4 film festivals to attend around town in June and July

Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation celebrates its 30th anniversary at the Wizard World Comic Con in Sacramento this June.

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic foreign flick or want a good scare, here are four fun ways to cool down and catch some movies on the big screen as the weather heats up.

Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation
June 19-20
Go cartoon crazy at this animation celebration highlighting works from the Oscar-winning duo Craig “Spike” Decker and Mike Gribble. The festival, which is part of this year’s Wizard World Comic Con at the Sacramento Convention Center, will offer three screenings, including a celebration for Spike & Mike’s 30th anniversary featuring shorts like Academy Award winner Peck Pocketed and the George Takei-narrated Missing Scarf, which won for best animation at the LA Shorts Fest in 2013. Plus, catch a screening dedicated to pop culture and sci-fi works, such as Bat Metal (a rock-and-roll music video sung by superheroes) and Truckers Delight (which pays homage to the look of retro video games by using 8-bit animation). And don’t miss the Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation screening with Halloween-themed shorts such as Decker’s favorite Cuddle Sticks and Japanese horror claymation film Maid of the Dead, all of which will be given out as a complimentary DVD to ticket-holding fans. $15 for Wizard World attendees; $20 for non-attendees. 7-10 p.m. Sacramento Convention Center. 1400 J St. 808-5291. wizardworld.com

Sacramento French Film Festival
June 19-21 & 26-28
This year’s lineup at the 14th annual Sacramento French Film Festival will include the Oscar-nominated Timbuktu, which tells the story of a peaceful cattle herder and his family who live under jihadist rule; Hippocrate, which reveals the dark side of a Paris hospital; and Philippe de Broca’s 1964 adventure romp L’Homme de Rio. Eat well with gourmet fare from Brasserie Capitale, Café Rolle, Formoli’s Bistro and Boudin Bakery at the festival’s opening night reception on June 19, or attend the closing night champagne party on June 28, with drinks from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and desserts from Empress Tavern. Stick around for late-night pastries and coffee from Coffee Works after the festival’s Saturday screenings, or indulge in a French-style breakfast from the East Sacramento coffee shop prior to the fest’s short film screening on June 27. $11 per film; $40-$95 for festival pass. Times vary by day. Crest Theatre. 1013 K St. 455-9390. sacramentofrenchfilmfestival.org

The Love Horror Short Film Festival
June 26
Join fellow horror film junkies for this film fest bringing together 12 of the spookiest selections from the festival’s past eight years, including Deep Red Dandelions (based on the murders by early 20th-century American serial killer Albert Fish) and Time is Crawling (a horror music video that takes the audience through a grisly office), as well as original shorts debuting as part of the fest’s filmmaker competition. The screams continue with performance art, including a horror film-inspired burlesque show, and attendees can go out in a blaze of gory by winning the murder trivia or the zombie and maniac cosplay contest. $10 through June 1. $20 after June 1. 8 p.m-12 a.m. The Colonial Theatre. 3522 Stockton Blvd. 869-8954. sachorrorfilmfest.com

Sacramento Japanese Film Festival
July 17-19
The 11th annual Japanese Film Festival will feature a program that includes Like Father, Like Son, which won the jury prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and chronicles the lives of two Japanese boys switched at birth; The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, an animated movie that was nominated for a 2015 Academy Award; and Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan, a documentary that follows the experiences of four individuals and one family with dual heritages as they struggle to create an identity in a homogeneous society. $10 per film; $37 for festival pass. Times vary by day. Crest Theatre. 1013 K St. 442-7378. sacjapanesefilmfestival.net

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