These are the directors of Cape Town film Studios.
Anant Singh is recognised as South Africa’s pre-eminent film producer, having produced more than 75 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 auto- biography, Long Walk To Freedom. Singh is set to film Long Walk to Freedom this year.
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.
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 Place of Weeping, the first anti-apartheid film to be made entirely in South Africa.
A selection of his subsequent feature films includes: Sarafina! with Whoopi Goldberg, Leleti Khumalo and Miriam Makeba; 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; Cry, the Beloved Country, from Alan Paton’s revered novel, with James Earl Jones and Richard Harris; 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 focusing 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.
Directly after the completion of Yesterday, Singh once again teamed up with director, Darrell James Roodt to produce Faith’s Corner which starred Leleti Khumalo and scored by multi-award winner Philip Glass. Following this was the stylish Cape Flats gangster film, Dollars And White Pipes directed by Donovan Marsh and which won the Best Director prize at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2006.
Singh produced the hit comedies Mr Bones 2: Back From The Past, Mr Bones and Mama Jack which are among the Top Four Highest Grossing South African Films of All Time, earning more than R35 million, R33 million and R28 million respectively.
Released in 2008 and produced by Singh is More Than Just A Game, the moving docu-drama feature which tells the inspiring story of organised soccer among prisoners on Robben Island (the maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were incarcerated by the apartheid regime in South Africa). 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.
Upcoming is the documentary feature My Hunter’s Heart which explores the world’s oldest culture and how it is now at the brink of extinction and The First Grader which tells the remarkable and uplifting story of a proud old Mau Mau veteran who is determined to seize his last opportunity to learn to read and goes to school for the first time, joining a class of six year olds.
Anant Singh has also produced notable documentaries, including Countdown to Freedom, about the first democratic election in South Africa, Prisoners of Hope, about a reunion on Robben Island of 1250 of its former political prisoners led by Nelson Mandela, Hero For All which documents Nelson Mandela’s farewell visit to the United States as he stepped down from the South African Presidency. Viva Madiba: A Hero For All Seasons was produced as a 90th Birthday tribute to Nelson Mandela in July 2008 and Obama: People’s President, a documentary feature that explores the unique and innovative US presidential campaign mounted by Barack Obama.
In 1996, Videovision Entertainment, together with Kagiso Trust Investments successfully acquired the former SABC radio stations, Radio Oranje (OFM) and East Coast Radio. This led to the formation of the JSE-listed, Kagiso Media Limited. Singh provided strategic direction in the following capacities:
Chairman and board member of Eastcoast Radio
Board member of OFM
Board member / director of Kagiso Media (1997 to 2006)
Singh resigned his directorships in all radio stations and Kagiso Media in 2006.
Singh is a board member of the Los Angeles-based Artists For A New South Africa and the Mandela 46664 Concert with Richard Branson, Dave Stewart and Jim Beach. He is also the only South African member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was appointed by President Thabo Mbeki to the Creative Collective, the body responsible for the organization of South Africa’s Ten Years Of Freedom Celebrations in 2004.
He is also Chairman of the Cape Town Film Studios which is currently under construction and is scheduled to open at the end of 2010. Singh’s expertise in media and entertainment saw him being appointed to the Board of Governors for Media and Entertainment of the World Economic Forum. Singh is also a member of the Forum’s Global Agenda Council. He is a former board member of the International Marketing Council Of South Africa and South African Tourism, having served two terms on both these bodies.
Singh is a recipient of the Crystal Award of the World Economic Forum and the Lifetime Founder Member Award of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Both the University of Durban-Westville and the University Of Port Elizabeth have conferred honorary doctorates on him.
Singh was also nominated for the 2006 Black Businessman Of The Year Award by the influential business magazine, Black Business Quarterly.
The 2007 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 Anant 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. Read More...
