September 22, 2018

Rima Das’s Village Rockstars is India’s official selection for the Oscars’ Foreign Language category.

shot on a handheld camera and a shoe-string budget in rural Assam, as the official contender for Oscars 2019 in the Best Foreign Language Film category.The self-taught filmmaker, who is currently at her village, Kalardiya, in Assam’s Chaygaon, added: “I just happened to be home — and what timing to receive this news. Right now I’m celebrating with my family, friends and the cast.Village Rockstars was made over four years, shot on a handheld camera, and used a cast of non-actors, sourced almost in totality, from the village of Kalardiya. The movie, which won the National Award for Best Film earlier this year, follows the story of a ten-year-old girl (played by child actor Bhanita Das) with dreams to form her own rock band, who goes in search of an electric guitar in her village.

29 films from Indian including Raazi, Padmaavat Hichki, October, Love Sonia, Gulabjaam, Mahanati, Pihu, Kadvi Hawa, Bhogda, Revaa, Bioscopewala, Manto, 102 Not out, Padman, Bhayanakam, Ajji, Nude, Gali Guliiyan were submitted as nominations.

For Assam, the entry is already making waves — this is the first time an Assamese film has received such global — even national — attention. “It is a big deal because when you don’t receive recognition, you feel things are not possible. It stops people from trying. Such news makes me feel that things are possible,” said Das, whose new film Bulbul Can Sing  premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.

The 91st Academy Awards is scheduled to be held on February 24, 2019.

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