Sibs Shongwane is a 23 year old film-maker whose debut feature film Necktie Youth tells a story out of youth struggles and angst in suburban Joburg. The film was premiered in Berlin, travelled to New York and Sydney and most recently, won the award for Best Film and Best Director at the Durban International Film Festival. Sibs shares a few insights on the film
Is the film autobiographical?
It is a reflection of my life, my own personal experiences and my perception of my generation. Being part of this generation and experiencing the themes I have explored in this picture from a first hand perspective, not only makes this film personal but also, I hope, a testament to the disillusion of first generation affluent suburban youth.
What is the impression that you feel the film should leave in people's minds?
I would not like to assume or prophecise the audiences perception or experience of this film. I believe cinema is a proposal. I hope to make cinema that does not dictate a vision of the world but returns to what I personally believe the value of motion pictures is... to reflect the times and start a conversation.
The film has had a great international run and has recently received some awards locally as well. Did you expect that it would be received the way it has been? And how does if feel to have created something so successful?
I feel extremely blessed to have had this film received very positively on an international scale. I think as human beings we all have an inert desire to be understood. I can't comment much about the critical success of Necktie Youth but I feel extremely humbled to be understood.
Can we expect a sequel for Necktie Youth or are you working on another film? And can you give us a preview
I'm always working on another movie. Because as someone who has always felt a disassociation from religion, cinema is my god. I will relentlessly worship at that alter. As to a preview of my next film...