FAFF celebrates factual and documentary animation - the only festival of its kind anywhere. 2020 saw FAFF go entirely online for the first time, and in 2021 we hope to showcase the best documentaries to the most people, while enabling filmmakers in this blossoming medium to connect and collaborate.

As well as as our film programme, FAFF 2021 will host interviews with the filmmakers. There will be awards for the best film of the festival.

All mediums and techniques of animation are welcome, on any topic as long as it is non-fictional in nature. Please see the category descriptions for more information.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FAQs

What kinds of films are eligible?
- Examples of "factual animation" include:
- An animated film about a factual subject
- About dreams or hallucinations
- Telling a family story
- Representations of physical and mental health conditions
- Visualises folklore, prejudice and other 'invisible' subjects
- A factual story told though a fictional character
- A public service announcement
- News and reportage
- About historical events
- An educational film
- A biopic
- About social issues
- An explainer video
- Visualises statistics or abstract concepts
- An NGO, social or political campaign film

Does my film have to be a documentary?
- No. It just needs be a predominantly animated film that covers a factual, real subject.

I've made a film, but I'm not sure it's 'animated enough'. Is it?
- Your film should either prominently use animation, or use it at points to explore its core themes. We want to show films that don't rely solely on live action footage to explore topics. We will also consider experimental films, that play with images and sound through cropping, cutting, speeding up, slowing down, reversing, mixing, filtering etc.

I am a national of a country excluded from the international banking system. Can I still submit my film?
- In the spirit of artistic freedom and cooperation, Iranians and other nationals affected by international sanctions may still submit their animation project to FAFF. Please email us for details of how to do so.

I am in Iran. Can you provide submission waivers?
- In principle, yes, though we ask that you conform to our stipulations and only submit animated docs. We issue waivers on a case-by-case basis.

I am resident in an African Union country. Are there any special offers for animators like me?
- There's much exciting animation from Africa, but we rarely receive submissions from filmmakers based on the continent. This year we are offering free entry to African animators - defined as those resident in countries and territories that are part of the African Union. Please email us for more info.

I cannot afford the submission fee. May I still submit my film?
- Organising film festivals is expensive and, without sponsorship or government grants, it is very difficult to be financially sustainable. We have kept the submission fees as low as possible and only in very rare cases will we offer waivers. If you have created something truly remarkable, and genuinely cannot afford the fee, get in contact and we'll see what we can do. If you can afford the submission fee, please don't ask us for a waiver.

This year there are three categories to submit to:

1. Animated shorts of 1-20 minutes.
2. Student shorts of 1-20 minutes.
3. Animated shorts of under 1 minute.

Each year we issue Best Film and Best Student Film awards. Winners will receive a laurel to use in any promotional material.

To be eligible for consideration, films must include animation on screen for at least 50% of their runtime. All films must be non-fictional in nature - ie. concern a factual subject.

Our judges will watch and evaluate each entry to determine which submissions are selected for screening during the festival. By submitting your film you hereby give us the rights to publicly screen your film at FAFF 2020 and any related events, such as future FAFF screenings, talks and seminars.

Please note that complimentary tickets (ie. your film project was selected for screening) are only valid for individuals directly connected to the production and/or distribution of your film. Tickets are not transferable.

1. Animated films under 1 minute.
By submitting your film, you permit us to use any publicity stills you have supplied, as well as stills from your film, for promotion of the festival, and allows us to use up to 12 seconds of your film in trailers and other video promotion. Non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Filmmakers must secure all copyright clearances. FAFF will not accept responsibility for any copyright infringement.

2. Animated films 1-20 minutes.
By submitting your film, you permit us to use any publicity stills you have supplied, as well as stills from your film, for promotion of the festival, and allows us to use up to 30 seconds of your film in trailers and other video promotion. Non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Filmmakers must secure all copyright clearances. FAFF will not accept responsibility for any copyright infringement.

Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash and are not transferable. Submission fees cannot be refunded.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Jemima Hughes

    This was a really interesting festival and I'm very happy my film was screened here. It's nice to attend something quite small and focused just on factual animation. Because it was all online this year, there was less opportunity for hospitality and networking, but I'm sure it would be a lovely festival to attend in person. The email communication was friendly and helpful, and I really appreciate that the team made an effort to have subtitles available for all the films, which made the festival much more accessible for me. I hope I can enter this festival again in future.

    October 2020
  • Ciara Kerr

    The 2020 Factual Animation Film Festival was an absolutely brilliant event. The FAFF team are lovely people and did a fantastic job of making the festival virtual this year. The line-up of films was incredible and I had such an enjoyable viewing experience watching the wonderful selection of documentary animation they had curated. Despite being online I have met so many of the filmmakers and the team virtually and I am beyond excited to attend the future physical events in the coming years. I am very grateful to have had my film selected for this festival and then to be awarded best student animation was a huge honour! All around 5 stars for this festival, I love it!

    October 2020
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Hi Ciara, we're really glad you had such a good experience with us! Thanks so much for posting a review, feedback really helps. It's easy for all of us to feel a bit distant from other filmmakers right now but we're glad you've been able to connect. We're excited to see your future projects.
    —Daniel

  • Surhay Kilic

    It was an honor to be screened at this festival. The quality of the other films really inspired us. It is good to see there are still some people who want to promote factual animation in film.

    December 2018
  • I wasn't able to attend, but they seemed very organized and had good communication with me. It was an honor to have my film be a part of this festival.

    October 2018
  • Vera Reshto

    Great one-day festival! Inspiring content and super friendly organisers! Thanks for selecting my film: Living on the City Fringe

    October 2018