Assamese film 'Village Rockstars', directed by Rima Das, has won the Golden Elephant for the Best Director (Feature Film) in the Asian Panorama section - by Adult Jury at the 20th International Children's Film Festival of India held in Hyderabad recently. The film was also adjudged the Second Best Film and actress Bhanita Das won the Best Child Artiste award.
The film also won three awards - the Golden Gateway award in the India Gold Category, Oxfam Gender Equality Award and the Young Critics Choice Award at the 9th MAMI Film Festival, besides critical acclaim at other national and international film festivals, including Cannes International Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, International Film Festival of Kerala, Dharamsala International Film Festival, and was recently part of the Indian Panorama at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), and at the point of writing of this news, is garnering a lot of critical acclamation at the Cairo International Film Festival.
The 88-minute 'Village Rockstars' is a documentation of the life of a belligerent tomboy, 10-year-old Dhunnu, who lives in a remote flood-prone hamlet. She nurtures an unlikely dream - to own a guitar and form a music band with her gang of friends in the village. Her widowed mother, who is working hard to make ends meet and guard her little girl from the harshness of life, is very supportive. The film is a disarmingly sweet and sensitive slice-of-life tale, below the folds of which the gender disparity and the coarseness of daily life in the village come alive.
The lifestyle of the people in the film is portrayed with delectable rawness. The child actors and other cast members had never watched a film shooting before, let alone act in one. Bhanita, who won the best child artiste award, debuts in the movie. Kuladhar Bhattacharya was the only experienced actor. All members of the cast are from Kalardia village, near Chaigaon of Kamrup district where the film was shot. The shooting began in 2014 and ended in 2017.
'Village Rockstars' would be screened in Assam's theatres very soon. It is written and directed by self-taught filmmaker Rima Das who also did the cinematography and editing. Rima's directorial debut was 'Man with a Binocular' that also earned accolades at various film festivals.