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JOIN IN: ‘24 HOURS: Animation Contest for Students’ Runs October 2-3

Student teams of 5 have 24 hours to produce a 30-second animated film; deadline to submit YouTube link is Saturday, October 3 at 4PM PST.

This year’s 24 HOURS: Animation Contest for Students will be hosted online, from Friday October 2 - Saturday October 3. This free event challenges students around the world to compete in teams of five to produce a 30-second animated film in under 24 hours. Now in its 18th year, this challenge is hosted by animation professor, Aubry Mintz, at California State University, Long Beach.

How does it work?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students work from home, however they must still register in teams of five. Each team needs a faculty advisor from their home school. This ensures that all teams are currently students and that this contest falls in line with each school’s student learning outcomes. Teams at the same school are permitted to share faculty advisors.

All teams start at the exact same time and they must submit a YouTube link of their completed films to the contest before the deadline, Saturday October 3 at 4PM PST. Late submissions are not accepted. Teams need to plan and troubleshoot issues, including unsent emails and broken YouTube links. Finished films will be judged by a panel of industry experts and prizes of more than $163,000 in value will be awarded to the top 5 teams.

The final 30-second films will be judged by a volunteer panel of esteemed animation professionals:

  • Galen Chu — Director at Blue Sky Studios
  • Alessandra Sorrentino — Story artist at Blue Sky Studios.
  • Karina Gazizova — Director on Wacky Races, storyboard artist on Teen Titans GO!, technical director at Studio RedFrog, France.
  • Mark Ackland — Storyboard artist on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Wander Over Yonder, and Mickey Mouse shorts.
  • Lesley Headrick — Director on Remy & Boo, studio creative director on Paw Patrol.
  • Eric Calderon — Director of development, show runner and producer.
  • Alison Mann — VP creative/strategy at Sony Pictures Animation.

“This contest has expanded rapidly, adding more than 300 students each year to a growing list of participants,” commented Mintz. “In 2019, there were 291 teams from 65 schools, in 11 countries — that’s 1455 students!  The challenge has featured participants from the USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand, and the UK. In 2020, we have also registered teams from India and Taiwan!”

This year, industry supporters are getting behind this contest with additional prizes and funding efforts to support students in new ways. An example of these new initiatives is an equipment request program for underserved students, which will not only allow them to participate in this year's 24 HOURS challenge, but provide tools to aid in their virtual learning and production of art. Eligible students are encouraged to apply to the program.

Generous supporters include Toon Boom, Animation Magazine, TAAFI (Toronto Animated Arts Festival International), CSU Summer Arts, ASIFA-Hollywood, CTNX, TVPaint, Wacom, Digicel, CRC Press, Stuart Ng Books, Your Animated Journey, DreamWorks, Blue Sky, Pixar, Sony Pictures Animation, and more!.

Curious to see the top-placing films from previous years? You can find a playlist of previous entries on YouTube.

Interested in joining this year’s challenge? Student teams can register online.

For more questions about the contest, contact, and join the Facebook group.

Source: CSULB