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GIFFONI EXPERIENCE 2014 - 18.27 July

Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2014


Cape Town, South Africa’s prison of Pollsmoor. When Farakhan is released after 13 years, he wants a quiet life. But he finds himself in a world more violent than when he left it. Now ruthless street gangs control the ghetto streets, drugs and guns are sold openly, and young boys are disappearing, victims of a serial killer. In this turbulent world, Farakhan seeks to make contact with his son, whom he’s never known. Ricardo, 13 year-old, is at a crossroads. A chess prodigy, he is lured in equal measure by the thrill of warfare on the chessboard and the prestige of joining a street gang. With no father to guide him, the one adult he looks up to is Tito, a cop bent on tracking down the serial killer of young boys. Meanwhile Leila, a London trained doctor, returns home for her father’s funeral. She comes across Farakhan, recognizes him as her childhood friend and finds herself drawn into his world.

Original Title FOUR CORNERS
Category Official Competition
Section Generator +18
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 114'
Production Year 2014
Nationality South Africa
Directed by Ian Gabriel
Screenplay Hofmeyr Scholtz, Terence Hammond
Script Ian Gabriel, Hofmeyr Scholtz
Director of photography Vicci Turpin
Editor Ronelle Loots
Production Design Chris Bass
Costume Design Sylvia van Heerden
Sound Barry Donnely
Music Marcus Wormstorm
Main cast Brendon Daniels (Farakhan)
Jezriel Skei (Ricardo)
Abdurahman Adams (Tito)
Lindiwe Matshikiza (Leila)
Irshaad Ally (Gasant)
Produced by Cindy Gabriel, Genevieve Hofmeyr

Ian GabrielIan Gabriel

Born 1951, Durban (South Africa). In the 1970s and 1980s he worked at Dorkay House, Johannesburg’s famous multi-racial theatre, with many of South Africa’s legendary jazz and theatre greats. Then he became one of South Africa’s most prolific commercial directors, earning a reputation throughout the world and working with talents and personalities as diverse as Nelson Mandela, Cristiano Ronaldo, Charlize Theron, Miriam Makeba. In 2004 he directed his first feature film, FORGIVENESS, which was screened at the 2004 Locarno Film Festival. FOUR CORNERS, his second feature film, was selected as the South African entry at the 2014 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


Director’s statement

“Strength of family was a starting point and inspiration for this film. I hoped to evolve a film about family lost and family regained, and to show it from many shifting perspectives, especially from the point of view of a young boy, because I know that story. I wanted to make a film that dealt with these trials and conflicts, the desire for family, and the absence of family, and the desire to reform and make things whole within the context of gangsterism. I wanted to look at how difficult it might be for a father, a gangster, to turn the clock back and set things right. I hoped to portray a gangster film in a largely unknown world. And reveal it in a fresh way”.
“This was my process when I met Hofmeyr Scholtz to discuss writing the project. I explained that I wanted to tell a redemptive story about family – about a father, about a son, about a cop who is watching family and young children threatened, and life eroded from outside. The creative process was organic, at a later stage we added a daughter who had lost her father from ‘before’ he died. We decided she should be an outsider returned who knows and reacts against the tough landscape of her youth that she had wanted to escape from, yet feels its roots pulling her back – a common sensation that South Africans and Africans in exile experience. We developed a ‘surrogate’ father that a boy in need of a father might find. So there we had it – Four corners, four lives and sounding boards influencing one boy’s life, reflecting the Four Corners of a chessboard and the Four Corners of a prison cell. And each of these simple stories connected with the next to make up the Four Corners in the chessboard of Ricardo’s life”.
“Decisions made by Ricardo’s coming of age would cause all four surrounding stories to converge and become his unique single story, with a single resolve during a significant week in his life. I knew structurally this would be exciting but challenging to achieve but would reflect a bit of how life really is, where chance encounters can lead to dramatic events and significant resolutions that echo from one generation down to the next”.
“Just a few kilometres from where I live in Cape Town is the unique world of the Cape Flats where gangsterism is rife and where a boy like Ricardo, the hero of our story, might be drawn by the power and prestige of the gangs. In this world I knew actors would be able to find a special connection to their characters if we were able to absolutely truthfully portray the world that the characters inhabited. We wanted the performances and the reality of the story to be immediate, spontaneous and visceral, to blur the boundary between real life and film, so we looked both among actors and also non-actors who had intense experience of life in the Flats”.
“We knew we needed to make our film in the real districts of the Cape Flats, in the shadows of the turf war because our first responsibility was to tell the truth, as much as we could. The film is about darkness and light, and the interplay of both these aspects in the human conflict that is flow of life. That interplay was present on the set every day”.



Giant Films
8th Floor, 9 Jamieson Street, Cape Town 8001 - South Africa
phone +27 214221321
fax + 27 214221431


Moonlighting Films
337 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town 7925 - South Africa
phone +27 214472209
fax +27 866063250


distribuzione internazionale/world sales

festival contact

The Little Film Company
12930 Ventura Boulevard #822, Studio City CA 91604 - USA
phone +1 8187626999
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