India’s official entry to the Oscar Awards 2019, the national award winning Assamese feature film, ‘Village Rockstars’ -Movie Review
India’s official entry to the Oscar Awards 2019, the national award winning Assamese feature film, ‘Village Rockstars’ will be premiered today in Guwahati at Cinepolis prior to its commercial theatrical release on Friday.
Written, edited, co-produced and directed by Assamese filmmaker Rima Das, the premiere is set to be a gala affair with a host of dignitaries set to attend the event.
In what is a significantly prestigious moment for the entire state, the film will come as a shot in the arm for the rejuvenated Assamese film industry.
Village Rockstars also won awards in three other categories: Best Child Artist, Best Location Sound Recordist and Best Editing.
The movie is a story of a 10-year-old girl, Dhunu (Bhanita Das), from a remote village in Assam who dreams of owning a guitar and forming her own rock band, first time directed by filmmaker Rima Das. Das called it a “huge recognition” for the Northeast.
“It’s a very independent film. I started the shooting of this film in 2013 and it took me almost four years to shoot it. When I was doing post-production of my first film ‘Man with the Binoculars: Antardrishti’, during that time, I met some amazing children from my village, said Rima.
WATCH VIDEO – Interview of Rima Das
“I saw them performing in a local gathering with fake instruments. I was amazed and inspired to see them. They didn’t have resources but still they were celebrating life, so I didn’t want to lose an opportunity to make a film on those children. With ‘Village Rockstars’, I tried to present a universal human emotion and I am very happy that it has touched hearts of people all around the world.”
Village Rockstars is the first Assamese film in 30 years to win a National Award in India. The last Assamese language movie to be hailed at this level was Jahnu Barua’s Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai, which won the award for the Best Feature Film in 1988.
The film premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and also grabbed the Best Feature Film ‘Swarna Kamal’ award at the 65th National Film Awards, which was held in New Delhi on 13 April 2018.
‘Village Rockstars’, is only the second Assamese film to win the Swarna Kamal award.
Rima, who is a self taught filmmaker, is one of those independent filmmakers of Assam who is actually bringing about a change in the industry.
Over the years, the Assamese film industry has been dealing with a bundle of issues including lack of theatres, prime time exposure and dearth of funding along with distribution issues and lack of support from the regional audience.
But despite all these, Rima is positive about her work and says, “The journey has been difficult but not impossible”.
The Oscar nomination has not just boosted the spirit of the industry to make more such films on sensible topics but has also brought in a unique style of storytelling.
Village Rockstars is scheduled for a pan-India release on September 28 and will be released through ‘VKAAO’, a joint venture of PVR Pictures and bookmyshow. It will open in 30 screens in Assam and across metro cities.