Four Corners – South African film of the year

by ChessBase
3/20/2014 – The film 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 winning or losing can mean the difference between life and death. Four Corners plays out aspects of the war fought on the streets of the Cape Flats, home to the Number Gang factions of the Western Cape, South Africa. Pictures and video clips.

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Four Corners – Film of the Year in South Africa

Launching in cinemas on 28 March 2014 Four Corners is the most anticipated South African film release of 2014, with the film being South Africa's Official Selection for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. It was an International Press Academy 2014 Satellite Award Nominee for Best International Film and was also nominated for the Design Indaba's 2014 MBOISA Award, Most Beautiful Object in South Africa, the first feature film to receive this distinction.

Four Corners is a multi-thread, coming of age crime drama set in a unique and volatile South African sub culture. At times raw and violent, at other times touching and true, the four lives of Farakhan, Leila, Tito and Gasant converge around Ricardo, weaving universal themes of love, loss, kinship, betrayal and redemption.

Cape Town today – home to South Africa’s toughest maximum Security prison – Pollsmoor. When Farakhan (Brendon Daniels), a general in the Century old Numbers Gang, is released after 13 years, he wants a quiet life and a 'river of peace'. But he finds himself in a world more violent than when he left it. Now ruthless street gangs control the ghetto streets, crack 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.

13-year-old Ricardo (Jezriel Skei) is at a crossroads. A chess prodigy, he is lured in equal measure by the thrill of warfare on the chessboard and the seductive prestige of joining a powerful street gang. Drawn into gang life by the charisma of Americans gang leader Gasant (Irshaad Ally), Ricardo takes his first steps into gang initiation. With no father to guide him, the one adult he looks up to is Captain Tito Hanekom (Abduragman Adams), a career cop hell bent on tracking down the serial killer of young boys. When another boy goes missing, Tito’s focus shifts away from Ricardo.

Meanwhile Leila Domingo (Lindiwe Matshikiza) a London trained doctor, returns home for her estranged father’s funeral. The memories evoked in her father’s house, in a suburb that’s now part of a running turf war, trigger a wave of conflicting emotions as she struggles to decide what to do with her life. Leila comes across Farakhan, recognizes him as the boy who lived next door, and finds herself drawn into his world.

Four Corners 2013: Official Trailer (HD) from Four Corners Movie on Vimeo.

Behind the scenes video clips

INSIDE THE FOUR CORNERS - The First Corner from Four Corners Movie on Vimeo.

Film reviews

  • "Gutsy and provocative. A South African reality never seen on film before" – Leon Van Nierop, Film critic for The Citizen, De Kat
  • "What a film! I am blown away by Ian Gabriel's movie" – Melinda Ferguson, Features Editor, True Love Magazine
  • "Intense, heartfelt and stylized. Eye-popping visuals with potent performances." – Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
  • "A searingly honest piece of art" – Gavin Hood, Director of Oscar-winning South African film 'Tsotsi'


All information was provided by Reuben Salimu, who is the owner of African Chess Lounge, a development and chess promotion organization in Cape Town, was the on-set chess coach for the movie. The African Chess Lounge encouraged hundreds of young chess players to cast for the youth roles in Four Corners.

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