The Florida Animation Festival is a four-day film festival launched in 2016 by The Tallahassee Film Society in partnership with Wells Fargo and The Pod Advertising to showcase amazing animated films and spotlight both regional and global animation talent.

Our festival includes feature programming, free children’s shows, short animated film submissions from around the world, workshops, speakers, and more! The FAF is hosted in a historic Amtrak Station in the All Saints District of downtown Tallahassee; a unique, storied location from 1858 that speaks to the FAF’s identity as the only festival of its kind in North Florida.

Our logo represents our vision for the festival. Like thousands of digital pixels that come together to form a concrete picture, our wish for the festival is that patrons, artists, and filmmakers will come together to create a vibrant celebration of the art of animation.

COVID-19 disclaimer: 2020 presented us, and the rest of the world, with challenges we had not anticipated. We had to pivot to a virtual event in record time and are delighted that it went very well. At this time we are unsure what our 2021 festival will look like, and the health of our animation community is of utmost importance. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Official selections will receive digital laurels (png and svg formats)! Winners will receive updated laurels based on their categories/sub-category along with a corresponding digital certificate. Best in Show, First Place winners & Honorable Mentions receive spiffy medals!

Please note, as we are a non-profit we ask that award winners who are not present during the festival cover the shipping & handling fees associated with sending your medal to its new forever home :-)
Typically it's been ~$10-USD for domestic shipping and ~$38-USD for international, with 2021's costs being contingent on USPS' fees.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL SUBMISSION FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

ALSO NOTE: YOU MUST COMPLETE AN ONLINE FORM WITH YOUR SUBMISSION (link to form: http://bit.ly/FAF2021)

1. Dates and Venue
The absolute final deadlines are as dictated on FilmFreeway. Hopefully the venue for the festival will continue to be the historic Amtrak station in Tallahassee, FL (918 Railroad Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32310).

2. Competition
The festival is accepting any short-form animation (under 10 minutes, including credits). Each submission must be entered separately. Entries will be assessed and successful submissions will be programmed for screening and enter the festival competition. If your film is selected we reserve the right to show your film at a date and time of our choosing.

3. Formats
We accept HD video formats, preferably in 1080p and above. We produce 1080p blu-ray discs for the festival so we will downconvert any files above that size on the timeline to ensure consistency for our audience. The same holds true for our virtual event.

4. Submission method
For the selection process we prefer online submissions through FilmFreeway w/ the download option enabled; links to HD videos on Vimeo and YouTube, or directly through WeTransfer, Dropbox, Google Drive, or FTP are all acceptable. If you need to submit a different way, please email us to make arrangements: submissions@floridaanimationfestival.com

Films that are not in English require English subtitles for consideration. If your submission does not have subtitles, we will contact you to replace your file within FilmFreeway before it will be considered for review. If you are unable to provide a subtitled version of your film, we will discuss with the filmmaker(s) whether you withdraw your submission or if there is a reasonable explanation for not having subtitles.

IF YOU ARE NOTIFIED THAT YOU ARE AN OFFICIAL SELECTION, we implore that you make your film immediately downloadable either directly from within FilmFreeway, a download button on another hosting site, or that you email us a link to download your short. This saves us a LOT of headache leading up to the festival so we aren't chasing you and stressing out.

Please note: if you need to submit a physical copy on DVD or on a thumb-drive, it will not be returned.

5. Selection
The festival is organized by The Tallahassee Film Society in partnership with The Pod Advertising. A small group of festival insiders, the “pre-selection group,” is assembled to determine whether submissions move into Phase II for judging. At this time that small group also takes notes assessing content-appropriateness for screening to our community. The pre-selection group will choose, among the submitted films, the official selections for competition in the festival. The number of selected works for screening will depend on the overall program. Our Phase II judging jury is composed of animators (professional and independent) sourced from our previous festivals who are not in competition for 2021, as well as non-animators in order to get holistic feedback of both the craft and the general audience reception to the content. Our judging is segmented based on categories, with separate panels of judges dedicated to each category. The top 2 films that score the absolute highest in their overall category are re-reviewed by a mixture of all judges in order to award Best In Show.

Our youth categories, Debut & Debut Junior, are reviewed separately by a group of peer-aged budding artists and are not in competition against paid-for submissions.

Please note that our screening times during the festival are limited so not every entry that passes into Phase II will automatically screen. In a perfect world we would screen everything, but unfortunately we cannot. So we repeat: Phase II includes all films that will be reviewed by our panel of judges, but not necessarily all films that will be screened.

