Rima Das: Breaking the stereotypes

“Your Dreams might be Challenging, but not Impossible,” the Story of Rima Das

How do you think of a film without a budget, crew,  or professional actors would perform?

Well, such a film is India’s official entry to the Oscars.

The film we are talking about is Rima Das’s Village Rockstars. This movie was single-handedly written, directed, edited, produced (and everything else that possibly goes into making a film) by Rima Das herself. Das, who hails from Assam. Initially aspiring acting, Das eventually embarked on her journey as a filmmaker.

The film was inspired by incidents that Rima witnessed in her Village. While shooting her first feature film, Antardrishti, she came across a band of kids who were all performing using instruments made out of thermocol. It was then that she made up her mind that she wants to capture the same innocence and make a movie out of the same. Looking at films through an unorthodox lens Das has almost everything improvised and had no crew besides her and her camera.

Her journey with this film makes breaks the stereotype that a movie needs to be heavily marketed in order to be successful. Not a single rupee was spent in the distribution and marketing of Village Rockstars. It was strongly endorsed by the Assam Government. This film eventually went on to win 4 national awards and won an array of wins and accolades from all major film festivals.

What makes it Oscar worthy?

In her own words, she stuck to her roots and made the film over a course of 4 years. She wanted to explore her love for cinema by making a movie all by herself. She didn’t want to be obligated to any producer or be under the pressure of handling a crew. All she did was captivate the purity of the children with a strong narrative, which is what makes it a sincere, grounded film. The communication barrier didn’t bother her as “Art & Film have no language”

Rima Das has truly set a benchmark for everyone in the industry. It motivates and proves to young filmmakers that a film can be made in the simplest of ways. She learned filmmaking over the internet – by watching movies and listening to interviews of filmmakers; cinematography from YouTube; and editing by herself.

It also shows the rest of the industry that inspiring content is further important than giving into the glamorous marketing, execution should be taken more seriously than promotion.

It is inspiring to see woman filmmakers denting the industry with their mark. It demonstrates the fact that a movie doesn’t need a ‘hero’ behind, or in front of the camera. All one needs to do is be sincere to their subject, as well as themselves, to become Oscar-worthy someday.

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