Anant Singh to make R7.5 billion investment for Durban film studios

Original article by IOL

President Cyril Ramaphosa presents Anant Singh with the South Africa Investment Conference Business Award. Picture supplied

Videovision Entertainment director and film producer Anant Singh is expected to make an investment of R7.5 billion for the development of film and television studios and related sectors in Durban.

Singh announced this development at the fourth South African Investment Conference hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Johannesburg. The film and creative industries received great prominence at the conference, which saw the introduction of the South Africa Investment Conference Business Awards.

Ramaphosa presented Anant Singh and Videovision Entertainment with an award for developing the Cape Town Film Studios, which have been the catalyst over the past 12 years for the Western Cape to benefit from a significant multiplier effect created by the film industry.

These studios have enabled the generation of an estimated R7bn per year in economic activity, with more than R100bn being accrued in this region since the studios opened.

Singh participated in the plenary session’s panel discussion, titled The African Opportunity – South Africa and Beyond, where he spoke about the positive impact of the film, television and creative industries on the African continent, while Ramaphosa acknowledged the economic impact made by Cape Town Film Studios, which were developed jointly by Singh and Videovision Entertainment in partnership with eMedia Holdings.

Singh spoke passionately about the creative industries sharing content in Africa. He used the example of the iconic film Sarafina! which he produced, saying how he was able to have it distributed in other African countries and drew a parallel with distribution platforms today.

While acknowledging the role streaming services are playing in content distribution, Singh also warned that content creators should be wary about giving away their intellectual property to these organisations, which could retain ownership and control, without any future benefit for creators.

In his concluding remarks, Anant Singh said: “We have amazing people on this continent. People do amazing things, but we do not celebrate that enough. Potential needs to be harnessed, supported and celebrated.”

In the closing session of the conference, Ramaphosa said: “In film and other creative industries there is huge untapped potential and more than enough talent. I had the occasion just last week to go to the Cape Town Film Studios and heard about how Netflix has committed quite a lot of money to produce some of their series and cartoons and all those things here in South Africa.”

Ramaphosa addressed the film, television and creative industries in his State of the Nation Address, saying they created a good environment for investors.

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FWA Connect bringing the Film, Arts, Media and Entertainment sector together by providing creative industry professionals on the African continent with news, trends and in-depth articles.

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