Executive Producer, ANANT SINGH is recognised as South Africa’s pre-eminent film producer, having produced more than 100 films since 1984. Born and raised in Durban Singh began his film career at age 18 when he left his studies at the University of Durban-Westville to purchase a 16mm movie rental store. From there, he moved into video distribution, forming Videovision Entertainment and then progressed into film production in 1984 with PALACE OF WEEPIING, the first anti-apartheid film to be made entirely in South Africa.
He is responsible for many of the most profound anti-apartheid films made in South Africa, among which are PLACE OF WEEPING, SARAFINA!, CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY and YESTERDAY which received South Africa’s first Oscar® nomination.
Nelson Mandela called Singh “a producer I respect very much… a man of tremendous ability” when he granted him the film rights to his autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom. Singh is set to film LONG WALK TO FREEDOM later this year.
Among the films produced by Singh include: THE ROAD TO MECCA, with Kathy Bates; FATHER HOOD, with Patrick Swayze and Halle Berry; CAPTIVES, with Julia Ormond and Tim Roth; Tobe Hooper’s THE MANGLER, with Robert Englund and based on a Stephen King short story; PALJAS (shot in Afrikaans, the first South African film to be selected for Oscar Consideration in the Best Foreign Language film category); and RED DUST, with Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor, a drama focussing on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Singh’s association with South Africa’s number one box office star, Leon Schuster, saw the production of the Top Three Highest Grossing South African Films of All Time, MR BONES 2, MR BONES 1 AND MAMA JACK. The inspirational film, MORE THAN JUST A GAME which tells the story of organised football on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned was supported by FIFA and was released in 2008. Following this were the 2009 productions: the comedy, JOZI directed by Craig Freimond (GUMS ‘N NOSES) and OUTRAGEOUS! which sees South Africa’s top stand up comics come together in a no-holds barred, adults only stand up comedy experience.
In 2007, the Palm Beach International Film Festival conferred the World Visionary Award to Singh for his contribution to world cinema and his production of socially conscious films. The South African Film Industry honoured Singh for his significant contribution to the advancement of the industry with the inaugural Golden Horn Award for Outstanding Contributor at the first South African Film and Television Awards in October 2006. Singh is also a recipient of the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award and was conferred with honorary doctorates by the University of Durban-Westville and the University Of Port Elizabeth.