In a nutshell: Black | African | Female | Minority 

If you are a freelance or independent animator or motion designer who identifies as any of the above, then “Motion to the Sound” is for you. We have two challenges: MTTS30 (30 seconds /  and MTTS120 (2 minutes /  #mtts120 )
The #MTTS30 started as a quadrimestral challenge, but as we evaluated and put into consideration the infrastructural challenges most people are facing, thus cannot keep up with the 4 monthly rotations, we decides to make this happen once a year, with workshops and the trainings in between.

The #MTTS120 is only on invitation

Independent animators are any animators who are not operating under a business name that is a studio.

Yes you can enter if you work for the studio on a freelance basis. Also if you are a permanent employee of a studio. You can still enter, but if the studio belongs to you or you hold a managerial position as a director or CEO, you cannot enter

Only animators can enter the challenge but studio owners are welcome to become our partners 



We are looking at single voices. While we encourage you to carry out the actual animations yourself, you can engage others like script writers, storyboard artists, riggers, character designers etc. However, in the end, you must be the director as well as the animator.

Yes! But first things first. So, be patient. We will come to the prizes soon.


Okay here are the steps:
a) First, download the audio file.
b) Animate to it using any animation medium of your choice; 2D, 3D, stop motion, VR, Claymation, pixilation, we don’t mind… as long as it is animated
c) Upload the finished work here on the entry page. Do not forget to fill out your details.

If there is at least 60% animation in it, why not. Go for it!

Unfortunately, no! For fairness to every participant, these sounds have been licensed “as is” and cannot be tampered with.

The #MTTS30 started as a quadrimestral challenge, but as we evaluated and put into consideration the infrastructural challenges most people are facing, thus cannot keep up with the 4 monthly rotations, we decides to make this happen once a year. However, production period is 8 months

Example for MTTS30: If we release a sound file on the 1st of April, you will have the 1st of December as the final submission deadline.

Example for MTTS120: This happens only on invitation

Oh certainly! One of our aims is to support between all. So, while you are working on the clips, you can upload your work on an external link like You Tube, Vimeo (even Instagram) and ask others to give you a feedback. IF you should upload a WIP on Instagram, please tag us @motiontothesound and perhaps someone can give an evaluation

We want you to get the best of reactions and advise on your work. Therefore, our website is not the best place because we will not be able to monitor the WIPs. However, if you feel that you have reached a point where you want to enter it in the challenge, then you can upload it to FilmFreeway and submit from there
 If you later feel that you have to change something, don’t worry. As long as the submission period is open, you can always replace the file.

For the creation period, We sincerely think the best option is on your network.
Just post what you are doing on your social media network. Tell them what it is all about and ask for their constructive criticisms. When posting, don’t forget to add the hashtags #motiontothesound #motiontothesoundchallenge #mtts30 #mtts120 so that others working on the same challenge will find you and you network with you.
Also WE, would be able to follow up and give advise accordingly.


Do not worry about that. This is not a one man show. We have everything under control. Even if one person is incapacitated, there will be another admin taking care of things


There will not be only one winner. There will be winners!

There are prizes and perks, but do you really want to count your chickens before they are hatched?
We are working on the cash and gadget prize format as of right now but guaranteed is:
1) The winners will be mentored by high-ranking industry professionals.
2) The clips will be showcased in special screenings in our growing list of partner festivals, with The festival of Animation Berlin and The Silicon Valley African Film Festival on the forefront.
3) There will be a further hands-on production experience with our partner animation studios. You go to the studio for 4 – 6 months work or internship, we pay your salary (This happens only at the end of the yearly challenge)
4) All three runners-ups in each challenge will also be given free access to the Afriilancer platform as well as all our career building workshops running in collaboration with the Pan African Freelancing Company (This means that in one year, 9 people will benefit from this)

There! We told you some of it but please let us not spoil the game by revealing the grand prize secret even before you start animating.

