RIMA Das Directed Village Rockstars Presented Swarna Kamal As Best Movie Made In 2017

VILLAGE Rockstars, directed, produced and scripted by Rima Das, which has bagged the covetous Swarna Kamal as the best feature film made in 2017, has created several records in the male dominated Indian film industry. It was perhaps after several years that a movie made in a regional language and directed by a female director was adjudged the best in the country by a Committee headed by versatile actor-film director Shekhar Kapur. It is after 29 years that an Assamese film has won the honour. Noted Assamese film maker Jahnu Barua’s Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai in Assamese had won the award in 1987.The movie is about the dream of a ten years old girl named Dhunu who is   living in Rima Das’ native Chhayagaon Village, 50 km from Northeast’s premier metropolis Guwahati. She is among the amazing children who despite poverty and deprivation have dreams. Dhunu played by Bhanita Das lives with her widowed mother and elder brother Manabendra . One day while helping her mother sell snacks at a local event, she is mesmerized by a band that was performing there. Her life changes. She dreams of playing guitar forgetting her sourrounding.The movie has also won three other awards — best child artist, best location sound recordist and best editing. Rima Das, 36, daughter of village school teacher after obtaining Masters from Pune University in sociology, landed in Mumbai with the ambition of becoming actor. Despite not being trained in any discipline of film making, she had made two more movies in Assamese before Village Rockstars. She recalls that she used to act in school plays. She desired of turning a film maker after spending hours watching the movies made by Satyajit Ray, Ingmar Bergman and Majid Majidi.Her third and the latest movie brings on screen a girl who yearns for an electric guitar. Speaking to media persons about Village Rockstars, which she has written, directed, produced, shot and designed, Rima Das said :“It is a positive story about hope and desire, and children bring positivity.”It was shot for about three years since 2014 .Rockstars was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and will be screened at the Mumbai Film Festival to be held from October 12 to 18. The offbeat movie stars Bhanita Das, Basanti Das, Kulada Bhattacharya, Manabendra Das and Boloram Das. Her debut directorial venture was Man with the Binoculars made in 2016 explored the story of a man in his final stages of life. It was during the shooting of this film in Assam in 2013 that Rima Das accidentally met some local boys playing make-believe instruments to music emerging from a tape recorder. “They were miming by using thermocol instruments. That really inspired me. Even though they were imagining it, their body language was so fascinating and looked very real.”Except for Kulada Bhattacharya, who plays a wise old man in the film, every other actor is a local from Chhayagaon. “I had my own camera and did my own audition. I had the freedom to pick and cast my own characters. I started my career as an actor and this experience  helped me in the auditioning my actors,” he said and recalls “I used to be a tomboy like her, climbing trees and swimming in the river”. In the movie, she enlivens her own childhood. Now a resident of the tinsel town but visits her native village often .Let us wait for her next movie about a teenage love affair .It will also be set in the same village and made by the same team associated with Rockstars, says a smiling Rima Das ,a self taught film maker. The Swarna Kamal –Golden Lotus – Awardee was given INR 2,50,000 in cash plus a certificate in recognition of her  excellence in film making. (pic courtesy  Scroll. In)

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