Official poster of Village Rockstars
|Directed by||Rima Das|
|Produced by||Rima Das|
|Written by||Rima Das|
|Edited by||Rima Das|
|Distributed by||Flying River Films|
|9 September 2017 (TIFF)|
28th September 2018
|Language||Kamrupi dialect, Assamese language|
Village Rockstars is a 2017 Indian Kamrupi Assamese language coming-of-age film written, edited, co-produced, and directed by Rima Das, who is a self-taught filmmaker. The film premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). More significantly, the film grabbed the Best Feature Film ‘Swarna Kamal’ award at the 65th National Film Awards, which were declared at New Delhi on 13 April 2018. Village Rockstars also won awards in three other categories: Best Child Artist, Best Location Sound Recordist and Best Editing. The film was selected as India's official entry to the 91st Academy Awards, but it was not nominated for top nine films from 87.
Dhunu is the protagonist amidst a group of real village rock stars. Growing up in hardship, she cherished aspiration of having her own rock band. Her life although engulfed by hostile natural calamities doesn't bar her from dreaming of owning a real guitar !
Ten-year-old Dhunu (Bhanita Das) lives in Kalardiya village near Chaygaon in Assam, India with her widowed mother (Basanti Das) and elder brother Manabendra (Manabendra Das). While helping her mother sell snacks at a local event, she becomes mesmerized by a band that's performing there. The part that's so delightfully hokey: the boys belt out their hits with musical instruments made of Styrofoam. She proceeds to copy them, carving a guitar.
Impressionable and tenacious at the same time, Dhunu reads a comic book and decides she wants to form a band playing real instruments. Rupee by rupee, she begins to save for the guitar. She reads an article in a scrap newspaper and decides that positive thinking can make the possession of the guitar materialize. But as floods destroy the family's crops, Dhunu must choose her priorities.
- Bhanita Das as Dhunu
- Basanti Das as Dhunu's mother
- Manabendra Das as Dhunu's elder brother
- Boloram Das
- Rinku Das
- Bishnu Kalita
Village Rockstars won the Film Critics Circle of India Award for the Best Indian Film of 2017. Jury member Dalton L declared it "a milestone film of sorts", adding, "Village Rockstars epitomises the trials and tribulations, and heralds the coming of age, of a filmmaker, of her protagonist, and of the indie film movement in India". Jury member Priyanka Dasgupta said, "Rima Das’ film is a lyrical montage of life and times in contemporary rural India. It subtly draws attention to complex gender issues – sometimes even subverting the conventional gender norms – without ever getting preachy. Bhanita Das – the pint-sized fiery ball of lovable energy – is endearingly natural. But just when one fears that the film might become schmaltzy, the film-maker takes control. The lens speaks volumes, sometimes conveying more than the dialogues. Such a work by a first-time director holds a lot of promise for Indian cinema". Jury member Premchand called it "a women’s journey into the heart of the matter." Saibal Chatterjee, a founder member of the Society, gave the film a five-star rating, and says in his review, "A masterwork is usually the result of strict adherence to artistic and functional rules. Village Rockstars respects none: it dons a raw, innocent cloak and exudes a degree of purity that deliberate craft can never bestow on a film... The film stands for something that is always under threat: the courage to ignore the reality that life is exceedingly difficult for cinema that is made on the margins of a giant production machinery and recognize that there always are ways out for those who revel in battling the odds, no matter how daunting, and overcoming them." 
Maggie Lee says in her review for Variety, "By focusing on tween characters, the picture evokes that freewheeling stage when gender roles are still blurry in the friendships between boys and girls. Then as suddenly as a monsoon, Dhunu’s first period arrives. The rituals held to initiate her into womanhood — making her wear a sari, segregating her from the boys — are seen as attempts to enforce her otherness."  Deborah Young in the Hollywood Reporter says, "Village Rockstars’ storytelling is so offhand it borders on documentary. The action follows natural rhythms, the seasons, biology." Hannah Lynn of Pittsburgh City Paper compared the film to The Florida Project in that it is "aimless without being pointless" while Barry Hertz of The Globe and Mail called it "confident and sincere", giving it 3.5 out of 4 stars. Radheyan Simonpillai of NOW gave the film 4 stars and lamented the fact that the film wasn't nominated at the Academy awards, writing that he'd take the "stunning, poetic film [...] over Roma (or Cold War, or Capernaum or Never Look Away) any day."
