The premise of Amrit Singh’s short documentary “Dosa Hunt” is simple. Singh, the executive editor of Stereogum, rounded up some of his musician friends (Das Racist’s Himanshu Suri and Ashok Kondabolu, Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, pianist Vijay Iyer, Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo and Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder), piled them into a van and roamed New York City in search of the perfect dosa.
Since the Columbus Day debut of the film, the first-time director Amrit Singh has seen it get selected for several film festivals around the country and get glowing write-ups in numerous major magazines. We caught up with Singh at the New York Indian Film Festival earlier this month and asked him about what the journey has been like so far.
I know that you often say that this film all started with a tweet [about dosas by Rostam Batmanglij]. When did Rostam send that tweet?
It was June 2010 and we filmed August 25, 2011. And I was trying to get everybody together to actually film pretty much every month between those dates. But they’re all rock stars. Turns out they are very difficult to pin down.
So it started with a tweet and now you are on the red carpet.
It’s been really amazing to see how far we’ve been able to take the concept. And I always saw that potential in this in a way that the rest of the cast, I don’t want to say that they didn’t see the potential, but that they just didn’t think about it that way. There were points along the production when they were like “Are you still making that? What are you even doing?”
It took me 14 months from that shoot day to actually premiering it. But I’d be lying if I said I thought it wouldn’t go this far. I thought right from the beginning that it’s a very special cast that I knew would do amazing things on camera. And it was just incumbent upon me to mold that footage into the right thing.
Are you going to take the film to India?
I absolutely intend to bring it to India. I’m kind of doing what I can. At this point it’s been fairly organic. I haven’t been knocking down any doors the way I did when I launched the film in Brooklyn, but organically word is spreading there. The artists continue to get more popular. Vampire Weekend is releasing an amazing new record and all of the guys are so busy, so there’s an interest in the guys which builds interest in the film. I think that within a few months, and as we do more things in the States, we’re hopeful that I can figure out a way to bring it over there.
Do young Indian fans already know these artists?
They are starting to…It’s a special thing because there are themes about this film that resonate to Indians that were born in America and Indians that were born in India too. Because they spend so much time thinking about how pop culture operates and all pop culture is increasingly global. So I think they think it’s interesting to see how kids like us are processing our identities. And this film kind of speaks to that.