Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

SA’s Mr Bollywood dies after long film career

The custodian of the oldest independent cinema and entertainment company in South Africa, Moosa Moosa of the Avalon Group, died in Johannesburg on Monday, aged 75.

He was the son of cinema pioneer AB Moosa, who, in 1939, partnered with 20th Century Fox to cofound the company that would introduce Bollywood films to South Africa.

“This man was Mr Bollywood. He pioneered not just cinema as a whole but particularly Indian cinema, which was dead by the 1970s with the advent of video,” said film critic and family friend Fakir Hassen in an SABC interview on Monday.

At its peak, the Avalon Group had about 20 cinemas across South Africa before the Group Areas Act implemented forced removals, which harmed the company’s growth. Today, three cinemas are run by the Avalon Group.

Moosa took over his father’s role in the company when he died in the 1960s. In the 1990s, Moosa’s son AB Moosa Jnr joined the family firm, the largest distributor of Indian movies in South Africa.

In 1979, the Avalon Group co-founded the Durban International Film Festival, which will celebrate its 39th year next month when it screens more than 200 films from the subcontinent and the world alongside its Film Mart.

Moosa was the longest-serving film executive in the world. During his acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement award in 2007, the first awarded by the South African Film and Television Awards, he said: “I have no doubt that in the years to come, sooner than later, the talent of this country will be bringing home the accolades of the world, no less than the Rugby World Cup.”

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Arts Desk
Guest Author

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Basic web lessons for South Africa: Government hacks point to...

Recent cyberattacks at the department of justice and the space agency highlight the extent of our naïveté

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

More top stories

Sisters pave the way with ecobricks

The durable bricks are made from 30% recycled plastic, some of which they collect from a network of 50 waste pickers

If the inflation-driving supply strain in the US lasts, it...

In South Africa, a strong trade surplus, buoyed by robust commodity prices, will cushion our economy against pressure arising from US policy

Farmers squeezed by big retailers

It may be beneficial for consumers when supermarkets push to get the lowest price from suppliers, but it can harm the farmers

Covid-19: No vaccine booster shots needed yet

Scientists agree it is important to get most of the population vaccinated before giving booster jabs

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…