SIBS SHONGWE-LA MER
Sibs Shongwe- La Mer (born 11 September 1991) is a screenwriter, film director, musician and visual artist born in Johannesburg, South Africa. His critically acclaimed debut feature film, Necktie Youth premiered in the Panorama section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival,Tribeca Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival and numerous top tier international film festivals, winning "Best South African Feature Film" and "Best Direction" at the Durban International Film Festival in 2015. The film went on to garner a multitude of awards including "Best Achievement in Cinematography" and "Best Achievement in editing" at the 2015 South African Film and Television Awards.Necktie Youth was theatrically released in South Africa (2015) at Ster-Kinekor and on the iTunes Store & DStv Box-office. The film was later released in the Netherlands, Brazil & American VOD between 2016-2017. Mid 2016, Shongwe-La Mer signed representation contracts with top London film lit agency Casarotto Ramsay & Associates , Rick Yorn's LBI entertainment joining Hollywood heavy weight CAA mid 2017.
Shongwe-La Mer relocated to Amsterdam in that same year after being awarded the "3 Package Deal"grant in Film by the Amsterdam Fonds Voor De Kunst and Bureau Broedplaatsen (BBp) in association with 35 renowned Amsterdam arts institutions. The annual "3 package deal" grant is now considered an example of best practices in the field of talent development. It's is to encourage and assist exceptional global talent from various disciplines who are awarded working spaces, living spaces and a sizable development budgets for projects of their choosing. Sibs Shongwe-La Mer was selected as one of two global filmmakers as part of the Film Coalition made up of EYE Film Institute Netherlands, the Netherlands Film Academy, the Binger Filmlab and IDFA (film festival). Halal, the Amsterdam producer, has also entered into a creative alliance with the artist, signing on to co-produce his feature project "The Color Of The Skull". Later that year, Shongwe-La Mer received national honors at YOUNG INDEPENDENTS AWARDS, winning the "Industry Disruptor" category, celebrating the countries young elite across the arts, sciences and humanities.
2018 saw Shongwe-La Mer´s first invitation to participate in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival where he took the screenplay of "Color Of The Skull" to the festivals celebrated development program, l´Atelier. The young director took top prize winning the ARTE INTERNATIONAL AWARD for most promising cinematic vision.
In later that year, Variety announced Shongwe-La Mer´s Hollywood feature debut "Meridian". The art world suspense will be produced by iconic hollywood producer Cassian Elwes (Dallas Buyers Club, Mudbound, Blue Valentine). Scheduled for production in 2020 in the United States.
LAIKA1991 is the creative studio & production company of Sibs Shongwe-La Mer created by the emerging talent and his skilled team of international representatives for the sole function of development, financing and producing the raising artists creative endeavours. Named after the first animal to journey into space, LAIKA is an distinctive African company led by an international voice, fiercely forging its own path in an uncertain world.
Opening its doors in 2018, LAIKA went to Cannes with it's debut French/South African co-production, " Colour Of The Skull", selected for the festival's l'Atelier and winning the top development prize. In 2019, we embarked on our first feature film co-production developing and producing Sibs Shongwe-La's "Halo Daze", along with Stoyscope Studios. The film is scheduled for production in late 2019 and will be sold by Versatile films, Paris.
With an active development slate of commercial arthouse properties produced in collaboration of by trusted partners in South Africa, Holland, France, Germany and the USA, and creative outputs spanning mediums, LAIKA1991 is fly into a bright future on its ambitious creators imagination.