Rims Das’s Village Rockstar, India’s official entry to Oscars 2019
India has selected Village Rockstars as its official entry for the Oscars in the Foriegn language film category.
The film which is directed by Rima Daswho is a self-taught filmmaker. The film premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). More significantly, the fit grabbed the Best Feature Film ‘Swarna Kamal’ award at the 65th National Film Awards, which were declared at New Delhi on 13 April 2018.Village Rockstars also won awards in three other categories: Best Child Artist, Best Location Sound Recording and Best Editing.
Set in India's northeastern state of Assam, Village Rockstars revolves around a young girl, Dhunu, who battles poverty while chasing her dream of owning a guitar and forming a rock band. Filmed on a shoestring budget, Das also wrote, produced, edited and handled the cinematography, art direction and costume design herself. The Assamese-language film featured mostly non-professional actors, including Das' niece Bhanita, who plays Dhunu.
In its Mumbai review, The Hollywood Reporter noted, "Here’s a film that has none of the tantalizing glamour, music or performances promised by its title, yet turns out to be deeply satisfying in a completely unexpected way."
The announcement was made by the Film Federation of India on Saturday about the submission, which had shortlisted 29 titles including Hindi-language Bollywood historical blockbuster Padmaavat, spy thriller Raazi and biopic Manto, among others.
"We are totally overwhelmed by the announcement that Village Rockstars is India’s official entry to Oscar this year," Das said in a statement, adding, "I am so grateful to the selection committee for believing in our film."
Only a handful of Indian talents has taken home the Oscars that too in Individual capacities starting with India’s first winner Bhanu Athaiya who won the award for the best Costume designer for Richard Attenborough’s 1982 epic Gandhi. The Late Satyajith Ray in 1992 was bestowed with honanary Oscars and in 2009 A.R Rahman and Resul Pookutty for the Best song and Original score and for Best Sound Mixing respectively for the Danny Boyle movie Slumdog Millionare.
Will Village Rockstar be able to able to make it big at the Oscars? Will have to wait till February 24th.