LGBTQ Road Trip Film ‘Runs in the Family’ Boarded by ‘In Flames’ Producer Fae Pictures, NSFW Clip Unveiled (EXCLUSIVE)

Shant Joshi’s Los Angeles and Toronto-based company Fae Pictures (2023 Cannes title “In Flames”) has boarded Cape Town-based company Giant Films’ “Runs in the Family.”

Fae will executive produce and handle the festival launch of the LGBTQ+ road trip family drama, a clip for which has been unveiled. The film is by real-life father-son duo Ian Gabriel (“Ludik”) and Gabe Gabriel (“No Hiding Here”). Ian directed and Gabe wrote and stars in “Runs in the Family.” The film marks Gabe’s first professional role since he came out as trans in 2019.

The film follows a reformed con artist, Varun (Ace Bhatti), and his transmasculine son, River (Gabe Gabriel), on a road trip across South Africa to break River’s estranged mother (Diaan Lawrenson) out of rehab. When injury befalls Ollie (Cleo Wesley), River’s drag partner and best friend, his mother propels father and son to partner up for a drag competition that could win River his gender-affirming surgery.

“Runs in the Family” will have its world premiere on June 1 at the Inside Out Film Festival in Toronto followed by its Asian premiere at the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival on June 10.

The film is produced by Amina Thornton and executive produced by Cindy Gabriel (“Four Corners”) and Joshi. Indigenous Film Distribution is handling South African distribution. Fae Pictures is handling festival distribution internationally.

Gabe Gabriel said: “Writing something so close to home, yet fictional, was an interesting new challenge. While based on my own complex, but positive relationship with my father as a young trans man coming into his own in South Africa, the story had to eventually separate itself from us and become its own magical thing in order to really take off. I took anecdotes from my life and my real father’s life and the qualities of our relationship and infused them into these fictional characters in order to both humanise them and make them interesting and specific and kind of quirky. One of my main goals was to represent something I have in real life but have never seen before in tv and film – a positive father-and-trans son relationship.”

“’Runs in the Family’ marks my first serious acting role since I came out as trans in 2019. The first thing I’ll say is what a relief it is to spend all my energy on acting rather than half on the character and half on performing a gender that never felt like it fit me. It was also extremely rewarding to play my first trans role – to portray a trans experience in all of its very specific and beautiful, nuanced complexities,” Gabe added.

Ian Gabriel said: “It’s been a joy building ‘Runs in the Family’ as a father-son team, as a director working with my son, Gabe Gabriel (writer, lead actor and second unit director). So far, we’ve never yet seen a representation of a relationship like ours, on film. So we decided to create one. A positive one. A familiar yet untold heartfelt father-son family road trip comedy. Every time you decide to make a film, it’s something new, a rebirth. That is the most promising aspect for any discussion of the filmmaker’s vision: that something new and not seen before will be given the chance to evolve. The magic of film offers up hope for opportunities. We hand the film over to the audience and invite them to see – and hopefully recognise – some of the memories and thoughts of their own life, reimagined, binding us all together in the democratic dreamworld of cinema.”

“Runs in the Family” is a Giant Films presentation in association with Indigenous Film Distribution, The National Film and Video Foundation, The Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition and Fae Pictures.

Watch the clip here, which contains NSFW language:

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