Yup! The “Grand” happens once a year, but haven’t we revealed enough to motivate you? So, run along now! Check out the rest of the questions. DOWNLOAD the current challenge audio and get animating already!

The prize is yours, but you can give us a certain percentage of your choice to support the work we are doing! It’s all up to you.

The film rights will belong to the producer Jolly Squid media. But as said, you remain the director and the festival prizes belong to you.
We are still working on an extensive terms and conditions. You can REQUEST TO BE INFORMED when the page is published.

We are working on it and take it from us, one of “guruest” of the gurus will be joining us soon. But what we have is even more beneficial than just a e-mention (E-mention does not pay rent) Therefore, we have teamed up with some other institutions and even added to stuff like Wacom tablets and the like, every winner is guaranteed to get free passes to all our animation and freelancing workshops with our major selected partners.

First, that is why we are here. To help you improve. This is not a plaything. We want you to learn how to make engaging animations while having fun and even getting something for it.

Sounds like we’re confusing you. Apologies for that. So, once more: the work you produce with our sound files will be finished animations ready for distribution in our festivals and partner festivals. Thus, your voice is being heard globally.

Just head over to their website, find out for yourself and make sure you register

We have you covered. All the files are licensed to “Motion to the sound” and we can do whatever we want with it. Therefore, if the sound owners will sue anybody. It is us “Motion to the sound” they will sue, not you, the animator, so long as you follow the rules.


We are actually very relaxed about entries, as long as you:

Do not edit the sound files. 

Even if you are inspired to, do not remove, or add anything else to the sound files. The only thing you should add is two seconds of silence before and after and that will make your finished work 34 seconds for the MTT30 and 124 seconds for the MTTS120.

Do not use offensive images like sex and nudity.
Even if you perceive a sound as if there is sex going on in it, use your imagination as a director to show that there is sex but without showing the actual act of sex

Do not upload files bigger than 11MB.
If you win, we will send you a link where you can upload your film once more in HiRes.


We thought a lot about this and decided against having the voting system. 

Imagine you give a lot of passion and energy on your work and because you do not have a strong network,  someone with a huge social network wins smack down, just because they got a lot of people to vote for them.

Therefore, for fairness, we rejected the voting system. Rather, we will have a jury made of people who have absolutely no connections to the participants.

This is why we have gone all the way and made this a festival of its own. 


We are passionate about underrepresented voices “They who FELT it, know it”

Having been on the freelance journey for decades, we know the difficulties young Animators, especially black, female, and LGBTIQ identifying ones can face, lacking not only the basic equipment but also lacking, motivation, essential knowledge, and industry practices needed to successfully enter the market basic equipment but are also lacking guidance, motivation, constant practice, and the essential knowledge and industry practices needed to successfully boost their skills and elevate them into the market.
We know that sometimes you have ideas but the challenge of finding music, sound designers etc. is too daunting.

A lot is happening in “African” and “Minority” animation scene right now. So, a chance for freelancers or independent animators to put their voice out there is not a bad thing.
We need to build the industry because it is for everybody, not just a selected few.

You might want to revisit THIS SUMMARY


Each call lasts for 8 months and whenever a call is made, the submission deadline is placed next to the sound file as a ticker. Watch out for these.

MTTS120 is only on invitation

It’s all up to you. Animation is an art, and every style is a voice. Therefore, we want you to follow your own path, own your story and the style you want to follow.

Every format is accepted. Your film can be either horizontal (16.9) or vertical (9:16)

Always encode with H264. To reduce file size and ensure that you are within the 15MB upload size, try not to use high bit rate. Keep experimenting with bit rates until you arrive at the right size.
Check out  this help article (External link not affiliated to Motion to the sound) on the best encoding practices towards reducing file size.

We accept any framerate, most common of which are:
24fps (For film)
25fps (for PAL video, commonly used for television in Africa and Europe)
30fps or 29.97 fps (for NTSC video, commonly used for games, social media and for television United States and Canada)

Your cover image should be within the ratio of the film. We recommend that you pick this from your video file. Even if you create this separately, ensure that it is the ration of your film does not exceed 1mb, else our server will reject it


We are tempted to say “Just come in and find out” but for fairness…
Do you remember “smedLAB ’13?”

