South Africa’s Sibs Shongwe-La Mer Tapped to Direct Cassian Elwes-Produced ‘Meridian’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Fast-rising South African helmer Sibs Shongwe-La Mer has been tapped to direct “Meridian,” produced by Cassian Elwes and Susan Carter Hall.

Based on an original screenplay by Henderson Hall and Karolina Waclawiak, it’s the story of a priceless Picasso that goes missing from a Nazi bunker after WWII, only to resurface decades later in the small American town of Meridian.

Shongwe-La Mer describes the film as “a beautiful ode to cinema” and “classic Hollywood.” “That Hollywood is the Hollywood that made me fall in love with films,” he says.

Shongwe-La Mer says he met Elwes in L.A. after the AFI Fest screening of his acclaimed debut, “Necktie Youth,” which premiered at the Berlinale in 2015. “Cassian Elwes is a true hero of mine,” he says. “From ‘Blue Valentine’ to ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ these are pictures that move me to the point that they remind me why I want to make films.”

The young helmer credits the “Mudbound” producer with mentoring him through his rapid climb, which sees Shongwe-La Mer in Cannes this week with his third feature, “The Color of the Skull.” That film is taking part in the Cinefondation’s Atelier, the Cannes fest’s forum for films seeking completion funding.

He says Elwes has stressed “the value of following your vision,” telling him, “When you find a movie you want to make, don’t let anyone else shy you away from that ambition.”

“Meridian” is currently casting. Shongwe-La Mer is also in production with “The Sound of Animals Fighting,” an ambitious South Africa-Brazil co-prod toplining Emile Hirsch and Alice Braga. The co-prod between Fireworx Media Brazil and Brazil’s Los Bragas and Querosene Filmes is being repped by Versatile in international markets and XYZ Films in the U.S.

More Film

  • Sinema Cardless Debuts From MoviePass Rival

    MoviePass Rival Sinemia Debuts Card-Free Feature

    Fast-rising South African helmer Sibs Shongwe-La Mer has been tapped to direct “Meridian,” produced by Cassian Elwes and Susan Carter Hall. Based on an original screenplay by Henderson Hall and Karolina Waclawiak, it’s the story of a priceless Picasso that goes missing from a Nazi bunker after WWII, only to resurface decades later in the […]

  • Distrib Films US Nabs 2017 Cannes

    Distrib Films US Acquires 2017 Cannes Competition Title 'Jupiter's Moon' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fast-rising South African helmer Sibs Shongwe-La Mer has been tapped to direct “Meridian,” produced by Cassian Elwes and Susan Carter Hall. Based on an original screenplay by Henderson Hall and Karolina Waclawiak, it’s the story of a priceless Picasso that goes missing from a Nazi bunker after WWII, only to resurface decades later in the […]

  • Romania’s Daniel Sandu Steps Beyond New

    Romania’s Daniel Sandu Steps Beyond New Wave With ‘Seraphim’

    Fast-rising South African helmer Sibs Shongwe-La Mer has been tapped to direct “Meridian,” produced by Cassian Elwes and Susan Carter Hall. Based on an original screenplay by Henderson Hall and Karolina Waclawiak, it’s the story of a priceless Picasso that goes missing from a Nazi bunker after WWII, only to resurface decades later in the […]

  • Film Projects 'Astronauts,' 'Friends,' Highlights at

    Comedy Film Projects 'Astronauts,' 'Friends,' Highlights at Madrid Pitchbox

    Fast-rising South African helmer Sibs Shongwe-La Mer has been tapped to direct “Meridian,” produced by Cassian Elwes and Susan Carter Hall. Based on an original screenplay by Henderson Hall and Karolina Waclawiak, it’s the story of a priceless Picasso that goes missing from a Nazi bunker after WWII, only to resurface decades later in the […]

  • ‘Burning’ Adds U.K., Japan, Australia Distribution

    Cannes: ‘Burning’ Adds U.K., Japan, Australia Distribution Deals

    Fast-rising South African helmer Sibs Shongwe-La Mer has been tapped to direct “Meridian,” produced by Cassian Elwes and Susan Carter Hall. Based on an original screenplay by Henderson Hall and Karolina Waclawiak, it’s the story of a priceless Picasso that goes missing from a Nazi bunker after WWII, only to resurface decades later in the […]

  • 'The Great Mystical Circus' Review: Hardly

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Great Mystical Circus'

    Fast-rising South African helmer Sibs Shongwe-La Mer has been tapped to direct “Meridian,” produced by Cassian Elwes and Susan Carter Hall. Based on an original screenplay by Henderson Hall and Karolina Waclawiak, it’s the story of a priceless Picasso that goes missing from a Nazi bunker after WWII, only to resurface decades later in the […]

  • 'Feral' Review

    Film Review: 'Feral'

    Fast-rising South African helmer Sibs Shongwe-La Mer has been tapped to direct “Meridian,” produced by Cassian Elwes and Susan Carter Hall. Based on an original screenplay by Henderson Hall and Karolina Waclawiak, it’s the story of a priceless Picasso that goes missing from a Nazi bunker after WWII, only to resurface decades later in the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content