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.

SEAF returns October 5-8, 2023!
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 is fully In-Person in 2023 with screenings at a variety of theatre venues in Baltimore, Maryland.

This year the festival will include multiple program of International animated short films, a Baltimore Showcase, a Young Audiences program, animator retrospectives, special screenings of independent feature films, workshops and more.
For the Baltimore Showcase, submissions must be a film produced within 50 miles of Baltimore City to qualify.

SEAF accepts animated shorts (under 20 minutes). DO NOT SUBMIT LIVE-ACTION FILMS. 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 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 Student-Made Film
Eye-Popper Prize - most unique, boundary pushing, and experimental
Best Baltimore Animation
Best Young Audiences Animation

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

Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival is accepting submissions for the following categories: International Competition, Baltimore Showcase, Young Audiences Competition. Contact phil@sweatyeyeballs.com for information or if you have questions about categories of submission.

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, 2022
• Films must not exceed 20 minutes
• Films that are already available to stream 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:

May 19 - Earlybird Deadline - $10, $5 for students
June 16 - Regular Deadline - $15, $10 for students
July 14 - Final Deadline - $25, $20 for students

Submission Procedure:

• Filmmakers are required to complete an application form via FilmFreeway
• Film application must include 3-5 film stills, synopsis, filmmaker address/country of origin, and filmmaker bio
• If submitting a student film please include the School Name and Location in your presskit info on FilmFreeway
• Sweaty Eyeballs only accepts online submission links for preview of films (Vimeo/Youtube, etc.)
• Online links to films may be public or private with a password
• 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 animation professionals chosen by the Festival Director of Programming.

Filmmakers will be notified of selection status by August 20, 2023. Selected films for competition will be announced on the festival website by September 8, 2023.

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 September 22, 2023 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
  • Lovely festival. Thank you the support and choosing my film Best Day Ever.

    October 2023
  • Jade Mangine

    I had a wonderful time attending Sweaty Eyeballs! The films showcased there inspired me to pick up a tablet and animate again, and it was a wonderful venue for my film to premiere at. I would love to have another film play here in the future.

    October 2023
  • Sayer Baca

    Such a great festival! It was very well run and everyone was very encouraging; there were some great opportunities to talk to some cool people, too.

    October 2023
  • I love this festival!! Director Phil Davis is a wonderful host and everything runs so smoothly. In 2023 he had four screening venues and a splendid gallery show of animation art with gallery talks by the artists. There were afterparties each night at the gallery, with a charming bar and outdoor screening area. Highly recommend this small fest. Be sure to attend if your film gets in.

    October 2023
  • Declan McKenna

    What an amazing festival. So honored to be featured this year, and so proud and grateful for all the work that went in to bring Sweaty Eyeballs back! Amazing mind-blowing international selection and seeing the animation work coming out of Baltimore is astounding. Thank you all!

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Declan! Loved showing your work in the festival this year!