Udayavni Special

Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal announce first production ‘Girls Will Be Girls’


PTI, Mar 4, 2021, 10:38 AM IST

Mumbai: Actor-couple Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal’s first project as producers will be the coming-of-age story “Girls Will Be Girls”.

The two actors, who have worked together on “Fukrey” series, will produce the project through their newly-launched banner Pushing Buttons Studios.

Debutante filmmaker Shuchi Talati will direct the movie from her own script.

Set in an elite boarding school in a small Himalayan hill town, the story is about 16-year-old Mira, whose sexy, rebellious coming-of-age is hijacked by her mother who never got to come-of-age.

Mother and daughter grow up together through the course of the script and their fraught but ultimately loving relationship is the beating heart of the film.

“Girls Will Be Girls” is the only Indian script invited to the prestigious Berlinale Script Station 2021, a lab that selects 10 projects from around the world every year, according to the makers.

It is also the only Indian project at the Jerusalem Script Lab this year where it will be presented formally at the Jerusalem Film Festival in July, they added.

Lauding Talati, Chadha said the cinematic world the filmmaker has created in “Girls Will Be Girls” is “relatable, often cruel but never hopeless or nihilistic”.

“It”s honest awkwardness will make you chuckle, not weep. It’s full of relatable, lived-in episodes that one finds oddly satisfying – like popping a zit. The mother in our story routinely dodges the self-sacrificing stereotype of the typical Indian mom – she’s complicated, grey, and not a martyr,” the 34-year-old actor said in a statement.

“The dynamic between mother and daughter is so under-explored in Indian and world cinema that the possibilities of ”Girls Will Be Girls” presents are very exciting,” she added.

Fazal, also 34, said the film is close to their hearts as it marks their production debut.

“I am also excited that our studio will enter the market with such a progressive, female-led story. We hope to be able to tell thought-provoking and universal stories with humour and love,” he added.

Talati is an up-and-coming filmmaker, who is based in the US. She recently won the New York State Council of the Arts Grant for the script of “Girls Will Be Girls”. She has also been selected for Berlinale Talents.

The movie will co-produced by Sanjay Gulati of Crawling Angel Films and Claire Chassagne of French banner Dolce Vita Film.

Chadha and Talati have been longtime collaborators as they previously co-directed a documentary about adults living with autism and Down”s syndrome when they were students at Mumbai”s Sophia College.

“In my opinion, Shuchi is an amazing voice and I”ve been following her evolution for years, knowing that one day an incandescent film would be born from her brain. She is definitely a filmmaker to watch out for,” Chadha said.

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