Cosplay Runway and Skit Contest

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The Cosplay Runway is where con goers get to show off their craftsmanship and skill in re-creating a costume of their favorite character. There have been some changes to the cosplay rules this year so please look them over carefully. Cosplay Runway will be held at Main Events on Saturday, July 27th, 2024 at 7pm.

  1. Cosplay Runway Rules
  2. Skit-Specific Rules
  3. Cosplay Rehearsal Rules and Regulations
  4. Cosplay Runway Divisions
  5. Cosplay Awards
  6. Cosplay Entry Form
  7. Cosplay Runway FAQ

Section 1. Cosplay Runway Rules

  • With the creation of GameFest, costumes from Video games, tabletop games or media that utilizes tabletop RPG systems at its core (The Adventure Zone, Critical Role, Harmonquest ETC.) will be permitted in this year’s cosplay runway contest, provided there are established reference images for these characters. Original characters are not allowed. Gijinkas will only be allowed in Cosplay Runway with an established reference image.  If you are uncertain if your cosplay is allowed for Cosplay Runway, please contact cosplay@animefest.org.
  • All other costumes must embody the spirit of the AnimeFest convention and celebrate Japanese culture and ALL that it touches and influences. If you have any questions regarding this, do not hesitate to email us at cosplay@animefest.org.
  • All Cosplay Runway participants must be members of AnimeFest/GameFest 2024. Your badge must be present and visible at all times.
  • Your costume must adhere to the AnimeFest Dress Code Policy.
  • No costume is NO COSTUME.
  • Per the Dress Code Policy, you must wear shoes at all times even if your character does not wear shoes. This will not be counted against you in the judging process.
  • Your costume may not render you immobile. AnimeFest/GameFest believes that cosplaying involves behaving like a character while wearing your costume, not being a costumed mannequin.
  • No real weapons of any kind. Please read the convention Prop and Weapons Policy. If you have questions regarding the Weapon Policy specifically, please email safety@animefest.org
  • If you have previously entered your cosplay into another competition and won a major award, you will not be allowed to enter the Cosplay Runway with that cosplay. If the Cosplay Staff has determined that you have entered a cosplay that won a major award at another contest, you will be disqualified.
  • Use of a live cosplay model in place of yourself is permitted as long as the entry is submitted in your name and you are present for the judging. Commissioned cosplays are only permitted if the creator is part of the group or using a cosplay model.  All awards won under this rule are to the creator.
  • Disrespecting or assaulting AnimeFest staff members, volunteers, hotel employees, cosplay judges, or other contestants during and after the contest, including via social media, is strictly prohibited, and will result in disqualification.
  • Unsolicited interactions with the emcee are prohibited. The emcee is not a prop. Failure to abide by this will result in disqualification

The AnimeFest Cosplay Manager reserves the right to disqualify anyone for any reason deemed sufficient.

Section 2. Skit-Specific Rules

AnimeFest is allowing skits this year.  All skits will need to follow these additional rules:

  • All skits will be prescreened by AnimeFest/GameFest staff.
  • Skits may be no longer than 2 minutes.
  • Skits must be PG or lower.
  • Any martial arts moves (such as sword fights) must be done at ¼ power and ½ speed.  One foot must remain on the floor.
  • Your skit must have original choreography (in other words, you cannot just copy choreography from somewhere else for a dance cover)
  • There are no provisions for additional/different stage lighting.
  • All audio must be in either MP3, OGG, or FLAC format.
  • All sound used in the skit must be pre-recorded in the audio.  Live microphones are not available.  There are no exceptions.
  • Your audio must not have any song lyrics from anime, games, or TV shows.
  • Your audio must be able to pass a content ID check for YouTube or Twitch, as the contest is streamed live.
  • If you are doing a skit, you must send your skit audio and a script to cosplay@animefest.org by 11:59pm CDT on July 8th, 2024.  Failure to do so will result in your entry being removed and your spot given to the next person in line.

Section 3. Rehearsal Rules and Regulations

  • Pre-Judging will be done prior to the Cosplay Runway contest and will take place at the Cosplay Judging Room. BE ON TIME so the judges can look at your costume in detail. Please be aware that the pre-judging sessions are timed. You will be given a warning before your time expires and then you will be asked to leave when your time is complete.
  • There will be a mandatory dress rehearsal/walk-through at Main Events. All questions pertaining to the actual Runway portion of the contest will be addressed at this rehearsal. If you show up late and have not given adequate notification, you may be disqualified from Cosplay Runway.
  • Rehearsal starts at 5pm on Saturday.
  • If you are not doing a skit, music will be provided by the convention.
  • Each participant will have approximately 45 seconds on the stage, regardless of group size. There are three points on the stage in which you must stop and pose. Each pose at these points must be unique (meaning each pose you make must be different). Failing to do so will result in points deducted from your overall judging score.
  • Please do not throw anything onto the stage or at the audience. We WILL make you clean it up and it could also potentially get you removed from the convention.

