CIFF47: PSQ March 22 – April 1, 2023 | Streams April 2 – April 9, 2023

February 27, 2019

CIFF43 Announces Someone to Watch Award Recipient: Rima Das

The 43rd Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) is thrilled to present Indian director Rima Das with its SOMEONE TO WATCH Award. This award is given to mid-career filmmakers who are rising stars in international filmmaking.

At this year’s Festival, we are pleased to present Das’s films, BULBUL CAN SING (2018) and VILLAGE ROCKSTARS (2017). Das will be in attendance for the screenings of these films.

Das is a self-taught filmmaker, who was born and raised in Chaygaon, a small village in Northeast India. When she was growing up, her father was the head teacher of a girls’ high school, and her mother ran a local bookstore and printing press. As a child, Das was adventurous and creative, spending her days climbing trees and exploring nature. As reflections of her own experiences, her films, VILLAGE ROCKSTARS (2017) and BULBUL CAN SING (2018), depict young girls growing up in rural India with similar rebellious natures to her own.

As a young woman, Das went on to graduate with honors from Cotton College Guwahati and received her Master’s in Sociology from Pune University. In addition to writing and directing, she now manages the Mumbai-based production company, Flying River Films, which supports local and independent filmmakers in the region.

VILLAGE ROCKSTARS, her second feature film, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 and won numerous awards on the festival circuit, including an India Gold and Best Film on Gender Equality at the Mumbai Film Festival, as well as Best Feature Film at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

Her most recent film, BULBUL CAN SING, also won an India Gold at the Mumbai Film Festival in 2018 and has received numerous nominations. An accomplished independent filmmaker, Das has won several national and international awards and nominations for her work. In 2018 GQ India named Das one of the 50 Most Influential Young Indians.

The 43rd Cleveland International Film Festival will be held March 27 – April 7, 2019 at Tower City Cinemas in downtown Cleveland, as well as the Gordon Square Arts District and University Circle. More than 600 screenings will take place during the 12 days of the Festival, with over 300 guest filmmakers from around the world who will be visiting our city for the Festival. CIFF43 program details will be available at on Friday, March 1, with Program Guides hitting the streets the week of March 4th. Tickets will go on sale to CIFF Members on Friday, March 8th and to the general public on Friday, March 15th. For more information, please visit

The Cleveland International Film Festival is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Media Contact

Debby Samples, Marketing & Media Director
2510 Market Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113-3434

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