Assamese Film ‘Village Rockstars’ is India’s Official Entry for Oscars 2019

National Award-winning Assamese film “Village Rockstars,” directed by Rima Das, is India’s official entry for Oscars 2019.


National Award-winning Assamese film Village Rockstars will be India’s official entry for the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category next year, according to an announcement by the Film Federation of India. 

Directed by first-time and self-taught filmmaker Rima Das, 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. 

The film was named as the Best Feature Film at the 65th National Film Awards on May 3, 2018, and won awards in three other categories: Best Child Artiste, Best Location Sound Recordist, and Best Editing. 

The film, which had its premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), has been shown at more than 70 national and international film festivals. 

Village Rockstars is the first Assamese film in 30 years to win a National Award in India, according to 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. 

Das called it a “huge recognition” for the Northeast, PTI reported.

“It feels great. I don’t have many words to explain. The whole journey is kind of a fairy tale. It is a huge recognition for Northeast and I think it is the first Assamese film to get selected. So I believe it will change a lot for filmmakers from the region,” the news agency quoted her as saying.

“I was always hopeful. I was always looking forward to going to the festivals and winning accolades. But most important for me was that people should connect with the film. That emotional connection is something I have achieved through this film.”

The 12-member selection committee of the Film Federation of India, headed by Kannada producer and director Rajendra Babu, picked Village Rockstars from 29 entries, including films like MantoAjjiNudeGali GuleiyanRaaziPadmaavat and October, the Hindu reported.

Although India’s film industry is the world’s largest by output and the third largest by revenues, no film from the country has won an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category. Only three Indian films have ever made it to the final nominations — Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957), Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! (1988), and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan (2001).

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