September 6, 2017

‘Village Rockstars’ to be Screened at Toronto International Film Festival

Assamese film ‘Village Rockstars’ by Rima Das is selected to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in its 42nd edition which has just got underway (from September 7) in Toronto.

Rima Das’s debut film ‘Antardrishti’ (Man with the Binoculars) had made it to the Cannes Film Festival and was screened to critical appreciation at various film festivals, including the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, JIO Mumbai Film Festival amongst others. The self-taught filmmaker’s second project ‘Village Rockstars’ is slated to premiere in the Discovery section of the Toronto International Film Festival, making it the very first film from the Northeast to be selected to the prestigious festival.

A true blue Indie, the film is further proof of the fact that ultra low budget is no constraint if the content is global.

‘Village Rockstars’ was entirely shot by Das herself along with village kids over three years of time.

It tells the story of a 10-year-old girl named Dhunu, who has grown up in deprivation. She learns to fend for herself in the hostile surroundings while nurturing her dream to own a guitar and forming a band - The Rockstars, with a group of local boys some day. She considers herself to be as capable as the boys and mostly roams around with them. But the journey is not easy for Dhunu, as she has to fight gender discrimination and poverty.

“Village Rockstars is a very personal film and close to my heart. It almost changed my life. Three years back, while shooting for my first film which I also shot in my old village Kalardiya, I came in regular touch with these village kids and decided to tell their story,” said Das.

The film was shot for around 120 days in the course of three years. Her cousin Mallika and the children who acted in the film helped Das throughout. “Over the three years of shooting, the kids became my own,” said Das. Earlier, Das won two awards at HAF 2017 (Hong Kong Asian Film Forum) — Post-Production Fund award from White Light Studio and a place in the Hong Kong to Cannes Film festival for ‘Village Rockstars’.

Noted Assam actor Adil Hussain-starrer ‘What Will People Say’ by the Norwegian-Pakistani director Iram Haq will also be premiered during TIFF. Hussain plays a migrant Pakistani in the film.

Prantik Deka