Films that are not deemed for the screen due to extreme profanity, nudity, or other dramatically inappropriate content still have the opportunity to be considered for the Phase II juried selection and award placement. The screening schedule will be announced soon after the final submission deadline. The final award-winning entries will be selected by a festival jury and audience votes. Award winners will be notified within 30 days of the festival screenings.

6. Screenings
The Florida Animation Festival takes place over 4 days, with screenings occurring primarily over 3 days. There is simply not enough time to screen all Phase II submissions, let alone every submission we receive.

If your submission is selected for Phase II, we will notify you so you can grant us access to download your film.

If your submission does not meet screening requirements (as per the discretion of our screening selection committee's review described above in Point 5) but IS moving on to Phase II, we will notify you so you aren't wondering.

If your submission will not advance to Phase II, we will mark your film "Not Selected" in FilmFreeway and you will be notified on the date outlined in the platform.

7. Publicity
We reserve the right to use extracts from submissions for festival publicity and marketing purposes. Press kits are not required, but are useful, so please feel free to send these with your submissions.

From time to time we are asked to re-screen submissions for closed audiences and for specific reasons. For example, for the last two years we have screened selections at a ComicCon leading up to the festival as promotion for FAF. If this were the case, we will contact the filmmakers for approval to re-screen their film at a different time and/or venue.

8. Categories
We have 5 major categories and require additional details be provided by filling out an online form your entry (link: http://bit.ly/FAF2021), in order to be considered for festival screening and judging. Thank you in advance for completing the form, as it helps us tremendously with programming.

The form** will ask you to identify your sub-category:
- Student Animator (I am/was a full-time animation student at time of production)
- Novice/First Time Animator (I have never done this before & I'm basically self-taught)
- Independent Animator (I animate for fun, but I do something else to earn a living)
- Professional Animator (I'm serious about doing this, and by golly I normally even get paid to do it!)
- Animation Studio (We've been doing this together for some time now, it's good business)
**we learned very early on that it's a LOT easier to create 5 categories of submissions and then have you fill out a form with sub-categories vs having 25 different submission options... We appreciate your patience when filling out the form!!

ONE FINAL NOTE ABOUT CATEGORIES: We ask that you consider your category wisely. It is getting more difficult to define animation mediums as described below thanks to the wonders of modern technology. As such, we receive a lot of hybrid animations under a single category that would be better suited for Mixed Media. You will read below that we aim for animations w/ 90% or more in a single category because you may need a little assistance to pull off your vision than what a single format permits. We will follow up with you during our pre-selection phase if we feel your film is in the wrong category.

COPYRIGHTED MUSIC MUST HAVE THE APPROPRIATE LICENSE/PERMISSION CLEARLY DISPLAYED IN THE CREDITS. We will not accept films that have copyrighted music. Support a fellow independent artist and have a custom soundtrack ;-) Or replace your track with royalty-free music. Please no films with copyrighted music.

Main Categories:

* 90% (or more) COMPUTER-GENERATED IMAGERY (CGI)/3D COMPUTER GRAPHICS *
- Animated shorts, under 10 minutes including credits, that are entirely created using a three-dimensional representation of light, width, and depth.

- For example, computer animation programs such as Blender, Maya, and Cinema 4D would be considered for this category (among other comparable programs).

- Hybrid animations or mixed media are not considered for this category, please see Mixed Media/Experimental.

* 90% (or more) 2D/VECTOR-BASED ANIMATION *

- Animated shorts, under 10 minutes including credits, that are entirely created using geometric models/vector graphics, digital images/raster graphics, kinetic typography, or any combination of the above.

- For example, computer animation programs such as After Effects, Photoshop, Character Animator, Flash, and ToonBoom would be considered for this category (among other comparable programs).

- Hybrid animations or mixed media are not considered for this category, please see Mixed Media/Experimental.

* 90% (or more) FRAME-BY-FRAME/TRADITIONAL ANIMATION *

- Animated shorts, under 10 minutes including credits, that are principally created using hand-drawn or cel animation. The use of a digital interface is minimal, used solely for digitizing a final product.

- If images are hand-drawn/painted and scanned in for timing the animation using software such as Photoshop, After Effects, or otherwise, this is permissible in this category, provided the images themselves are not altered with computers; minor cosmetic edits are allowed (applied to images as a whole such as color balancing), but directly altering the images in any way would be considered as either 2D Animation or Mixed Media/Experimental depending on how many different media are used.

- Proof of traditional animation may be requested; if not provided your entry is void and your entry fee is forfeited.

- Stop-motion animations are not considered for this category, please see Stop Motion Animation.

- Hybrid animations or mixed media are not considered for this category, please see Mixed Media/Experimental.

