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India Rolls With ‘Village Rockstars’ as Oscar Contender

The Film Federation of India has chosen Rima Das’ “Village Rockstars” as the country’s entry to the Oscars foreign-language category. The film follows a 10-year-old growing up in straitened circumstances in a flood-prone village in the state of Assam, with ambitions of starting her own rock band.

“Rockstars’ premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. It has played the global festival circuit since and has won multiple awards including best film, best film on gender equality and the young critics award at the Mumbai Film Festival; best artistic contribution at Cairo; and best original score at Buenos Aires.

At India’s national film awards “Village Rockstars” won best film and best editing for Rima Das, best child actress for the lead Bhanita Das, and best sound for Mallika Das.

Variety reviewer, Maggie Lee wrote: “In “Village Rockstars,” tucked away in an Indian backwater, a moppet has rock ‘n’ roll dreams, but her goal of becoming a guitarist is motivated by larger issues, like rebellion, empowerment — and to send a message to the universe. Pluckily optimistic and unsentimental to a fault, writer-director Rima Das’ second film is a tonic to third world poverty porn.” “Village Rockstars” opens in India Sept. 28.

India has been submitting to the foreign language category since 1957. Indian films “Mother India” (1957), “Salaam Bombay” (1988) and “Lagaan” (2001) have received nominations.

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