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 Film at the 86th Academy Awards, was awarded Best International Feature and Best Feature (USA) at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, won Best Film at the 2014 Niagara Integrated 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. His film also received the Best Picture Award.
Ian has directed the Netflix family crime series Ludik, releasing 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 was winner in the same year at the Locarno Youth Jury Best Film Award and Human Rights Award.
While completing post production on the series Ludik Ian is scheduled to shoot two independent feature films in 2022, one for delivery to Netflix in September: Runs in the Family is a comedic family road movie and is a collaboration between Ian and his transgender son Gabe which tells the story of an Indian tailor and his trans drag queen son.
The film continues to build on the collaboration that has marked the work of Gabe and Ian, with Gabe writing and playing the lead role in Runs in the Family under Ian’s direction. Ian and Gabe’s collaboration behind the camera extends from short films, to international commercials and will this year extend to feature film production as well - a trend they intend to pursue in the future.
Ian has worked worldwide as a commercial Director in the Americas and throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. His 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.
Ian directed Splinter Unit for the pilot episode of Warrior, the Bruce Lee inspired Cinemax TV series. He will conclude 2022 directing Death Of a Whistleblower – a true events thriller about the funding for profit of biological warfare in Africa and the Middle East.
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, and is in development on The October Gang an all woman comedy heist movie set in Malta. Ian is the attached director on Anne Frank & Me based on the play of the same name by Cherie Bennett written by Gabe Gabriel and Matthew Weiss.
Ian 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 (Silvera Management). Ian’s production company, Giant Films, 2021 Ciclope Africa Production Company of the Year is headed by Ian along with his partner, Executive Producer Cindy Gabriel, and collaborator and Executive Producer, Emmy Lundy.