a semifinalist for last year’s Student Academy Awards.
Up for Best TV/Media – Mature is Max’s Scavengers Reign, created by CalArts alum Sean Buckelew (Film/Video MFA 14) through Green Street Pictures, of which he is co-founder. The sci-fi series is an adaptation of a 2016 short animated film by Joseph Bennett and Charles Huettner. Buckelew also serves as co-executive producer and writer of four episodes, earning an additional nomination for Best Writing – TV/Media for the episode “The Signal.”
In the running for Best Short Subject is Warner Bros. Animation’s Looney Tunes short Daffy in Wackyland, directed by Max Winston (Film/Video BFA 08).
In the category Best TV/Media – Children is Netflix’s My Dad the Bounty Hunter, was created by Character Animation alum and current adjunct faculty Patrick Harpin (Film/Video BFA 11). Harpin is also nominated for Best Direction – TV/Media.
Up for Best Storyboarding – TV/Media is Erik Fountain (Film/Video BFA 07), recognized for his work on the Craig Before the Creek episode of the same name.
Nominated for Best TV/Media – Preschool is the Ghee Happy episode “Navagraha.” The series is helmed by Sanjay Patel (Film/Video 96), the founder of Ghee Happy Studio.
The 51st annual Annie Awards ceremony takes place on Saturday, Feb. 17 at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles.