While most of us were raving about the grandeur of Padmaavat and its likes, a simple movie made on a handheld camera was making its own sweet mark somewhere else.
Village Rockstars, an Assamese language feature by National Award-winning filmmaker Rima Das, has been selected as India’s official entry for the best foreign language film category of the 2019 Academy (Oscar) Awards.
Not only Padmaavat, but this simple Assamese movie has also beaten 27 other contenders, including some big names like Rani Mukherji’s Hichki, Alia Bhatt’s Raazi, Richa Chaddha’s Love Sonia, and Akshay Kumar’s Padman. Village Rockstar is slated for pan-India release on Sept. 28.
Made by Rima Das who is often deemed as a self-taught filmmaker, Village Rockstars had earlier won hearts when it premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. The movie has also won Best Feature Film award at the 65th National Film Awards in April 2018 apart from grabbing the titles of Best Child Artist, Best Location Sound Recordist and Best Editing.
The movie is about a 10-year-old village girl, Dhunu, who aspires to become a rockstar someday. Impressionable and tenacious at the same time, the girl decides to form a band and buy real instruments for which she starts saving every penny. She does it all while leading a deprived village life and that too in the face of devastating floods.
You will be surprised to know that Rima Das in the one-man army in herself. She has written, directed, produced, shot and edited the entire film on her own.
We have dug around and found some super-interesting facts about Rima Das and her journey in the making of Village Rockstars. Read on and get inspired:
- Hailing from Assam, Rima moved to Mumbai to become an actress. But as luck would have it, she ended up directing “Man with the binoculars: Antardrishti,” her first feature film, which was released in 2016.
- In the process of shooting “Man With The Binoculars: Antardrishti,” back in her native village, Rima saw a bunch of young boys imitating a rock band with make-believe musical instruments and was instantly fascinated.
- When she interacted with these village boys, this idea of making a film on the aspirations of these children started developing. The boys too joined her journey as a filmmaker and she started experimenting with different camera angles to picturise them.
- The protagonist in the movie is played by Rima’s cousin sister Bhanita, who kept following her out of curiosity. Gradually Rima could see Dhunu in Bhanita and cast her in the movie.
- The story was developed over three years while the filming was done in 150 days in her native village Chhaygaon. No professional actor has played any part in the movie!
- Reports stated that the audience at TIFF was instantly spell bounded by the movie’s spontaneity, unseen location, and a very genuine cast.
We guess these facts are enough to rush to the cinemas when Village Rockstars hits the screens on Sept. 28. Until then, watch the trailer here: