It has been 30 years of misses for Assam to bag the topmost honour at the National Film Awards for the second time after ace filmmaker Jahnu Barua’s Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai became the first ever movie from the state to win the Best Film honour at the coveted awards in 1988, and director Rima Das- a self-taught filmmaker by her own admission- is ecstatic the wait ended with her work, Village Rockstars.
The film is about a 10-year-old girl who harbours dreams of having her own rock band and goes in search of an electric guitar in her small village, Kalardiya. Its creator, Das, hails from the same village, in the town of Chaygaon, which is about 38 kilometers away from Guwahati.
Shot on a hand-held camera by Das, who has no formal training in filmmaking, the movie could have very well confined to Chaygaon and eventually got lost had it not been for the belief of Das, who is also the film’s co-producer.
She took it to international festivals, won awards and subsequently received the much-needed recognition for the film back home, leading to its premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival last year, where it won the top honour.
“I am speechless. I have no words to express this joy. It’s a huge recognition for us! My sincere gratitude to God, to my parents and my family who stood with me all this time and finally we got it. This is a kind of feeling I am having at the moment. It brings immense joy that a film from Assam made it to this level after 30 years! Massive thank you to my Village Rockstars family, thank you to everyone. I am elated, ecstatic and very very happy,” Das told indianexpress.com, hours after the awards’ announcement.
The film also won awards in the categories of Best Child Artist, Best Audiography and Best Editing.