Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival is a three-day juried festival of the world’s most cutting-edge, quirky, and boundary-pushing animation. Now in its 8th year the festival takes place October 4-6, 2019 in the Station North Arts District of Baltimore, Maryland. The festival is a collaboration with the Maryland Film Festival, now in its 21st year, and will take place in the historic Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Theatre.

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 has been 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. Past programming has included Oscar Nominated animation, live music and foley sound performances, guest curators, animator retrospectives, student work, and more. In 2019 Sweaty Eyeballs is expanding once again from a single night invitational to a three day festival of international animation.

The mission of Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival is to showcase unique, experimental and diverse voices in the field of animated filmmaking with a focus on innovation in craft, storytelling and work that questions preconceived notions of what animation can and should be.

The festival focus is primarily on animated short films (under 20 minutes) and will include three programs of international contemporary work that highlights the expressive potential of the medium. Along with the international shorts competition programs will be a competition program of international student animation. The festival will also include a guest animator retrospective, curated programs, a Baltimore animation showcase, a midnight feature screening, animation workshops, animation projection/installations, and late night cartoon parties.

This festival will foster a community of animation lovers and creators in the mid-Atlantic region and allow a venue for often overlooked work to be seen on the big screen.

Films accepted to the Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival international competition screenings will be voted on by a jury consisting of five animators/filmmakers selected by the Festival Director of Programming.

Awards for international competition:
Golden Eyeball Grand Prize
Silver Eyeball Honorable Mention
Best Student Film
Eye-Popper Prize - most unique, boundary pushing, and experimental

Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival includes an international competition and international student competition for animated short films that will be held October 18-20, 2019 at the SNF Parkway Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

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 must be completed after January 1st, 2018
• Submission is for short films only, must not exceed 20 minutes
• Short films that are already available online are still eligible
• Each applicant must be the rightful owner of the submitted film and own any literary or
music rights for the film
• Applicants may submit more than one film, but a separate submission must
accompany each film
• Sweaty Eyeballs does not pay for screening fees for films selected in competition

Submission Fees:

Early Deadline - May 17, 2019 - $15, $10 student
Regular Deadline - June 21, 2019 - $20, $15 student
Late Deadline - July 12, 2019 - $30, $25 student
Extended Deadline - July 26, 2019 - $40, $35 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

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 6, 2019. Selected films for competition will be announced on the festival website by September 20, 2019.

Screening Copy Delivery:

Screening copies of all films accepted to competition programs must be delivered via online download by September 30, 2019 at the latest.
Online file download delivery may be via google drive, dropbox, wetransfer, or ftp.
All screening copy file downloads 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Anthony Lambert

    We were so happy to be a part of the Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival. They know how to put on an amazing festival! The communication was the best I've ever experienced from a festival. They answered all of my questions and always replied in a reasonable amount of time. They also did an amazing job promoting the event. I saw posters around the city and write ups in community magazines. I was able to participate in three screenings and there wasn't an open seat in the theater! Absolutely one of the best festivals I've ever been to. I hope we get to participate again in the future.

    October 2019