AnimeNEXT 2020 Anime Music Video Contest Rules

Please read these rules in their entirety. All dates are for 2020 unless specified otherwise. Entries that fail to follow these rules are subject to disqualification. Any questions about these rules should be directed to:

  1. Deadline: All entries must be in by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on April 25. All contestants must submit their entries via the online entry form, available at:
    – Help us help you! The earlier you get your entry to us, the more time we have to resolve any playback problems we might encounter. If you enter at the last minute, and then it turns out we can’t play your video or it has other problems (see rules 9-10!), that leaves only a few days before the prescreening for you to get us a fixed version. If we can’t show your video at the prescreening, we can’t vote it into the finals.
  2. Who May (Not) Enter: Any videos created in whole or in part by a member of the AnimeNEXT staff may not be submitted, except as noncompeting. Anyone else may enter, with the understanding that by so doing, you give us permission to show your video(s) at AnimeNEXT 2020 and at future events by Universal Animation. You do not need to attend AnimeNEXT in order to enter, and indicating that you will/won’t attend the con will not affect your chances of making the finals or winning.
  3. Number of Entries: You may submit one (1) video to the contest regardless of categorization. You may submit a second (2nd) video either as noncompeting, or into at least one of the following genres:
    1. Comedy
    2. Dance
    3. Fun
    4. Horror
    5. Trailer/Parody
      Any videos blatantly mis-categorized in an attempt to circumvent this rule will not be shown. Each video you submit must be your own work, whether completed alone or in collaboration with others. A collaborative video counts against the two-video maximum for every collaborator, no matter which collaborator actually submits it.
  4. Rule #4: There is not now, nor has there ever been, a rule #4.
  5. Age of Entries: All entries must have been completed on or after April 21, 2019.
  6. Length of Entries: Trailer/commercial-style videos have a minimum length of 30 seconds. All other videos have a minimum length of 1 minute. There is no maximum length.
  7. Video Sources: The video component of each entry must consist of at least 75% footage from anime, manga, and/or video games of Japanese origin. Anime is here defined as animation produced by the Japanese and originally released primarily for a Japanese audience (plus special cases such as Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust and Afro Samurai).
    Exception: Videos consisting predominantly of original animation in an anime style will be allowed as noncompeting only and may be selected for inclusion in the contest preshow.
  8. Audio Sources: Except for trailer/commercial-style videos, the audio of each entry should be mostly music. Audio from English dubs of anime is not permitted, as North American voice actors and industry representatives regularly attend the convention.
  9. Objectionable Content: Sexual nudity and excessive gore/violence are not permitted. Any profanities that cannot be broadcast uncensored on terrestrial radio between 6 A.M. and 10 P.M. are not permitted (see
  10. Other Prohibited Video Elements:
    1. Bumpers or credit sequences to identify yourself or your sources are not permitted. (We create our own standard title cards for each video.)
    2. Subtitles are not permitted unless you added them yourself. Watermarks and logos, whether of broadcasters, fansub groups, codecs (such as the DivX logo), or whatever else, are not permitted. See help removing these.
    3. Other corporate logos are not permitted unless they were in the original animé footage (such as Pizza Hut’s product placement in Code Geass); parodies thereof are fine, as long as it is clear that the original companies’ trademarked logos are not actually being used.
    4. Special note for trailers: Bumpers that may have been present in the original trailers to identify the movie studios or other involved companies are not permitted. Parodies thereof are fine, as long as it is clear that the original companies’ trademarked logos are not actually being used. Also not permitted is any mention of the MPAA; any trailer green screens must be obvious parodies and not mention the MPAA.
  11. Judging: Our panel of judges will prescreen the videos and select the finalists. Even if an entry does not make finals, it will still be shown at one or both of our overflow/noncompeting screenings, as long as it is not disqualified for breaking the rules given above. The exception to this is the unlikely event that we receive so many entries that we cannot fit them all into these blocks. In that case, we would not be able to guarantee that any particular video would be played, but we would prioritize videos whose creators had indicated they would attend the convention.
  12. Categories: After the finalist videos have been selected, we will select the categories, to fit the qualifying videos best. We do not set the categories up front, and categories are not considered in the selection of the finalists. Therefore, we do not know yet what the final categories will be, except that they will be some combination of the following:
    1. Action
    2. Artistic
    3. Character Profile
    4. Comedy
    5. Dance
    6. Dramatic/Serious
    7. Fun
    8. Horror
    9. Romance
    10. Sentimental
    11. Trailer/Parody
    12. Uplifting
      Entrants should select two to four of the above elements for each competing video. Though we do our best to honor the creators’ preferences, the judges have final say over categorization of finalists.
  13. Awards: The audience will vote on the qualifying videos at the convention. These votes will decide the Best [Category] awards and runners-up. In addition, the coordinator may select one video for the Coordinator’s Choice Award, to be awarded to an entry we deemed worthy of special recognition that did not win the audience vote in its category (runners-up are still eligible). We currently expect the awards show, at which the winners will be announced and shown, to be on Saturday night of the convention. This is subject to change.
  14. Technical Specifications:
    1. Resolution: Preferred is 1280×720. Minimum is 640×352. Maximum is 1920×1080.
    2. (Display) Aspect Ratio: Use either 4:3 or 16:9, whichever matches your source material.
    3. Framerate: 23.976 and 29.97 are strongly preferred; 24, 25, 59.94, and 60 are also acceptable.
    4. Audio channels: Mono or stereo only (no surround sound please).
    5. Audio sample rate: At least 44100 Hz is required.
    6. Audio bit depth: 16 bits only, please.
    7. Bitrate: Please send us the highest-quality file you can, subject to a maximum size of 2 GB.
    8. Blank leaders: We recommend you include two seconds of silent black leader on the beginning and end of your video, as our hardware may not sync the first 1-2 seconds of the video file properly.
  15. Acceptable Video Formats: We will accept videos in the following containers. If you don’t see it on this list, don’t ask. For MP4/AVI/MKV, we can handle a wide variety of video codecs; our preferences are given below.
    1. MPEG-4: x264 video with AAC audio is our preferred format. Please, no 10-bit video.
    2. AVI: XviD/DivX video is strongly preferred. Any VBR MP3 audio you send us will be recompressed to ensure proper sync, so please send us CBR instead.
    3. MPEG-2
    4. MPEG-1
    5. Matroska/MKV: see MPEG-4
    6. Windows Media (WMV) – Please only use this as a last resort; if you edited your video in Windows Movie Maker, guidance is available on the Web for how to make it encode highquality video. If you must use WMV, we STRONGLY suggest including two seconds of black leader on the beginning and end of your video to ensure proper sync on our hardware.
    7. Quicktime (MOV) – Please only use this as a last resort
  16. Acceptable Audio Formats: We accept WAV (linear PCM only please), MP2, MP3, OGG, AAC (/M4A), AC3, and FLAC.
  17. How to Submit Your Entry: As mentioned before, the entry form is online at:; please do not fill out the form until your video is complete, as you must specify a download link on the entry form, which we will use to download your video as soon as we can. Please use a host such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or your own site to ensure the file can be downloaded. No Youtube, Vimeo, or other play-only entries will be accepted. If you change your video after submission, you may resubmit a new entry form. The latest entry form per video will be used. Again, all entry forms and videos must be completely received before the end of April 25 EST.
  18. Because We Say So: The AnimeNEXT AMV staff reserve the right to make clarifications to these rules as necessary. We also reserve the right to reject any entry for any reason.