logo 2015

GIFFONI EXPERIENCE 2015 - 17.26 July

Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2015

Gabriel, a troubled and vulnerable young man at his psychological breaking point, struggling to keep it together in the wake of his father’s suicide, is convinced that reuniting with his first love will bring him the stability and happiness he craves. Against his family’s better judgment, he sets out to find her, but as the obstacles mount on his search, his grip on reality begins to slip and his behaviour becomes more erratic. In the end, he will risk everything in an increasingly obsessive and desperate pursuit that will take him to uncharted and unexpected places and test the limits of those closest to him.

Original Title GABRIEL
Category Official Competition
Section Generator +18
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 90'
Production Year 2014
Nationality USA
Directed by Lou Howe
Screenplay Lou Howe
Director of photography Wyatt Garfield
Editor Jane Rizzo
Production Design Chris Trujillo
Costume Design Sarah Mae Burton
Sound Kent Sparling
Music Patrick Higgins
Main cast Rory Culkin (Gabriel)
David Call (Matthew)
Deirdre O’Connell (Meredith)
Emily Meade (Alice)
Lynn Cohen (Nonny)
Louisa Krause (Sarah)
Produced by Ben Howe, Luca Borghese

Lou Howe-OKLou Howe
Born 1982, New York. In 2005 he graduated from the Harvard University at the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, and in 2010 he received an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory in Los Angeles with the diploma short film MY FIRST CLAIRE. GABRIEL is his first feature film as a director and was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival 2014.

Director’s statement
“At its core, GABRIEL is a coming-of-age story. The title character has been watching from a distance as his friends and older brother move into adulthood, and he longs to join them. Just like any of us imagining our future selves, he has hopes and dreams, and makes plans to achieve them. But unlike the classic narrative arc of obstacles overcome and lessons learned, Gabe’s idea of ‘growing up’ is fundamentally unrealistic, and so his skewed perception of the world creates a very different narrative.

“Gabe’s shifting perspective naturally lends itself to a story driven by suspense. As we follow him on his journey, the audience is never sure what Gabe is capable of, let alone what we think of him. While he might seem charming or quirky at first, his behaviour slowly becomes unsettling, even scary. His unpredictability and the constant potential for danger provide the tension that drives the film forward. But as we really get to know the character and understand his simple and universal goals – love, stability, a life he can be proud of – our fear is replaced by understanding and compassion.

“The seed of the idea for GABRIEL came from watching a close childhood friend struggle with mental illness, and the original intent of the film was to try to understand his experience of the world. Many films have superficially dealt with similar subject matter, but more often than not, they either use the distorting lens of mental illness to frighten or repel the audience, or they attempt to make a polemical statement about the social issue. Those approaches never interested me. Instead, the goal was always to bring one character’s specific story to screen as authentically as possible, and by doing so, to provide the audience with the kind of empathetic connection that only a movie can create.

“The hope is that through the lens of this character’s journey, the audience can begin to see themselves on screen. Gabe’s version of adulthood may be refracted through the prism of mental illness, and the film may be driven by an engine of suspense, but fundamentally, GABRIEL is a universal story of one young man trying to grow up”.


festival contact
Clean Machine
Brooklyn, 11222 - USA
phone +1 9172730551
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

world sales
Preferred Content
Los Angeles, 90048 - USA
phone +1 323 782 9193
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.