Assamese filmmaker Rima Das' film 'Village Rockstars' has been chosen as the official entry to Oscars 2019. According to The Indian Express, 22 films had been submitted to the jury for consideration, including big budget Bollywood productions like Padmavaat and Raazi.
Das' 'Village Rockstars' revolves around a young girl in an Assam village, who with her friends, has a band and wants to buy a real guitar. The film takes a deep, empathetic look into life in Assam's villages where people brave floods and the death and misery they bring as a routine and amid all that manage to chase their dreams. It's also a stirring comment on gender, where a single mother in a village struggles with fellow villagers' comments on her young daughter and also wants to let her child live life on her own terms.
Das did not go enlist professional actors for the film.
The Hollywood Reporter writes in its review of the film, "Here's a film that has none of the tantalizing glamour, music or performances promised by its title, yet turns out to be deeply satisfying in a completely unexpected way."
It goes on to observe, "A characteristic of the film is its determined refusal to dramatize anything. The unemphatic editing makes one event follow another almost casually, in a natural order that suggests acceptance. Even the disaster of the flood, which destroys farmlands, knocks out the bridge to school and submerges homes, is downplayed by being seen through the eyes of the children, for whom it represents a novelty."
A review on Variety magazine says, "Pluckily optimistic and unsentimental to a fault, writer-director Rima Das' second film is a tonic to third world poverty porn. Das shot the film almost single-handedly on a minuscule budget, but it doesn't impair the movie's visual quality or its market potential one bit. In fact, the picture's rustic charm and "You go, girl!" attitude should rock the house."
Watch the trailer of Village Rockstars here: