India, on Saturday, picked Village Rockstars as its official selection for the Oscars’ Foreign Language film race. The film was directed by Rima Das.
A total of 12 jury members got together to announce the official contender for Oscars 2019 in the Best Foreign Language Film category. The jury was led by Mr SV Rajendra Singh Babu and included Mr Shiboprosad Mukherjee, Ms Mrinal Kulkarni, Mr Vinod Ganatra among eight other members.
Jury member Anant Mahadevan said, “Village Rockstars is the closest film made by international standards. Very proud and to select this film and send it to the Oscars.”
Rima Das’ Village Rockstars is about a young girl who wants to be a guitarist. In a world where almost every step taken by females is questioned, 10-year-old Dhunu (Bhanita Das), who belongs to a remote village in Assam, wants to make a name for herself in the world of music.
Rima Das had earlier told The Indian Express, “I did not have any storyboard for Village Rockstars. Since there was no crew, I did not use any artificial light. I shot in the magic light — in the morning and afternoon when the sunlight is not harsh. All the actors, barring well-known Assamese actor Kulada Bhattyacharya, who appears as a wise man, are from my village.”
29 films including Raazi, Padmaavat Hichki, October, Love Sonia, Gulabjaam, Mahanati, Pihu, Kadvi Hawa, Bhogda, Revaa, Bioscopewala, Manto, 102 Not out, Padman, Bhayanakam, Ajji, Nude, Gali Guliiyan were submitted as nominations.
A few countries have already announced their candidates for the prestigious prize. While Lebanon has selected Capharnaum, Indonesia picked the feminist neo-western flick Marlina the Murder In Four Acts for the 91st Academy Awards.
For the 2018 Oscars, Rajkummar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi starrer Newton had been pitched for the top honour. However, the Amit Masurkar film failed to make the cut. It did not even make it to the list of the final nine films picked for the voting round. As far as India is concerned, only three films until now have made it till the last round and were, as a result, nominated in the foreign language film category – Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957), Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! (1988), and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan (2001).
The 91st Academy Awards is scheduled to be held on February 24, 2019.
Watch the trailer of Village Rockstars here: