Sibs Shongwe-La Mer

Necktie Youth

Sibs Shongwe-La Mer (1991, Johannesburg) is a filmmaker, visual artist and musician. Last year, Shongwe-La Mer attracted a great deal of international attention with his first full-length film, Necktie Youth, a film which focuses on the youth culture in Johannesburg. Sibs Shongwe-La Mer won the Jury Award at the World Cinema Amsterdam Festival in 2015. During the Durban International Film Festival (also in 2015), he won the prize both for best film and best director. In addition, Necktie Youth has been selected for showings at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, the Berlinale (Panorama) and the Sydney Film Festival, among others.

Sibs Shongwe-La Mer began making music videos in 2011. In 2012 and 2013, this resulted in two prize-winning short films: Death Of Tropics and Territorial Pissings. Both experimental  films are black and white, low-fidelity (or lo-fi, the counterpart of hi-fi, where everything is made of the best possible quality) shorts; each film records the youth culture in Johannesburg in its own way. In Necktie Youth, he went even deeper into that subject.

Film Coalition

Sibs Shongwe-La Mer, like [Dries Depoorter} is part of the Film Coalition made up of EYE, the Netherlands Film Academy, the Binger Filmlab and IDFA. Halal, the Amsterdam producer, has also entered into a creative alliance with this talented young filmmaker. In the coming year, Sibs Shongwe-La Mer plans to develop a second full-length film in collaboration with this producer, and with the support of the Film Coalition. In addition, he will try to promote a closer cooperation between young Dutch and South African filmmakers.

Necktie Youth trailer

Shongwe-La Mer’s first short film Death Of Tropics can be seen online in its entirety: