Open World Animation Festival encourages creators to explore the frontiers of animation through both traditional & emerging mediums. Its mission is to help general audiences understand the artistry in animation and its diversity of subject matter. It aims to showcase many voices, styles, & perspectives. Anyone is welcome to take part!

For the 2024 Festival we are partnering with the Emmaus Theatre as our official screening location! This 450-seat venue is one of only 600 surviving independent theaters in the Nation. The Emmaus Theatre is equipped with DLP Cinema for a state of the art cinematic experience!


Open World also features animation retrospectives, Virtual Reality set-ups, GIF displays, a cereal bar & more!

The festival began in 2016 as a series of independent animation screenings from around the world, curated in a 4-day celebration of the medium. Open World is organized by the Alternative Gallery, a non-profit community art space, and is run 100% by volunteers.

The Alternative Gallery is located in Allentown, PA within the Cigar Factory Artist studios, featuring; exhibit & performance spaces, over 40 artist studios, a printshop, wood shop, darkroom, film archive, makerspace, classrooms & more. The organization & festival are both run 100% through the efforts of dedicated volunteers.

- The Voyager Award (Best In Show) - $2,000

- Best Animated Short - $250

- The Immersive Award (VR) - $250

- Best Music Video - $250

- Best Student Film - $250

All Award Winners will receive an Open World Animation Fest awards package which Includes:

Award certificate
Digital certificate
Festival Laurel
Open World T-Shirt
Open World 2024 Poster


- The Voyager Award (Best In Show)

- Best Animated Short

- The Immersive Award (VR)

- Best Music Video

- Best Student Film


Submissions Open December 1, 2023

Early Submissions Open: December 1
Early Submissions Close: January 31

Regular Submissions Open: February 1
Regular Submissions Close: March 30

Late Submissions Open: April 1
Late Submissions Close: May 31

Notification Date: June 6


Early Submissions
$5 - students

Regular Submissions
$10 - students

Late Submissions
$15 students


GIFS: Please send to - Contact@OpenWorldAnimation.com

ELIGIBILITY: Only films made after December 31, 2020 are eligible to compete for awards.

LANGUAGE: ANY (Please include English subtitles if not in English.)

STYLE: Any style that is considered animation, including but not limited to: Stop Motion, Digital & Computer, Film Cel, 3D, Claymation, Rotoscope, Mixed Live Action/Animation, Music Videos, Video Game Cutscenes, Virtual Reality & GIF.

ASPECT RATIO: ANY. We are open to unique framing methods. Please note if there are any special instructions for screening your film.

You may ONLY submit work which you own or have licensing for.

Films MUST be viewable in their entirety to be eligible.

If accepted, you will be contacted with additional information. Please note that due to high number of submissions & requests, we may not be able to respond to every inquiry.

Overall Rating
  • Excellent organization, communication, and adulation from Open World, thanks for ducking and weaving with covid so skillfully and putting on the best show possible. Dance Dog Dance thanks you.

    August 2020
  • Camilo Anaya

    Thank you for selecting and showing DD!

    August 2020
  • Juan Vargas

    Amazing and cool festival, I was amazed at the quality of the other works.Excellent comunication

    August 2020
  • Fantastic festival!
    Greatly organised in these testing times

    August 2020
  • Super good communication and lineup, even during a pandemic! I will be submitting again for sure!

    August 2020