A Festival Like No Other

Electronic Theater

The Computer Animation Festival Electronic Theater, a qualifier for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is the pinnacle of animation excellence. Discover the evolution of animation and the limitless possibilities ahead through this showcase of short stories told through computer graphics.

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Coming To A Screen Near You

The SIGGRAPH 2023 Electronic Theater is hitting the open road! Click the button below to fill out a form to see the Electronic Theater Traveling Show at your conference, university, ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter, or more. Availability for the 2023 reel takes place 10 September–1 March.

Request A Screening

Attend a Special Screening With Live Commentary From SIGGRAPH Legends

On Tuesday, 8 August, at 11 am, join SIGGRAPH 2023 and esteemed guest speakers in a special panel and screening to celebrate the 50th conference. Add the Electronic Theater Retrospective Celebration to your schedule and spend the morning with moderator Doug Roble and panelists Alvy Ray Smith, Dennis Muren, Paul Debevec, Donna Cox, and Carolina Cruz-Neira, who will share live commentary on a special reel featuring seminal Electronic Theater pieces from SIGGRAPH history. A separate experience from the Electronic Theater screenings taking place on Monday, 7 August, and Wednesday, 9 August, this panel is a unique SIGGRAPH experience where we reminisce on pivotal stories from our history while tuning into live commentary from industry legends. All participants registered at the Full Conference and Full Conference Supporter levels are welcome, no ticket required.

Submit to Electronic Theater

Be a part of the SIGGRAPH 2023 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’s Electronic Theater 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 now celebrates the rise of computer graphics as a medium for storytelling in animation, visual effects, games, scientific 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.

In honor of SIGGRAPH’s 50th conference, the Electronic Theater is hosting a special Retrospective Celebration and is now seeking submissions. Click here to learn more.

How to Submit

SIGGRAPH 2023 will gather in person in Los Angeles. We look forward to celebrating 50 years of advancements in computer graphics and interactive techniques and are excited that you are considering submitting your work for consideration.

Steps to Submit to the Electronic Theater:

For details about submitting to the Retrospective Celebration, scroll to the bottom of this page. 

  • Log into our submission portal.
  • Select the “Make a New Submission” tab, and choose the Electronic Theater form. To review the information you will need to submit, view this Stage 1 Sample Submission Form.
  • After submitting the initial form, a slate image will be auto-generated and provided to you for download. Include this slate at the start of your video, following instructions in the “SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS & SPECIFICATIONS” section below. Upload the slate+video combination to finish the Stage 1 submission.
  • After submitting Stage 1, you will need to complete the ACM Rights Management Form. View this sample form here.

What to Expect After Initial Submission to the Electronic Theater:

For details about submitting to the Retrospective Celebration, scroll to the bottom of this page. 

  • Stage 1 submission must be completed by 21 March 2023.
  • ACM Rights Management Form must be completed shortly after submission, requested within 24 hours.
  • Submissions will go through two rounds of jurying.
  • Submitters will be notified of the outcome in early May 2023.
  • If accepted, you will be asked to fill out additional information in a Stage 2 Form.
  • Attendance at the conference is encouraged, but not required, 6-10 August 2023.

ACM Rights Management Form

If you are submitting work to the SIGGRAPH 2023 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). View a sample form here.
  • Your representative image and text may be used for promotional purposes. Several SIGGRAPH 2023 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.

ORCID Mandate

Contributors who are required to complete their permission upon submission must provide a valid ORCID identifier upon submitting. Corresponding contributors are responsible for collecting these ORCID identifiers from co-contributors and providing them to ACM as part of the ACM eRights selection process.

You and your co-contributors can create and register your ORCID identifier at https://orcid.org/register. ACM only requires you to complete the initial ORCID registration process. However, ACM encourages you to take the additional step to claim ownership of all of your published works via the ORCID site.

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21 March 2023, 22:00 UTC/GMT
Electronic Theater submissions due.

1 May 2023, 22:00 UTC/GMT
Retrospective Celebration submissions due.

Early May 2023
Electronic Theater submitters notified.

6–10 August 2023

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  • 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.
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Submission Requirements & Specifications

Submission Requirements:

  • Content must have been completed after last year’s Electronic Theater submission deadline (22 March 2022), unless submitting to the “Retrospective” category.
  • Content needs to be uploaded at final resolution by 21 March 2023 at 22:00 UTC/GMT.
  • Include the auto-generated entry slate, which will be provided to you after the initial form submission. The Electronic Theater requires each submission to include a slate. Submissions without slates will be considered incomplete. 
    • Slate
      The autogenerated slate should be presented in the following order:

      • 5-second slate
      • 5-second black
      • Submission start
      • 2-second black
  • All descriptions, captions, and notes to the jury must be in English.
  • Each applicant must complete the ACM Rights Management Form, which will be sent as a final step in the submissions process. (See sample form here.) 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 email address – no generic “festivals@…” or repeated email addresses within the same submission are permitted.


