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Poster for the Film India by Song
 India by Song poster

Gabriela and Vikram in One Dolar Curry
A still from One Dollar Curry

from Jaya Ganga
A video excerpt from Jaya Ganga
Smriti Mishra
A still from Jaya Ganga

Man and 
Cover jacket of the DVD for Chami and Ana The Elephant


India by Song  is a multi-layered portrait of India since its independence from the British in 1947 to the contemporary times.

Woven around a long road journey across the country, India by Song brings together history, colourful Bollywood song clips, live testimonies and images of today’s India. Dancing and singing actresses, thinkers, domestic maids, farmers and cricketers roll in and out of frames and dissolve into each other imperceptibly.

India by Song uses testimonies of historical actors known or unknown, speaking to renowned thinkers like Romila Thapar and NR Narayana Murthy, and to anonymous witnesses of history such as Anjali, a domestic maid in Bombay who recounts her life in the times of globalisation.

Supported by a historical narration and use of music, India by Song is as much a portrait of contemporary India as indeed of the Bombay film songs, which reveal ever so vividly the changing body language of love and romance over the decades.India By Song

See a Flyer on India By Song, an article on the film in The Hollywood Reporter 
and an interview with the director in Nouvel Observateur 

(See the website for India by Song) [ See also India by Song Pages on Facebook


Nishan, a young Sikh, reaches Paris in search of political refuge. He has lost everything that he had possessed in his country, except his sense of humour and imagination. Is that why he lands in Paris with several colourful bottles called “Kamasutra Nandi Bull Oil” ?...

While Nishan is pondering over his prospects of survival, he is overwhelmed by the new world around him and the creative skills of his new friends. Fixer, the Caribbean, and Bale seem to have the most ingenious jobs : selling aphrodisiacs, giving “tantra” massages, editing the  local craze “The Kamasutra Times”… In contrast to this, Nishan’s choice is modest. He starts by selling cheap Indian food in Paris under Fixer’s guiding eye : the first recipe being the invention of fake credentials for the fake cook !  Soon, Nishan goes a step further and declares himself to be “The Maharaja of Indian Cuisine”. And so starts rolling Nishan’s kitchen on wheels called “One Dollar Curry”, with his inventive chicken curry and his eccentric look !

In the midst of such effervescence, Nishan meets Nathalie, a young TV journalist who is working on a documentary on immigration. Impressed by our enterprising Sikh, she offers him shelter to protect him from the hands of hooligans. But she also does this for a self- interest : a well-concocted film on the “legendary Chef” would get her a permanent job with a TV company. Spurred by Nathalie’s support, Nishan’s imagination reaches its flourishing
best : he cooks up an entirely new identity, stealing recipes, improvising dishes, inventing a fake lineage of Indian Chefs.. Nathalie and Nishan are thus all set to present François, a renowned TV producer, a perfect story without any loopholes.

Just as Nathalie and Nishan are getting closer, Yamini, his stunning Indian fiancée, arrives in Paris. The young Kathak dancer sets off a chain of hurdles : Nishan finds himself trapped, François is under Yamini’s spell, Nathalie feels let down…A love triangle takes shape while Nishan is trying desperately to save his chef’s job…with his boundless imagination !

(See the web site for One Dollar Curry)

JAYA GANGA (Jaya, Fille du Gange)

Nishant, a young Indian writer living in Paris, is journeying down the Ganges, from its source in the Himalayas to the sea. Haunted by the fantasy, or the memory, of a beautiful Parisian woman called Jaya, he plans to write a book around his voyage.

On the banks of the turquoise Ganges, one morning, he chances upon Zehra, an irresistible poetess-dancing girl in the tradition of the great courtesans, who performs in a nearby brothel. Zehra resurrects the memory of Jaya. As love casts its spell once again on Nishant, he asks Zehra to join him on his journey, but her illusory freedom is shadowed by a formidable network of the brothel's spies. Nonetheless, Nishant manages to make Zehra flee from the brothel, and join him on his journey. Romance takes over. A new life begins for Zehra as Nishant would like her to accompany him back to Paris.

Half way down the river, at the height of their romance, Nishant receives a telegram. Zehra soon realises how Nishant's fantasy of a half-real half-unreal woman could transform her life into a journey of ambiguous surprises...

(See the website for Jaya Ganga)

CHAMI AND ANA THE ELEPHANT (L'Homme et l'Elephant)

Chami and Ana are the closest of friends and have spent forty years together, sharing nearly everything in their lives. After so much time together, they not only understand each other’s spoken language but their glances and even their moods. Chami is called a Mahut. He lives in the southern part of India on the Malabar coast. Every year, they go to the annual elephant festival where the Mahuts proudly present their magnificent animals, often considered one of the most intelligent creatures in the animal kingdom. Written and directed by Vijay Singh. Produced by Frédéric Fougea. Part of the "Lord of the Animals" series, which presents amazing stories of human and animal coexistence from around the world. Discover the warm and trusting relationships and the ancient traditions, passed down through generations, that have permanently linked humans to animals of nearly every description. Produced by Boréales Productions.

(A DVD of Chami and Ana The Elephant is available here)

SHADI LAL, A MYSTIC CHEF (Shadi Lal, le cuisinier chef mystique)

This short film is about Shadi Lal, an Indian chef unlike any other. A former policeman and also a mystic, he was welcomed each morning by hundreds of pigeons as he exited from the metro station to delight the customers with his delectable cuisine.

© Copyright Vijay Singh