|Date of ceremony[a]||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Academy Award for Best International Feature Film||February 24, 2019||Best Foreign Language Film||India's official entry||Not nominated|||
|National Film Awards||April 13, 2018||Best Feature Film||Rima Das||Won|||
|Best Child Artist||Bhanita Das||Won|
|Best Location Sound Recordist||Mallika Das||Won|
|Best Editing||Rima Das||Won|
|Jio MAMI Film Festival 2017||October 18, 2018||Golden Gateway award for best film in India Gold category||Village Rockstars||Won|||
|Oxfam Best Film for Gender Equality award||Village Rockstars||Won|
|Young Critics Choice award||Village Rockstars||Won|
|Cork Film Festival||November 11, 2017||Gradam Spiorad Na Féile / Spirit of the Festival Award||Village Rockstars||Won|||
|Cairo International Film Festival||November 21, 2017||Best Artistic Contribution from the International Critic's Week competition||Village Rockstars||Won|||
|Olympia International Film Festival for Children & Young people||November 26, 2017||Best Actress||Bhanita Das||Won|||
|Best Director||Rima Das||Won|||
|Special Jury prize||Village Rockstars||Won|||
|Smile International Film Festival for Children & Youth||December 17, 2017||Best Children's Film||Village Rockstars||Won|||
|Best Actor||Bhanita Das||Won|||
|Cine Junior Film Festival, France 2018||January 1, 2018||Grand Prix (Best Film)||Village Rockstars||Won|||
|Muestra de Cine Lanzarote 2017, Spain||May 18, 2017||Best Young Film||Village Rockstars||Won|||
|Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles||April 15, 2018||Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature||Village Rockstars||Won|||
|Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente, Argentina 2018||April 22, 2018||SIGNIS Prize||Village Rockstars||Won|||
|Prag Cine Awards 2018||May 27, 2018||Best Film||Village Rockstars||Won|||
|Best Actor (Female)||Bhanita Das||Won|
|Best Editing||Rima Das||Won|
|Best Sound Designer||Amrit Pritam||Won|
|Jury's Special Mention||Basanti Das||Won|
|7th Assam state Film Award and Festival||July 29, 2018||Kamal Narayan Choudhry Award for Best Director||Rima Das||Won|
|Best Sound Design||Amrit Pritam||Won|
|Best Debut Actress||Bhanita Das||Won|
|Nalin Dowerah Award for Best Cinematography||Rima Das||Won|
|3rd BRICS film festival||July 27, 2018||Best Actress||Bhanita Das||Won|
|Special Jury Award||Village Rockstars||Won|
Official selection at festivals
- Toronto International Film Festival (Discovery Section) 2017
- San Sebastián International Film Festival (New Directors Competition) 2017
- Guwahati International Film Festival
- Dharamshala International Film Festival (closing film)
- Cannes Film Festival 2017 
- Kerala International Film Festival (International Competition) 2017 
- SIFFCY 2017 (Opening film)
- Tallinn Black Nights 2017
- HKIFF, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2018
- International Film Festival of India, Goa 2017
- Glasgow Film Festival, UK 2018 (UK premiere)
- Cairo International Film Festival 2017, Egypt
- MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2017, India
- Medellín International Film Festival 2017, Colombia
- International Children's Film Festival India 2017, India (Competition Section)
- Leiden International Film Festival, Netherlands 2017
- Cork Film Festival 2017, Ireland
- Olympia International Film Festival 2017, Greece (Competition Section)
- Cine Junior Film Festival, France, 2018 (French premiere)
- Les Toiles Filantes, France, 2018
- Cairo International Women's Film Festival, Egypt, 2018
- Aga Khan Museum, Canada, 2018
- Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth, Canada, 2018
- Tromso International Film Festival, Norway, 2018 (Norwegian premiere)
- Göteborg International Film Festival, Sweden, 2018 (Swedish Premiere)
- MOOOV Film Festival, Belgium, 2018 (Belgium premiere)
- Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote, Spain, 2017
- Jogjakarta Film Festival, Indonesia 2017 (South East Asian Premiere)
- Bangalore Film Festival, India
- Chennai International Film Festival, India
- Singapore South Asian International Film Festival 2018
- List of submissions to the 91st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Indian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Each date is linked to the article about the awards held that year, wherever possible.
- "'Village Rockstars, Film On Guitar-Playing Girl, Is India's Oscar Entry'". Retrieved 11 October 2018.
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- Lee, Maggie (14 September 2017). "Toronto Film Review: 'Village Rockstars'". Retrieved 22 September 2018.
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- Lynn, Hannah. "What's coming to the Silk Screen?". Pittsburgh City Paper.
- "Review: Rima Das's Village Rockstars brings down the house, and proves the 2019 Oscars are singing the wrong tune" – via The Globe and Mail.
- Simonpillai, Radheyan (28 January 2019). "Review: Village Rockstars should have got a foreign-language Oscar nomination". NOW Magazine.
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- "Village Rockstars out of Oscars 2019 race". 18 December 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- "65th National Film Awards: A look at the complete list of winners and more". India Today. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "Village Rockstar steals the show at MAMI 2017, bags 3 awards". India Today. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- "Awards". corkfilmfest.org. Cork Film Festival. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Cairo International Film Festival". www.ciff.org.eg. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Τα Βραβεία του 20ου Φεστιβάλ Ολυμπίας". Olympia Festival. 10 December 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Siffcy Winner". siffcy.org. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Palmarès du Festival Ciné Junior 2018" (PDF).
- ""Milla", de Valerie Massadian, se alza con el Premio a la Mejor película de la 7ª Muestra de cine de Lanzarote". Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote (in Spanish). 4 December 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- desk, Northeast Live web (18 April 2018). "Village Rockstars awarded Grand Jury Best Feature Film at Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles - North East Live". Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- "Películas de India y Colombia, premiadas por SIGNIS en el 20 BAFICI". SIGNIS. 23 April 2018.
- "Govinda at Prag Cine Awards 2018 » Northeast Today". 29 May 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- "Village Rockstars". www.tiff.net. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "San Sebastian Film Festival". sansebastianfestival. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
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- "Rima Das's Village Rockstars to be showcased at Cannes film festival - The News Mill". 21 March 2017. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
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- "Siffcy". siffcy.org. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- Pandya, Sonal. "Ajji, Mukkabaaz, Village Rockstars among 5 Indian films chosen for Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia". Cinestaan. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- Frater, Patrick (28 February 2018). "Hong Kong Festival Sets Debut Features as Opening Film Pair". Variety. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Indian Panorama 2017". IFFI Goa. 10 November 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Scotland's original independent cinema is the". glasgowfilm.org. Glasgow Film Theatre. 17 March 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
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- "20th International Children's Film Festival India". cfsindia.org. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Village Rockstars". liff.nl. Leiden International Film Festival. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Aga Khan Museum". Aga Khan Museum. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Village Rockstars | R2R Festival". www.2018.r2rfestival.org. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- "Films". Chennai International Film Festival. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2018.