- A. About the Festival
- Dates & locations. The 8th annual Northwest Animation Festival begins on May 23-27, 2017, at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon, USA. Most film programs will screen a second time on June 1-3 at the Bijou Art Cinemas in Eugene, Oregon. The festival concludes in September with a 2-hour “Best of the Fest” show that will screen one-day-only in each city.
- Films in competition. All films submitted to the festival go through a rigorous jurying process. If your film is chosen as an “official selection,” it will be considered in competition for cash prizes and additional honors. Unjuried films in guest organizations’ screenings or that have been recruited for retrospective showcases are not eligible.
- Easy online submissions. Submit your film in three easy steps. (1) Fill out our online Entry Form. (2) Fill out a short “Send Film” form to tell us how the film will be delivered. (3) Send us a copy of your video file using the online transfer method of your choice. All materials must be received by the final deadline: November 30, 2017.
- Send the video file that you want screened! The digital file you provide for jurying is the same one that will be screened at the festival. In general, we do not accept preview-only copies of films. Do not watermark or place a “bug” on your film. If the word “screener,” a logo, or something similar appears over the image, your entry may be disqualified. Low resolution will also count against your film during our selection process, so please provide a high quality file.
- Only distributors & feature films may submit previews. Distributors who represent multiple filmmaking teams may submit preview-only versions of their films. Persons submitting feature-length films also have special permission to send preview copies. Please be explicit that you are submitting a preview, otherwise we will assume that the file we receive is intended to be downloaded and screened as-is.
- Supplemental materials. No supplemental materials are required. It is unnecessary to send a press kit, still photos, filmography, director’s biography, promotional postcards, posters, etc.
- Submitting by mail. Online submissions are strongly preferred. If you must send entry materials via postal service, address them to:
- All animated films are eligible. We accept any animated film — from anywhere, made whenever, shown wherever.
- Country of origin. Films may come from anywhere in the world.
- Completion date. You may submit films made at any time during your life.
- Premiere status. You are welcome to show your work at other festivals simultaneously.
- Internet. You may show as much of your work online as you like.
- Genre. All genres of animation are eligible: narrative, abstract, music video, advertisement, documentary, motion comics, non-play video game sequences, etc.
- Animation method. All animation methods are eligible: hand-drawn, computer, stop-motion, pixilation, rotoscope, motion capture, compositing with live action, machinima, etc. Documentaries and predominately live action films must have strong animation components.
- Submission deadlines. All entry fees have been eliminated. Anyone in the world may submit their films for free. All submission materials must be received by the final deadline: November 30, 2017.
- Deadline compliance. Internet submissions should be sent before 11:59pm Pacific Time Zone on the deadline date. If sending materials through the postal service, be sure to allow 7-14 days for transit. Entries will not be accepted if they arrive after the final deadline.
- Deadline for sending exhibition files. Only distributors and feature filmmakers may submit preview-only video files. If selected, final exhibition copies must be received within two weeks of notification. Failing to provide exhibition copies by this deadline may forfeit inclusion in the festival.
- Subtitles. Your entry should be understandable to an English-speaking audience. Films with dialogue in another language must have English subtitles. Subtitles should be burned into the film image and not stored in a separate “soft subtitles” file.
- Preferred format. We are able to work with nearly any kind of digital video file, but prefer to receive the following:
- File format. We will attempt to play whatever you send — but strongly prefer .MOV or .MP4 files.
- Compression. We recommend using the ProRes 422 codec or H.264. Other codecs may work, but are more prone to compression artifacts and playback problems.
- Frame rate. We accept any frame rate, including 12, 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30fps.
- Aspect ratio. We accept any aspect ratio. All films will be displayed in a 16:9, 1920×1080 frame, with black bars added as necessary.
- Resolution. Please send the highest resolution file you’ve got. A vertical resolution of 1080 pixels is ideal. Minimum vertical resolution is 480 pixels.
- File size. There is no set limit on file size. Last year, the average file size for short films was about 800MB, and 2GB files were common. Files between 5 and 15GB are unusually large, and sometimes more difficult to transfer. If you are submitting a short film that is over 15GB, it’s likely a sign that you have not used appropriate compression.
- Digital video files only. We do not accept films on celluloid or tape.
- DCP reserved for feature films. We do not accept DCP files for short films. However, DCP playback is available as an option for features.
- How films are selected. Entries go through a rigorous evaluation process, being scored by a large international jury of peer artists. Scores are averaged and films are ranked. Final selections are determined by the festival director.
- Criteria. When evaluating submissions, we look for films that impress us with one or more of the following virtues: story, visual interest, humor, heart, ideas, craftsmanship, originality, diversity. Length is also an important factor. Longer films must receive higher scores to justify taking time away from equally good but shorter ones.
- Invited submissions. We routinely reach out to filmmakers whose work has been screened at other festivals. All submissions go through our juried selection process, regardless of source.
- Disqualification. Films that do not meet minimum technical requirements, or that are suspected of copyright violation, may be disqualified without further notice. Students and teachers are strongly advised not to use any amount of copyrighted music in their school projects without written permission from the rights owner!
