Anant Singh

Anant Singh - Producer

ANANT SINGH (Producer) 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. Singh produced 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; 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, and selected for Oscar Consideration in the Best Foreign Language film category); and Red Dust, starring Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor, helmed by Academy Award® winning Tom Hooper (The King's Speech). Singh's association with South Africa's Number One Box office star, Leon Schuster, saw the production of the Three of the Top Five 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, starring 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 Leon Schuster's hit comedies Mama Jack, Mr Bones, and the sequel Mr. Bones 2: Back From The Past, which are among the Top Five Highest Grossing South African Films of All Time, earning more than R35 million, R33 million and R28 million respectively.

Singh's production More Than Just A Game, was 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 was the comedy, Jozi directed by Craig Freimond (Gums ‘n Noses) and Outrageous! featuring South Africa's top stand up comics come together in a no-holds barred, adults only stand up comedy experience.

The First Grader (helmed by Justin Chadwick) which was a hit at the Telluride, Toronto, London and Doha Film Festivals in 2010, 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. The documentary features My Hunter’'s Heart which explores the world's oldest Shamanic culture and how it is now at the brink of extinction; and Once In A Lifetime which celebrates the magic and euphoria of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa were produced in 2010.

Anant 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 when 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.

Singh is Chairman of the Cape Town Film Studios, a state-of-the-art film studio facility outside Cape Town and co-chair of the Cape Town metropolitan radio station, Smile 90.4FM. His 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.

Singh is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He 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 honored 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.


William Nicholson

William Nicholson - Screenwriter

WILLIAM NICHOLSON (Screenwriter) Sussex and Gloucestershire. He was educated at Downside School and Christ's College, Cambridge, and then joined BBC Television, where he worked as a documentary filmmaker. There his ambition to write, directed first into novels, was channeled into television drama. His plays for television include Shadowlands and Life Story, both of which won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award in their year; other award-winners were Sweet As You Are and The March. In 1988 he received the Royal Television Society's Writer's Award. His first play, an adaptation of Shadowlands for the stage, was Evening Standard Best Play of 1990, and went on to a Tony Award winning run on Broadway. He was nominated for an Oscar® for the screenplay of the film version, which was directed by Richard Attenborough and starred Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger.

He has written and directed his own film, Firelight; and four further stage plays, Map of the Heart; Katherine Howard; and The Retreat from Moscow, which ran for five months on Broadway and received three Tony Award nominations, and Crash. William's novel for older children, The Wind Singer, won the Smarties Prize Gold Award on publication in 2000, and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award in 2001.

Its sequel, Slaves of the Mastery, was published in 2001, and the final volume in the trilogy, Firesong. The trilogy has been sold in every major foreign market, from the US to China. His second sequence of fantasy novels is called The Noble Warriors, which includes Seeker; Jango, and Noman. His novels for adults are The Society of Others; The Trial of True Love; The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life; All the Hopeful Lovers, and The Golden Hour. His love-and-sex novel for teens, Rich and Mad, was published in 2010.

Nicholson's screenplays include Les Miserables directed by Tom Hooper, Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen), Gladiator as co-writer, Dreamworks/Universal, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, an Academy Award® nomination for best screenplay 2000, Grey Owl, directed by Richard Attenborough, starring Pierce Brosnan, Firelight, written and directed by Nicholson, starring Sophie Marceau and Stephen Dillane Special Jury Prize / Youth Prize / Best Cinematography, San Sebastian Festival, First Knight, starring Sean Connery and Richard Gere, Nell, starring Jodie Foster and Liam Neeson, Shadowlands, starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, Academy Award Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1993, A Private Matter (TV film, HBO 1992) starring Sissy Spacek and Aidan Quinn, Screenplay nominated for Emmy, Ace awards, Sarafina!, starring Whoopi Goldberg, The March (TV film, BBC tv 1990), starring Juliet Stevenson, Italia Prize 1990: Special Mention, The Vision(TV film, BBC TV 1988) starring Dirk Bogarde, Lee Remick, Helena Bonham-Carter, Sweet As You Are, (TV film, BBC TV 1988) starring Miranda Richardson and Liam Neeson Banff Festival: Best Drama 1988 RTS Best Actress Award: Miranda Richardson, 1988 ACE award: Best International Drama 1990, Royal Television Society's Writer’s Award, 1987/8, and Life Story, starring Jeff Goldblum.

