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Necktie Youth


A film by Sibs Shongwe-La Mer

TRIBECA 2015 (USA)PANORAMA 2015 (Berlin). Haunted by the memory of Emily, a girl who live-streamed her suicide one year ago, Jabz and his best friend September go on a drug-fueled joyride through the affluent suburbs of Johannesburg.

Genre(s): Drama / First Film

• Theme(s): Africa / Art / City / Drugs / Multiculturalism / Sex / Teens

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Necktie Youth

  • Sibs Shongwe-La Mer


    Sibs Shongwe-La Mer is a 23 year- old South African independent filmmaker, writer, visual artist, and curator, who's debut narrative short film, "Death Of Tropics" received it's first international platform at the Mosaic World Film Festival in Illinois, USA and later competed at the Shnit International Short Film Festival in Switzerland and at the Clermont-Ferrand Court Metrage in France.


Festival(s) & Award(s)

  • 2015: Berlinale (Germany) | Panorama
  • 2015: Tribeca Film Festival | Narrative Competition
  • 2015: Durban International Film Festival | Main CompetitionBest South African Feature Film, Best Director
  • 2015: BFI London Film Festival (UK) | Journey
  • 2015: American Film Institute Festival (AFI FEST) | BREAKTHROUGH
  • 2015: Era New Horizons Wroclaw International Film Festival (Poland)
  • 2015: Guanajuato International Film Festival (Mexico)
  • 2015: Festival do Rio (Brazil)
  • 2015: Milano Film Festival 20th
  • 2015: Bergen International Film Festival
  • 2015: Bogota International Film Festival (BIFF)
  • 2015: Mar del Plata IFF
  • 2015: Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF)
  • 2016: Geneva Black Movie Festival (Switzerland) | 69% Spiritueux
  • 2016: Göteborg International Film Festival (Sweden)
  • 2016: CinemAfrica Filù Festival
  • 2016: Open Doors - Locarno


It's one year after the death of Jabz's friend Emily who mysteriously live streamed her own suicide on the internet. While a documentary crew tries to make sense of her death, Jabz and others who knew Emily are desperate to forget. Jabz and September float through the city in a borrowed Jaguar, mouthing off about race, politics and bizarre sexual encounters. A series of seemingly random events, from shoplifting pharmaceuticals to picking a fight in a liquor store, to a disturbing visit to their cross-dressing drug dealer, eventually leads them to the home (and the arms) of beautiful bikini-clad Jewish twins, Tali and Rafi. Expensive wine is opened and more drugs consumed as the group descends into a child-like euphoric haze. Through it all Jabz and September cling to each other, trying to express the feeling shared by all the kids in the city; a desire for compassion and identity in large doses.

Shot in black and white, Shongwe-La Mer's films is a tale of disaffected youth, bad drugs, bravado and suicide, set amongst the leafy suburbs of middle class Johannesburg.

Technical Specs

  • Runtimes: 86'
  • Color(s): Black and White
  • Country(ies) of production: South Africa / Netherlands
  • Original Language(s): Afrikaans / English / Zulu
  • Subtitle(s) available: English

Artistic & Technical Crew

With: Bonko Khoza, Sibs Shongwe-La Mer, Colleen Balchin, Kamogelo Moloi, Emma Tollman, Jonathan Young, Kelly Bates
  • Screenplay: Sibs Shongwe-La Mer

Company Credits

  • Produced by: Elias Ribeiro, John Trengove
  • Coproduced by: Nicole Kitt, Gijs Kerbosh