Assamese films have got as many as five nominations for the annual awards of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, one of the biggest Indian film festivals outside the country.

Rima Das-directed ‘Bulbul Can Sing’, which will be the opening film of the festival, has got the nominations for the best Indie film and the best director. Priyanka Chopra-produced Bhoga Khirikee (Broken Window) has got three nominations – best Indie film, best director for Jahnu Barua and best actress for Zerifa Wahid.

Priyanka’s Purple Pebble Pictures had joined hands with Easterly Entertainment to produce Bhoga Khirikee which is a multi-layered story from the perspective of a female protagonist whose life is in turmoil due to the ideological and existential clash amongst the three men in her life – her father, husband and a stranger.

“I am feeling very humbled and elated to have been nominated with such versatile actors like Nina Gupta, Alia Bhatt, Tabu and the like. To have the opportunity to work with the master director Jahnu Barua is an award in itself for any actor. But I am so grateful to all my friends, well wishers, colleagues and fans for sending their love and best wishes. It is almost like winning the award,” Zerifa told The News Mill.

The other nominations in this category are Tabu for Andhadhun, Neena Gupta for Badhaai Ho, Alia Bhatt for Gully Boy, Rituparna Sengupta for Ahaa Re and Jigmeet Dewa Lhamo for Chuskit.

Apart from Jahnu Barua and Rima Das, the other nominees for the best director award are Sriram Raghavan for Andhadhun, Zoya Akhtar for Gully Boy, Thiagarajan Kumararaja for Super Deluxe, Praveen Morchhale for Widow of Silence, and Abhishek Chaubey for Sonchirya.

In the best Indie film category, the nominated films are Widow of Silence, The Gold-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain, Namdev Bhau, Bhonsle and Chuskit which will be competing for the award with Bhoga Khirikee and Bulbul Can Sing.

Bulbul Can Sing by Rima Das has already made its presence felt in some of the prestigious festivals across the globe after her previous film Village Rockstars.

The film narrates the story of Bulbul, a teenage schoolgirl, who grows up in a rural setting in Assam. While she is on the verge of discovering her teen life, a tragedy strikes her best friend. A spirited Bulbul fights her way through love and loss as she figures out who she really is. It also got Special Mention from the Generation 14plus International Jury at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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