Rima Das’s Village Rockstars was announced as India’s official contender for the 91st Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
The movie has won the National Award for Best Film earlier this year,
A 12-member-jury — led by Mr SV Rajendra Singh Babu — announced the news. The film shot on a handheld camera and a shoe-string budget in rural Assam.
Village Rockstars used a cast of non-actors, sourced almost in totality, from the village of Kalardiya. The movie 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.
I did not have any storyboard for Village Rockstars. Since there was no crew, I did not use any artificial light. I shot in the magic light — in the morning and afternoon when the sunlight is not harsh. All the actors, barring well-known Assamese actor Kulada Bhattyacharya, who appears as a wise man, are from my village. And they literally learned how to act under mukoli aakax (open skies).”Rima Das, in an interview with Indian Express
Village Rockstars snatched nomination from other 29 films like Raazi, Padmaavat Hichki, October, Love Sonia, Gulabjaam, Mahanati, Pihu, Kadvi Hawa, Bhogda, Revaa, Bioscopewala, Manto, 102 Not out, Padman, Bhayanakam, Ajji, Nude, Gali Guliiyan.
The 91st Academy Awards is scheduled to be held on February 24, 2019.