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Anant Singh

South African 1956- 

Born and raised in apartheid South Africa in the eastern coastal city of 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 1986 with Place of Weeping, the first anti-apartheid film to be made entirely in South Africa. Singh is the producer of Yesterday (from director, Darrell James Roodt), which received South Africa’s first Academy Award Nomination in the Best Foreign Language Picture category in 2005, the Peabody Award and an Emmy Nomination in 2006 in the “Outstanding Made For Television Movie” category. Anant Singh is recognised as South Africa’s pre-eminent film producer, having produced more than 80 films since 1984. He is responsible for many of the most profound anti-apartheid films made in South Africa, among which are Place Of Weeping, Sarafina! and Cry, the Beloved Country. Nelson Mandela called him “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. The film titled Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is directed by Justin Chadwick and stars Idris Elba as Mandela and Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. The film has received wide critical acclaim internationally, and received prestigious award recognitions, including Academy Award and BAFTA nominations and a Golden Globe Award win. The South African Film Industry honoured Anant Singh for his significant contribution to the advancement of the industry with the inaugural Golden Horn Lifetime Achievement Award at the first South African Film and Television Awards in October 2006. Singh was also awarded the inaugural Simon Mabhunu Sabela Film Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 from the KwaZulu Natal Film Commission in honour of his contribution to raising the profile of the film industry in the KwaZulu Natal province and South Africa; and the inaugural Lionel Ngakane Lifetime Achievement Award from the RapidLion Film Festival in 2016. He was also conferred with honorary doctorates by the University of Durban-Westville, University Of Port Elizabeth, Durban University of Technology, and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.1


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