Critically acclaimed Assamese filmmaker Rima Das’s film ‘Village Rockstars’ was premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival in UK recently.
Rima, however, could not make it to the event as her flight to UK cancelled due to bad weather condition.
‘Village Rockstars’, which had a European premiere at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, was screened under the India Gold section of the Mumbai Film Festival and was the closing film of the Dharamshala International Film Festival. The movie also premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September last year. ‘Village Rockstars’ will also be screened in New York in April next.
The 88-minute ‘Village Rockstars’ is a documentation of the life of a belligerent tomboy, 10-year-old Dhunu (Bhanita Das), who has grown up in a remote flood-prone hamlet, in deprivation. She learns to fend for herself in the hostile surroundings while nurturing an unlikely dream – to own a electric guitar and form a music band with her gang of friends in the village. Her widowed mother (Basanti Das), who is working hard to make ends meet and guard her little girl from the harshness of life, is very supportive. The film is a disarmingly sweet and sensitive slice-of-life tale, below the folds of which the gender disparity and the coarseness of daily life in the village come alive. The movie has been written, directed, produced, cinematographed and designed by Rima. Starring Bhanita Das, Basanti Das, Kulada Bhattyacharya, Manabendra Das and Boloram Das, ‘Village Rockstars’ is woven in Assam’s Chhayagaon village.
Recently, Rima Das was in Mumbai to take part in a panel discussion on the subject – ‘Beyond Bollywood: Does regional Cinema make better sense?’, held on the sidelines of the Ficci Frames 2018. With regional Indian films gaining increased visibility in India and abroad, filmmakers talked about the importance of subtitling of regional films, which they feel deserve to have a proper budget in place for better global reach. The panel also featured filmmakers Ishaan Randeria, Madhu Chopra, AL Vijay and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury.
Das, whose ‘Village Rockstars’ has been a part of numerous film festivals all over the globe, said: “For people like us who make films in our native language, we cannot reach the larger audience without subtitling. I was taught to make subtitles that should be simple enough to understand for people, but at the same time, without losing the essence of the scene and the emotion that is conveyed in dialogues.”