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Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh to direct One Dollar Curry, co-produced by Zee and French TV.

india Updated: Apr 01, 2003 21:21 IST

Zee TV has joined hands with a Paris-based Indian filmmaker and a French broadcaster for what is being billed as the first joint Indo-French film.

"One Dollar Curry" is the second film to be produced by director Vijay Singh, whose first movie "Jaya Ganga" was a big success in France and other European countries.

It will be a first for French television, with France Televisions co-producing it. Abhijit Saxena, senior vice president of international business at Zee, says this is the first overseas venture by the Indian broadcasting giant.

"Even though we broadcast our programmes in various territories outside India, this is the very first time that we have actually co-produced a programme in collaboration with a foreign television station," Saxena told IANS.

Saxena said Zee would pick up anywhere between 40 and 65 per cent of the total budget of the film, which is expected to cost about $1.5 million. He said Zee would hold the rights for the film in India and a few other territories like the U.S.

The script of the film revolves around an immigrant from India who makes it big in France by using his brains and street-smart tactics.

Marc Tessier, president of France Televisions, the holding company for four French television stations, says this is the first co-production that his firm is doing with an Indian company.

"It is a pity that even though India is such a big filmmaking country and France is also a centre of filmmaking, we have not had any joint Indo-French productions before. I hope this venture will set a trend for other co-productions."

Director Vijay Singh is extremely excited about the project. He has been working on it for over two years.

"I am very glad that this is a venture between Zee and France Televisions and I am sure that this will open the doors for more Indian production houses to work with French companies," Singh said.

He says "One Dollar Curry" is an immigrant film but with a difference. "It is not another sad tale of a guy who comes and struggles in a foreign country. This film is about a guy who comes illegally in France, becomes smart in a jiffy and makes a fool out of the French, though in a humorous manner. The guy is bursting with ideas, energy and ambition," says Singh.

The shooting of the film will start in June and it will be almost entirely shot in Paris.

"It will be a perfect crossover film with Indian and French actors. It will be an English language film with a smattering of French and various Indian languages," Singh says.

The male lead will be played by Vikram Chatwal, a New York-based Sikh actor, while Indian actress Smriti Mishra will play the female lead.

The film was launched in Paris in typical Bollywood style at a glittering ceremony in the residence of the Indian ambassador to France.