On a surveillance mission in a primordial forest, a park ranger encounters two survivalists following a post-apocalyptic lifestyle.
The boy and his philosophical father seem to have their own religion, and a mysterious relationship to nature. There are many suspicious aspects to their existence, but when the cabin is attacked by strange, post-human beings one night, she learns that there is a greater threat in this emergent wilderness.
Gaia is an ecological horror fantasy which engages the burning issues of our time.
Gaia had its world premiere at SXSW 2021. It will be released in the US 18 June 2021 by Decal, the newly formed distributor from Neon and Bleecker Street.
Gaia’s soundtrack composed by Pierre-Henri Wicomb and released by MovieScore Media is available to stream or purchase on the following platforms:
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Film Initiative Africa is a new production company aiming to empower crew, while creating groundbreaking work.
Gaia was produced in partnership with kykNET Films.
Monique Rockman made her film debut in the critically acclaimed Number 37, directed by Nosipho Dumisa (SXSW 2018). The performance earned her a nomination in the Best Actress category at the South African Film and Television Awards. She went on to several roles in popular TV shows like Onder die Suiderkruis, The Riviera and Sara se Geheim.
She is perhaps best known as Beatrice Mack, the no-nonsense female lead in the critically acclaimed supernatural horror series Die Spreeus (The Starlings), for which she received the ATKV Media Award as Best Actress. Monique can currently be seen in popular local soapie Suidooster and is also the leading lady in the upcoming film Die reuk van Saffraan.
Carel Nel is a multi-award winning actor, known for his roles as Karl the Android in Ridley Scott’s Raised by Wolves, Abraham Lincoln in Grant on The History Channel, and the Emmy-nominated Roots.
He has appeared in numerous international and local films and series, including Blood Drive, Shepherds and Butchers, The Last Days of American Crime, Young Ones, The Endless River and Flight of the Storks.
He has also starred in over 20 professional theatre productions, including Athol Fugard’s People are Living There (nominated for Best Supporting Actor) and Die Rebellie van Lafras Verwey, for which he was awarded the coveted Fleur du Cap for Best Actor. Other theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Demon Bride, Balbesit, and Chekov’s Die Kersieboord.
Anthony Oseyemi started his career on stage as part of Lewisham Youth Theatre before turning professional with performances in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner. He’s had lead roles in South African series such Jacob’s Cross, Room 9, Traffick and Isidingo.
Anthony is a familiar face on British and US screens, with roles in Troy (BBC), Our Girl (BBC) Strike back (HBO), The Book of Negroes (CBC / BET), Wild at Heart (Thames television), and The Runaway (SKY TV). His most recent feature film appearances are in the western The Salvation, the romantic comedy Hector and the Search for Happiness (with Simon Pegg) and the action thriller Seal Team 8, alongside Tom Sizemore. He is also known for his roles in the corporate thriller The Assignment, Five Fingers for Marseilles, Dark Branches and Netflix’s The Red Sea Diving Resort.
Jaco Bouwer studied and worked in theatre for many years and only recently moved into the medium of film. He has won multiple awards for his theatre productions and designs over the years. Apart from multiple series and films made for television, Gaia is his first feature film. One of his short films this country is lonely premiered at IFFR 2019.
In his theatre work, Bouwer has created work that resists convention and easy categorisation. He’s equally at home in theatre, dance, site-specific performance and installation art. It is, however, his unique ability to combine all these media to reflect the visual, spatial and acoustic dimensions of language that really sets his work apart. This aesthetic focus has been called everything from post-modern and experimental, to avant-garde, and even subversive – but in bringing this aesthetic to a wider audience, Bouwer also seeks to expose the artificial barriers that exist between and within cultures. His complex cultural critique favours controversial subjects, without any attempt to solve the social and political issues they raise. Instead, Bouwer prefers to take his stories to the next level, combining the personal and the political, aesthetics with introspective enquiry and a radical formalism with an equally radical expression of subjectivity to hurl them into the realm of the imagination.
Tertius Kapp has created several titles for the stage and screen. After degrees in laser physics, philosophy, and archaeology, he finished his master’s in creative writing under Marlene van Niekerk. His best-known theatre work is Rooiland, Oorsee and Liewer, the first two earning him the highest accolade in Afrikaans literature, the Hertzog prize. In 2016 he won the South African Film and Television Award for his adaptation of Dis ek, Anna, which dominated the ceremony with five more awards. He wrote Griekwastad, starring Arnold Vosloo, and created the supernatural series Die Spreeus, which was SAFTA-nominated as Best Drama Series in 2020. He is also the writer of quirky family comedy Somerkersfees and teen horror Rage, and creator of the domestic noir series Siende Blind, as well as the acclaimed 4 Mure. Gaia is his fifth produced film.
As a seasoned director of photography, Jorrie van der Walt needs no introduction within the South African film industry. Not only a master cinematographer, he boasts extensive experience ranging from producing to directing and as a mentor to creative dreamers.
Jorrie joined the South African film industry in 2007 and produced his first feature film in 2013, which became a box office hit in South Africa, outperforming Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln on opening weekend.
Since then, Jorrie has grown from strength to strength, working on some of the most successful movies and television productions in South Africa and winning numerous accolades, including coveted international awards. He has rubbed shoulders with influential celebrities and established himself as a sought-after Director of Photography.
Named a visionary and leader in his field, Jorrie is a true expert. As a dynamic creative, specializing in all aspects of digital media production with strong leadership and an entrepreneurial spirit, he established himself as the reputable mainstay of many productions.
After studying drama at Stellenbosch University, Rocco has been designing theatre sets for acclaimed directors and theatres in South Africa, garnering various awards along the way.
