Assamese film Village Rockstars was on Saturday selected as India’s official entry for Oscars 2019. The movie is directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Rima Das who shot it in her native village. It mostly stars non-actors from her village, including her niece Bhanita Das who plays the lead role of Dhunu.

Village Rockstars left behind more than two dozen films, including Padmaavat, Hichki, Raazi, Love Sonia, Nude, Pihu and Padman to represent India in the Best Foreign Language category at the 91st Academy Awards next year, the Film Federation of India announced.

Rima Das, who is the writer, director, cinematographer, editor and producer of Village Rockstars, told PTI, “It feels great. I don’t have many words to explain. The whole journey is kind of a fairy tale. It is a huge recognition for northeast and I think it is the first Assamese film to get selected. So, I believe it will change a lot for filmmakers from the region. I was always hopeful. I was always looking forward to going to the festivals and winning accolades. But most important to me was that people should connect with the film. That emotional connection is something which I have achieved through this film.”

The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017, before winning four awards — for Best Feature, Best Editing, Best Location Sound Recordist and Best Child Artist – at 65th National Film Awards presented by Government of India.

The coming-of-age film, which revolves around a young village girl who dreams of owning a guitar and forming a rock band despite living in abject poverty, has travelled to more than 70 film festivals across the world.