Screening Opportunities at CalArts

Portfolio Day

CalArts Animation Portfolio Day is an annual event held in CalArts’ Main Gallery during spring semester, where Character Animation and Experimental Animation students have the chance to showcase their work to animation companies and studios. BFA and MFA students from both programs are eligible to participate.

Students arrive early that morning and set up their work at their assigned spots, in the Main Gallery. The Main Gallery is then closed to everyone except industry guests, who will have the chance to view student work, privately.

Some studios will choose to meet with selected students later that afternoon. The Studio Callback lists are posted for student viewing around noon that day and callbacks begin around 1:00 pm. Students must pick up their belongings from the Main Gallery between 12:00 pm (noon) – 12:30 pm.

It is necessary to RSVP to participate in CalArts Animation Portfolio Day. Space is limited (first-come, first-served). More details including the schedule for the day and other important participation information will be sent to students as the date comes nearer.

Character Animation Main Gallery Show

The Main Gallery Show is a student-run exhibition of artwork created by students of the Character Animation Program. Usually held early in the Spring semester, students fill the walls of the Main Gallery with personal and school artwork, including storyboards, character development, paintings, illustrations, sketches, visual development, comics, and more. The work is installed over the course of several days, with the main show usually being on a Thursday night. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Each year, the School of Film/Video presents a juried selection of special screenings that feature new short and feature-length films by students in its four programs—a culmination of hard work and dedication throughout the year.

There are four Showcases that take place at the Roy and Edna Disney / CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in downtown Los Angeles. There are separate showcases for Experimental Animation, Film Directing Program and Program in Film and Video as well as a Panorama Showcase that includes work from all four programs.

Character Animation Open Show

The Character Animation Open Show is a screening of all films created during the academic
year by students of the Character Animation Program and other students who meet eligibility requirements. The Open Show gives the most complete insight into the filmmaking of the Character Animation Program, as there are no restrictions to the films submitted, other than they have to be original student work, created at CalArts.

The screening is free and open to everyone to attend, and usually takes place on a Saturday near the end of April in the Main Gallery, with seating for approximately 350 people. There are typically over 160 films, and the combined runtime of the films can exceed seven hours. There are several short intermissions during the show, which can stretch the entire event to over eight hours. People are free to come and go as they please since this is an open venue, and there is plenty of room to watch from the perimeter of the Main Gallery, including the upper floor. A student-run concession stand is available for people to purchase snacks from (the proceeds of which benefit students in the School of Theater), and people are welcomed to bring their own food or purchase something from the cafeteria.

Character Animation Producers’ Show

The Character Animation Producers’ Show is a faculty-juried selection of student films, taken from eligible work in the Open Show. Running 80 – 90 minutes, there are usually 20 – 24 films in the Producers’ Show, including films that are each awarded special recognition as voted on by the faculty, the students, and the online video platform Vimeo. The screening takes place in a large theater in the Hollywood area, usually during the first or second week in May, and seating must be reserved in advance due to demand. Past venues have included The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Directors Guild of America, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Producers’ Show is attended by representatives from every major animation studio, many smaller studios, game companies, members of the press, and many alumni spanning the entire history of CalArts. Many of these companies and organizations also sponsor the Producers’ Show and Showcases within the School of Film/Video.

A catered reception is held immediately following the Producers’ Show screening, giving students, studio representatives and alumni opportunities to network with each other and make valuable industry contacts.

Bijou Festival

The Bijou Festival screenings take place during the last week of the semester in place of regular classes in the School of Film/Video. The purpose of the Bijou Festival is to share work that has been made this year by students in the School of Film/Video. Finished works and works-in-progress are welcomed. Faculty, staff and students will host several screening sessions, where any student can sign up to show work. The host will lead a short Q&A session with the filmmakers after the film’s screen. The Bijou Festival is not juried; it is open to all films made in the current academic school year. Each student signs up to show one film (or two films, if the total combined running time does not exceed 10 minutes).

Table of Contents