Noteworthy Storytelling

Electronic Theater

Thanks to advances in computer graphics technology, storytelling expands and resonates in impactful ways. The Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater is recognized as a qualifying festival by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Traveling Show

Book a Screening


A special edition of the SIGGRAPH 2021 Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater is available for screening virtually or, based on local regulations, at your conference, university, or ACM SIGGRAPH chapter — no matter your location. Request a screening by filling out the form linked below. Availability for the 2021 reel starts 1 October 2021 and ends 31 December 2021.

Please Note: SIGGRAPH requires the hosting organization to assume all costs associated with Traveling Show screenings. Costs will vary based on event type and capacity.

Express Interest

About the SIGGRAPH 2021 Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater

The SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater, a qualifying festival by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, brings the computer graphics community together to celebrate and showcase the best storytelling in short and feature films, visual effects, games, advertisements, scientific visualizations, and more. Since 1999, several works presented in the Computer Animation Festival have been nominated for or have received the Best Animated Short Academy Award.

For the first time, Electronic Theater tickets are available to the public with more content than ever before — choose between general ticket access and an all-new premium ticket, featuring a director’s cut version of the Electronic Theater. All SIGGRAPH 2021 participants who want to access the Electronic Theater must purchase a ticket, regardless of registration status. For details about what’s included and to purchase your ticket, visit the registration page.

Call for Submissions

Submit to Electronic Theater

Be a part of the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater experience by sharing your groundbreaking project and demonstrating your unique approach to storytelling in this well-respected animation showcase.

Since 1999, the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival has been recognized as a qualifying festival by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It began as an annual showcase of advances in computer graphics, and it now celebrates the rise of computer graphics as a medium for storytelling in animation, visual effects, games, technical visualization, and more.

Submit your best work that educates, entertains, or informs for your chance to be featured in this prestigious showcase. An internationally recognized jury will review your work and award Best in Show, Jury’s Choice, and Best Student Project prizes. Notably, several works originally presented in the Electronic Theater have been nominated for or have received a Best Animated Short Academy Award …Will you be next?

How to Submit

SIGGRAPH 2021 will move forward at this time as a virtual-only event. We look forward to celebrating 48 years of advancements in computer graphics and interactive techniques in our virtual venue, and are excited you are submitting your work for consideration. As we finalize our conference plans, visit the About the Conference page for the latest updates.

Steps to submit:

Watch the video from 2020 below for step-by-step submission instructions.

SIGGRAPH 2021 Electronic Theater submission requirements:

  • Include the auto-generated entry slate. The Electronic Theater requires each submission to include a slate. Submissions without slates will be considered incomplete.
  • Submit to the appropriate category for the work’s content type or style. (See descriptions below for details.)
  • All descriptions, captions, and notes to the jury must be in English.
  • Content must have been completed after last year’s Electronic Theater submission deadline (19 March 2020).
  • Content needs to be uploaded at final resolution by 23 March 2021 at 22:00 UTC/GMT.
  • Each applicant must complete the ACM Rights Management Form, which will be sent as a final step in the submissions process. All rights forms for submitted work must be completed upon submission (not upon acceptance) in order to be considered. The ACM Rights Management Form defines the manner in which the material you have submitted will be used, if accepted. It also allows you the opportunity to grant or deny specific uses of the material and its presentation before, during, and after the conference. Applicant information must include a full name, an affiliation, and a unique e-mail address – no generic “festivals@…” or repeated e-mail addresses within the same submission are permitted.


  • Advertising: Commissioned short films that tell a narrative story on behalf of a brand or entity.
  • Feature Films: Applies to works that are either trailers or clips (snippets) from full-length feature animated films and/or television series/programs.
  • Short Film: An original film with a runtime of 10 minutes or less.
  • Cinematic: Selections from larger works, such as games, that are developed and presented as short films.
  • Real-Time Graphics: Short films, feature films, or visual effects reels that showcase graphics created via the use of real-time rendering software.
  • Visual Effects: Applies to visual effects showcase reels or breakdowns from work done for full-length feature film, television/streaming show, or short film.
  • Visualization (Data-Driven): Applies to imagery created based on the research data of domain scientists, including 3D data from a supercomputer simulation or numerical model; generally rendered as real-time or pre-rendered computer graphics transformed from or driven by large scientific data.
  • Visualization (Conceptual Animation): Applies to imagery created in collaboration with and from the knowledge of domain scientists, employing digital tools and methods rather than large computations.
  • Simulation: Uses a mathematical description, or model, of a real system in the form of computer imagery to represent the dynamic responses of one system by the behavior of another system.

