Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival (SEAF) celebrates the world’s most boundary-pushing, mind-blowing animation. This annual festival is focused on supporting unique, experimental and diverse voices in the field of animation, with a lean toward off-the-wall humor and energy.
2020 programming included multiple Academy Award nominees; animated music videos commissioned for the festival, animator virtual studio tours, student work, and more.

SEAF returns November 12-19, 2021.
We remain dedicated to the search for innovative storytelling and craft, and we are working to create meaningful connections across geographic and stylistic divides. The festival will be a hybrid model in 2021 with all screenings available to view online in a virtual theatre as well as in person at the SNF Parkway Theatre in Baltimore at reduced capacity.

SEAF accepts primarily animated shorts (under 20 minutes). We look for contemporary animated work from across the globe which best highlights the expressive potential of the medium, and pushes limits of what animation means. We are looking for work that is appropriate for any age range and this year there is a special category for young audiences animation (ages 3-12).

Sweaty Eyeballs began in 2012 as the brainchild of animator and Towson University professor Phil Davis as a way to bring unique voices in international and independent animation to Baltimore audiences. The festival was a single night invitational screening from 2012-2018 with a diverse array of animated narrative, documentary, music video, and experimental work pushing the boundaries of art, craft, and technology. In 2017 the programming of Sweaty Eyeballs expanded to include a monthly animation screening series in collaboration with the Maryland Film Festival and the SNF Parkway Theatre, and in 2019, our first full festival was held, with roaring success.

Golden Eyeball Grand Prize
Best Young Audiences Film
Best Student-Made Film
Eye-Popper Prize - most unique, boundary pushing, and experimental
Best Baltimore Animation

The above prizes will be awarded based on votes by a jury of five film/animation professionals. Jurors will be selected by the Festival Director of Programming.

Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival includes an international competition and international student competition for animated short films.

General Conditions:
• Sweaty Eyeballs welcomes all animation techniques for submission
• Sweaty Eyeballs welcomes professional and student work
• Narrative, documentary, and experimental work are all encouraged for submission
• Sweaty Eyeballs does not have a category for commissioned films, advertising films, or
sponsored content, but music videos are encouraged to submit
• Films for young audiences (ages 3-12) as well as for adult audiences are encouraged to submit
• Films must be completed after January 1st, 2020
• Films must not exceed 20 minutes
• Films that are already available online are still eligible
• Applicant must be the rightful owner of the submitted film and own any literary or
music rights.
• Applicants may submit more than one film, but a separate submission must
accompany each film
• Sweaty Eyeballs does not pay screening fees for films selected in competition

Submission Fees:

Early Deadline - July 9, 2021 - $15, $10 student
Regular Deadline - August 6, 2021 - $25, $15 student
Late Deadline - August 30, 2021 - $35, $25 student

Submission Procedure:

• Filmmakers are required to complete an application form via FilmFreeway
• Film application must include 3-5 film stills, synopsis, and filmmaker bio
• Sweaty Eyeballs only accepts online submission links for preview of films (Vimeo/Youtube, etc.)
• Online links to films may be public or private
• Film must be complete at the time of submission, no works in progress will be considered
• Films with languages other than English must have English subtitles

Technical Requirements:

Preview Copy of film - Sweaty Eyeballs accepts link/urls to film including vimeo or youtube
Screening Copy - Apple ProRes 422, HD or 4K resolution, stereo or 5.1 surround sound

Sweaty Eyeballs reserves the right to refuse a screening copy of poor technical quality or that does not match above specifications. Films with dialogue in any language other than English must have English subtitles.

Film Selection & Notification:

Film selections are carried out by the Festival Director of Programming in collaboration with a pre-screening committee of professional animators/filmmakers. Final selections and awards are determined by the Festival Director of Programming and a jury of five animation professionals chosen by the Festival Director of Programming.

Filmmakers will be notified of selection status by September 27, 2021. Selected films for competition will be announced on the festival website by October 11, 2021.

Screening Copy Delivery:

Screening copies of all films accepted to competition programs must be delivered via specified upload link (will be sent in email) by October 18, 2021 at the latest.
Any issues with screening copy file uploads must be sent to phil@sweatyeyeballs.com

Acceptance of Terms:

By submitting a film the entrant guarantees that they have obtained all appropriate rights and clearances, and that they have legal right to both enter their film and, if selected, screen it publicly within the Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Tamás Rebák

    Thank you for selecting us! The festival team was very helpful, and the platform was professional. Hope we can meet in person one time.

    November 2020
  • Alexi Scheiber

    Sweaty eyeballs was a beautifully curated event, it was so wonderful to come back to Baltimore.

    The one thing I would suggest is some of the films had flashing lights that could be dangerous for epilepsy while other screenings were safe, could be good to include a warning for that at future screenings in the pamphlets.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much for coming, and for the suggestion - noted!

  • SO MUCH FUN! What an unexpectedly fun little fest, honestly some of the best curation I've witnessed at an animation festival. Will definitely be going back with even more friends next time.

    October 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much! It was so wonderful having you at the festival Christopher. Looking forward to seeing the next weird and beautiful animation you create.

  • Brad Gibson

    Unfortunately couldn't attend but was honored to be part of a great lineup of films!

    October 2019
  • Dana Sink

    This festival is an absolute gem. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful festival so close to my house. It's a must attend for anyone on their festival circuit.

    October 2019