A maximum length of 10 minutes may be submitted; however, the 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
  • Upon acceptance, you may have an option to re-submit at 4k

Frame Rate

  • 23.97, 24, 29.97, 30, 59.94, or 60 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 pre-selection.

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 2023. The Festival Jury also selects the recipients of the three festival awards: Best in Show, Jury’s Choice, and Best Student Project.

The 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 2023 jurors.

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Upon Acceptance

All Electronic Theater submitters will be notified by email of the status of their submission(s) in early May 2023.

After Acceptance
The time between the Electronic Theater Jury meeting and the SIGGRAPH 2023 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 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.

Presenter Recognition
Contributor attendance is not required. You can find a link to the contributor recognition policy here.

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Electronic Theater 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 2023 Electronic Theater?
Yes. You can submit the same work to SIGGRAPH 2023, as long as it was released after 22 March 2022. 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, data 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 2023 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. However, note that the Electronic Theater values diversity in its content. We receive a high volume of quality submissions for this short program, so occasionally, high-quality works are not selected simply due to overrepresentation from one company/individual/category/etc.

Is there a submission fee for submitting to the SIGGRAPH 2023 Electronic Theater?
No. You only need to complete the online submission process.

Can I submit the same piece to both the Festival Electronic Theater and to Talks or the Art Gallery, or any other SIGGRAPH 2023 programs?
You are welcome to submit pieces to the Electronic Theater as well as to submit related work to other programs. Each submission requires a separate online form, however, and each program has varying deadlines and requirements. 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 Electronic Theater?
All animation submissions should be submitted to the Electronic Theater.

Where do I send my submission materials?
All works must be submitted via the SIGGRAPH 2023 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 Electronic Theater does not accept submissions through Withoutabox. All works must be submitted via the SIGGRAPH 2023 online submission system.

When is the submission deadline for the Electronic Theater?
Online submission forms and accompanying uploads must be completed no later than 21 March 2023 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 review?
No. The SIGGRAPH 2023 Electronic Theater reviews only finished projects. The file/project you upload at the time of entry is what will be shown at SIGGRAPH 2022, if your work is accepted. If you have questions or would like to make a case for an exception, please email caf-s2023@siggraph.org.

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 Student Projects category. Where should I enter my work?
All student work should be submitted under the category that most closely describes it (e.g., animation or visual effects). Make sure to select the “Student Project” checkbox as you fill out the form so that your work may be considered not only for the Best in Show award and Jury’s Choice prizes, 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 Electronic Theater program for the sake of our participants, SIGGRAPH conference 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 Electronic Theater, will SIGGRAPH 2023 pay for my accommodation and/or travel expenses?
No. You are responsible for your registration. Once the contributor recognition policy becomes available, it will be linked here. Check back at the end of January 2023.

Why are your technical requirements so specific?
The technical requirements are very specific to make the submission process more streamlined for you. We have carefully selected codecs and resolution formats that are easily accessible to all, and that offer the highest quality with the least amount of data loss, while also providing 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 2023 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 caf-s2023@siggraph.org.

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Electronic Theater Retrospective Celebration

Interested in participating in or learning more about the Electronic Theater Retrospective Celebration? Scroll down to learn more.

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Electronic Theater

Electronic Theater Retrospective Celebration

Roll back the clock and rev up those VCRs, it’s time to celebrate SIGGRAPH’s 50th! This year only, the Electronic Theater will be hosting a special second screening, featuring guest speakers and a reel of seminal pieces from SIGGRAPH’s history. Whether it was shown in the 1970s or the 2020s, we invite you to re-submit your work to the Electronic Theater Retrospective. Get your submissions ready, let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive those groundbreaking moments in computer graphics history. Interested in participating?

We ask for your help with the following types of submissions:

  • Retrospective (Reel): A reel showing computer graphics content from the company/individual over a significant span of years. Reels selected for this new, one-time category will be shown at a special, second event commemorating SIGGRAPH’s 50th conference.
  • Retrospective (Resubmission): A resubmission of content screened previously in the last 50 years of SIGGRAPH, for consideration in a special, second event commemorating SIGGRAPH’s 50th conference.

Be part of the SIGGRAPH 50th Conference – Electronic Theater Retrospective Celebration. Submit your contribution now.