The Northeast finally gets recognition in the plastic arts ! ‘Village Rockstars’ by Assamese filmmaker Rima Das is the official entry for The Oscars! H’m, haven’t heard of the film? Well then, just read on!
The National Award-winning Assamese film, Village Rockstars, has been selected as India’s official entry for the 2019 Oscar Awards, the Film Federation of India (FFI) announced on Saturday.
Village Rockstars, starring Bhanita Das as 10-year-old Dhunu, had its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and has toured more than 70 international and national film festivals. It bagged the Best Feature Film trophy at the 65th National Film Awards, besides also winning Best Child Artist, Best Location Sound Recordist and Best Editing.
Das feels this is a “huge recognition” for the Northeast, which has long remained a neglected corner of the Indian cinema map.
“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,” she said.
“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,” Das added.
Village Rockstars beat competition from films like Manto, Padmaavat, Raazi, Hichki and October, which were part of the list of 28 films submitted for the 91st Academy Awards.
The Assamese language film, which made waves across several film festivals, was also awarded the Best Feature Film at the 65th National Film Awards. Village Rockstars also won awards in three other categories, including Best Child Artist for Bhanita Das, Best Location Sound Recording and Best Editing. Village Rockstars quenched the dry spell that had taken over the film industry of Assam for 30 years. Jahnu Barua’s Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai was the first ever movie from the state to win the Best Film honour at the National film awards
No Indian film has ever won an Oscar. The only Indian films that made it to the final five in the Best Foreign Film category list are Lagaan (2001), Salaam Bombay (1989) and Mother India (1958).