5th Annual

SoDak Animation Festival

October 17, 2013 to October 19, 2013

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103 Grove Hall
SDSU Visual Arts
Brookings SD 57007
Phone: 605.688.4103

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Children/Family (rated G)
Animation intended or suitable for all audiences, especially young children (equivalent of a "G" rating).
Independent Short (under 20 min)
Non-commercial, non-student work under 20 minutes in duration.
Feature Length
Animated content with a duration of 45 minutes or longer.
Commissioned Short
Animated content commissioned for commercial and/or promotional purposes. Advertising, promotional, broadcast, web-based, all kinds of commercial work are considered. If you were hired by someone else and compensated for this, it's fair game.
Entry fees waived for this category (We're not gonna bill our neighbors!). Content must have been made and completed in South Dakota by South Dakotan animators, artists, and filmmakers.
Content or form is experimental or non-narrative in nature
The filmmaker was a student enrolled at least 1/2 time in an undergraduate institution or program
Content was created by a student enrolled at least 1/2 time in a graduate institution or program.
High School
Content created by a student enrolled in a high school level institution or program (typically ages 15-18). No entry fee in this category (save your money for college!).


The mission of the SoDak Animation Festival is to entertain, educate and inspire audiences through the versatile medium of the animated image by showcasing unique independent and commercial animation from all over the globe. The festival also shows an abundance of genuine hospitality and appreciation to visiting animators and artists when they come to share their passion and work with the festival audience and community. In a geographic area that is not traditionally associated with animation, the SoDak Animation Festival strives to promote a greater understanding of animation as a versatile form of art, entertainment and industry.


The SoDak Animation Festival showcases unique independent animation from all over the world as well as commercial and student content from the region. The festival also hosts very special guest artists to share ideas and inspiration with the public audience. Past speakers include two-time Oscar nominated animator Bill Plympton, David Chai, Oscar-nominated filmmaker PES, Patrick Smith, J.J. Sedelmaier, Storyboard artist and animator Ryan Woodward, Kirsten Lepore, and Reid Thompson of Troika Design Group in Hollywood. Animation workshops are also held for attendees and members of the community. Student work is especially emphasized to support animation education. Awards to best films in selected categories are in the form of the coveted "Golden Cowbell" prizes, a filmmaker favorite to have on any mantle or case! Past award packages have also included software from Red Giant and Wacom graphics tablets!

Past jurors have included world-class animators and artists such as Emily Hubley (The Toe Tac-Tic, 2005, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 2001), David Chai (Enrique Wrecks the World, 2011), and South Dakota artists and educators.

Held over three exhilarating days in Brookings, South Dakota's gem of a town, the SoDak Animation Festival offers a rare opportunity for audiences to experience animation right here on the prairie and for animators from all over the world to have their work screen in the heart of the Upper Midwest. Event venues include the fabulous Performing Arts Center on the historic campus of South Dakota State University, the Brookings Cinema and the magical Children's Museum of South Dakota. Brookings, SD is also headquarters of the festival's primary sponsor, Daktronics, Inc, the world leader in large-scale LED display systems.

In 2012, 100% of submission fees went back to animators whose work was selected for screening. Animators who received travel grants in 2012 included Golden Cowbell Winners Quique Rivera (El Delirio Del Pez Leon), Caleb Wood (Mobile), Beth Peloff (The Kite), Phil Davis (The Living Things), and Lynn Dana Wilton (Re-Cycle). They never dreamed they could have such an amazing time in South Dakota in October!

2013 festival events for the animators include mingling and networking evening at the Cottonwood Bistro for Drinking & Drawing and even a festival sponsored trip to one of the actual "Little Houses on the Prairie" in DeSmet, SD, one of homes of the famed childhood author Laura Ingalls Wilder. How apropos! Filmmaker travel assistance grants will be available in 2013 based on submission fees.


Beverly French; Cable Hardin (Director); Cole Behrends; Peter Reichardt


Finalists will be asked to submit exhibition copies as digital files via a file-sharing service such as YouSendIt.com or similar. You gotta do this quick or we can't show your work.

Student film categories must be complete the school information in the entry form. Student category entries may be contacted by the festival to verify student status at time of film completion/production.

SoDak Animation Festival prefers online entries submitted via Withoutabox.com, which provides cost-saving, paperless submission to film festivals around the world. Withoutabox’s internet-only submission platform features online applications via one master entry form, online fee payments, press kits, and the option to use Secure Online Screeners, an economical, eco-friendly, and secure alternative to traditional hard-copy DVD submissions.


By submitting to the SDAF, the filmmaker/submitter agrees to allow the festival to use short clips and stills for promotional purposes.

DVDs and physical materials will not be returned. Please use digital submission means.

Play nice. Be fair. Submitters claim all rights and clearances to material included in the submitted work. By submitting to the festival, the submitter and creators of the work release The SoDak Animation Festival, its organizers, and sponsors from any and all liability related to rights and clearances and any general unpleasantness related to your work and showing it at our event.