13/11/2017 13:14 SAST | Updated 13/11/2017 13:56 SAST

Hollywood's Cool Kids To Star In Sibs Shongwe-La Mer's New Film

Emile Hirsch is just one of the big names coming on board the SA film maker's upcoming project.

Rob Kim via Getty Images

Award-winning South African film maker Sibs Shongwe-La Mer has announced the lead actors for "The Sound of Animals Fighting", his second feature, and they're a veritable who's who of Hollywood's indie scene.

"The Sound of Animals Fighting" will star Emile Hirsch -- who won America's heart for his roles in classics such as "Milk" and "Into the Wild" -- and Alice Braga from "City of God", "Elysium" and "Queen of the South", who will play Valentina.

The film follows two young brothers, James (played by Hirsch) and Mickey, who leave their home and country after a close friend dies during a night of decadence in Johannesburg. They end up seeking refuge in Sao Paulo in Brazil, where they are thrust into a world of hedonism and danger as they navigate crime, drug-smuggling and romance.

"I feel truly blessed to work with such incredible talents whom I have deep admiration for," Shongwe-La Mer says. "Emile's work in 'Lords Of Dogtown' and 'Into the Wild' contributed a hell of a lot to my adolescence. That feeling of being understood I only found in film and outsider art, just as much as Alice's nuanced performance in 'City Of God' and the lawlessness that film exudes did."

At 23 years old, Shongwe-La Mer made his debut feature with the critically acclaimed "Necktie Youth", which premiered at Berlinale, and also screened at Tribeca, AFI, Sydney and London festivals, and won best film and best director awards at Durban International Film Festival.