Submitting to Animation Festivals pt2: What They Don't Tell you - The Needy Animator

Submitting to Animation Festivals pt2: What They Don’t Tell you

Animation Festivals Submissions Tips/ Tricks

This article is a part 2 continuation from the article Submitting to Animation Festival pt1: Avoiding Rookie Mistakes. In the last article, we wrote about rookie mistakes to avoid when submitting to an animation festival, this article is focused more on other aspects you might not be aware of that may bog down or help your submission too that goes into a bit more details.

Today’s guest post are tips to understanding Animation Film Festival submissions adapted from an interview with our very own talented animator Allyssa Lewis at Floyd County Productions working on Emmy Nominated Best Animated Series and Critics Choice Award Winner 2014 Archer and current Vice President of ASIFA-Atlanta. 

*Different Festivals may have different ways of judging and criterias.



While most short animation may avoid the second level of animation complexity by avoiding talking characters or lip syncing altogether, there may be a time you will have to venture into the zone of having text to help out your story or dialogues. In this case, subtitles are very important to how far your animation may go. The two basic languages you should at least have for your animation is at least english and french subtitles. These subtitles should also be at a professional level, otherwise you should not embed them straight onto the animation. Instead, choose to have a transcript or have it closed captioned instead of hard-coded into the animation. This way, if a festival likes your film or wants to send it off to other films, they have the choice to use/not use it.



As much as it is about your film, it is also about you as a filmmaker. If your film is really awesome but you are hard to work with, slow in submitting materials, and hard to contact, the festivals might find it too much of a hassle to screen your film. While if you are easy to contact and work with, film festivals sometimes keep that in mind. If they like your work and working with you as a person, you can consider the chance of them wanting to screen your films again higher. If you are submitting your animation as a team, it is also good to appoint one person/email/ number as the point of contact as it will be easier for a festival to get a hold of all the supplementary materials they might need for marketing, your final film with revised sound, your director’s notes, and so on.



The one thing that usually deters people from submitting their animation to festivals is the lack of funding. With limited budget, you may find yourself strictly choosing the festivals you want to submit to but believe it or not, if your stuff is good enough, you might just be able to get that fee waiver sometimes. If you feel like your short or feature might be really fitting for a festival, send the director an email letting them know you might not have enough funding and if there is a way they can possibly discount the entry fee for you. With luck, sometimes you might just get a free pass.



If there is something unique about the backstory or the production of your film, write it in the cover letter. If you are a local animator, an inspiring 12 years old kid director, or there is a special method in your production, make sure to mention it. Sometimes festivals will give priorities to those that are local if it matches their needs and if you are a young director, some festivals will take this into account when reviewing the technical aspect of your shorts/features. If your film is still in production or the sound is not as well polished, let the festival know you can get it revised by deadlines.



Don’t think your credits are important? Think again. Many times we put our affiliations on our credits such as our school, studio, or country of production. This can be both a pro and con. In a festival, there might be a lot of submissions from schools that are in the area. Sometimes festivals might feel the need to disperse animations around and have animations from different countries or places to increase diversity. If a festival ends up having 80% of their animation with a tagline at the end coming from the same schools or affiliation, the festival might run the risk of looking biased or lacking in a diverse pool of animators. In this case, sometimes with research leaving on or off your affiliation is a choice but in the cover letter, let the festivals know that you are able to be flexible (if you are) in adding or removing affiliations if that is the case.


This is part 2 of Things you Should know when submitting to Animation Festival: Rookie Mistakes. Hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions/ comments, you can leave it down below!


Allyssa Lewis

Allyssa Lewis

Allyssa Lewis is a power-networking animator working at Floyd County Studio on the Emmy Nominated Best Animated Series Archer baser in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been on board with ASIFA-Atlanta as Vice President for a duration of 6 years. Allyssa has recently just started her own LCC company MAL (my animation life) with a goal to provide a network for animators/ job opportunities.

1 Comment

  1. bang bang had some good looking environments in it.


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