Marcel Golding is the chairman of HCI, Chief Executive Officer of e.tv (Pty) Ltd, director of Golden Arrow Bus Services (Pty) Ltd, Tsogo Sun Holdings (Pty) Ltd; Vukani Gaming Corporation (Pty) Ltd; YFm, Clover Limited and a trustee of the HCI Foundation. All directorships held by Marcel are part of the HCI group of companies, a 5bn investment company. He was the founding chairman of the Mineworkers Investment Company (linked to the National Union of Mineworkers), one of the two pioneering trade union investment companies in South Africa (the other being the SACTWU investment Group).
HCI is a level 5 contributor to BBEEE. In 2007 HCI attained the maximum 20 points at ownership level but surpassed this in 2008 by receiving an extra 3 bonus points to top the financial mail 2008 Top Empowerment Companies ["TEC"] award at ownership level. HCI attained an overall third place in the 2008 TEC stakes.
Marcel holds a postgraduate degree from the University of Cape Town where he tutored and lectured before joining the National Union of Mineworkers in the mid-80s. He was elected the first Deputy-General Secretary of the Union in 1987 at the age of 26. During his tenure as a unionist he served on the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of SA Trade Unions since its inception, the SA Miners Federation Executive Committee, the Miners International Federation Executive Committee, and various other related committees. He has attended numerous international conferences and has delivered papers on mining, labour, economic and development matters.
From 1994 to 1997 he served as a Member of Parliament, where he chaired the Minerals and Energy Committee and the Audit Commission, the oversight committee of the Office of the Auditor-General. Whilst in Parliament he pioneered key health and safety legislation for the mining industry, as well as policy papers in both the mining and energy fields.
He resigned from Parliament to head, with Johnny Copelyn, the only trade union-controlled, listed company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1997, the culmination of two years of work in the investment field for the trade union-linked investment companies of the miners and the clothing and textile unions.
Marcel has also been involved in a number of philanthropic, development and policy organisations as a trustee or director including the Mineworker Investment Trust, IDASA and the Minerals and Energy and Policy Centre.
Profile by: Larissa Focke for Colossal Magazine
Dekker, currently the most successful studio manager in South Africa is clearly the perfect man for the job. In 2004, he transformed a fertilizer factory into a viable studio called Table Mountain Motion Pictures Studios (TMMPS). TMMPS was South Africa’s first successful film studio complex, with 15 film related companies on site. And Dekker made it all happen with no financial assistance from government or any other industry organisation.
“It was the most difficult challenge you could have thrown at someone and it wasn’t easy’’, Dekker admits. “But I managed to convince the shareholders of my vision and I signed personal surety for the studios.’’
In addition to signing personal liability Dekker initially didn’t earn a salary. Fast forward two years, and the studio was running at a profit. He was able to pay a dividend to the shareholders and the studio space boasted 80% occupancy. Furthermore, TMMPS hosted some of the world’s biggest stars like Ethan Hawke, Steven Seagal and Nicholas Cage.
The movie 10 000 BC based its production at TMMPS for an entire year. Using a multiplier factor of 3.5 for every job and Rand spent; approximately R1.4 Billion in economic activity is calculated to have been generated over a nine-month period.
Suffice it to say, TMMPS was a raging success. A grand total of 169 jobs were created and the 15 companies on the backlot had a combined turnover of approximately R70 million per annum. TMMPS also boasted the largest sound proofed stages in the country.
Sadly, TMMPS was forced to close its doors after the owner sold the land to developers. Dekker was given the option to buy, but at that stage the value of the land had increased from tens of millions of Rands to Hundreds of Millions. The market value had gone beyond their reach and Dekker simply could not afford it. All the film studios were consequently demolished.
“This was my first taste of creating a common base of companies in the film industry to work together”, Dekker Says of the project. “It gave me a clear understanding of what was needed.”
Not disheartened, Dekker went on to redesign, build and transform some old sheds near the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg into what is now Q-Studios. The project was finalised in 2006 and Studio 2 of Q- Studios is considered to be one of the top sound stages in Gauteng with superb sound quality.
