Home > Projects > Under the Dome

Under the Dome Experimental Film Festival

Each year the Centre for Curating the Archive works on a number of collaborative projects with Iziko Museums of South Africa. This year we have had the pleasure of working alongside staff from Iziko's Planetarium to initiate a film festival for the digital dome. The idea for the festival began in 2018 when Cliff Bestall directed the short documentary film Fragments of an Untold History for the dome. The documentary looked at the under-documented female slaves of Cape Town’s past and their role as washerwoman. It was produced with help from: CCA and Iziko staff members Karen Ijumba, Ofentse Letebele and Martin Wilson; Tracey “Khadija” Heeger, who wrote and performed a poem about the washerwoman; Cliff Bestall; and Warrick Swinney, who worked on sound design.

After creating this documentary the CCA, in the hopes of producing more boundary-pushing content for a space that has been traditionally reserved for astronomy, put out a call to filmmakers throughout the country. Out of the many proposals we received we have chosen six films and added another three made by Iziko and CCA staff members and associates. The nine films that are being shown as part of the festival, that will launch in Iziko's planetarium in November, are as follows: 

Fragments of an Untold History by Martin Wilson, Cliff Bestall, Karen Ijumba, Tracey “Khadija” Heeger and Warrick Swinney.

Cape Town's Checkerboard: from slave ships to barber shops by Professor Siona O'Connell, Jade Nair, Martin Wilson, Moeneeb Dalwai and Adam Asmal.

Diane Tsa Borwa (Southern Proverbs) by Chris Grava and King Debs.

WRPD by Louise Coetzer and Oscar O'Ryan.

Reflectance by Jason Stapleton and Jacques van Zyl.

Inside Out by Thomas Dreyer, Adam Oosthuizen, Ross Eyre and Ché Coelho.

Artists' Spaces by Melvin Pather and Moeneeb Dalwai.

Frequencies of a Birthmark: Episode One by Phumulani Ntuli.

Animortis by Kali van der Merwe and Simon Dunckley.

The project is run by Lyndall Cain, Martin Wilson and Ofentse Letebele with special thanks to Karen Ijumba (independent), Theo Ferreira (Iziko) and Professor Pippa Skotnes (UCT/CCA). And thanks to Dr Bongani Ndhlovu (Iziko), Hylton Arnolds (Iziko), Professor Thomas Jarrett (UCT), Dr. Lucia Marchetti (UCT/UWC) and Sally Macfarlane (UCT) for all their help and support. 

The festival will run for three nights: the 15th (opening event by invitation), 16th and 17th of November. Tickets for the nights of the 16th and 17th are free and open to the public.

For enquiries please email: lyndall.cain@uct.ac.za

Other links:

Our ​​​​​​call for proposals.

Launch details.

More information on the individual films.

Ticket sales.

Sutherland Planetarium prize details.

Photos from the opening night and announcement of the festival winners. 

Download our poster here. 

Download our programme here.


Sarah Middleton review for UCT news.

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

Related Projects:

Immersive Cinema Screening at Octopi & I.

Naval Hill to recreate the festival in July of 2020 (more information coming soon!).

Above image: still from Fragments of an Untold History (2018).