Open Call to Queer Animation Students – Queer Catalyst

Calling Queer Animation Students!

To celebrate the work of queer activists in Africa, the GALA Queer Archive, Fak’ugesi Digital Innovations Festival and Afrika Queer+ are looking for talented, queer, Animation, TV, Film and Multimedia students to interpret and animate the stories from the Queer Activism in Africa anthology series.

Following this, at least two participants will be selected to further develop their work to be showcased at the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival in Johannesburg. These participants will receive further access to the mentorship and facilities from Fak’ugesi and GALA.

Application Deadline: Monday 19 February 2024 


Queer Catalyst is an ongoing collaborative project between the GALA Queer Archive, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival and the friends we have made along the way. This project strives to amplify the history and experiences of African queer people through creative digital expressions. 

In 2023, GALA piloted a student animation workshop in collaboration with Afrika Queer+. A selection of these students were then invited to further develop their animations under the mentorship of Umlilo aka Kwaai Diva. Their final projects were showcased at the 2023 Fak’ugesi Festival.

The Student Animation Project was prompted by the Queer Activism in Africa anthology series developed by GALA and Taboom Media. These intimate testimonies of strength and vulnerability document and elevate our collective fight for LGBTQIA+ equality. As GALA and Taboom were exploring alternative strategies for sharing/accessing these stories, the animation workshop was developed. 

Queer Catalyst is built off the ethos of collaboration; that sharing stories offers the opportunity to find commonality, to empathise, understand, recognise and be recognised. 

With this backdrop, we invite you to apply for the 2024 iteration of our Student Animation Workshops!


Selected Animation, TV, Film and Multimedia Students participants will be tasked to engage with any story from the three volumes in the Queer Activism in Africa anthology series: Hopes and Dreams That Sound Like Yours (2021), Courage to Share (2022) and Whispers and Shouts (2023).

There are over 70 stories to choose from.

The participants will work closely with our team of talented designers and animators, Vee Motingoa & Stef Fischer (Afrika Queer+) and Neo Kgawane (Digital Characters & Fak’ugesi Festival). Over the course of 8 weeks, the team will host a series of creative online workshops where they will guide and assist the participants in realising their animations. 

The stories that will be used to inspire the animations are short (usually 800-1000 words), and as such these will be short animations which can be easily and widely shared on social media platforms. Animators are encouraged to interpret the stories within their own localities, context, and language. Assistance with subtitles and translation will be provided. The expected duration of the animations should be between 30-120 seconds.


Application deadline Monday 19 February 2024, 23h59. No late submissions will be considered. 

Selected students announced and contacted by Monday 26 February 2024.

Animation workshops commence on Monday 04 March 2024 .

Workshops are online and occur twice weekly (max 2 hours) after work hours for 4 weeks. After that, there will be 4 weeks of student design consultations.

Final animations must be completed before/on Sunday 28 April 2024.


We are seeking talented queer final-year, postgraduate and/or recently graduated (within the past 12 months) students who:

  • Are registered students at a tertiary institution in South Africa OR have graduated from a tertiary institution in the last 12 months
  • Have a computer and the necessary software
  • Have a good internet connection for the online workshops


Submission deadline: Monday 19 February 2024, 23h59.

To apply, fill in this form, where you will be required to upload:

  • 1 x animation sample of your creative work. Size should not exceed 100mb. The animation should be in a playable video format; .mpeg, .avi etc.
  • 1 x 350 word motivation on why you want to be a part of the course. A recorded video of this motivation may also be submitted instead of text. 


Selected students will receive a R3000 honorarium on completion of the animation. A flat fee of R1000 will be made available to each participant if they require access to data in order to attend the workshops/meetings/uploads. Final works shared online will be credited to the artist, but will be published under a creative commons, i.e. open source (as are the anthologies). Students are welcome to include the final animation in their portfolios.

Participants that produce outstanding projects have the opportunity to be invited to further develop their work under the mentorship of professional artist/s (TBC). The completed short film’s will be showcased at this years Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival in Johannesburg and online.


Submission deadline Monday 19 February 2024, 23h59. 

  • No late submissions will be considered.
  • Electronic submission must be made online as per the above submission guidelines.
  • Honorariums are awarded at the discretion of the judging panel and programme organisers.
  • All entry submissions shall be published under the Creative Commons licence.
  • Judging of entries will be anonymous and decisions are final.

Application Deadline: Monday 19 February 2024 

Contact Steffen for further enquires: 

This project is made possible by The Norwegian Embassy in South Africa, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, SAIH (the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund).