Assamese coming of age musical film Village Rockstars directed by Rima Das will be India's official entry to Oscars 2019.
The film which gained massive and widespread critical acclaim went on to win accolades at the 65th National Film Awards by winning the Best Feature Film ‘Swarna Kamal’ award.
In 2017, the film was premiered at the prestigious 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
In India Village Rockstars was premiered at the Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival in October last year. The film has been screened in more than 70 international and national film festivals and won 44 awards, comprising four National Awards for the best location, sound recording, editing and child artiste (Bhanita Das).
Village Rockstars will be officially released on September 28, 2018.
Although critically acclaimed other Indian movies like Padmaavat, Raazi, October, Hichki, Gulabjaam, Love Sonia, Mahanati,Kadvi Hawa, Pihu, Bhogda, Revaa, Bioscopewala, 102 Not out, Manto, Padman, Bhayanakam, Ajji, Nude and Gali Guliiyan. and many more were submitted as nominations for Oscars 2018. Neverthless, Village Rockstars has come with flying colours to become the official entry.
This cheering news was announced by the Film Federation of India on the morning of Saturday.
The film was chosen by eminent all-India jury constituted by FFI under the chairmanship of producer Rajendra Singh Babu.
Jury member Anant Mahadevan as quoted by The Indian Express said, “Village Rockstars is the closest film made by international standards [sic]. Very proud and to select this film and send it to the Oscars.”
Rima Das’ Village Rockstars tells a story about a young girl who wants to be a guitarist in a society where almost every step taken by females is scrutinized. 10-year-old Dhunu (Bhanita Das), who hails from a remote village in Assam, wants to make a mark by her music and fulfill her dream in the world of music.
Rima Das had previously told newspaper The Indian Express, “I did not have any storyboard for Village Rockstars. Since there was no crew, I did not use any artificial light. I shot in the magic light — in the morning and afternoon when the sunlight is not harsh. All the actors, barring well-known Assamese actor Kulada Bhattyacharya, who appears as a wise man, are from my village.”
The film also challenges gender stereotypes in India, but in an organic way. Director Rima Das explained according to Scroll “I wanted to show it in a very subtle way,” she said. “It is just a part of life. In my childhood, I was the only girl who used to climb trees. It is a mindset with people that generally girls do not do these things. Such things are not forbidden. But if you do these things, they put you in boxes and call you a tomboy. Dhunu likes to do all these things.”