By Sthembile Gasa
Responsible for bringing some of the most influential movies to South Africa, there’s no denying that Anant Singh is one of the country’s leading producers. He’s produced movies such as the critically acclaimed 'Sarafina', 'Cry the Beloved Country' and more recently 'Yesterday', which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2004.
Singh’s passion for movies was ignited as a young boy growing up in Durban. He attended Sastri College in Durban and grew up in the Suburbs of Springfield and Reservoir Hills. He once converted his home lounge into a makeshift cinema for the neighbourhood kids.
The first tangible sign that he wanted to make movies came when he abandoned his studies at the University of Durban-Westville to buy a video rental store.
He made his debut as a producer in 1997, in the anti-apartheid feature film 'A Place of Weeping', which was directed by Darell Roodt. The film marked the first in a line of movies that showcased resistance against the apartheid system. Singh’s most memorable movie to date is another anti apartheid feature, Sarafina, which was a success around the world and starred Hollywood actress Whoopi Goldberg and local girl Leleti Khumalo.
The father of two boys Gyana and Kiyan says he enjoys spending time with his wife Vanashree and his family. His hobbies include yoga and diving. And his favourite movie? The Orson Welles classic 'Citizen Kane'.
In 1996 Singh won the adaptation right to Nelson Mandela’s 'Long walk to Freedom' and a film version is due for production. He is also involved in the production of a feature film about American student Amy Biehl, who was murdered while studying in South Africa in 1993.