During the last 12 years, Dekker has been involved in the creation of various companies in different sectors of the economy. He has a proven track record in marketing, sales, financial management and the structural planning of larger projects. Amazingly, all of the companies he co-founded during this period were running profitable within 24 month period of operation. Some of these companies include Cinegate Africa and The Editing Café.
After nine years of self-imposed exile in Germany with his wife, Dagmar, Dekker returned to South Africa in 1991 when most people were leaving the country. Vehemently anti-Apartheid, he came back with a strong vision in mind and a head full of practical, creative ideas to help his fellow citizens.
Today Dekker’s foresees the studio space as playing a pivotal role in the South African film industry. He wants to create a friendly studio environment where people can live, work and play. He believes that South Africa needs world class studio space to accommodate international and national productions. In addition, he deems that big productions will never be brought to the country unless we can provide highly competitive conditions.
“I don’t just view the studio as a building, “Dekker explains, “I see it as a vehicle for taking the industry to new dimensions. We as an industry cannot grow if we do not create a home for ourselves where we can establish long term foundations. We have the oldest industry in the world, but it seems to have gone backwards. We need the stability, longevity and co-production that only a studio can provide.’’
Dekker, who has also worked as a script-writer on feature film projects for Constantin Film in Los Angeles, has a sound understanding of the film industry.
“We are an industry that is driven by facilitation” he says. “And there is a more stable future in a studio environment. Studios mean that the seasonality of the industry is changed profoundly. People can look forward to being employed for a full year as opposed to shooting a commercial for three days or less.”
While Dekker and his wife were living in exile, he became a well- known critic of the Apartheid regime. During that time, he wrote for major German and Swiss newspapers and radio stations. He also organised various conferences and congresses that were actively anti-Apartheid. Furthermore, he was vice-president of Umoja, an organisation of African professionals living in Europe who focused their time and attention on transferring skills back to Africa.
Dekker is also a trained journalist who has worked for radio; TV and the print media in both Europe and South Africa. He has strong communication, marketing and management skills. He also has organising and marketing prowess, as he has coordinated numerous functions and events, most notably one of the largest fairs in Europe, the Museumsurfer Festival.
Dekker was, until recently, the managing director of Table Mountain Pictures, (TMP) an independent sales agent and distributor of South African film.
Dekker injects personal commitment and passion into every project he oversees. He is what many people would call a visionary. Through strong leadership, every project he touches turns to gold. It’s no surprise that he is part of history in the making and head of the greatest investment in the South African Film industry. If anyone can facilitate bridging the gap between South African and international film industry, it’s Nico Dekker.
Willem Nel is the Chief Financial Officer of Sabido Investments (Pty) Ltd, a South African Media Investment Holding Company, who own and control various investments e.g. e.tv (the only free-to-air South African terrestrial broadcaster), e.sat tv (twenty four hour e-news channel on DStv), YFM (the leading black youth radio station broadcasting in Gauteng), Sasani Studios (largest television studios in Gauteng) etc..
He is a chartered accountant and he joined e.tv, late 2002, as its Chief Financial Officer.
Sanjeev Singh has over 28 years of experience in film acquisition and distribution in South Africa.
Sanjeev acquired various genres of films for Distribution in South Africa ranging from small independent Documentaries, Foreign Language, and Arthouse films to multi million Dollar Blockbuster films.
Among the Documentary Acquisitions are the Oscar winner, March of the Penguins, Oscar nominees, Amandla, Long Night’s Journey into Day, and Super Size Me.
Foreign Language Film acquisitions include the Academy Award winners, Spirited Away, Nowhere in Africa and Pan’s Labyrinth, and the Academy Award nominees, City of God, Paradise Now and The Baader Meinhof Complex.
CGI nominated titles include, Valiant, Happily Never After and Space Chimps.
