Assam filmmaker Rima Das won two awards at the Hong Kong Asian Film Forum (HAF) 2017. Rima won the Post-Production Fund award from White Light Studio and a place in the Hong Kong to Cannes Film festival for her under-production second feature film ‘Village Rockstars’.

‘Village Rockstars’ was shot by Rima Das along with village kids over a period of three years. Her first film ‘Antardrishti’ (Man with the Binoculars, 2016) was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival and Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

“It’s an amazing feeling that we have already got visibility in the international platform. It is very important for me. Through Cannes, we will grow our audience and possibilities further. It’s an honour for me that Cannes Marche du Film selected Village Rockstars,” Das said.

Rima Das’s Village Rockstars – The News Mill
Rima Das, director of Village Rockstars

The Work-in-Progress Lab aims at helping filmmakers secure post-production funding, sales agents and film festival support, under the HAF organized by the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Under this segment ‘Village Rockstars’ will be taken care of.

The film was recommended at NFDC film bazaar this year and also was a part of Tallinn work in progress.

Village Rockstars tells the story of a 10-year-old girl named Dhunu, who dreams of owning a guitar and forming a band, the Rockstars, with a group of local boys. Dhunu, however, has to fight gender stereotypes on what a girl should do amid poverty and other hostile conditions.

“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.

Due to lack of funds, Das completed shooting entirely on her own – starting from camera, to direction and production.

Her cousin Mallika and the children acted in the film helped Das throughout. “Over the three years of shooting, ‘the kids’ became my own,” said Das.

Here’s Rima Das speaking with Asia Times:

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