GUWAHATI, Sept 22 - National award-winning Assamese movie Village Rockstars by Rima Das has been chosen as the official Indian entry � beating several star-studded fancied films � in the Foreign Language Film category to the Oscars-2019.
Village Rockstars is also the first Assamese movie to be nominated for the Oscars.
The film that had travelled through several international film festivals received the best feature film award in the recently-announced 65th National Film Awards. The movie also won the best child artiste, best location sound recordist and best editing awards in the 65th National Film Awards.
An all-India jury constituted by the Film Federation of India (FFI) under the chairmanship of Kannada producer Rajendra Singh Babu chose Village Rockstars from among the 28 films that were submitted to the jury for consideration, including star-studded Bollywood productions.
�It is technically a film with good human concept that would touch people around the world. We are honouring a film that deserves to be at the Oscars. We are hopeful and confident that people will see and respect the film,� Babu told reporters while making the announcement in Mumbai today.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali�s Padmaavat, Alia Bhatt-starrer Raazi, Rani Mukerji-fronted Hichki, Shoojit Sircar�s October, Love Sonia directed by Tabrez Noorani, Tumbaad, Halkaa, Kadvi Hawa and the latest release Manto were part of the list of 28 films submitted for next year�s Oscars.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, an elated Rima Das said that the moment she heard the news, she felt like being over the moon. �I was waiting for this day somewhere in my heart. I am feeling very blessed today. It has been a wonderful journey so far and I have got much more than what I had expected,� the self-taught filmmaker said.
�Ever since I started my career, Oscar was always in my mind. But I never thought that Village Rockstars will be the one,� she said.
Asked what kind of impact the Oscar nomination could have on Assamese cinema, Rima Das said, �Honestly, I cannot say anything at this moment. This is a new journey. There is a lot of process that the movie needs to go through at the Oscars. We will have to do promotional campaign for the movie. All the movies that have been selected from other countries are quality projects as well.�
Written, directed and coproduced by Rima Das, Village Rockstars revolves around a young girl in a remote village of Assam, who has a band and wants to have a real guitar.
The movie effectively chronicles socioeconomic issues of villagers who despite being plagued by adversities dream of a better future. The director, through this movie, also takes a call on the prevailing gender prejudices in society.
�With tears of joy and a feeling of pride, I humbly accept this news. Village Rockstars is India�s official entry for the Oscars! Let that sink in,� she twitted after the news broke out.
The 91st Academy Awards is scheduled to be held in Los Angeles on February 24, 2019.
No Indian film has ever won an Oscar. The last Indian film that made it to the final five in the Best Foreign Film category list was Ashutosh Gowariker�s Lagaan in 2001. Mother India (1958) and Salaam Bombay (1989) are the other two Indian movies to have made it to the top five.
Hindi film Newton by director Amit Masurkar and starring Rajkummar Rao was India�s official submission to the Oscars last year.