Fellow authors,

2023 is the year of the 19th edition of the World Festival of Animated Film, held in beautiful Varna- the sea capital of Bulgaria! Welcome onboard!

This September once again filmmakers, students, artists- amateurs and professionals, will gather for 5 diverse days on the seaside to be part of screenings from around the world, masterclasses of animation talents, rich exhibitions, workshops and many more!

Amid thousands of entries every year, including award- winners and Oscar- nominees, the selection committee will select films for the six competitive categories. All selected films will be judged in Varna by our international jury- well-known professionals with experience in filmmaking and/or university teaching. Stay tuned to find out who they are!

Submitting films is FREE of charge, supporting all artists – experienced or not. Make sure you read the regulations (especially Point 4 in Rules & Terms) and provide all needed information regarding your film before submitting it!
Send your projects and be among those to be screened in front of our audience or even awarded, meet colleagues and create memories, make a step ahead in your professional career.

For additional information and inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact varnafest@gmail.com

Best wishes,
WFAF Varna team 🦌

🌊 🌊 🌊

*The Festival is organized by the World Festival of Animated Film Association, The Festival and Congress Center Varna with the support of the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, Bulgarian National Film Center, and the Municipality of Varna.*

🏆 Grand Prix
(award for Best film is dropped in the category that takes the Grand Prix)

🏆Best Short film
🥇 Special mention in Short films (if applicable)

🏆Best Feature film
🥇 Special mention in Feature films (if applicable)

🏆Best Student film
🥇 Special mention in Student films (if applicable)

🏆Best Children's film
🥇 Special mention in Children’s films (if applicable)

🏆Best Horror film
🥇 Special mention in Horror films (if applicable)

🏆 Best Erotic film
🥇 Special mention in Erotic films (if applicable)

The official languages of WFAF Varna are Bulgarian and English.


Any animated film, meeting the following requirements, will be considered eligible for the Festival:

• Projects in any animation techniques (digital 2D/3D, hand-drawn 2D, cut-outs, puppets etc.) are accepted, including combinations with live action with the condition that AT LEAST 50% of the total lenght is animated.
• The film has to be completed after January 1st, 2021 and must have not participated in any competition program of previous editions of WFAF Varna.
• All necessary information, required in the entry form on our page in FilmFreeway must be filled in.
• Submitters with selected project/s must send a link to a high-quality screening copy of the selected film/s by June 25th, 2023. Acceptable formats: DCP, H264, НEVC/H265 with a constant bitrate no less than 15 Mbps.
• English subtitles must be submitted if the film has dialogue or narration.
• The duration of the project must fit the category it is submitted to: 1 – 25 minutes for Short films, Student films, Children’s films, Horror films, Erotic films and over 45 minutes for Feature films..
• By signing the entry form the participant is taking responsibility when using materials covered by copyright.


• Short films – from 1 to 25 minutes
• Feature films – over 45 minutes
• Children’s films – from 1 to 25 minutes
• Students’ films – from 1 to 25 minutes
• Horror films – from 1 to 25 minutes
• Erotic films – from 1 to 25 minutes


The deadline for submitting projects for selection is June 1st, 2023. No entry forms will be accepted after this date!

• In support of free artists, participation in the festival will be FREE.
• All entry forms must be submitted ONLY through our page in FilmFreeway until June 1st, 2023.
• After filling in and sending the application every participant will be sent a confirmation to the email address they have given.
• The copies for the official selection are to be uploaded only online via a non- temporary download link.
• The copy for selection must be in the formats H264 or HEVC/Н265. The file MUST be named after the title of the film.
• The preview copy of the film can only be in these formats only: H264 or HEVC/Н265.
• The file name should be THE SAME AS THE TITLE OF THE FILM.
• The copies and all materials for participation in the selection will remain in the festival’s archive.
• Only one participation form may be submitted per film.


Every filmmaker has to have this information filled in in FilmFreeway regarding the film:

• 3 static frames from the film (NECESSARY resolution of 300 dpi, 1920×1080 in JPEG format);
• A logline for the film (up to 150 words);
• A digital copy of the film;
• If the film has text and/or dialogue in a language different from the official languages of the festival, English subtitles in .srt format along with an Edit Decision List in one of the two languages must be sent additionally to the festival team;
• Additional commercial materials for further showcasing of the film – poster, flyer, etc. Sending a high-resolution poster for the feature films is MANDATORY (minimal format A4, 300 dpi);


• The selection committee selects the films that will take part in the competition program.
• The members are professionals, who are in touch with the Art of Animation.
• The films in each category will be evaluated based on their conceptual, aesthetic, and technical qualities.
• The decisions of the Selection Committee will be final and CANNOT be appealed.


• The decision of the selection committee will be announced on June 15th, informing the submitters via the e-mail provided.
• The screening copies of the films selected for the official competition program must be received through a non- temporary download link no later than June 25th, 2023.
• REGARDING CHILDREN’S FILMS CATEGORY- All Children's films selected for this year's edition will also take part in WFAF Kids Burgas festival 2023.


• The jury will consist of 5 members who are prominent names in the world of animated films and cinema.
• Their names will be announced on the official website and social media of the festival.
• The decisions of the International Jury members will be final and CANNOT be appealed.
• After the official closing ceremony of the festival there will be a screening of the winner films.


• WFAF’s organizers will cover hotel expenses for 2 nights, accreditation, and food expenses for the contestants in the official competition program throughout the duration of the Festival.
• Contestants cover their own travel expenses.
• Every person willing to attend the Festival as a guest can apply for accreditation at varnafest@gmail.com. All directors with films in the competition program and official guests of the festival will receive free accreditation for screenings and events.

• If a film is selected, the director or producer of the work must provide a copy of the film in the format specified in the entry form.
• The participants provide their films for free for two screenings within the festival and one on the National tv program.
• The festival has the right to change the category of any selected film, change the Festival program without previous notice, and remove delayed or poor-quality files of films from the competition.
• The International Jury has the right to withhold an award in any category if none of the films within the category meet their quality criteria.
• Unless otherwise specified in the entry form, the entrant grants the Organization Committee the right to present the work (in full or as an extract) and its promotional materials for non-commercial publicity purposes of the World Festival of Animated Film Varna.
• All films selected in the Competition program are free of charge and will be screened throughout the course of the Festival.
• The entrant is responsible to declare ownership of the copyright of materials used in the development of the film. WFAF takes no responsibility for violations of copyright law.
• With the submission of the entry form, the entrant agrees with these Regulations.

Overall Rating
  • The festival is a great platform to gather cartoons and artists from all over the world. The organizers provide good conditions for screenings, work and rest!

    February 2023
    Response from festival:

    Appreciate your kind review! Wish you all the best!

  • It was a great adventure and a real honor to be part of such a great festival. A lovely festival well organised and screening. Thanks.

    September 2022
    Response from festival:

    We truly appreciate your support!
    Thank you for being part of WFAF 2022.

  • Anya Ru

    It was a pity not to be there physically. Hopefully next years to come! Great festival!

    September 2022
    Response from festival:

    WFAF 2023 is looking forward to another great movie! Thank you for your kindness.

  • Annika Giannini

    We were very happy that our film "Bookstore" was selected! The communication and hospitality was fantastic – we're only sorry we couldn't respond to it and visit the festival.

    September 2022
    Response from festival:

    Looking forward to meeting you again next time Annika! Best wishes!

  • Excellent experience, excellent people, excellent place!

    September 2022
    Response from festival:

    Dear Mr. Sifianos, your presence helped to make this edition a great success and experience! Thank you for your participation!