There are six categories for the COAF 2020 contest:
Your happy endings, words of encouragement, and unicorns go here.
Action, suspense, wild digital effects, conflict!
Epic sagas, loss, triumph, and dramatic gophers of the more serious type.
Make us feel the love tonight.
Now playing at an AMV contest near you…
Fake commercials also fit in here.
- Wild Card
Anything that doesn’t fit in above goes here! Show me what you got!
In addition, we will award two other prizes: Judges’ Choice, chosen by our panel of AMV judges, and Best In Show, chosen by our attendees.
New for 2020
- No longer restricted to only animation originating from Japan.
- Wild Card category is truly a wild card category so you can show us the best you got even if it doesn’t fit in our normal categories.
- A reminder that bumpers before and after videos are not allowed. We will ensure you are credited in the contest through our own overlays and the ballot.
We try to run a clean show. All videos submitted must be PG-13 or below. This means we want NONE of the following: panty shots, exposure or fondling of “private parts,” gross or gory dismemberment, profanity (swear words), or themes likely to insult or disparage by race, social class, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality—because that’s NO FUN for anybody.
Also, you can make your own subtitles, but you should remove subtitles from your source material. You must also remove any broadcast logos and any other commercial logos (such as DivX) from your video. (One exception to this rule is if the AMV is a parody of incompetent video editing…)
Finally, it’s not a music video if it does not have music through at least 80% of the video (except for the Trailers and Wild Card categories).
What counts as anime?
Anime is a Japanese word which is short for animation. In Japan, all animation is anime regardless of where it is from. In this spirit, we are no longer restricting any category based on country of origin. For the purposes of this contest, anime means anything animated unless it is intended to be photorealistic or seen as live action. For example, “The Lion King (2019)” and “Avatar (2009)” are both considered to be live action due to the intention of all CGI to appear real and not animated. All entries must have at least 90% anime by frame count. Compositing anime onto other stuff makes it count as anime.
Submitting and Video Formats
Submit the form (linked below) with a link to your video.
Submissions must include what anime are used and what music and/or audio sources are used.
Please select the category where your video best fits. The contest judges reserve the right to change which category your video will be competing in.
Videos must be downloadable as standalone video files (e.g. not YouTube) and accessible without a paid account. We recommend download pages from or AMV fan sites such as Anime Music Videos .Org, AKROSS, AMV News, etc. where possible. We can also download from SendSpace and similar free services. (We’re happy to make alternate arrangements as well if need be.)
Link us to the best quality you can provide because we run our contest in 1080p and we want to show off your hard work as best we can. The minimum acceptable video resolution is 480p because anything less would look terrible. And it’s 2019, so there’s no such thing as a maximum file size—just data caps—so maybe don’t send a HuffYUV file.
Videos should be playable without additional codecs or configuration in VLC. It supports a vast array of codecs and containers, so it shouldn’t be a limiting factor. But if your video can’t be played in VLC, we would need to convert it to be shown in the contest regardless, and the quality will be better if you export a supported format than if we transcode your ideal format into something that we can easily play.
Preferred containers: MKV, AVI, MPG, and MP4.
Preferred video codecs: H.264 and MPEG-4.
Preferred audio codecs: AAC, MP3, and AC-3.
The ideal video for our presentation has a 1080p resolution; has video encoded in H.264; has audio downmixed to stereo and encoded in AAC; and is stored in an MKV file. While H.265/HEVC is new and awesome, its ecosystem isn’t as mature as our preferred H.264, so we would prefer H.264 over H.265 even if it’s at the expense of a larger video file (we have lots of bandwidth and storage space).
Hot Tips and Helpful Hints
We want everyone to have the best entries they can. Please refer to these helpful hints to ensure the best submissions you can make:
- AMVs are more likely to be selected if they are more than just clips of anime put to music. Do your best to create AMVs which tell a story or have a clear theme.
- Leave the audience wanting more. Remember to edit it to a length which fits the story or message you are trying to get across. Your AMV does not need to be the length of the song you choose.
- Keep an eye on current trends in culture, anime, music, etc. The winners are chosen by the audience, so if it’s popular with most anime fans, it is likely to go over well with our audience.
- Ensure no references to other contests appear in your videos.
- Avoid content which changes resolution or aspect ratio. While sometimes this can be acceptable, such as when videos move from old to new content as part of its theme, generally this should be avoided.
- Avoid constantly zooming in/out.
- We are looking for videos, not slideshows set to music.
- Do not include overlays on the AMV which are otherwise not part of the AMV such as overlays which introduce the video. We will be adding our own overlays to introduce each video for the AMV showings.
- Avoid having any footage before or after your video. It helps us a lot when prepping for the AMV showing if we do not need to cut frames before or after your video. This year, bumpers, credits, etc. are no longer allowed before or after the video. We will ensure you are credited in the contest through our own overlays and the ballot.
- Most of all, when making your videos, think about the music videos and trailers you have enjoyed the most and why. Be creative and make something you like and others will like it too.
Submissions must be sent in by January 31, 2020.
A panel of judges will convene to review all entries and select up to six AMVs per category. The judges’ decisions on the playlist is final.
All entries must have premiered or been created no earlier than January 1, 2019.
Every winning video will receive a cash prize. (Who doesn’t like cash?)
- The winner of each category will receive $50.
- The winner of the Judges’ Choice award will receive $50.
- The winner of the Best In Show award will receive $100.
Prizes stack for videos that win multiple awards. Prizes will be awarded on-site for any winners that attend COAF. Winners that do not attend COAF will receive an e-mail in the weeks following the convention to arrange receipt of the prize. Winners outside the US will receive the equivalent of $50 in their local currency where possible.
GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!
Now that you’ve read the rules, submit an AMV!