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Rima Das's Bulbul Can Sing opens to full house at the Toronto Film Festival


This is the filmmaker's second consecutive film to have its world premiere at the Canadian festival.

Sonal Pandya

After winning the National Award for best film with her second feature, the Assamese film, Village Rockstars (2017), the filmmaker Rima Das is back in Toronto to premiere her latest, Bulbul Can Sing. This is the second year in a row that Das's film is opening at the Canadian film festival.

While Village Rockstars (2017) opened in the Discovery section at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Bulbul Can Sing is premiering the in competition in the Contemporary World Cinema section.

A coming-of-age film, Bulbul Can Sing, like Village Rockstars, centres around a young teenage girl. This one tracks the friendship between Bulbul and her friends Bonny and Sumu as they experience the growing pains of life in Assam.

The festival's artistic director Cameron Bailey was delighted to welcome back Das for her third feature. "Last year Rima Das came to the Festival with Village Rockstars, her delightful drama about a girl with a dream. After its premiere here, it went on to sweep India’s National Film Awards and play dozens of festivals around the world. Das is back with another breath of fresh air, once again shot amidst the timeless beauty of her home village in India’s Assam state. As in the earlier film, Das imbues every frame with insight and respect, and this time there’s a growing exploration of adolescence. Bulbul Can Sing is no simple rural idyll," he wrote about the film.

Das presenting the film at Toronto.

The independent filmmaker, who also filmed, edited, wrote and produced the film, said she was overjoyed to bring her film to Toronto. "It’s a huge honour to present Bulbul Can Sing to such a lovely audience at TIFF, I am completely thrilled and overwhelmed by their response. Thank you, TIFF and my team back home. I missed my team a lot."

Village Rockstars review: This little wannabe guitarist is a shining star

Village Rockstars was screened at more than 70 renowned film festivals and eventually won 44 awards including four National Awards including Best Feature, Best Editing, Audiography and Child Artist. It seems likely that Bulbul Can Sing might follow Village Rockstars to the festival circuit as well.

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