Good! Because this event (and partnership) is worth checking out.

In 2012, Phil Davis, a professor of animation and film at Towson University, created the Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival (SEAF), in partnership with the Maryland Film Festival and the SNF Parkway Theatre. The goal of SEAF is to “showcase unique, experimental, and diverse voices in the field of animated filmmaking with a focus on innovation in craft, storytelling, and work that questions preconceived notions of what animation can and should be.”

The Sweaty Eyeballs Film Festival is a BTU Signature Partnership, established as an “emerging investment” in 2019, and BTU continues to provide strategic support to meet the needs of this partnership while also exploring growth opportunities for the festival and this effort overall.

Each year, the Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival brings together a community of animation lovers and creators from across the mid-Atlantic to feature independently produced short animated films. It highlights the expressive range that animation can embody, including work that is narrative, documentary, musical, and even experimental. The films are juried by a group of renowned international animators, who also choose awards for the following categories:

  • Golden Eyeball Grand Prize
  • Young Audiences Award
  • Best Student Animation
  • Best Baltimore Animation
  • Eye Popper Prize (most unique, boundary pushing, and experimental)

2021 Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival

This year’s festival will include a total of over 75 short films from international professionals and student animators, including new animation work in the form of five international short programs, a young audiences program (ages 4-12), and a Baltimore showcase program, featuring the best new animated work coming out of the region. The Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival has previously taken place at the SNF Parkway Theatre, but in 2021 will take on a hybrid model which means that all short films will be available to stream online, but there will also be opportunities for Baltimore audiences to watch the screenings in-person at the SNF Parkway Theatre. In addition to the screenings, there will also be online animation workshops, DIY animation project tutorials, and video projection in the SNF Parkway Theatre Lobby of student animations from Towson University, MICA, and UMBC.

Last year, due to COVID-19, SEAF was fully virtual, and my colleagues and I took the opportunity to put my outdoor projector to use for viewing while still social distancing. Since then, I’m officially hooked! I highly recommend checking out this unique event, which provides an opportunity for audiences to access cutting-edge animations that, without SEAF, would likely not have a clear opportunity to be shared.

To learn more about the festival, which takes place November 12-19, 2021, or to purchase a virtual pass or in-person tickets, visit