Dhunu – the feisty 10-year-old village girl who played with the boys, dreamed of owning a real guitar and aspired to have her own rock band in the National Award-winning film by Rima Das Village Rockstars, has now been included in the state board syllabus.
The film, which won several awards, was also India’s official entry at the Oscars in 2019. The film won the hearts of many for its simple storyline. Bhanita Das, who played the role of Dhunu won the National Award as the best child actor.
‘Dhunu’s guitar’ has been featured in ‘Sunbeam English Reader-II textbook’ for Class VII students affiliated to the state board. The pint-sized fiery ball of lovable energy Dhunu wearing a large straw hat with a thermocol guitar slung from her shoulder had captured the imagination of movie lovers.
An elated Rima took to Facebook to share that of all her achievements, her parents are most proud of this one. “‘Dhunu’s Guitar’ based on Village Rockstars is now a chapter in Class VII English textbook! My father Bharat Chandra Das was founder head teacher of Chhygaon champak Nagar girls high school and my Maa Jaya Das ran a printing press and book store. I was preparing to be a teacher. We’ve been a family that placed a lot of emphasis on education. Of all my achievements, my parents are most proud of this one and this has made me very happy! We all village Rockstars family is very happy.”
Rima further thanked the State Council Of Educational Research And Training (SCERT), former deputy director of SCERT Dr Mizo Prova Borah, director of SCERT Nirada Devi, Professor Padmini Boruah and the members who initiated with Assam education department.
“I feel very blessed that the children of Assam will be exposed to new ideas and get a glimpse of my filmmaking journey. I hope to see a new generation of filmmakers from Assam.Many thanks to Toronto International film festival who premiered Village Rockstars and believed in us,” she added.
The story depicts the dreams and aspirations of Dhunu. 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.
While helping her mother sell snacks at a local event, she becomes mesmerized by a band that’s performing there. The boys belt out their hits with musical instruments made of Styrofoam. She proceeds to copy them, carving a guitar.
Rima is the writer, director, cinematographer, editor and producer of Village Rockstars, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017.
The 87-minute drama in Kamrupi Assamese language also won four awards — for Best Feature, Best Editing, Best Location Sound Recordist and Best Child Artist – at the 65th National Film Awards in 2018.
Photo: Rima Das