Village Rockstars
Poster of Village Rockstars

When Assam’s noted filmmaker Rima Das’s film Village Rockstars was selected for the Best Audiography award including the Best Feature Film (Swarna Kamal) award, Best Child Artist, and Best Editing categories in this year’s national awards, Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty’s questioned the credibility of the jury members of the national award committee in presenting the award to someone ‘undeserving’.

But proving Pookutty’s statement completely wrong, Village Rockstars became the first film from northeast to be selected as India’s official entry for the Oscars, this year on Saturday.

Filmmaker Rima Das after the announcement said, “It seems like I was waiting for this day. Its like a dream come true.”

Pookutty was referring to Mallika Das who was presented the Best Audiography award for Village Rockstar at the 65th National Film Awards in April. This is his original tweet.

Even after heavy criticism coming his way, Pookutty in a Facebook post said, “For everyone who is attacking me on my National  Award comment, Village Rockstar was completely post produced in my studio literally free of cost, so I’m very sure of what I’m talking about. When I talk about technical work there are things to look at, let Amrit Pritam who has sound designed the film refute me! I shall take my comments back.”

He asks, “The film’s recording does not qualify any tech standards towards which a National recognition is to be bestowed upon! What technical and artistic integrity you need to put the sound in auto record mode in a camera?! And I came down vehemently on the constitution of the jury, not the artist, by way of awarding NFA this way, the committee derecognize the rest of the sound recording community… this is purely because the jury could not differentiate the work done by a sound mixer and a sound designer”

Either we have too many awards for sound which a particular committee is not able to judge in fine lines or we don’t have enough qualified technical  talents in the committee. This needs to be fixed!’’  he wrote.

Pookutty had commented earlier that the award committee has failed to differentiate the work of a sound designer and a sound recordist. “When the sound is recorded on camera, 90% of the dialogues are distorted. When the entire rain, wind and village ambience were recreated in a studio with careful sound designing, the award goes to audiography! That makes me question the award committee’s tech know how! It’s a shame to see this year ’s National  Award for audiography given to somebody who has not touched an audio equipment in her life!” he had tweeted.

Pookutty’s tweet was heavily criticized by Assamese filmgoers, who slammed him for his comments.

Assam’s noted sound designer Amrit Pritam who had provided the sound design for Village Rockstar also backed fellow sound designer statement in a long Facebook statement. He said he agreed with Resul Pookutty’s statement regarding the judgement of the National Award for Audiography. He said he was really shocked to see how a few people without knowing the actual facts were accusing the Oscar-winning sound designer Pookutty.

Village Rockstars has been picked as India’s official entry in the Foreign Language film category for Oscars 2019.

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