Films In Competition
Bulbul Can Sing
Three teenage friends explore their burgeoning sexualities and identities, in the shadow of their conservative village’s societal mores.
Southeast AsianIndia / 2018 / 87 MIN / Assamese / PG
Bulbul, Bonny and Suman live an idyllic life, playing in the rain, climbing trees and swimming in the river. On the cusp of puberty, the inseparable trio go through their schooling days as a unit, discovering love, sexual awakenings and rebellion together. When a group of villagers discover the teens engaged in acts that outrage their moral modesty, the trio’s friendship is put to the test through violent punishment and tragedy.
A self-taught, one-woman filmmaking force, Rima Das’s naturalistic storytelling instincts play to the strengths of Bulbul Can Sing. Following the success of her similarly styled Village Rockstars, Das’s non-intrusive, documentary-style camerawork—paired with her young leads’ exuberant chemistry—makes this Assamese coming-of-age tale a widely relatable gem.
Cast & Credits
Rima Das’s first feature, Man with the Binoculars: Antardrishti, competed in the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in 2016. Her follow-up, Village Rockstars, won Best Feature Film at the 65th National Film Awards in New Delhi, among other accolades; it is also India’s official submission to the 2019 Academy Awards. Bulbul Can Sing is her third feature.
Rima Das, Jaya Das
Arnali Das, Manoranjoan Das, Manabendra Das, Bonita Thakuriya, Pakija Begam
*Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival 2018
*Offiical Selection, Busan International Film Festival 2018