“Although this contest sounds crazy — the model seems to work. The top films are as good as some completed student films that take several months to produce. I think it’s their chance to set personal goals and work outside of the classroom structure on a creative project.”
New supporter-sponsored initiatives include an equipment request program for underserved students to facilitate participation in this year’s challenge while providing tools to aid in their virtual learning and art production. Eligible students are encouraged to apply here.
“I am thrilled to announce we are in our 20th year, and more than 10,000 students from 150+ schools have benefited from participating through the years,” shared Mintz. “The challenge has featured participants from 20 countries:  Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Italy, Kenya, New Zealand, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Taiwan, UK, and the USA! This year, industry supporters are getting behind this contest with additional prizes and funding efforts to support students in new ways.”
Generous supporters have included Toon Boom, Illumination, ASIFA-Hollywood, Nickelodeon, Bento Box, TAAFI (Toronto Animated Arts Festival International), CSU Summer Arts, Wacom, TVPaint, Digicel, Animation Magazine, CTNX, CRC Press, X in a Box, Xencelabs, Mac Hollywood, Stuart Ng Books, Animation is Film, DreamWorks, Pixar, Sony Pictures Animation, and Walt Disney Animation.
A volunteer panel of animation professionals will judge the final 30-second films:
Source: 24 HOURS Animation Contest
Student teams create a 30-second film based on a theme during a designated 24-hour period. Teams work from their home school and submit a YouTube link of their films before the deadline, which is October 13 at 11:59 PM PST. – Register here.
How it works:

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.

This year the contest is teaming up with Wacom at LightBox Expo, October 14-16, 2022, in Pasadena, where attendees can meet professional animators. In addition, Wacom’s booth (#801) will host student work and offer a chance to try out the company’s award-winning pen displays, the same ones used by professional animation studios worldwide.
“It brings out the best in students,” said Mintz, after watching entries from 291 teams in 2019. “It pushes them to their limits but teaches them to make creative decisions in a severely limited time. Working with a team of five challenges artists to learn how to work collaboratively. Sometimes this creates tension and obstacles that the teams must work together to overcome. It’s a rapid speed lesson in animation production.”
The 20th edition of this year’s “24 HOURS: Animation Contest for Students” will be hosted online October 14-15. The free event challenges students worldwide to compete in teams of five to produce a 30-second animated film in under 24 hours. The international competition is hosted by California State University, Long Beach animation professor Aubry Mintz.

  • Angela Abeyti: Character and Prop Designer/Lead (Nickelodeon, Titmouse, ShadowMachine, Hothouse Productions, Avalanche Films – Baby Shark’s Big Show, Bojack Horseman, Tuca and Bertie, My Momma Named me Sheriff, Chicago Party Aunt). 
  • Grace Babineau: Background Painter/Color Designer (Nickelodeon, Titmouse Inc., Cartoon Network, Bento Box Ent, and art aired on Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon)
  • Todd DeJong: Animator and Director (Warner Bros.)
  • Karina Gazizova: Director (Wacky Races), Storyboard Artist (Teen Titans GO!), Technical Director (Studio RedFrog, France)
  • Rebecca Kartzmark: Animator (Tangled the Series, Hilda, Mickey Mouse, Molly McGee)
  • Kimmie King: Animator (Nickelodeon, Giphy Arts, BET, Ziwe Fumudoh, Rick and Morty, Helluva Boss)
  • Ira Owens: Cinematographer for Sucker Punch Productions (Ghost of Tsushima)
  • Nathan Palm: VizDev Artist and Character Designer (DreamWorks, Stoopid Buddy, ShadowMachine, Bento Box, Duncanville, The Great North, Solar Opposites, Family Guy, Final Space, Paradise PD)
  • Ryan Stapleton: Storyboard artist (20th Century Fox Animation, Glen Keane Productions/Netflix, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros, American Dad, Trash Truck, Inside Job, Dinotrux, Santiago of the Seas

The competition began in 2002 when Mintz challenged his students to work through the night to see how much they could accomplish. When the sun came up, five students remained. Mintz was impressed by what they produced; thus, the “24 HOURS Animation Contest for Students” was born.

“We continue to be inspired by the students who spend 24 hours pouring their creativity into this project,” noted Linzie Reynolds, Director of Enterprise Business at Wacom. “Wacom is honored to offer prizes to these students, who we know will have successful careers in animation.”
Students can work from home but must register in teams of five and have a faculty advisor from their home school. Multiple teams at the same school are permitted to share faculty advisors. A panel of industry experts judges the finished films. The top seven teams win prizes.

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Check out top-placing films from previous years on YouTube.

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