SOUTH African crime drama Four Corners blew its competition out of the water to be named best film at the Niagara Integrated Film Festival (NIFF) in Canada this week.
The coming-of-age thriller won in the feature film category, beating 30 films from around the world.
The festival recognises excellence in film-making around the world.
Its award committee commended director Ian Gabriel for bringing an “unknown world” in South Africa’s Cape Flats to the attention of the world.
Gabriel thanked the NIFF committee for its support for independent film-making from South Africa and said the award would help Four Corners reach out to audiences everywhere.
“There was an enormous amount of interest in the film both because of its multi-story structure and the way the Cape Flats itself is presented as a ‘character’ in the film. Each time a South African film wins an international award it means a lot for its film industry,” said Gabriel.
“In the past, people were not inclined to watch local films. That’s changing rapidly because we’re getting recognition abroad and South Africans are always more inclined to support South African talent ironically once it’s had international support.”
Gabriel said June’s being Youth Month made the award even more significant.
The movie follows the coming of age of 13-year-old Ricardo Galam, a chess champion growing up in an area where a gang turf war is rife.
The movie will be released on DStv’s Box Office at the end of the month.