Short Anime Film Competition


The AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival aims to promote and celebrate Japanese pop culture in Australia. Anime from Japan has become a worldwide phenomenon, and we would like to celebrate this through a short anime film competition.

Each year, a theme is introduced to encourage cultural learning and understanding of Japan. The focus of the competition is the incorporation of the theme and overall quality. We encourage everyone who enjoys creating animation to apply with an entry.


This year’s theme is頑張る」”GANBARU”,  which means to do one’s best in any given situation. With 2020 being a year of global hardship, we would like to spread this ideology from Japan to help strengthen the hearts of people.

Register and submit a short anime film of 1 - 3:30 minutes, and be in the running to win a trip to Japan!*​

Budding animators: get creative and get seen! All films will be reviewed by our judging panel comprised of industry professionals, and the top twenty films will be screened at AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival in October.

Registration for the 2020 competition is now open!

Please read the latest terms and conditions to ensure your entry will be accepted.

Competition Theme:頑張る」”GANBARU”

Registration Deadline: 11:59pm ACST, August 31st, 2020

Submission Deadline: 11:59pm ACST, September 30th, 2020


Results Announcement: AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival 2020 - TBC November 2020

*Competition only open to residents of Australia and Japan. In the event that the winner is a resident of Japan, they will receive a trip to Adelaide, South Australia.


Grand Prize

Trip to Japan (or Australia) 

If the winner(s) resides in Australia they will receive a trip to JAPAN!

If the winner(s) resides in Japan they will receive a trip to Adelaide, South Australia.
The prize is valued at AUD $2000.

Runner-up(s) (2 winners)

AnimeLab Sponsorship Pack (valued at $200)
A bundle pack including a Studio Ghibli Anniversary Limited Edition DVD/Blu-Ray Box Set, $50 AnimeLab Voucher and more.

Cash Prize
Value of which will be decided by JAFA before the festival.

Submission Criteria

1.    The 2020 cultural theme of 「頑張る」”GANBARU” must be referenced visibly in the film.
2.    The film must demonstrate or reference an aspect of Japanese culture.

4.    The competition is open to residents of Australia and Japan.

3.    The film must be at least one minute (00:01.00) in length but no more than three minutes and thirty seconds (00:03:30) in length, including titles and credits. The actual film itself, excluding titles and credits, must be at least forty seconds (00:00:40) in length.
4.    The film must be made specifically for the purpose of the AnimeGo! Japan Pop Culture Festival 2020. 
5.    The AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival 2020 must be the first public screening of the film.
6.    The contents and components of the film must be the original work of the creator(s) and not breach Australian Intellectual property or copyright law.
7.    The film should not exceed the specifications found in the Australian PG rating. 
8.    The film must comply with the technical specifications provided in this document.
9.    Submission must be completed online through an application form before the deadline at 11:59pm (Australian Central Standard Time) on August 31st 2020.  

Entry Process

  1. Visit the official AnimeGo! Japan Pop Culture Festival website (

  2. Click the “Register” button, read and fill out the registration form carefully.

  3. Accept the terms and conditions on the registration form.

  4. Once this process has been completed, a confirmation email will be sent including ID for this year’s submission required for film application. RETAIN YOUR SUBMISSION ID

  5. Ensure the short film meets all the specifications outlined in these guidelines.

  6. The film must be uploaded with a name containing the submission ID and the name of the film as written on the submission form in the following format [SUBID###-NAMEOFMOVIE].

  7. Registrants will receive instructions on how to upload their film entry via email before the submission deadline.

  8. Successful submissions will receive a confirmation email within 72 hours from the Japan Australian Friendship Association (JAFA)


NOTE: Entries for AnimeGo! Short Anime Film Competition should only be delivered online and must be in the compulsory format. As such, CD, DVD, Blu-ray, USB or any other device will not be accepted.  If you have any queries or problems delivering your film please email

Judging Criterial & Panel

The Short Anime Film Competition is a competition on the innovative use of the cultural theme.  JAFA will appoint an independent judging panel to review the films entered in the AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival - Short Anime Film Competition. This panel will be comprised of industry professionals and JAFA committee members and others (Panel).


The members of the panel will watch and review the films between the 2nd of October and 13th of October 2019.


