Cartoons Underground (CU) is Singapore's premiere and largest animation film festival, dedicated to showcasing the best award-winning international and local animation works. In 2023, as we look ahead towards the start of a new decade of animation, the festival's 12th edition will be returning to an in-person celebration of animated films and will feature 2 competition sections: International and Singapore Student Films. The festival is held annually in October and will bring together animation filmmakers, artists, producers and industry professionals in a unique celebration of this wonderful medium.

Past editions of Cartoons Underground have screened award-winning animation works by both emerging and established animation artists including Jinkyu Jeon, Bill Plympton, Hisko Hulsing, Dahee Jeong, Spela Cadez, Tal Kantor, Paloma Baeza, Mirai Mizue, Lei Lei, Chen Xi and An Xu.

Every year, members of the Jury are proposed by the Festival and Programme Director. The Golden Durian award for ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Singapore Student Film’ awards will be decided by the Jury members, and the ‘Audience Choice’ award will be voted by the festival attendees. The Jury will also award a ‘Special Jury Prize’ for the International Competition and a 'Special Achievement Prize' for the Singapore Student Films Competition.

- Golden Durian Award for 'Best Film'
- Special Jury Award
- Audience Choice Award

- Golden Durian Award for 'Singapore Student Film'
- Special Achievement Award
- Audience Choice Award

Festival Submission is open to all short films (maximum length of 30 minutes) applying any animation techniques. Only films completed after 1 January 2021, will be accepted.

International Animation Deadline: July 15, 2023
Singapore Student Animation Deadline: August 15, 2023

Incomplete or late submissions will not be accepted.

Submission Procedure
There is no entry fee required. Please submit on FilmFreeway at One form is required for each film. The Festival only accepts online preview screeners (e.g. Vimeo, Youtube), with or without passwords.

Competition Selection
This year's festival will be an in-person edition and selected films will be screened at our physical venue in Singapore. A Pre-Selection Committee will review the film submissions and the final film programme selection will curated by the Festival's Programme Director. The Festival will inform the person submitting the film by email if it has been selected, at the same time requesting material necessary for publicity and screening. Following this notification, written requests can be made to withdraw a film from the programme. The Festival does not pay screening fees to the selected films. The selected film list will be announced on the official website 1 month before the Festival.

Screening Copy
Digital file with the following technical specification:
QuickTime or MPEG4, Compression: H264 or ProRes422 HQ, Resolution: 1920x1080

Films with dialogues or narrations in languages other than English need to have embedded English subtitles in the screening copy.

Jury and Awards
Members of the Jury are proposed by the Festival Director. The ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Singapore Student Film’ awards will be decided by the Jury members, and the ‘Audience Choice’ will be voted by the festival attendees. A ‘Special Jury Prize’ for the International Competition and a 'Special Achievement Prize' for the Singapore Student Films Competition will be awarded according to the Jury’s discretion.

Publicity and Broadcast
The Festival has the right to use all materials related to the submission, including a film excerpt up to 10 per cent of the total length of the film, which will not exceed more than 3 minutes. They will only be used for the promotion of the Festival in TV and web programs, interviews and reports.

Rights and Responsibilities
By submitting, each applicant declares to be the author or rights owner of the submitted film(s) and to own all the literary, dramatic and musical rights guaranteeing Cartoons Underground against any claims, conflicts and legal action concerning the presentation of the film. All preview screeners of the films will be included in the Festival’s library. The Festival reserves the right to use the films for strictly non-commercial, educational purposes.

Acceptance of Terms
Participation in the Festival, and its film submission process, implies acceptance, without reservation, to the terms of the present regulations. An entry form is valid without a signature. In case of any question or problem, please contact

Overall Rating
  • Awesome festival! Unfortunately, I was unable to make it in person, but I had a lovely interviewer Zoom me

    October 2022
  • Shaheen Sheriff

    Very cool festival! Well presented with great theming, clarity and hosts. Got to see nice variety of shorts. Felt very professional

    December 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for being a part of Cartoons Underground 2020. We look forward to seeing your next animation!