William's multiple awards include Best Television Film, New York Film Festival 1987 BAFTA Best Television Drama 1987 ACE Award, Best Picture, 1988, Crime of the Century (TV film, HBO 1996) starring Stephen Rea and Isabella Rossellini Screenplay nominated for Golden Globe, Emmy, Ace awards, New World (TV film, BBC TV 1986) starring James Fox and Bernard Hill, 
Disney Channel Shadowlands (TV Film) (TV film, BBC TV 1985) starring Claire Bloom and Joss Acklan, BAFTA Best Television Play of 1985, International Emmy 1986, Martin Luther (TV film, BBC TV 1983) starring Jonathan Pryce.

Justin Chadwick

Justin Chadwick - Director

British filmmaker, JUSTIN CHADWICK (Director) started his career in the entertainment industry as a child actor. He graduated from the University of Leicester and in 1991 made his screen debut in London Kills Me. Additional acting credits include The Loss of Sexual Innocence and appearances in the television dramas Heartbeat, Dangerfield, Dalziel and Pascoe, and others.

Chadwick's directorial debut was the 1993 television movie Family Style starring Ewan McGregor which he directed and performed in Shakespeare Shorts, a series that explored the history of Shakespearean characters and presented them in key scenes from the plays in which they appeared. He directed episodes of Eastenders; Byker Grove; The Bill; Spooks, and Red Capbefore directing nine of the fifteen episodes of the mini-series Bleak House, which was broadcast by the BBC in the UK and by PBS in the United States as part of its Masterpiece Theatre series.

Chadwick was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Director for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special, the Royal Television Society Award for Breakout Performance Behind the Scenes, and the BAFTA Award for Best Direction of Bleak House, which was the Best Drama Serial winner in the British Academy Television Awards 2006. Bleak House was also nominated for two Golden Globes, four Royal Television Society Awards, three Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, three Satellite Awards, and the Television Critics Award.

Following The Other Boleyn Girl, which was screened at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival, he completed the multiple award-winning and critically acclaimed feature filmThe First Grader,starring Naomie Harris.


Lol Crawley

Lol Crawley - Cinematographer

British Cinematographer, LOL CRAWLEY, gained his first feature film credit on Lance Hammer's Ballast, which won an Excellence in Cinematography award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Ballast went onto screenings In Competition at the Berlin Film Festival and over 30 other international film festivals, winning further awards and intense critical praise. 2008 also saw the release of Lol's second feature as DP with the UK-produced feature Better Things, which was invited to premier in the prestigious Critics' Week section of the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and went on to play in competition at the Edinburgh and Toronto International Film Festivals.

Crawley's other credits in a diverse career working across features shorts and television drama include the highly acclaimed short films Field, and Love Me or Leave Me Alone, both directed by Duane Hopkins. These films won over 20 awards on the international film festival circuit including the Gold Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival and Best British Short Film at Edinburgh. In November 2008, Lol was named one of 10 "Cinematographers to Watch" in Variety. His other motion picture credits include; Wasted; Here, starring Peter Coyote, Morag McKinnon's Donkeys; and Andre Okpeaha MacLean's On the Ice.

Lol's work in Television includes The BAFTA winning Four Lions by Chris Morris; BBC costume drama The Crimson Petal and the White. His documentaries include From the Ashes; One Night in Turin, and Shorts are Cigarette at Night; Baby; Jade; Keel; and You're the Stranger Here. Lol has a distinctive style across genres and budgets. His most recent work includes Roger Michell's latest Hyde Park on Hudson starring Bill Murray and Laura Linney, and Ilya Khrzhanovskiy's Dau.