Forgiveness Shines at Vancouver Film Festival
Forgiveness, the Dv8/Giant Films co-production directed by Ian Gabriel
and written by Greg Latter, has added another feather in its cap, by being rated in the top ten films at the Vancouver Film
Forgiveness was rated the 7th best film at the festival by the AGF People Choice Award, beating out such high
profile fare as Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructions (Denmark), Manuel Aragon’s Your Next Life (Spain), Jan
Hrebejk’s Up and Down (Czech), Jeremy Earp and Sut Jhally’s 9/11, Fear and the Selling of the American Empire
(USA) and Richard Eyre’s Stage Beauty (UK)). The powerful drama starring Arnold Vosloo now stands as the most internationally
recognized local film of the year.
“It was a great honour to have Forgiveness singled out for the Human Rights Award
at the Locarno Film Festival - as it’s a strong statement about how South Africa is perceived now in the eyes of the
world. But for us as filmmakers the most significant award we received was the Audience Award chosen by popular acclaim at
the Durban Festival and the AGF Peoples Choice Most Popular Film Award rating at the Vancouver Film Festival. Forgiveness
was rated in the Top Ten at Vancouver in a festival attended by 150 000 people who saw a total of 373 films of which 247 were
features - so it’s a great recognition for the local industry. Plus the fact that the rating is based on a public poll
bodes well for the international sales of the film”, remarked its director Ian Gabriel.
The release of the Forgiveness DVD (early November) coincides with its Sithengi festival screening. Already the word
of mouth at rental outlets has been very positive. Bolstered by its strong numbers at the South African box office, there
is a real awareness and great press around the film, which will hold it in good stead for its rental and sell-thru shelf life.
The issues and themes that Forgiveness broaches will be further discussed at Sithengi, “We’ll be debating
the manner in which different recently made films deal with the Truth Commission and what came out of that commission. Forgiveness
takes up its story after the Commission has finished its work - part of our approach was to look at the issues the Truth Commission
dealt with as live issues that continue to affect us today. It’s a heated debate that will generate interest around
the film”, noted producer Cindy Gabriel
To add to its accolades, Forgiveness has been officially selected for the Rotterdam International Film Festival in Holland
in January, and the Gotheburg Festival in Sweden in February 2005. “Internationally Forgiveness has been welcomed with
opened arms. It shows that audiences all over the world are interested in South African films. This year the playing field
for South African feature films is wider than it’s ever been”, commented Forgiveness Executive Producers Jeremy
Nathan and Joel Phiri.
The film is playing in official competition at the Sithengi/Cape Town World Cinema Film Festival Sithengi Film Festival
this coming Saturday on Saturday 12th November at 2pm. Tickets are available through Computicket.