Blizzard To Host $29,000 Student Overwatch Animation Festival

On Wednesday, Blizzard announced that it would hold the Overwatch Student Animation Festival, which will take place through 2020 and early 2021 and include a prize pool of more than $29,000. The event, which will be open to students from across Europe, will involve creating animated videos of Overwatch characters based on a series of monthly themes.

The videos will eventually be featured on the Overwatch website, and are going to be judged by the public, who will select their favorite animation. In addition, an official jury will choose a new winning animation video each month. The monthly winners will participate in a grand final competition in which $7,000 will be awarded.

In a press release, Blizzard said that animation, which is a big part of the Overwatch universe, holds special interest for the Overwatch community. The company added that “animation is one of the most beautiful and inspiring forms or art and storytelling that enables various talents and passions.” The goal of the festival is to support new talent as well as the animation art form.

With a new dedicated animation theme each month, the festival will allow students to express their creativity in a variety of ways. The theme for October will be vacation. The animations should reflect Overwatch characters taking a break from saving the world. The theme for November will be cooking. Animators will be tasked with animating one or more Overwatch characters displaying their culinary skills. Finally, the theme for December will be “day-to-day” life, which should reflect the everyday lives of the Overwatch characters.

The Audience Choice Award will be given to animations that receive the highest number of audience votes. However, students are expected to go above and beyond to impress the official jury, which includes industry experts in animation and film production, to reap real prizes and prestige. Among those on the jury panel, students will find French film director Christian Volckman, lead animator at Blizzard Ryan Denniston, and cinematic director at Blizzard Benjamin Dai, among several others.

Aside from the final $7,000 cash prize, students will be eligible for free Overwatch game licenses. Students interested in participating in the festival can submit their videos through the official animation festival website.

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