That’s correct. Motion to the sound is founded by the same “woman” who founded smedLAB

Her name is Ebele Okoye. As we don’t want to send you to read a book, here’s is a micro bio of hers which we copied from somewhere.
“Ebele Okoye (NG), fondly called “The mother of African Animation” is Africa’s first female animator, founder of
Nigeria’s first ever animation course, (smedLAB ‘13), the Facebook community “Animation club Africa” and
“Motion to the sound”, a skills building initiative for freelance animators. The two‐time winner of the Africa
Movie Academy awards has also won the Focus Features Africa First Short Film prize, DEFA and Robert Bosch
promotional prizes for animation, recognitions from the California State Legislature and Amnesty
International. Her numerous jury roles include the Africa International Film Festival, the German Poetry film
prize, the Festival of Animation Berlin, and the Oscar qualifying Film Festival “Interfilm Berlin”.

Sure! You can find her on all social media channels as  @omenkaulonka or just follow her through her links below:


We thought a lot about this and decided against having the voting system. This because we want a FAIR TREATMENT for everybody. You do know that some people have stronger social media presence and are bound to get more people vote for them than others and this has nothing to do with efforts or quality of work.

Oh yes! We are working on our “GangMTTS” forum on our website but  for now, you can come JOIN OUR TELEGRAM GROUP where you can exchange with others and share ideas.  

For the moment, yes. You can either send us a mail HERE or, as said, simply follow us on Instagram. There, you can drop your questions as comments on posts without having to write cumbersome mails, and guaranteed, we will reply to them to the best of everyone’s satisfaction


Only registered members can vote. They do not have to be animators to vote.
Yet, for fair play, we recommend that you keep it decent. Do not invite all your clan to register, just so that they can vote for you😉.
Remember we are rendering this as a community service. So, it would be good if it is not misused.

1 – 2 stars = Oh well!

3 – 4 stars = Nice!

5 – 6 stars = This is good!

7 – 8 stars = Wow! Great!

9 – 10 stars = My goodness! Give this person an accolade already!!

By all means, go ahead. But please be kind and fair. Any comment with insulting, or negative words will be removed, and the user stands the risk of getting banned.
Animation is a tedious stuff and no matter how “ugly” a piece is, the person put energy into it. Even if you think the work is BS, find a kind way to put this across and be specific about what part is BS. So please do not run your colleagues down. This is about building each other up.

Once more, we need to build the industry together… and BTW, when you share your WIPs remember to tag us 😉 and put our logo on the work you are doing. You can download it here.  Just choose the screen format of your animation and upload the image. It will be auto scaled

Oh yes! We are working on our “GangMTTS” forum you can exchange with others and share ideas. Just subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media and you will be the first to know when the forum is set up.

For the moment, yes. You can either send us a mail HERE or, as said, simply follow us on Instagram. There, you can drop your questions as comments on posts without having to write cumbersome mails, and guaranteed, we will reply to them to the best of everyone’s satisfaction

We hope to launch by the 1st of December. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER so you get informed automatically when the first challenge drops! Also follow us on Instagram @motiontothesound

Our answer is: “Come in and find out” 😉
Keep up the spirit! 🙌🏾


We advise you to JOIN OUR TELEGRAM GROUP and share your progress either privately with the admins or openly in the group

Also, you can post your progress on social media like Instagram  as long as you follow these rules:
In your post, mention that:
a) it is for the @motiontothesound animation challenge
b) Motion to the sound is an initiative of @jollysquidmedia
c) Tag @jollysquidmedia and @motiontothesound
d) Use the hashtags #mtts30 #motiontothesound #motiontothesoundcontest #madeforminorityanimators



MTTS_QuickSlice_Cover copy

If you’d rather try without joining the telegram group, we can send you the sounds privately. Just fill the form below

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

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