- Screening at the 2018 festival. By submitting your film, you authorize its public display at the 2018 Northwest Animation Festival. This includes one or more screenings at the Hollywood Theatre during May 23-27, a repeat of the same program at the Bijou Art Cinemas one week later, and one-day-only screenings in Portland and Eugene if the entry is selected for our Best of the Fest show in September.
- Permission to download. Providing a link and password to your film via the festival’s entry form shall be understood as permission to download the video file for festival use. Vimeo users in particular frequently forget or don’t understand how to enable downloads from their site. To relieve burden on the festival, we reserve the right to use one of several means to extract a copy of the linked video file without further communication. If you do not intend for the file to be downloaded, you must notify us via email at the time of entry. Please note that it is our policy to only accept preview-only files from distributors and feature filmmakers. (See section B, How to Submit a Film.)
- Transcoding. Typically we are able to screen video files without modification. However, sometimes we receive a file that will not play properly due to broken anamorphic settings, an exotic codec, or corruption. If possible, we will use transcoding software to fix the file in-house. If the playback problem cannot be fixed simply, we will contact you and attempt to get a replacement copy.
- Online jury. A copy of your video file will be posted on a password protected website for viewing by our international team of jurors.
- Press. The festival may choose to privately share a copy of your film with local press organizations for the purpose of garnering advance reviews.
- Still images from the film. The festival is granted permission to select and use still images from your film for publicity purposes. Examples: publishing photos in the festival program and on our website, printing posters and flyers, etc.
- Teaser video. The festival may use up to 10 seconds or 10% of your film (whichever is less) as part of a short online video promoting the 2018 festival.
- Screening fees. No screening fees will be paid to filmmakers or their representatives for use of a video file during festival events. Requests for payment after selections have been announced shall be deemed grounds for disqualification.
- Notification. Filmmakers should expect to receive email notification of selection status for each submission not later than April 1, 2018.
- Festival passes. For each film chosen as an “official selection,” the creators are entitled to two all-festival passes. Passes may be used by two persons who worked directly on the film project, or by one team member and the personal guest of their choice. Passes may not be transferred to other parties.
- Travel expenses. With regret, we are unable to provide airfare or hotel lodging.
- Honors and cash prizes. It is expected that over 150 films will be chosen as official selections. Of these, roughly 12-15 will receive special honor at our “Best of the NW Animation Festival” show in September. Each film in the “Best of the Fest” program will receive a $20 honorarium. Additional cash prizes of $100 will be awarded for the following categories: “Audience Choice,” “Best Student Film,” and “Best of the Fest.” Additional honors may be named at the discretion of our executive committee.
- How honorees are selected. During the festival, audience members are asked to identify the films most deserving of recognition. Our primary criteria for selecting honorees is number of audience votes. The “Audience Choice” award is based solely on these numbers. “Best of the Fest” and “Best Student Film” winners are selected from top-scoring candidates by the festival director with assistance from an executive committee.
- Inclusion in the “Best of the Fest” screening. Because our method for gathering audience input is unusually labor-intensive, competition honorees are not announced during the main festival. Instead, these films receive special attention at our “Best of the Fest” screening in September. Cash prize winners will be announced at the same time. Filmmakers whose work is selected for this event will be notified via email prior to the screening.
- Prize payment. Filmmakers receiving cash prizes and/or honoraria will be contacted by the festival director via email prior to the “Best of the Fest” screenings. Notification will be sent from director[at]nwanimationfest[dot]com to the email address provided via the filmmaker’s online entry form at the time of submission. Winners may opt to receive payment either via PayPal or cashier’s check. Payment will NOT be sent unless the filmmaker responds via email to confirm their contact information prior to December 1, 2018. No cash prize will be sent to a filmmaker if the payment is prohibited by U.S. law due to economic sanctions.
- Acceptance of rules. Submitting an entry form and/or video file to the festival shall be construed as acceptance of the terms set out in these regulations.
- Legal responsibility for film being submitted. By making a submission, the entrant affirms that they have proper authority to represent that film. The entrant accepts full legal responsibility for the content of the film, and shall indemnify the festival against all claims involving copyright, trademark or royalty infringement that may arise from it.
- Online security. Online file transfers and our password-protected online jurying system are vital to how we create the Northwest Animation Festival. Reasonable measures are taken to ensure the security and privacy of your film. However, it impossible for us to guarantee absolute protection against hackers and online theft. In the unfortunate event of a breach of security, the entrant shall hold the festival harmless, and forfeits the right to seek financial compensation.
- Schedule changes. We reserve the right to make reasonable and necessary changes to the published festival dates and showtimes at our discretion.
- Elimination. Northwest Animation Festival reserves the right to remove a film from the festival program for any reason or for no reason and shall not be liable for any refund or claims of any kind arising out of such removal.
- Language. In the event of any doubt, the English version of these regulations shall be the binding version.
- Contact. If you have questions, please contact the festival via email at email@example.com.
NW Animation Festival
13932 SE Raymond St.
Portland, OR 97236
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