Also among the high profile films acquired by Sanjeev are Gracie, Power of the Game, The Grand Finale, Goal 3, Maradona, Tyson, Racing Stripes, Sahara, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Transporter 3, Phantom of the Opera, Knowing, Band Slam, Sunshine Cleaning, The Burning Plain, The Bank Job, Disgrace, We Own the Night and 30 Days of Night as well as the Oscar successes Vicky Christine Barcelona, The Wrestler and An Education.
Sanjeev has executive produced a number of motion pictures made under the banner of Videovision Entertainment, among which are More than Just a Game, the Oscar Nominated, Yesterday, Red Dust, the hit comedies Mr Bones and Mr Bones 2 and Mama Jack, The Long Run, Barack Obama: The People’s President, Jozi and Outrageous. He was also associate producer on Bravo Two Zero, Sarafina!, and Cry, The Beloved Country.
His expertise in the film industry was recognized by former Minister of Arts & Culture, Dr Ben Ngubane with an appointment as a councillor on the Inaugural National Film and Video Foundation Council. Read more...
Presently Chief Commercial Officer of Sabido and Non-Executive Director of YFM and Cape Town Film Studios, he is responsible for the generation of Revenue and Trade Marketing.
His broadcasting career has evolved over a period of eighteen years, the start of which was a freelance radio presenter at Radio Lotus. He was appointed Station Manager at Radio Lotus and during his tenor the station was transformed into Lotus FM, making it more vibrant and relevant to the community it served.
After a successful stint at the radio station and as recognition of his marketing abilities which included an award for Emerging Marketer of the Year in KZN, he was promoted to Regional Manager of Radio Active for the SABC in the Western Cape. The core responsibility was to generate revenue for all the SABC radio stations, within a short space of time he was promoted to National Sales Manager in Johannesburg.
He then joined Multichoice SA as a National Sales Manager and was head-hunted by eTV which he joined in April 2002.
He is frequently requested to talk on broadcasting matters and is a regular guest lecturer at the Sol Plaatjies School of Media at Rhodes University.
He holds the following degrees. BA. UHDE. Bed. MBA. CM (SA).
Ms Phuti Tsukudu has an MEd from Bristol University in the UK, BA (Social Work) from the University of the North, Diploma in Adult Education from the University of the Western Cape and a Certificate in Counselling from the Counselling Unit, University of Leeds in the UK. She has worked as a counsellor, trainer and in the management of NGOs for more than fifteen (15) years. She has extensive organisational development consulting experience with a number of organisations in the public, private and NGO sectors in South and Southern Africa.
Thabo Leholo, chairman of the Helderberg African Chamber of Commerce and provincial head of the Independent Complaints Directorate.
Chief Executive Officer: Wesgro
Nils Flaatten completed his high schooling at Paul Roos Gymnasium, in Stellenbosch. He then spent a year as a Rotary Exchange Student in Spooner Wisconsin (USA) where he attended Spooner High School. He served in the South African Navy as a Combat Officer and during his sea time visited Marion Island and the Antarctic. He obtained a Bachelors of Art degree from the Stellenbosch University.
After university he worked in London for Dresdner RCM Global Investors and then Barclays Global Investors in Jersey (Channel Islands).
Nils then moved to Hong Kong where he worked for Citigroup as the Asia-Pacific Regional Marketing Manager in the bank’s Global Corporate and Investment Bank division. While in Hong Kong he also served as the Chairperson of the South African Business Forum.
He then returned to London where he worked for the Capital Markets Company (Capco) as a management consultant. Here his assignments included work on European stock exchanges, the acquisition of an outsourced trade service company, financial services outsourcing and capital market process management.
He returned to South Africa where he served as advisor to the provincial Minister for Development, Economics and Planning and Managing Director of the African Carbon Trust. He is currently the CEO (Acting) for Wesgro - the Western Cape Government’s investment and trade promotion agency.
Nils has also guest lectures at the Stellenbosch University Graduate School of Business, teaching on Doing Business in China and China Market Access. He sits on the board of an NGO called Young in Prison and his interests include wine, rugby, golf, dinghy and offshore sailing.