Anime Boston Banner

Anime Music Video Contest FAQ

Below you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions about the Anime Music Video Contest at Anime Boston. If you don't see the answer to your question, feel free to ask us on the Anime Music Video Forums.

  1. Can I really be disqualified for failing to follow the Content Rules?
  2. Who are the AMV contest pre-screeners? Can I become one?
  3. I submitted my video a week ago and I haven't gotten a response. Did you get it yet?
  4. What file formats are acceptable?
  5. What file format do you recommend?
  6. You used to specify DVD ready MPEG 2. What happened?
  7. Will you take VHS or VCD submissions?
  8. Can I send a CD or DVD with my videos on it?
  9. The rules state we can't have inappropriate content. Is underwear inappropriate?
  10. What about violent scenes?
  11. Can I use video game footage?
  12. So can I use footage from Invader Zim or the Avatar series?
  13. Can I use live action footage?
  14. Can I use footage I recorded off TV?
  15. If I'm not a finalist, will you still show my video?
  16. Do I have to go to Anime Boston to enter the contest?
  17. When will you announce the results?
  18. Can you send me a copy of the contest?
  19. What's a MD5 Checksum? Why is it used when uploading entry files?


  1. Can I really be disqualified for failing to follow the Content Rules?
    Yes. The AMV Contest pre-screeners determine which videos will make it to the finals. Several videos each year are disqualified for failing to follow the Content Rules. If any of the pre-screeners detect an infraction of the Content Rules, the video will be checked to review the offense. Confirmation results in immediate disqualification. This can happen no matter how well-made your entry is. Our eagle-eyed pre-screeners have disqualified otherwise excellent videos for a single frame of a partial watermark in years past.
  2. Who are the AMV contest pre-screeners? Can I become one?
    The AMV Contest pre-screeners are comprised mostly of veteran Anime Boston staffers. Most of them have been doing it for years and are familiar with the AMV Contest. Individuals who submit entries for the contest are not allowed to attend the pre-screening. The pre-screening itself is an invite-only event that usually takes 12-14 hours.
  3. I submitted my video a week ago and I haven't gotten a response. Did you get it yet?
    We check the upload form regularly, from once a week when submissions open to multiple times a day as the deadline approaches. If you do not hear from us after two weeks, or within two days after the deadline, please contact the AMV Contest Coordinator.
  4. What file formats are acceptable?
    Most common file formats are acceptable: AVI, MKV, MP4, MPEG, QuickTime, WMV, etc. But sometimes if a format is too new, our encoder may not support it and we may ask you to resubmit in a more widely accepted format.

    The online file upload form will accept the following file extensions: asf, asx, avi, dv, dvx, flv, m2t, mkv, mov, mp4, mpg, mpeg, ogm, rm, swf, vob, and wmv.

  5. What file format do you recommend?
    We recommend submitting a file using H264 video, AAC or FLAC audio, and either MP4 or MKV as the container. More specific recommendations are in the Technical Rules section.
  6. You used to specify DVD ready MPEG 2. What happened?
    With the move to High Definition video, we no longer generate DVDs to play the contest. Our new playback system uses the submitted digital files, so the higher quality you submit to us, the higher quality will appear on screen.
  7. Will you take VHS or VCD submissions?
    VHS and VCD are not accepted as they are obsolete formats.
  8. Can I send a CD or DVD with my videos on it?
    We'd prefer that you use our electronic submission form to submit your videos. If you have internet issues that prevent you from using it, please contact the AMV Contest Coordinator to arrange an alternate solution.
  9. The rules state we can't have inappropriate content. Is underwear inappropriate?
    Underwear is generally fine for the AMV Contest; however, there should be no sexually-oriented nudity. Please keep in mind that the AMV Contest screenings do occur Saturday morning and are a PG-13 rated event.
  10. What about violent scenes?
    Please use your best judgement and refer to the PG-13 guidelines quoted in the rules. Violence should not be overly excessive and constant. If your AMV resembles a Quentin Tarantino movie, then it will not meet the PG-13 guidelines.
  11. Can I use video game footage?
    The rules specifically require that at least 75% of each entry must contain anime footage. "Anime" includes footage that appears in the typical anime style and is originally produced for Japanese audiences. Video games like the Final Fantasy series and Kingdom Hearts are good examples of video games that would fall under that provision. Western video games like Call of Duty, Portal, and World of Warcraft would not.
  12. So can I use footage from Invader Zim or the Avatar series?
    While these shows have anime influences, they were produced in the United States primarily for American audiences. Other examples of this include Powerpuff Girls and Teen Titans. However, these and other sources that are not anime may make up a total of 25% of your entry. But the remaining 75% must be anime.
  13. Can I use live action footage?
    No. Live action footage of any kind is not considered anime. It may be used as part of the 25% allotment for non-anime sources.
  14. Can I use footage I recorded off TV?
    You may attempt to, but footage recorded off the TV does not usually have the same quality as DVD or Bluray rips. TV footage also frequently has watermarks, which will automatically disqualify your video.
  15. If I'm not a finalist, will you still show my video?
    There are overflow screenings scheduled over the course of the weekend where we will show most of the videos that did not make the finals. If there are more videos than can be shown, we will show as many videos as time allows and send our apologies to those creators whose videos we were unable to show. This is rare, however, and we have shown every non-disqualified video at some point during the convention since at least 2007.
  16. Do I have to go to Anime Boston to enter the contest?
    No. You do not need to attend the convention to enter the contest. Attendance has no affect whatsoever on the determination of finalists. But we highly encourage finalists to attend in order to accept any trophies they may win and to participate in the selection of Editors Choice.
  17. When will you announce the results?
    We will not announce finalist videos until the convention itself. However, we will contact finalists to inform them that their videos have been selected as finalists, and will post a list of finalist editors once the list has been determined. A list of the finalist videos and winners will be posted online within a few days after the convention.
  18. Can you send me a copy of the contest?
    Anime Boston does not provide copies of the AMV Contest to anyone. However, many editors post their own videos on the internet, both on Youtube and at A-M-V.org.
  19. What's a MD5 Checksum? Why is it used when uploading entry files?
    A MD5 Checksum is like a fingerprint of a file. Based on the content of the file, a 32-character value is determined. When transmitting large files online, the MD5 Checksum of the original and destination files can be compared. If the MD5 Checksums are identical, then the file was transmitted successfully. When you upload an AMV file for submission, an MD5 Checksum value is given to you, so you can confirm your file was uploaded correctly, without any corruption. This is the only way to verify the file's integrity yourself, as you cannot re-download the file due to our storage method. You may, however, contact the AMV Contest Coordinator to have him test the video.

    There are several utilities for getting the MD5 Checksum of a file. For Windows computers, we recommend FastSum. For a Mac computer, check this page.