The judges will short list the 20 films which meet all requirements (Top Twenty Films) and then determine the overall best film that will be the winner(s) of the AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival - Short Anime Film Competition (Winner(s)).  The winner(s) will be announced during the award ceremony at the AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival 2020. The top twenty films and the ultimate winner(s) will be decided based on judging criteria determined by the panel.  The panel will be asked to consider the following categories: Theme, Innovation, Technical Skills, and Anime/Cultural Referencing.

Short Anime Film Competition 2020 Judging Panel

David Blaiklock  - Program Director of the Bachelor of Design (Illustration and Animation) at The University of South Australia

David Blaiklock is the Program Director of the Bachelor of Design (Illustration and Animation) program at the University of South Australia, School of Art, Architecture and Design. He is a recognized Illustration teacher and practitioner with a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACAUDS) and Australian Office for Learning and Teaching.  His practice is internationally recognized through invited representation at International Design Awards and exhibitions, including, 100 Typographic Posters, International Invitational Exhibition, China (2013) Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for a Digital World (2012), Hong Kong International Poster Triennial (2010), awarded Gold and Bronze. David’s academic research centers around the nature of Illustration expertise, education and professional practice.

Peter Pugsley - Associate Professor - Reader in Media at The University of Adelaide

Peter is Associate Professor in Media at the University of Adelaide. He teaches Asian Film Studies and the course Japanese Media Cultures (a study abroad course taught each year in Kyoto). He is the author of two books on Asian cinema and is working on a co-authored book looking at the links between Japanese and French cinema. He has been happily involved with the AnimeGO! Short Anime Film competition since its inception. He has a weakness for Camembert Yakitori.

Nicholas GodfreyLecturer (Scholarly Fellow Academic) in Screen and Media at Flinders University

Nicholas Godfrey is a Lecturer (Scholarly Fellow Academic) in Screen and Media at Flinders University. He is the author of The Limits of Auteurism: Case Studies in the Critically Constructed New Hollywood (Rutgers University Press, 2018). His research and teaching interests include Hollywood cinema, film aesthetics, the history of film distribution, Australian national cinema and Asian cinema. Nicholas has taught media studies at Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and the Chinese University of Hong Kong School of Continuing and Professional Studies. He is a contributor to Metro and Senses of Cinema, and has been involved with curating films for the Adelaide Film Festival and the Mercury Cinema. He has also been a judge for the South Australian Screen Awards and the Australian Teachers of Media Awards.

Michael Cusack - Anifex Pty Ltd

Michael Cusack has spent the last four decades making high end animated TV commercials, feature film special effects and multi award winning short films.

His first major award was an Australian Film Institute Award in 1985 for the short film Waltzing Matilda.

In collaboration with his Producer, Richard Chataway, he was responsible for setting up the animation department at the South Australian Film Corporation.

Michael has received the prestigious Master’s Chair Award from the Adelaide Advertising and Design Club a record six times and has received the President’s Award from The Adelaide Art Directors for outstanding achievements in TV/Cinema.

In 2002 he was made an Honorary Member of the Australian Cinematographer’s Society and in 2019 he was made an Australian Cinema Pioneer, both in recognition of his work in the Australian Film Industry.

In 2006 he was again awarded an AFI for Best Short Animation for his film Gargoyle.

He has received numerous other awards and nominations over his long career.

His film, the highly acclaimed Sleight of Hand picked up thirty six national and international awards and was eligible for consideration in the 2014 Academy Awards. His film "After All" was in the International Competition in Annecy.

The Better Angels is his latest film.

Previous Winners

Short Anime Film Competition 2019

Hachiko and the Professor by Mauricio Barra

Short Anime Film Competition 2018

Peach Joey by Haru Koyama

Short Anime Film Competition 2017

Autumn Childhood by Kent Man

Visit the AnimeGO! YouTube Channel for all previous year(s) finalists.

Special Thanks To Our Supporters

AnimeGO! Japan Pop Culture Festival is brought to you by the Japan Australia Friendship Association (JAFA). 

Supported by a grant from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

Festival Info

Queens Theatre Playhouse Ln &, Gilles Arcade, Adelaide SA 5000

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