Section 4. Divisions (Cosplay Runway)

You will select a division upon registration.  If you are doing a skit, these do not apply.

YOUTH:

  • The youth category is intended for minors who have not won major awards at previous conventions.
  • At least 35% or more of the costume must be handmade and not store bought or commissioned. Parental/family assistance in making the costume is acceptable.
  • We ask that the parents/legal guardians of the entrant be present during the pre-judging and during Cosplay Runway.

NOVICE:

  • The novice category is intended for those with minimal crafting experience, or beginner cosplayers.
  • At least 35% or more of the costume must be handmade and not store bought or commissioned. If you do not meet this requirement, you will be disqualified.
  • Participants cannot have won more than three minor awards and/or one major award at previous conventions.

JOURNEYMAN:

  • The Journeyman category is intended for those who have won a limited number of awards in cosplay contests or those with moderate costuming ability.
  • At least 50% of the costume must be handmade and not store bought or commissioned to qualify for this division.
  • Participants cannot have won more than three major awards at previous conventions.

MASTERS:

  • The Masters category is intended for people with extensive costuming ability or who have won several awards for costumes that do not fall into the other two classes.
  • At least 80% or more of the costume must be handmade and not store bought or commissioned to qualify for this division.
  • It is suggested if entering in the Masters division to provide a portfolio/build book of your cosplay (in addition to the reference images you provide upon registering) for judging purposes.

Examples of Minor Awards:
Honorable Mention, Judge’s Award, Best Prop, Unconventional Material, etc.
Examples of Major Awards:
Best in Show, Best in Division, Best Craftsmanship, or First Place, Second Place, etc.

Performance only awards are not considered in determining your Cosplay Runway division.

In the case of a group, a division will be determined by the awards won by the majority of the contestants. For example, if an entry consists of 3 participants, one participant with zero craftsmanship awards, and two participants that have won more than two major awards but no more than three, would be placed in the Intermediate Division.

You may be moved into a different Division than what you selected at registration to ensure you are competing against those of a similar skillset. If this occurs, cosplay staff will relay this in a timely manner.

Section 5. Awards

BEST OVERALL:

  • This is given to an exceptional entrant and can be a part of any division. This award determines that you are the best in the entire cosplay event, therefore you will not qualify to win any other awards.
  • $1000 and other items will be rewarded for this prize.

BEST MASTERS

  • This is given to an entrant that has shown an exceptional display of craftsmanship and presentation for the masters division.
  • $500 and other items will be rewarded for this prize.

BEST JOURNEYMAN

  • This is given to an entrant that has shown an exceptional display of craftsmanship and presentation for the journeyman division.
  • $250 and other items will be rewarded for this prize.

BEST NOVICE

  • This is given to an entrant that has shown an exceptional display of craftsmanship and presentation for the novice division.
  • $150 and other items will be rewarded for this prize.

BEST SKIT

  • This is given to an entrant that has the best skit in terms of performance.
  • $200 and other items will be rewarded for this prize.

EXCELLENCE IN ARMOR

  • This award is given to an entrant the judges feel had the best armor in terms of materials and techniques used. Any division can qualify for this award.
  • $200 and other items will be rewarded for this prize.

EXCELLENCE IN NEEDLEWORK

  • This award is given to the entrant the judges feel had the best needlework in their cosplay. Any division can qualify for this award.
  • $200 and other items will be rewarded for this prize.

JUDGE’S CHOICE

  • These awards are given by each judge to whichever entry should be specially acknowledged.

Additional awards may be created at the convention itself at the discretion of the Judges, Cosplay Manager and Programming Director. Awards for the cosplay contest will be picked up Sunday after the event. For accounting purposes, you will need a valid photo ID for cash prizes. Please be sure to use the name that is on your ID when registering for the contest.


Section 6. Entry Form

  • You must submit supporting character documentation. You will not be permitted to enter a judging session unless you can provide reference images for your cosplay to the judges.
  • Please click here for the entry form.

Section 7. Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is Cosplay HQ?

The Cosplay HQ is (LOCATION TBD, GIVE INSTRUCTIONS HERE)

Q: What is Cosplay HQ’s hours of operation?

  • Thursday: 3:00pm – 9:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Be sure to treat the hotel and its staff with the same respect you would like to receive.

While no changes to these rules are foreseen, certain circumstances may require that the rules be changed. Any updates to the rules will be noted in bold red print. A complete set of the rules will be available at Cosplay HQ throughout the convention.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Cosplay Staff at cosplay@animefest.org.