AMV Contest

If you’re asking “What’s an AMV?” then you’ve got to come see what you’ve been missing! AMV stands for Anime Music Videos and they’re astonishingly creative anime-to-music mash ups made by fans just like yourself! These works compete for the revered Director’s Chair award bestowed to the Best-of-Show AMV as chosen by audience vote.

Download Rules Submit AMV

Submission Instructions

Submitting your entry is a two step process.

  • Step One: Register to participate using the above link. We encourage you to register even if your AMVs are not yet ready.
  • Step Two: We will email you a code and a website link to the AMV submission form within 48 hours. Until then, please upload each AMV to a cyberlocker service (such as Dropbox) as you will need to provide a download link so that we may obtain your AMVs.

We must be able to obtain your submissions by the deadline date!

NOTE: Postal mail entries are no longer accepted.

Please direct any questions or comments to: [email protected]

Legal Disclaimer

For the sake of the entire “Submission Guidelines and Rules” document, the terms “we”, “our” and
“us” refer to the SPJA, Anime Expo, its subsidiaries, affiliates, associates, staff, and volunteers, and the term
“you” refers to you, the participant.
In consideration of participation in a contest, and for other good and valuable consideration, the
receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the participant, on participant’s behalf, and on
behalf of participant’s heirs, successors or assigns, administrators and personal representatives, does hereby
their respective direct and indirect subsidiaries, affiliates, partners and related entities, their respective
directors, officers, employees, volunteers, agents, insurers, attorneys, shareholders and representatives, and
each predecessor, successor, and assign thereof, from and against any and all actions, charges, claims,
losses, costs, damages, expenses (including attorneys’ fees and expenses) and liabilities of any kind or
character, whether known or unknown, in connection with, arising out of or in any way related to participant’s
participation in the contest.

Entrants are to classify each entry under any one of the choices below.

Prime Genres

  • Drama & Theatric
  • Adventure & Action
  • Romance & Sentimental

Prime Genre Restrictions: Two entries maximum, each must be in different genres.

General Genres

    • Comedy
    • Fun
    • Parody
    • Upbeat
    • Dance

General Genre Restrictions: Three entries maximum, minus the number of Prime Genre entries you submit. Multiple entries in the same General Genre is permitted.


Maximum total of entries you may submit (Prime Genres + General Genres): Three

(*) There is no difference between Prime Genres and General Genres, except that there are limits on how many Prime Genre entries you may submit.


How Finalists will be Categorized

Though there are eight genres, the final event exhibition shall have five (possibly six) Finalist Categories. This is achieved by pairing genres together into Finalist Categories**. The coordinators shall determine and announce the genre pairings for each Finalist Category after the judging phase is completed.

Confused? Don’t be. This is exactly how the event ran in 2013, we’re just being more transparent about how we handle categorization.

(**) Each Prime Genre is automatically assigned its own Finalist Category.

Bonus Genre

Commercials & Trailers

This genre is a special activity separate from the main competition.

You may submit an unlimited number of entries to this genre. They shall not count against your submission count in the main competition, and they are also exempt from the freshness rule (Rule 8). All other rules still apply.
Entries selected by the event judges will be shown as short intermissions between each Finalist Category. The event judges shall select the award winner for this genre.

We have a large library of codecs and we’ll try to work with almost anything you send us, with minor exceptions (see “What We REJECT”). However, if in doubt, please refer to the optional “What We Prefer” section for guidance.

What We Prefer

  • Files encoded in 8-bit MP4 (H.264) formats.
  • Files averaging ~30MB per minute (200MB maximum total size).
  • Progressive/Non-Interlaced footage.

Preferred Video Resolutions
We strongly recommend submitting your video in the exact same resolution that your source material is in, which is likely one of the following:

  • 640×480 (4:3, Square Pixel)
  • 1280×720 (16:9, Square Pixel)


  • Any FLV, OGM, SWF, 3GP, WMV, MKV, VOB, or DV files.
  • Files encoded in 10-bit colorspace. (Please use 8-bit only.)
  • Any video hosting links such as YouTube, Vimeo, Veoh, or similar.
  • Video resolution less than 640×360 (16:9) or less than 640×480 (4:3).
  • Audio bitrate less than 128kbps and/or a sample rate less than 44.1khz.
  • Anything that requires an unusual degree of difficulty to work with.

Policies and Conditions

  1. You (the entrant) unconditionally grant us eternal permission to use, copy, share, and exhibit your submission(s) in any way, which may include purposes and usages unrelated to this event, and you grant this permission without any expectation of compensation or remuneration.
  2. Though we shall defer to your genre choice where appropriate, we have final say over the genre placement and categorization of your entry.
  3. The coordinators and judges have the right to accept or reject any submission for any fair and justifiable reason not foreseen in these rules, or based on their opinion of whether the entry fits the spirit of the event.
  4. The coordinators reserve the right to extend (but never shorten) the deadline date if they deem it necessary.
  5. All judgments and decisions are final.

