Premiere of New Planetarium Film Sida Tsoatsoas

Location of the film's premiere

The new planetarium film Sida Tsoatsoas – Our Beginning will premiere on Monday 6 December 2021. It will be the first African-produced digital planetarium film to feature Indigenous African Starlore. The National Arts Council – Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme, the African Astronomical Society, the African Planetarium Association, the South African Astronomical Observatory and the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network supported the film.

The 13-minute film is accessible to all ages and is in Afrikaans and Nama with English subtitles. The production was in collaboration with the ǂKhomani San community of the Northern Cape. Furthermore, the production created 29 jobs, most of which were within this community.

Sida Tsoatsoas combines live-action and animation sequences to transport audiences to the iconic red dunes and expansive saltpans of the Kalahari in Southern Africa. We share in the unique storytelling techniques of the ǂKhomani people who share insight into their culture. We find out how the Sun gave the mischievous Jackal his ash-burnt markings on his back during this journey. This subsequently imparts a valuable lesson about our connection to each other and the cosmos.

In Sida Tsoatsoas, we delve into the story of our beginnings through immersive glimpses into the lives of the ǂKhomani. In addition, we try to understand what we could lose if we don’t take a moment to reflect on the global sense of Ubuntu.

The show will open to the general public from 7 December at The Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome. It will thereafter be distributed free of charge to an international network of over 4000 planetaria.

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