Digital Arts, Film and Animation Competition

About the Competition

The Digital Arts, Film, and Animation Competition is for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in grades 9-12 in spring 2023. Students are encouraged to create and submit original artwork in one of six categories: web design, graphic media, film, 3D animation, interactive media, and photo imaging. 

The best artwork will win a cash prize! There will be winners selected for each of the six categories, and each winner will receive $250!

You can sign up beginning on September 9, 2022, and the deadline for submitting your original artwork is Tuesday, March 15, 2023. Students will need their teacher's recommendation to enter the competition. Explore the website below for more information!

Big Read: NTID

In addition to the theme for DAFAC this year, we are partnering with Big Read at NTID to offer students an opportunity to submit projects based on Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic. Students are encouraged to explore themes of language, power, and community in Deaf Republic. 

Students who create and submit projects on Deaf Republic are invited to participate in Big Read at NTID, which kicks off on April 1, 2023. For the month of April, students will have an opportunity to view art exhibits, a live stage play of Deaf Republic, participate in a poetry workshop, and more. 

The best Deaf Republic project submitted to us will be featured in the Big Read: NTID Art Exhibit at the Dyer Art Gallery on NTID campus! This is an amazing opportunity for students to deliver their best works of art to be displayed. 

Visit the Big Read website to learn more.

Rules and Eligibility

Am I eligible?

Students who enter must:
  • be in grades 9 - 12 in spring 2023.
  • be deaf or hard-of-hearing.
  • have a parent’s or guardian’s permission to participate.
  • have a teacher’s recommendation.
  • submit a copy of his or her high school transcript.
  • sign a statement that their work is original and no copyrighted materials are used in their submission.
  • have appropriate permission forms, if required by their school district.
  • artwork must be submitted by postal mail at the same time as the entry form packet. Students may submit a total of two entries, however, the two entries must be from different categories. A separate Google drive file (or a flash drive with two files) needs to be submitted for each entry.

What do I need to do?

Students must:
  • submit their artwork to Google Drive
  • submit a separate media file for each entry.
  • complete and submit the application form.
  • have a sponsoring teacher complete the recommendation section on the entry form.
  • submit a 150-300 word descriptive essay of the processes used for their project.
  • submit work that is their own original creative design.
  • submit work that is original, not copied from photographs, images, clip art, or other resources that are not original.
  • submit artwork that is an individual work, not part of a class project.
  • give RIT permission to use names, submitted images, likenesses and voices for possible promotion.

Competition Categories

Interactive Media

Interactive media pieces use a combination of graphics, animation, text and user controls in a computer-based environment. The goal of interactive media is to allow people to interact with the image on the screen, controlling what happens. Two examples of widely used interactive media pieces are DVD menus and computer games. Interactive media pieces should be submitted in a Macintosh compatible file format. Self-running interactive media pieces are preferred.

Graphic Media

Graphic media pieces are two-dimensional pieces that are created using a combination of graphic elements, including: typography, graphics and computer generated imagery that is used for printed materials. Graphic media pieces are intended to deliver a message to an audience. Some examples of graphic media pieces include: logo design, illustrations, technical illustration, advertising posters, product labels, and fine art illustration. Graphic media entries should be submitted using a .PDF file format.

Photo Imaging

Photo imaging is a single image that uses photographic imagery that is combined to create a composition. Successful photographic imaging pieces are photos that have some aspect of digital manipulation, such as airbrushed, collage, and manipulated using various digital techniques. The goal of a piece created for photo imaging should achieve a visually interesting and unified composition. Some examples of photo imaging include advertisements that are digitally altered and photographs that have been retouched digitally. Photo imaging entries must be submitted using a .PDF file format. Please also include the original images before alteration, or the original images that were used as part of a composition for judging purposes. All photos must be shot by the photographer, not taken from the internet or another source.

Web Page Design

Web page design is the art of creating a visually appealing, easy-to-use web page. Successful web page designs are complete, functional web pages that have good, consistent layouts, use of hypertext links, images, and use web coding. Web page design entries should be submitted as a compressed file that includes all files and images used to create the web page.


Film pieces are essentially sequences of moving images viewed at high speed that, when seen by the eye, give the illusion of motion to tell a story. Successful film pieces show visually creative ways of expressing a story using time and motion. Techniques used to create film, such as camera operation, storytelling techniques, lighting, and editing will be part of the judging criteria. Film entries must be submitted as a QuickTime .MOV file.

3-D Animation

3-D animation works using the same fundamental concepts of film. With 3-D animation, all elements are created using 3-D and 2-D computer graphics software. This kind of animation is used when individual elements interact with each other to tell a story using time and motion within a true 3-D space on the computer. 3-D modeling techniques, animation controls, storytelling methods, and time-based motion are all part of the judging criteria for this category. All 3-D entries must be submitted as a QuickTime .MOV file.

Judging Criteria

Judging Criteria

  • The panel of judges reserves the right to disqualify any project due to poor quality, incompleteness, poor taste, inappropriateness of content, or concerns regarding copyright infringement in the original work.
  • The artwork must be in compliance with the entry guidelines.
  • The artwork must be compatible with one of the identified categories. NTID reserves the right to reject or move an entry to another category as it deems appropriate, according to media used.
  • The artwork should be compelling, aesthetic in design, and carry a message.
  • Artwork will be judged using the following criteria: uniqueness/originality, professional quality (neatness and craft), aesthetic quality (design, composition, color/tones), concept, selection and application of materials, and complexity/level of digital technology used.

Enter Now!

To enter this year's contest, send in your application package, which must include:

  • The entry form, which you can download, print, and fill out
  • A copy of your high school transcript
  • Your artwork on a flash drive (you may submit up to two entries). Artwork may not be submitted electronically for this contest.
  • A 150-300 word essay for each work submitted, describing the processes you used to create the artwork.

Please label your artwork and essays in your application package to ensure that it is easy to identify your work.

Submit these materials to:
RIT Digital Arts, Film and Animation Competition
Rochester Institute of Technology
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Lyndon Baines Johnson Building
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623