Rima Das is a filmmaker from Assam; India; best known for her film; Village Rockstars. Village Rockstar won her several National and international awards. Rima Das won India's National Best Film and Best Editor Awards, that was announced on 13 April 2018 by the Government of India.
It took the filmmaker four years to complete the film Village Rockstar. The filmmaker calls it an experiment as she was never professionally trained, but she worked whole-heartedly her film Village Rockstar.
Das, through her first film itself, was able to make a position as a contemporary Indian filmmaker. Her new film ‘ Bulbul Can Sing’ which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) next month, is eagerly anticipated in the circles.
“TIFF is one of the most coveted film festivals globally (besides Cannes, Berlin, and Venice film festivals) and it was quite surprising that Bulbul… was selected,” says Rima Das.
However, Das missed the deadline for Cannes but rushed to make the date for TIFF.
“I have now realized you can’t take three-four years to make one film,” added.
“I shot Bulbul… over two months, and edited it really fast. Each film has its own challenges — I am not saying this was easier but the fact that Village Rockstars, despite being such a shot in the dark, was so well-received, gave me confidence that things can be done differently. And can work; too; Bulbul Can Sing is described as a coming-of-age drama about three friends, told through a young female protagonist, Bulbul. “It’s about friendship, love, loss and discovering yourself,” Rima Das further said.
Rima Das reveals that she never deliberately tries to make “issue-based” films.
“But, inevitably, when you’re telling a story about human relationships, you’re also telling a story about issues,” she says. The human connect, which Village Rockstars (about a girl in search of an electric guitar in her village) was especially praised for, is what Das does best. “And of course, Assam is my priority,” she says, adding, “I know my people, so I feel I tell their story better.”
As her previous film, that earned nations appreciation Bulbul… is also made in an Assamese village. The movie was shot over 60 days in areas like Kalardiya, Chaygaon. Again these places happen to be the filmmaker’s native village.
In her previous movie, she took the actors from her village only. She taught the inexperienced kids to how to act under 'mukoli aakax '(open skies)”.
“This time, it’s going to be the same, except that I have one actor who is a professional,” she says.
It may be mentioned that the movie Village Rockstar was shown in only a handful of film festivals in India and abroad. The movie is yet to release in the theatres in Assam and India.
“I am aware many in Assam haven’t watched it but I’ve still received immense support,” says Das, adding, “Village Rockstars will have a commercial release in September.”