* 90% (or more) STOP-MOTION ANIMATION *

- Animated shorts, under 10 minutes including credits, that are principally created by physically manipulating objects so that they appear to move on their own. This includes still photography of posed humans/animals. The use of a digital interface is minimal, used solely for digitizing a final product.

- If models are captured digitally and organized on a timeline for pacing the animation using software such as Photoshop, After Effects, or otherwise, this is permissible in this category, provided the images themselves are not altered with computers; minor cosmetic edits are allowed (applied to images as a whole such as color balancing), but directly altering the images in any way would be considered as Mixed Media/Experimental.

- Behind-the-scenes evidence of models or methods may be requested; if not provided your entry is void and your entry fee is forfeited.

- Hybrid animations or mixed media are not considered for this category, please see Mixed Media/Experimental.

* MIXED MEDIA/EXPERIMENTAL ANIMATION *

- Animated shorts, under 10 minutes including credits, that are created using a combination of aforementioned methods.

- Any of the aforementioned techniques in combination with live-action footage is not considered in this category, please see Visual Effects (VFX).

- Visual Effects (VFX) to enhance a live-action production are not considered in this festival.

*DEBUT & DEBUT JUNIOR*

- Animated shorts, under 10 minutes including credits, in any medium that are created by young animators. Debut Junior is ages 12 and under, Debut is 13-17, at the time of creating the work. This is the only category that does not charge a submission fee. Please do not submit work that is created by adults and intended for younger audiences. This is not the category for that. Refer to our 5 main categories above for your submission.

9. Awards:
*Subject to change with advanced notice on our website*
- All official selections will receive digital laurels
- All winners will receive appropriate laurels defining their win, along with a digital certificate

Physical medals are awarded as follows:
- Top placement for Best In Show + up to 2 Honorable Mentions (highest scoring shorts across all categories)
- Top placement + up to 2 Honorable Mentions per Main Category
(for example: 3D animation First Place + Honorable Mention)
- Top placement + up to 2 Honorable Mentions per Sub-Category within a Category
(for example: First Place, Student - Stop Motion Animation; or Honorable Mention,
Professional Animator - Experimental Animation)
...please note sub-category clarification for awards above in Point 8.
- Audience Favorites 1st place + up to 2 Honorable Mentions (equal across all categories, as these are based on screened selections only)

All awards are based on ranked votes by our judges, with a hard line drawn at a certain percentage above which 1st and Honorable Mentions are awarded. Each year that hard line is redrawn upon completion of overall voting by the judges as each year the panels are different.

As we are a non-profit festival, if you are not present to collect your medal we will gladly ship it to you if you can cover the shipping & handling fees; typically they have been $10USD for domestic shipping and $38USD for international. Additional medals may be purchased for $10/each and will be shipped to the same physical address as the first one, unless you need them sent to different places, in which case separate s&h fees are invoiced.

10. To promote their film, participants will receive the FAF Official Selection laurels. Winners will receive the winner's laurels logo which identifies the category and sub-category in which they won, along with a digital certificate. Please contact us directly if you need additional festival assets.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
All entries must follow category rules as specified.

Entries that do not meet the requirements and qualifications specified by each category will not be accepted by the festival.

The Florida Animation Festival will not return any materials sent in as part of an entry.

Florida Animation Festival is hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

The individual or company submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Florida Animation Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

FESTIVAL ORGANIZERS
Kris Petersen
John Fraser
Samantha Strickland

DATES AND DEADLINES
Opening Date: September 15, 2020

Entry Deadlines
Regular Deadline: February 10, 2021
Late/Extended Deadline: March 3, 2021

Notification Date: May 1, 2021
Event Date(s): June 10 - June 13, 2021

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Yana Shinkarenko (Belyaeva)

    We enjoyed it a lot, thanks

    June 2020
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Yana!!!!

  • We were fortunate to have our Youth films in the virtual 2020 FAF ... The event was great! Communications with Staff were excellent!

    June 2020
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for being such an incredible supporter! Looking forward to more animations from your students :-D

  • Alisa Stern

    I was delighted that my film was accepted into this festival! Although it was disappointing that the 2020 festival had to go virtual due to the virus, the FAF team did an amazing job communicating how it would work, and they also pulled it off! This was the best virtual fest experience I’ve had. I look forward to submitting future films. Thanks again!

    June 2020
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Alisa! Can't wait to see more of your work, your 2020 submission was such a micro-masterpiece enjoyed by all!!

  • Excellent Festival and a well put-together new on-line format too. Looking forward to the next year's selection.

    June 2020
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Richard, we are also looking forward to next year!!

  • Charlene Xu

    Thank you for selecting my film "Labyrinth" in this year's festival as well as the award. Great experience!

    June 2020
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Charlene for your beautiful work!! It was our honor to include it in our Official Selections!