“Disqualification” Rules:

  1. Video/Audio Quality: There cannot be severe video artifacts, macro-blocks, or severe interlacing, and the audio must sound clean and undistorted.
  2. Submission Maximums: Entrants may submit no more than three entries total. No more than two of those entries may be for a Prime Genre. Entering two Prime Genre entries into the same genre is not permitted. Entering multiple General Genre entries into the same genre is permitted. NOTE: Bonus Genre entries are exempt from this rule.
  3. Intros, Closings, and Identifiers: Entries are judged anonymously. Your entry should not contain any information that breaks anonymity, such as intros, logos, or credits of any kind. We will create credit slates for all finalist entries. NOTE: Bonus Genre entries are exempt from this rule.
  4. Studio Trademarks: Entries may not use studio trademarks (e.g. Paramount, Dreamworks, WB logos, etc). Trailer entries may use modified green/red bands that do not mention the MPAA or its trademarks.
  5. Inappropriate Content: Entries that contain content unsuitable for an age 13+ audience as determined by the coordinators and/or judges may be disqualified. Context and severity shall be taken under consideration.
  6. Non-Music Content: The audio content of all AMV entries must primarily be music. Entries with excessive non-musical dialogue as determined by the judges and/or coordinators may be disqualified or re-categorized. NOTE: Trailer/Commercial, Parody, and Fun entries are exempt from this rule.
  7. Non-Anime Content: The visual content of your entry should consist of at least 70% anime-styled or manga-styled content.
  8. Freshness Requirement: Any video that, prior to the date of the previous AX (July 4th, 2013), was ever publicly accessible online before that time or has ever participated in any other competition and/or exhibition before that time shall be deemed “stale” and ineligible to compete. NOTE: Bonus Genre entries are exempt from this rule except that the entry must never have participated in a previous AX AMV Competition.
  9. Video Length: AMV entries must be longer than 1min 30sec, and shorter than 6min. Commercials have no minimum duration, but may not exceed 30sec. Trailers may not exceed 3min 30sec.
  10. No “Troll” Submissions, which are considered to be any of the following:
    1. “Minimal Edit” entries. These are entries that exhibit little to no editorial effort, such as an entry that contains large chunks of unmodified/uncut/unaltered video footage.
    2. Entries deemed by the coordinators to be submitted in bad faith.
  11. Watermarks and Logos: Entries must not substantially contain watermarks such as network logos, network “bugs,” or trademark overlays. This includes NHK, Adult Swim, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, Divx, and website logos.*
  12. Subtitles: Entries must not contain subtitles or unnecessary text.*
    (*) Exceptions may be granted for entries that use a logo, watermark, or subtitle in a creatively intentional manner conductive to the video’s concept.

“Inexcusable” Rules: (On penalty of ejection or banishment from the contest.)

  1. Dishonorable Participation (Penalty variable based on severity): Participants who engage in a manner that causes grief, harm, or dishonor to others or to the event may be reprimanded. This includes intentional rule violations and unsportsmanlike behavior.
  2. Dishonesty (Penalty variable based on severity): Participants who provide false, incomplete, or misrepresented information on their entry form may be reprimanded. This includes the part where you affirm that you’ve read and understood all rules.
  3. Plagiarism (Penalty of banishment from all SPJA conventions.): Do not submit someone else’s AMV as if it were your own. Do not use parts of someone else’s AMV or submit an “improved” version of someone else’s AMV unless you have the original creator’s explicit permission to do so. Each person involved in a submission’s creation must be identified on the entry form and must explicitly grant permission to participate in this event.

NOTE: Before an “Inexcusable” violation is declared, the entrant will be contacted and provided an opportunity to address and/or dispute the issue.

We frown upon that, but we’ll hear you out. Contact the coordinators and explain the situation.
In such a rare case, the judges will be warned that the entrant already has an entry in the destination category. If the judges still insist that the entry must be re-categorized, then it shall be. After all scores are tallied, the entry with the lesser score shall be disqualified.
The Freshness Rule includes “participation,” which includes entries that were submitted to an event regardless of if it made it to the finals. While it is true that other events don’t post detailed public records on what didn’t get in, our coordinators talk with other event coordinators often, and some even serve as judges, so please be honest. (Please see “Inexcusable Rules”)
We make every reasonable effort to ensure sure all finalist submissions are in compliance with all rules. However, if we miss something, please bring it to our attention. If it’s not too late for us to remove the entry, we will do so. If it’s past our point-of-no-return in event prep, then the entry will unfortunately remain and the matter shall be dealt with privately between the coordinators and the entrant post-convention. (Please see “Inexcusable Rules”)
Subject to further refinement, finalists are determined as follows:
  • Pre-Screening
    The contest coordinator and assistant coordinator will perform a preliminary check of each entry for rules compliance and audio/visual quality before providing the entries to the judges.
  • Preliminary Judging
    A group of judges (the majority consisting of AMV community veterans) shall be given access to your video submissions. After viewing all submissions in a category, each judge shall create a list of entries sorted by preference. After creating lists for each category, each judge shall also create a final list consisting of their choice of the top fifty entries overall. The coordinators shall then use the lists to calculate the finalist roster for each category.
  • Finalist announcements
    Finalist announcements shall be posted to the Anime Expo websiteand to the forum around early June. Finalists shall be announced by entrant name or group name. Entry names shall not be publicly disclosed until the day of the event.
Winners shall be determined by balloted vote. General attendees to the competition are provided a general ballot. Attendees who submitted a nonrejected AMV are provided a Creator Ballot, maximum of one per entrant. Each “Best of Category” winner is determined from a raw total of votes cast for an entry from all creator ballots and general attendee ballots combined. The “Best of Show” winner is determined in three parts. The judging panel’s favorite shall represent 33%. The creators’ choice shall represent 33%. The general attendees’ choice shall represent the remaining 34%.
Finalist videos will be presented at 1280x720, 16:9 aspect ratio. Lower resolution videos will be upscaled as necessary. Entries with incorrect aspect ratios and/or letterboxing will be corrected if feasible. Videos in 4:3 aspect ratio will have black “tower bars” added to the left and right sides to preserve 4:3 ratio when displayed on a 16:9 screen.