Private Project

The Great Gatsby: Redemption

A Gatsby is a South African sandwich that has been described as a "filling, budget meal." It is a standard menu item in Cape Town corner stores, and has become a cultural symbol and significant part of the heritage of the Cape Flats, where it originated from.

For Hector - a young Cape Flats man, with a dark and troubled past - a special and memorable experience with a Gatsby will lead to his redemption when he confronts the villainous gangster Neville in order to rescue the love of his life, the sweet and lovely Daisi…

Produced in 72 hours for the SHNIT Realtime Competition during the 2015 SHNIT Short Film Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, three directors were provided with three scores (centring around the themes of INJUSTICE, REDEMPTION and RETRIBUTION respectively) and tasked with creating a 3-7 minute film. Writer-Director Willem Grobler drew the REDEMPTION score. This is his accompanying film, which went on the win the competition.

  • Willem Grobler
  • Willem Grobler
  • Nicki Priem
  • Liesel Priem
  • Gantane Gwane Kusch
    Key Cast
  • Hein de Vries
    Key Cast
  • Vinita Petrus
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Action, Comedy, Romance
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 8, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    320 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Red Dragon
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • SHNIT International Short Film Festival Closing Night/Awards Ceremony 2015
    Cape Town
    October 11, 2015
    South African Premiere
    Realtime Competition Winner
  • That Film Focus 2016
    Cape Town, South Africa
    February 20, 2016
  • Black Filmmakers Film Festival 2016
    Cape Town, South Africa
    February 23, 2016
Director Biography - Willem Grobler

Willem Grobler was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. He holds an Honours Degree in Film and Media Studies from the University of Cape Town, and currently works as a commercials director.

After spending the first few years of his career working as a video editor, Willem started his professional directing career in 2011, and has since directed numerous commercial spots, music videos and short films. His most recent short film - THE GREAT GATSBY: REDEMPTION - was produced in 72 hours during the SHNIT International Short Film Festival in October 2015 and won the coveted Realtime Award. The film is currently screening at festivals worldwide.

Willem is currently developing his feature length crime drama GOD IS GOOD with producer Nicki Priem, thanks to support of South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation. Set against the violent backdrop of the Cape Flats, GOD IS GOOD will be his directorial debut.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

GATSBY was one of the most challenging yet awarding filmmaking endeavours of my entire career.

I'd always wanted to participate in the SHNIT Realtime Competition, and in 2015 I was picked. This time, however, they decided to offer three themes, instead of one, and to accompany each theme with a musical composition, adding another layer to the challenge of producing a film in 72 hours.

Suffice it to say that I was so terrified once I'd heard the music that I considered withdrawing, but with the encouragement of friends and colleagues I persevered, and ended up working well outside of my comfort zone... And it was totally worth it.

My work is generally far darker and moodier, but this film added a dash of colour and brightness to this mix, making for something rather extraordinary. It was also my first attempt at comedy - a genre that has always terrified me as it's so hard to do right - but now that the ice has been broken, I don't see a reason not to return to it, as there's nothing more satisfying than watching people laugh at exact beats you intended for them to laugh at. Colour me pleasantly surprised.