Under the Dome launch

25 Nov 2019 - 10:00

Last week Friday, the 15th of November, the Centre for Curating the Archive launched the first experimental film festival of dome mastered content on the continent! The festival ran in collaboration with Iziko Museums of South Africa and screened nine short films, over three days, at Iziko's planetarium. This was a challenging process, not only in putting the festival together, but in facilitating the creation of this sort of content, which has been largely unexplored in South Africa. It was especially difficult given the small amount of money each team had to work with, the short time frame in which the films had to be completed, and having to learn how to create hemispherical dome content from scratch. Luckily, we could test footage as we went along in Iziko's planetarium, which was crucial in the production of the films. 

The Sutherland Planetarium sponsored a prize for the best film of the festival, giving the winners a chance to use their planetarium to test out new content, or screen their existing film. The prize went to WRPD created by Louise Coetzer and Oscar O'Ryan of Darkroom Contemporary. 

It was unfortunate, that due to many budgetary and scheduling factors, the films could only run for three days, but the CCA is happy to announce that the Naval Hill Planetarium is planning to recreate the festival in July 2020, while three of the films (Inside Out, Animortis and Reflectance) will be launching in VR this Thursday the 28th of November at Octopi and I. Iziko is also choosing a number of the films to run as shorts before their regular programming and the Sutherland Planetarium may be working with some of our filmmakers in the near future. We hope that many more opportunities to work in immersive environments such as these will come from this project. 

The project was realised by Martin Wilson (CCA), Lyndall Cain (CCA), Ofentse Letebele (Iziko), Theo Ferreira (Iziko), with Karen Ijumba (independent). 

With the filmmakers: Martin Wilson, Cliff Bestall, Karen Ijumba, Warrick Swinney and Tracey "Khadija" Heeger (Fragments of an Untold History); Kali van der Merwe and Simon Dunckley (Animortis); Professor Siona O'Connell, Jade Nair and Adam Asmal (Cape Town's Checkerboard); Phumulani Ntuli (Frequencies of a Birthmark); Thom Dreyer, Adam Oosthuizen, Ross Eyre and Ché Coelho (Inside Out); Jason Stapleton and Jacques van Zyl (Reflectance); Moeneeb Dalwai and Melvin Pather (Artists' Spaces); Ofentse Letebele and Chris Grava (Diane Tsa Borwa); and Louise Coetzer and Oscar O'Ryan (WRPD).

Download the festival programme here. 


Sarah Middleton review for UCT news.

'I on Iziko' interview with Lyndall Cain and Martin Wilson.

Filmmakers: Jason Stapleton of Reflectance; Oscar O'Ryan and Louise Coetzer of WRPD (festival winners); and Kali van der Merwe of Animortis. Photo: Geena Wilkinson © Centre for Curating the Archive. 

Lyndall Cain Ofentse Letebele Planetarium Film

Danél and Nico van der Merwe (owners and directors of the Sutherland Planetarium); Lyndall Cain (festival producer); and Ofentse Letebele (festival producer and creator of Diane Tsa Borwa). Photo: Geena Wilkinson © Centre for Curating the Archive. 

Professor Pippa Skotnes, director of the Centre for Curating the Archive, giving the opening speech, with Martin Wilson seated right (festival producer, creator of Fragments of an Untold History and editor of Cape Town's Checkerboard) and Lyndall Cain seated left (festival producer). Photo: Nigel Pamplin © Iziko Museums of South Africa.

Header image: audience members watching Fragments of an Untold History created by Martin Wilson, Cliff Bestall, Karen Ijumba, Warrick Swinney and Tracey "Khadija" Heeger. Photo: Nigel Pamplin © Iziko Museums of South Africa.