Amit Singh stars in Kings of Mulberry Street which opens in cinemas Friday.
Amit Singh stars in Kings of Mulberry Street which opens in cinemas Friday.

Meet Stanger’s screen star

By Omeshnie Naidoo Time of article published Jun 17, 2019

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FOR 42-year-old Amith Sing of Stanger a career in acting has been a lifelong desire.

He recalls playing with figurines as a boy, acting out scenes and later penning scripts of his own.

““I want to be an actor” were not words you spoke out loud back then,” he says.

“These were feelings you harbored in a community where aspirations were defined as being a teacher, accountant, doctor or lawyer.”

However, he came from a courageous family.

“My grandfather and my father began the famous mobile cinema in the 70s known as the Broadway Talkies - erecting marquees in Indian townships to show Bollywood movies. Had is not been for VHS we would have pursued a drive-in.”

Sing none-the-less became a regular at the local video shop and he consumed these movies as any student would. He absorbed the visual language and once he was done with school, went off to Joburg to make it all happen.

“I went there with nothing. I was unknown. That experience and a car accident from which I was lucky to be alive taught me the value of preparation and perseverance.”

“While I did return home and work in the family business, I did a course in acting and never gave up on the dream to make it into a movie.

“(Director) Judy Naidoo took a chance on me. She said I needed polish and she helped me along.”

Naidoo’s debut feature, Hatchet Hour (2016), won several awards, including Best Director and Best Picture at the New Hope Film Festival in Pennsylvania, as well as the Best Foreign Film Award at the LA Femme International Film Festival. The film was also nominated for a Golden Horn Award for Best Achievement in Cinematography.

“I play a father, raising a boy without his mother, in town where he doesn’t want to see his son integrate. Both are missing something in their lives.

“I’m not a dad in real-life and unlike the character, who is reserved and relecutant, I’m fairly happy-go-lucky so I had to draw on what I’ve seen already and devise my own method in the process.”

Sing - a regular at the gym - also confides that he needed a fat suit for the role.

He says after filming Mulberry Street in June last year, he was cast in Black Brains Production in September.

“The roles are out there. Many international films even, are shot here, but under the radar. It is definitely difficult to find roles in this industry - but it’s not impossible.

“I’m learning as I go along.”

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