Digital Camera, Shoestring Budget Take Assam Filmmaker Rima Das To Oscars

A self-taught filmmaker with a shoestring budget and a digital camera, Rima Das made Village Rockstars - a film that follows the dreams of children in Assam's rural area.

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Village Rockstars is the first ever Assamese language film selected as India's entry to the Oscars.


Chayyagoan, Assam: 

Narrow village roads in Assam's Chayyagoan lead one to the house of 37-year-old Rima Das who created history after her movie became India's official contender for Oscars 2019 in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

A self-taught filmmaker with a shoestring budget and a digital camera, Ms Das made Village Rockstars - a film that follows the dreams of children in Assam's rural area.

It became the first-ever Assamese language film selected as India's official submission to the Academy Awards. The movie, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, is in the Kamrupi dialect.

With no professional crew, it took Ms Das four years to complete the film. It has won the 'Golden Lotus' at the national film awards and travelled to over 40 countries.

"When you go to a film school, you have a big camera and a lot of knowledge. But for me, it's different. I just had this camera and a story, and I knew I had to do it with very limited resources," Ms Das, the director and producer of the movie, tells NDTV.

Village Rockstars follows the story of a 10-year-old girl, Dhunu, who dreams of owning a guitar and forming a band named The Rockstars with a group of local boys. Dhunu, however, has to fight gender stereotypes and poverty on this journey.

"My brother and my friends from the village were all interested in forming a music band but did not have the resources, so we made a guitar with thermocol and performed during Bihu in the village. Rima didi saw us performing and told us that she would like to make a movie on our dreams," Bhanita Das, the real life Dhunu, tells NDTV.

However, pitching a movie for the Oscar is a whole new ball game, says Rima Das.

"Going to film festivals is different but Oscars needs huge promotions which the jury has also mentioned. For this, we need the government's help," the filmmaker adds.

Village Rockstars will release in India at the end of September.



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