South Africa

Director: Ian Gabriel

Language: English

A modest tailor and single Indian dad, Varun, and his transmasculine son, River, take a road trip across South Africa to break River’s estranged mother, Monica, out of a rehab clinic. Father and son bond as Varun recounts his days grifting. Returning from eSwatini, tensions are high as the dysfunctional new family unit adjusts on their way home where River is set to compete in a drag competition. Monica suggests that Varun take the place of River’s injured drag partner, and father and son take up the challenge with River training Varun in the ways of drag. As the competition ramps up their shady pasts catch up with them.


21 July | 17:30 | suncoast 8
27 July | 17:00 | Suncoast 8



Ian Gabriel


Amina Thornton


Gabe Gabriel


Devin Toselli


Ace Bhatti, Diaan Lawrenson, Rob van Vuuren, Gabe Gabriel, Loren Loubser, Faniswa Yisa, Khadija Heeger


107 min

Ian Gabriel

Ian Gabriel is a South African director of colour whose extensive experience in film and theatre performance began at Dorkay House, Johannesburg’s famous anti-apartheid theatre venue, where he worked with many of South Africa’s legendary jazz and theatre greats. His feature film, Four Corners, was the South African Official Submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, was awarded Best International Feature and Best Feature (USA) at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, won 6 Golden Horn South African Film and Television Awards including Best Actor, awarded to the youngest nominee to date in that category, first time child actor, Jezriel Skei. Ian’s film also received the Best Picture Award. Ian has directed the Netflix family crime series Ludik, released in the spring of 2022. This project saw Ian direct actor Arnold Vosloo, reprising the director – actor relationship the two established when Ian directed Forgiveness, which won the Best South African Film Award and the Best African Film Award, was a Golden Leopard nominee at the 2004 Locarno Film Festival, and won the Locarno Youth Jury Best Film Award. Ian’s work with celebrity talent has seen him directing personalities as diverse as human rights icon and activist Nelson Mandela and Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Hudson River aviation hero Chelsey Sullenberger, and many film, fashion and sport personalities such as Charlize Theron, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alex Wek, Haile Gebrselassie, etc. In 2023 Ian directed Death Of a Whistleblower – a true events thriller about the funding for profit of biological warfare in Africa and the Middle East, and will follow this outing with a director collaboration with Gabe Gabriel focusing on an apartheid era disco resistance heroine Granny Lee, based on a true story. Ian is a development partner with 2018 Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Joslyn Barnes (Strong Island) on the historic TV Series, Sabela Gold. He is a director in good standing at the DGA, is a participant in the DGA Diversity program, and is represented in USA by Paul Canterna (Seven Summits Film) and Justin Silvera
DIFF 2023


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