Since 2005, the Blue Plum Animation Festival has showcased the work of international animators of all skill levels. Entries are judged by a panel of industry professionals, and awards are given for the best animated shorts.

Every summer, ETSU students and faculty of the Digital Media Program gather entries from around the world and organize screenings of the films in downtown Johnson City during the summer arts and music festival circuit. This year, the Blue Plum Animation Festival is during the 2016 Umoja Festival in September.

During the judging process, animations will be scored based on criteria such as artistic merit, story, and technical proficiency. The submissions will be ranked based on these scores, and a $150 cash prize will be awarded for the animation that scores the highest in each of the following categories:

• Animations by Student Animators
• Animations by Independent Animators
• Animations by Professional Animators

In addition to the awards above, a $250 Critic’s Choice Award will be given to the animation that scores the highest overall.

During the festival showings, the audience gets a chance to vote for their favorite animation. A $150 Audience Choice Award will be given to the animation that receives the most votes from participating visitors.