ACM Rights Management Form

If you are submitting work to the SIGGRAPH 2021 Electronic Theater:

You must complete the ACM Rights Management Form. The form will be sent to all submitters as a final step to the application. All rights forms for submitted work must be completed upon submission (not upon acceptance).

Your representative image and text may be used for promotional purposes. Several SIGGRAPH 2021 programs — Art Gallery, Electronic Theater, Real-Time Live!, Technical Papers, and all installation programs — will prepare preview videos for advance promotion of accepted content, which may include a portion of the video you submitted for review.

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Submission Specifications


A maximum length of 10 minutes may be submitted; however, the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater reserves the right to show only excerpts of selected works at the jury’s discretion.


The autogenerated slate should be presented in the following order:

  • 5-second slate
  • 5-second black
  • Submission start
  • 2-second black

Submissions without slates are considered incomplete.


The sum total of end titles and credits should be no longer than seven seconds.

2-Pop Cue

There should be an audio and visual 2-pop cue two seconds before the first frame and two seconds after the last frame of the work.

Video Codecs

  • Apple ProRes 422
  • DNxHD
  • 264

NTSC Video Wrappers

  • QuickTime
  • MP4

Please note that DCP format will not be accepted.

Video Resolutions

  • 1080p (1920p x 1080p) preferred

Frame Rate

  • 23.976 fps

Audio Configurations

  • Number of audio tracks accepted is [0,1,2,4,5,6,8,10,12].
  • Levels should be normalized for -23 LUFS (+/- 0.5).

Color Space

  • Rec 709
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Entry Review & Festival Jury

All submitted entries are evaluated by a dual review process that involves individuals from various communities focused on technical, creative, production, and more.

The first review team is involved in pre-selection and will review and rank all entries as they come in. Pre-selected submissions then move on to the Festival Jury. The Festival Jury is composed of industry peers in senior positions. These jurors review and rank all entries that pass the pre-selection process.

Submitters will be informed by email of the status of their submissions only after the Festival Jury makes its final decisions. All submitters will be notified of their status by early May 2021. The Festival Jury also selects the recipients of the three festival awards: Best in Show, Jury’s Choice, and Best Student Project.

The Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater reserves the right to place submissions in a different category if deemed appropriate by the festival subcommittee or jury. Stay tuned for the reveal of your 2021 jurors.

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Upon Acceptance


All Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater submitters will be notified by email of the status of their submission(s) in early May 2021.

After Acceptance

The time between the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater Jury meeting and the SIGGRAPH 2021 conference is very short, and a lot of work gets processed behind the scenes. If your work is selected, you will be expected to reply promptly to any request for information or clarification from the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater subcommittee. It is unlikely that we will need to contact you regarding your work after your notification, but please plan to be available via email in case a need arises.

Contributor and Presenter Recognition

To present your work at SIGGRAPH 2021, at least one contributor per submission must register at the appropriate registration level. All other contributors can register at the level of their choice.

You can find a link to the contributor recognition policy here.

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23 March 2021, 22:00 UTC/GMT
Electronic Theater submissions due.

Early May 2021
Electronic Theater submitters notified.

Summer 2021

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Frequently Asked Questions

I have submitted my work to the most recent SIGGRAPH Asia Computer Animation Festival. Is it OK if I submit the same work to the SIGGRAPH 2021 Computer Animation Festival?

Yes. You can submit the same work to SIGGRAPH 2021, as long as it was released after 19 March 2020. We are independent festivals with separate juries and acceptance procedures.

Do submissions to the Electronic Theater have to be 3D animations?

Absolutely not. We generally feature works where the computer was essential to the creation of the work, but there is no specific requirement that it be 3D. All forms of computer animation are eligible, including but not limited to: 3D computer animation, 2D animation, visual effects and live action, real-time video game play, visualizations, simulations, scientific illustrations, and digitally manipulated imagery and video. If you have computer-generated work within a larger piece, we request that you call our attention specifically to the portion where computer-generation was used.

