Digital television service provider DIRECTV, Inc. and Film Romans multi-channel animation network LEVEL13.NET announced today their first annual animated film festival. The DIRECTV-LEVEL13.NET film festival will serve as a platform for working artists, undiscovered animators and student filmmakers, showcasing the best in independently produced animation from around the world. Festival winners will have their submissions showcased on DIRECTV as part of a DIRECTV FREEVIEW event series scheduled to air in December 2001. In addition, DIRECTV will also broadcast selected short films from the LEVEL13.NET Website as part of the pay-per-view countdown clock shown before a movie begins. Submissions will be accepted in three specific categories: 2D animation, 3D animation and experimental animation. A blue ribbon panel of judges will choose the winners based on storytelling, animation direction, art direction and production design. In each of the three categories a first, second and third prize winner will be chosen. A Best of Show grand prize, consisting of a DIRECTV System, as well as $2,500, will also be awarded. The contest will run through September 28, 2001. Established by Film Roman, producer of such hit shows as THE SIMPSONS and KING OF THE HILL, LEVEL13.NET is a multi-channel animation network for the Internet. DIRECTV is one of the nations leading digital satellite television service provider with more than 9.8 million customers.