Cinema legend Anant Singh on what it was like working with Whoopi Goldberg, Idris Elba and other big stars
Anant Singh has helped put the South African film industry on the map. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)
As a teenager, he made R1 a day rewinding 16mm reels at a movie rental store in Durban – but it wasn’t long before Anant Singh became the owner of that store. Fast forward a decade, and he had not only embarked on the distribution of films for the big screen, but was producing them as well. In this excerpt from his new memoirs, the cinema legend looks back on his most significant projects.
In the 1980s, Johannesburg’s Market Theater was a melting pot of culture and art. It was here, in 1987, that songwriter and playwright Mbongeni Ngema launched his groundbreaking musical Sarafina !, which was directed by John Kani with the lead role played by a then-unknown 16-year-old actress, Leleti Khumalo.
The story was based on the student revolt at Morris Isaacson Junior High, the site of student protests during the 1976 Soweto uprisings, and chronicles the students’ efforts to create a play based on their tragic history. It follows the lives of teenage Sarafina and her classmates on two fronts: surviving the madness and pain of their daily lives and reveling in the rhythms and energy of the school musical they were creating. .
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