Anant Singh Builds Durban’s First Film Studio

Executive says new site will bring work to area and will 'complement' Cape Town center

In the apartheid era, the coastal city of Durban featured pristine “whites only” beaches and a boardwalk dotted with hotels and high-rise apartment blocks, a popular holiday destination. Legislation has changed all that and Durban stands as a symbol of the changes in the new South Africa: office-blocks, airport, high-rise apartments, improved infrastructure and road systems. Durban may have been the site of more changes than any other major center in the new South Africa, with one event standing as a symbol of that: The government’s successful effort to create a world-class city to host the 2010 World Cup Soccer.

Upcoming is another symbol of that change, and one that promises to create even more changes and, hopefully, jobs. Movie mogul Anant Singh will be constructing Durban’s first film studio complex, on the former site controlled by the South African National Defense Force that was commonly known as Natal Command. Singh has dubbed it Durban Film City.

Much like Universal City in Los Angeles, the 20-hectare location will feature a working studio with backlots, plus tourist and recreational entertainment areas open to the public.

The current film hubs of South Africa are the provinces of Gauteng and the Western Cape; KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province has mostly been a location-driven film destination (Ed Zwick’s “Blood Diamond” was shot there). Since the industry is still nascent, Singh plans to start out with smaller-size studios than Cape Town Film Studios. “Much like the U.K., Canada and Australia, I believe the studios (Durban and Cape Town) can complement each other, and not compete,” says Singh. He adds that the recent establishment of the KZN Film Office and Zulu Coast Film Office are “all steps in the right direction. KZN Province has so many unique assets to add to the diversity of South Africa, it is advantageous to align.”

Once a Military Defense Force base, the site is considered a Durban landmark and had been the city’s most sought-after real estate. After a nine-year property duel over sale rights of city-owned property to a private enterprise, the Constitutional Court handed down judgment in favor of Singh. Singh’s Videovision Entertainment is a major shareholder.

Singh explains that since the government identified film as a strategic sector, the structure of purchase price was reduced for the film-related land; other segment will be a leisure destination.

Videovision was the driving force in establishing Cape Town Film Studios — which have been packed to capacity with major international productions since they opened their doors three years ago.

Singh stands by his assertion that his Durban Film City will have a massive boost to the economy of the City of Durban and the KZN Province, and the film, media and entertainment sectors.

More Film

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Oscars: 'The Last Jedi,' 'Blade Runner 2049' and More Advance in VFX Race

    In the apartheid era, the coastal city of Durban featured pristine “whites only” beaches and a boardwalk dotted with hotels and high-rise apartment blocks, a popular holiday destination. Legislation has changed all that and Durban stands as a symbol of the changes in the new South Africa: office-blocks, airport, high-rise apartments, improved infrastructure and road […]

  • Eliza Hittman Penny Lane

    Eliza Hittman, Penny Lane Snag Rooftop Films Grants (EXCLUSIVE)

    In the apartheid era, the coastal city of Durban featured pristine “whites only” beaches and a boardwalk dotted with hotels and high-rise apartment blocks, a popular holiday destination. Legislation has changed all that and Durban stands as a symbol of the changes in the new South Africa: office-blocks, airport, high-rise apartments, improved infrastructure and road […]

  • How Rian Johnson & 'Star Wars:

    How Rian Johnson and His 'The Last Jedi' Team Tackled the Massive Undertaking of a New 'Star Wars'

    In the apartheid era, the coastal city of Durban featured pristine “whites only” beaches and a boardwalk dotted with hotels and high-rise apartment blocks, a popular holiday destination. Legislation has changed all that and Durban stands as a symbol of the changes in the new South Africa: office-blocks, airport, high-rise apartments, improved infrastructure and road […]

  • Ashleigh Cummings6th Annual Australians in Film

    Ashleigh Cummings Joins Warner Bros.' 'The Goldfinch' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    In the apartheid era, the coastal city of Durban featured pristine “whites only” beaches and a boardwalk dotted with hotels and high-rise apartment blocks, a popular holiday destination. Legislation has changed all that and Durban stands as a symbol of the changes in the new South Africa: office-blocks, airport, high-rise apartments, improved infrastructure and road […]

  • Alamo Drafthouse Launching Video Rental Store

    Alamo Drafthouse Launching Video Rental Store in 2018 (EXCLUSIVE)

    In the apartheid era, the coastal city of Durban featured pristine “whites only” beaches and a boardwalk dotted with hotels and high-rise apartment blocks, a popular holiday destination. Legislation has changed all that and Durban stands as a symbol of the changes in the new South Africa: office-blocks, airport, high-rise apartments, improved infrastructure and road […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    Box Office: Fathom Events Sees Soaring 2017 Performance (EXCLUSIVE)

    In the apartheid era, the coastal city of Durban featured pristine “whites only” beaches and a boardwalk dotted with hotels and high-rise apartment blocks, a popular holiday destination. Legislation has changed all that and Durban stands as a symbol of the changes in the new South Africa: office-blocks, airport, high-rise apartments, improved infrastructure and road […]

  • The CastPoveri ma ricchissimi movie photocall,

    Italian Moviegoers Shrug Off Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Director Fausto Brizzi

    In the apartheid era, the coastal city of Durban featured pristine “whites only” beaches and a boardwalk dotted with hotels and high-rise apartment blocks, a popular holiday destination. Legislation has changed all that and Durban stands as a symbol of the changes in the new South Africa: office-blocks, airport, high-rise apartments, improved infrastructure and road […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content