Vermont Animation Festival Begins Friday, March 22

Ninth Annual Festival Brings Animation Talent to the NEK

The Vermont Animation Festival welcomes notable creators Dustin Grella and Dan Bandit (a.k.a. Ghostshrimp) to the ninth annual festival March 22-23, 2024, hosted by Vermont State University Lyndon in partnership with Catamount Arts.

An animator and documentary filmmaker, Dustin Grella’s films have screened at the Cannes Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival, he’s won the Walt Disney Award at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, and his film “Prayers for Peace” screened at almost two hundred festivals worldwide and won more than forty awards.

Dan Bandit was just nominated for a Grammy for the album art/package design for the Gravity Falls soundtrack. His work appears on a variety of animated shows on the Cartoon Network, including Adventure Time, Disney, Netflix, and Nickelodeon, including SpongeBob and Midnight Gospel.

“The VAF was originally created to give our own students a venue to show their work to the VTSU community,” said Kate Renner, Vermont Animation Festival director and VTSU Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Art.We are thrilled that our students now have the opportunity to learn from legends like Dustin Grella and Dan Bandit on our own campus through the VAF. This years’ workshops are especially friendly to participants of all ages and experience levels, and we look forward to welcoming a large turnout from the NEK and beyond.”

The Vermont Animation Festival, held on the Vermont State Lyndon campus, offers a full slate of activities for beginner and experienced animators, including workshops, a film screening, and artist talks with Grella and Bandit.

Animated films of all lengths may be submitted for viewing and judging as part of the festival. Submissions close at 5 p.m. on March 15. Films from students and emerging animators are especially welcome. Complete festival information, including submission guidelines, is available at

The Vermont Animation Festival was created in 2015 by former Lyndon faculty member Robby Gilbert to showcase the unique voices of artists in New England working in animation and moving images. The festival provides a forum for regional artists, including Vermont State’s Animation and Illustration students, to showcase their work and workshops to engage the community.

To learn more about VTSU’s program at the Lyndon campus, see