Director Jaco Bouwer / 2021 / South Africa

Mytho-pagan eco horror meets fungi-infused body horror in the primordial South African jungle.

Deep in the antediluvian forests of Tsitsikamma National Park, rangers Gabi and Winston are on a routine survey mission. When their drone inexplicably goes dark, Gabi sets out to retrieve it and the two get separated. Stumbling across a father and son who, long ago, retreated from modern life to live as one with nature, Gabi finds herself reluctantly drawn into their world. But there’s something implacable and all-consuming in the undergrowth … as Winston has already discovered.

Director Jaco Bouwer’s chilling environmental parable weaves Abrahamic mythology, fungal biology and supernatural scares into an atypical Mother Earth revenge narrative. This atmospheric and stunningly cinematic thriller’s DOP, Jorrie van der Walt, nabbed the ZEISS Cinematography Award at SXSW 2021, and it’s not hard to see why. Like a breathtaking pre-apocalyptic vision, Gaia will engulf and absorb you.

“A stunning assault on the senses … It lures you in with its awe-inspiring sense of wonder and mythical world-building.” – Bloody Disgusting

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