His transition into film started as props buyer and set decorator under the stewardship of Birrie le Roux. He quickly segued into Production Design and won a kykNet Silwerskerm Festival Award for his design of the critically acclaimed local feature film Kanarie, directed by Christiaan Olwagen. In that same year they paired up again for Die Seemeeu (a film adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull). Rocco has since designed local drama series for director Jaco Bouwer, including Waterfront, Dwaalster and Die Spreeus. They have also tackled two television films, Somerkersfees and Rage; and of course now Gaia. Subsequently they have also partnered up for a limited television series 4 Mure.
In 2020, Rocco was awarded an ATKV Media Award for Production and Set Design for Dwaalster and Die Spreeus.
With one or two exceptions, Rocco has worked closely with fiancé and Costume Designer, Mariechen Vosloo.
Mariechen Vosloo is a costume designer and actor. After studying drama at Stellenbosch University, she has worked with designer Birrie Le Roux on various productions, including West Side Story, Marat/Sade and The Inconvenience of Wings. She has also worked in the South African and international advertising and film industry. She was the costume supervisor on Christiaan Olwagen’s film Johnny is nie dood nie, and subsequently designed the costumes for Die Seemeeu and Kanarie, also directed by Olwagen. She was also costume designer for TV series Dwaalster and Die Spreeus.
Sulani Saayman studied make-up at the Cinema Makeup School in Los Angeles.
On her return to South Africa, she quickly established herself as one of the top make-up artists in the industry, with a focus on special effects – her favourite part.
She has worked on several top local and international films and TV series, such as Die Byl, Alles Malan, Lui maar op Belinda, Ander Mens, Somerkersfees, Rage and Netflix’s The Red Sea Diving Resort.
Gaia is a highlight in her career thus far.
Leith T. Morkel is a South African sound engineer and recording producer. Raised and schooled in Cape Town. Leith cut his teeth in post-production upon entering the industry in 2009.
In 2012, motivated by his mentors and peers, and coupled with curiosity and intrigue, he shifted his focus to location sound, and enjoys the variety it brings to his experience.
His diverse portfolio of work, which includes documentaries, reality shows, drama series and features, has further positioned him as a specialist in the field. As a result, Leith has served as head of department for sound, for features and drama series since 2016.
In the quest to create the best possible product for the consumer, Leith lives and works by the creed that good relationships and healthy collaboration are the currency of success in the industry.
Leon Visser is an award winning video editor and colorist. In 2005 his career started out editing videos for his high school. At first he dabbled with shooting and editing, but found that editing is where he felt at home the most and it grew into a full-time passion. Starting out in the documentary, music video and corporate world he quickly realised that he wanted to focus on fictional narrative projects.
For years, on the side, he made passion project short films which eventually got him recognised and landed him his first television series: Die Boekklub. Since then he has worked on numerous television series and feature films, including Waterfront, Dwaalster, Rage and Die Spreeus, for which he won a South African Film and Television Award for Best Editing.
Pierre-Henri Wicomb is a South African composer based in Cape Town. He works in musical environments encompassing everything from composition collaborations with [unrehearsed] audience members, theatre / film music to acoustic / electroacoustic art music. He composed the soundtracks for quite a few local television series and films receiving the SAFTA award for Best Original Soundtrack for the TV drama Die Spreeus (2020) and the Fleur du Cap award for best original theatre soundtrack / score in 2016. The short film this country is lonely, for which he did the soundtrack, was selected for the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019.
Wicomb’s music has featured at the Festival D’Automne (Paris), New York City Electronic Music Festival and International Computer Music Conference (Utrecht) amongst others, working with important ensembles including Asko ensemble, Ensemble Reconsil, L’Instant Donne, Ensemble Insomnia and Stockholm Saxophone Quartet to name a few.
Wicomb’s music has been recorded on the Leo records, Orlando records and PEER Records labels.
He is currently completing an opera as part of his PhD at the institute Africa Open in collaboration with the Swiss duo InterZones examining relational aspects between psychoanalysis, composition and (free) improvisation.
Craig comes from an art and design background where he majored in illustration, design and photography. He has directed commercials, music videos as well as many short films.
He is hired on many occasions as a VFX Supervisor on both local and international feature films and television shows.
He is CEO of a visual effects and animation studio based in Cape Town called Motif Studios. His studio has produced visual effects work for HBO, BBC, Starz, SyFy Channel, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, Sony and Warner Bros.
Credits include work on Mad Max: Fury Road, Homeland, Eye in the Sky, Grimsby, Five Fingers for Marseilles, Escape Room and BlacKkKlansman.
Wim studied BA Information Science, Design and Film. His experience as an editor, sound mixer and colourist gave him a solid background for VFX and motion design. His impressive creative vision and experience gave him the opportunity to work on long form projects for Sky, HBO and Netflix, including numerous commercial, corporate and broadcast design projects. He enjoys strategic and creative problem solving and is incredibly passionate about all the projects he is involved in. His credits include Rage, The Red Sea Diving Resort, Die Spreeus, Cut-out Girls and Gaia.
Tim Pringle has been working in television, film and radio for almost two decades, delivering shows across all genres to major local and international broadcasters.
He has won several awards for his sound design work, and can boast multiple titles to his name, amongst others Open Water, Die Spreeus, Wahenga, Rage, Vaselinetjie, Killer Whales: The Mega Hunt, Necktie Youth, Avenged, Verraaiers, MasterChef and many more.
Jermaine Davids has built up a reputation in the film industry as a Gaffer who loves a challenge, most recently in Gaia, the TV series 4 Mure and the feature film A Christmas Chorus. Before that he was Best Boy on hit series like Die Spreeus and Dwaalster, and grip assistant on Waterfront. Over the years, Jermaine has established himself as an anchor in every crew he joins, a leader who gives selflessly for the quality of the work.