A nant Singh is a busy man. In the US, he has just wrapped production on AmericanEast, his 62nd film and director Hesham Issawi's first, described as "Do the Right Thing for the American Muslim community".
In South Africa, Singh is in post-production with the docu-drama More Than Just A Game, starring Presley Chweneyagae - who played the lead in the Academy Award-winning Tsotsi (2005) - and is getting ready to build his own film studios.
His company Distant Horizon, the international arm of Durban-based umbrella company Videovision Entertainment, has three remakes of Japanese horror films in the pipeline. Pulse II and III are in production, and Don't Look Up is in pre-production with Fruit Chan directing. He is also looking ahead to his key project for 2008: an adaptation of Nelson Mandela's autobiography Long Walk To Freedom. Further details will be announced soon.
But Singh prefers to talk about a recent retrospective of his films in Iran. "There's such a range of excellent creative talent there, and great quality films made for a modest price," he says. "I'm keen to go back and get involved in a couple of pictures."
Meanwhile, Singh's belief in young international talent is manifest in Issawi's AmericanEast, starring Paradise Now lead Kais Nashif alongside Arab-American star Tony Shalhoub, which he aims to have finished in time for December's Dubai International Film Festival, and then Sundance. The Egyptian director is known for his award-winning short T For Terrorist, a comedic look at the typecasting of Arab actors in Hollywood.
"This is the first feature made about American Muslims in the post-9/11 era, when so many have found themselves stereotyped," says Singh. "Given the state of the world, the more understanding about cultural differences, the better."
Singh's Distant Horizon co-produced the project with Mohannad Malas and Ahmad Zahra's Zahra Pictures, and he is in discussion with sales agents and distributors.
As a producer, Singh's back catalogue ranges from anti-Apartheid classics such as Cry, The Beloved Country, and South Africa's highest grossing film of all time, Mr Bones, to co-productions with BBC Films (including Antonia Bird's Face), and Black Mask, Jet Li's breakout film in the US.
In September, Singh sold international distribution rights for Junaid Ahmed's More Than Just a Game to Sony Pictures. Supported by international football governing body Fifa, it tells the story of political prisoners on Robben Island - where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison - who organised a football league in the jail between the mid-1960s and 1970s.
- South Africa Film Hub, p16.