Q: How did the idea of ‘Village Rockstars’ come to you?
A: While I was making my first film, “Man With Binoculars” which I shot in my village back in Assam, one day there was a local musical gathering and I saw this group of amazing kids who were playing with fake instruments. So from there the idea seeped in and I casually went and approached the kids with the idea of making a film together. And the kids were passionate enough about the idea, that’s how I decided to make this film.
Q: Since the kids were untrained actors, so as a filmmaker how did you manage to make them act?
A: I have acted in many plays, and I landed in Mumbai because of my passion for acting. So the actor in me helped me train my actors. It was a very casual training, not following any particular method. It was all fun, and that’s one of the key reasons these untrained kids shed all their inhibitions and thus, look so natural in the film.
Q: ‘Village Rockstars’ has exceedingly performed well in festival circuits. Why do you think the film has connected with audiences across the globe?
A: It is a very positive film, and everyone has a dream, desire and longing and since the film is talking about all these elements, so I guess, that’s the reason why people have connected with my film.
Q: You’re a one woman army. You’ve written, directed, shot and edited the film. How tough is it as a filmmaker to pull off such a gem on your own?
A: I love cinema, so I just wanted to create something. I just believed that I was very true to myself and that’s how it happened.
Q: Feature film is something where one needs a lot of resources and finances, so how did you manage to pull that off?
A: I invested my own money and my family’s money so in that process we ended up spending a lot for the film. I have my own camera, a Canon 5D Mark II, and other equipments. I used a rode mike and one lens. I did whatever I could with my limited resourses.
Q: You have won lots of awards in film festivals. Where else is ‘Village Rockstars’ screening?
A: We opened in Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), then San Sebastian Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival, Cork Film Festival, Leiden Film Festival, Olympia Film Festival, International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), SIFFCY (Smile International Film Festival for Children and Youth), Göteborg Film Festival, Cairo International Film Festival which I recently won… We are going lots of places. There’s Indonesia Premier as well, we were in IFFI (International Film Festival of India), MAMI which I’d already mentioned before, we were also in 1st Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF), which is in our home state. So yeah we are travelling quite a lot.
Q: What’s the next that we can expect?
A: I’m making a teenage love-story next, which again will be in Assamese. I’ve not decided on the title of the film. I hope universe, god and all the positive elements which have blessed VR, will continue its magic and shower all the blessing in my next project as well.
Q: Lastly, which is your favourite 2017 film.
A: I watched Loveless and I like that film.
Message to the aspiring filmmakers:
Believe in yourself, be true to yourself and just do it.