Four Corners has been selected as South Africa's official 2014 foreign-language entry for the Academy Awards. The film is the first 'foreign language' entry to blend Sabela (the coded prison language of the Number gangs, the 26 and 28) Tsotsi-taal, Cape Afrikaans and English.
Set in the Cape ganglands, the coming of age crime thriller, directed by Ian Gabriel, tells the story of a young chess prodigy who must defy the odds and stay one move ahead of the gangs in a game where losing can be the difference between life or death.
Four Corners is a redemptive moral tale about a young boy coming of age facing the reality of the dangers experienced by children and teenagers in gang controlled areas in the Cape Flats.
The film's producers Cindy Gabriel and Genevieve Hofmeyr expressed their excitement at Four Corners' "first steps into the outside world". The producers feel that the film's themes of fatherhood, family and coming of age are universal and are bound to appeal to a world audience.Four Corners stars Brendon Daniels, Lindiwe Matshikiza and Irshaad Ally, alongside newcomer Jezriel Skei who plays 13-year-old Ricardo.
The Oscar selection panel singled out the outstanding performances of the cast, many of whom are novice actors."By teaming established talent with 'real people' performers, we enabled both to reach deep into shared and individual experiences," said director Ian Gabriel.
The film is scored by Markus Wormstorm and features a range of South African music from Khula Chani and Felix la Band to Khyle Shepherd, Hemelbesem and others.
Gabriel's previous film Forgiveness was a Golden Leopard nominee at Locarno and was listed by CNN's African Voices as one of the top 10 African films of the last decade.The film is currently on limited release at The Bioscope Independent Cinema in Johannesburg. The general release of the film is scheduled for later in the year.
The closing date to submit entries for the foreign-language Academy Awards is 1 October. The nominations will be announced on 16 January 2014 and the Oscars ceremony will be held on 2 March at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.