How many works can I submit to the SIGGRAPH 2021 Electronic Theater?

There is no limit. You may submit as many as you like, but ensure you complete a separate submission form for each work.

Is there a submission fee for submitting to the SIGGRAPH 2021 Electronic Theater?

No. You only need to complete the online submission process.

Can I submit the same piece to both the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater and to Talks or the Art Gallery, or any other SIGGRAPH 2021 programs?

You are welcome to submit pieces to the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater and submit related work to other programs. Each submission requires a separate online form, however, and each program has varying deadlines. You can review all submission deadlines here.

I have an art animation (abstract or experimental). Should I submit it to the Art Gallery or the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater?

All animation submissions should be submitted to the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater.

Where do I send my submission materials?

All works must be submitted via the SIGGRAPH 2021 online submission system. The online submission process allows submitters easy access to the submission system, eliminates time-consuming shipping and mailing, and provides an efficient procedure for reviewing submitted work.

Can I enter my work through Withoutabox?

The Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater does not accept submissions through Withoutabox. All works must be submitted via the SIGGRAPH 2021 online submission system.

When is the submission deadline for the Computer Animation Festival?

Online submission forms and accompanying uploads must be completed no later than 23 March 2021 for the Electronic Theater. All deadlines are 22:00 UTC/GMT (convert to your time zone). Submissions received after either deadline will not be reviewed.

I will not have my work finished by the submission deadline. Is it possible for me to submit “work in progress” for reviewing?

No. The SIGGRAPH 2021 Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater reviews only finished projects. The file/project you upload at the time of entry is what will be shown at SIGGRAPH 2021, if your work is accepted.

We are an art school, and we are planning to submit several student works as one submission. Is this OK?

No. Each piece must be uploaded separately to the online submission system along with its own completed and signed submission form. Each piece is judged on its own merit.

I am a student, and there is no longer a Student Projects category. Where should I enter it?

All student work should be submitted under the category that most closely describes it. Make sure to select the “Student Project” checkbox during your submission process so that your work may be considered not only for the Best of Show award and Jury’s Choice prize, but also for the Best Student Project prize.

What file formats are acceptable for submission?

See the “How to Submit” guidelines above for other file format details.

What criteria will the jury use to select works?

Jurors are expected to select the highest quality works from among those submitted. Each juror takes into consideration the technical aspects of the piece, the visual interest, and, for story-based projects, the storytelling; however, the jury’s primary criterion is to select the pieces it feels will form the strongest show.

What is the difference between the juried program and the curated program?

The juried program presents work selected by the jury, representative of the best computer-generated content in the world. The curated program is used to round out the final show with invite-only special presentations.

Why must the credits be no more than seven seconds?

To maintain the pace of the program for the sake of our attendees, SIGGRAPH 2021 Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater policy requires that all credit sections for accepted entries must be seven seconds or less.

My animation makes use of commercially recorded music. Is that OK?

You are responsible for securing the necessary permissions and licenses for audio material that is contained in your work. If your music was not created originally for your content, or if you are using another person’s music, you must obtain the necessary permissions or required licenses. We will not purchase these rights for you.

If my work is selected for the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater, will SIGGRAPH 2021 pay for my accommodation and/or travel expenses?

No. You are responsible for your registration. For details, please refer to the SIGGRAPH 2021 Contributor Benefits policy.

Why are your technical requirements so specific?

The technical requirements are very specific to make the submission process more streamlined for you. The submission process utilizes Sohonet digital transfer services. We have carefully selected codecs and resolution formats that are easily accessible to all, offer the highest quality with the least amount of data loss, while offering a much more streamlined post and DI process. This ensures that the material you send us, if accepted, will look amazing on the big screen!

I am having trouble uploading my files. What can I do?

If you have problems uploading your files to the SIGGRAPH 2021 online submission system, your server may be behind a firewall that doesn’t allow HTTPS connections. If you are submitting from a corporate or institutional network, ask your information technology department to assist you in completing your submission. If you have any questions about uploading files, review “Uploading Files” in the Submissions FAQ. If you do not find the answer to your question there, feel free to contact the Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater subcommittee at or check out this tutorial that walks through the entire process.

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