Anant Singh’s journey with film began with Charlie Chaplin, flickering in black and white on a makeshift screen in the family’s modest home in Springfield, Durban. Later he rewound 16mm reels in a film rental store in Durban, and before his twentieth birthday, he was the owner of that store and in a business in which no person of colour had ventured. By hiring out films classified for whites only to all races and uncensored movies to anyone who wanted to watch them, Anant was arrested for breaking the laws he refused to recognise as legitimate. He moved on to wider distribution, first to cinemas across Africa and then to the international market, to setting up Videovision Enterprises, and finally to putting his heart and soul into producing award-winning and important films.
Today he is recognised as South Africa’s pre-eminent film producer, having produced more than 100 films over four decades, from the mid-1980s to the present. Some of these include Place of Weeping, The Stick, Cry, the Beloved Country, Sarafina!, the AIDS-awareness film Yesterday (South Africa’s first Oscar-nominated film) and, in 2013, the multi-award-winning Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
This extraordinary memoir is a story of professional relationships and of friendships with mentors, including Ahmed Kathrada, Fatima and Ismail Meer and Nelson Mandela, as well as with superstars. And it is a testament to determination, courage and perseverance – to speak up and speak out through the powerful medium of film.
Anant’s story is inspiring – how he rose from humble beginnings to the top of the film world and more … I salute him for all that he has achieved!’ – QUINCY JONES
‘Never boring, never pedantic nor boastful, often witty, In Black and White is an electrifying account of the passion, hard work and dedication – and the audacity – that has made Anant Singh South Africa’s most celebrated and successful filmmaker, both locally and internationally.’ – BARBARA HOGAN
In Black and White is published by Pan Macmillan South Africa