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‘Girls Will Be Girls’ Soars to International Recognition at TIFF Next Wave Festival


“Girls Will Be Girls,” the film that marks the inaugural production of dynamic actor duo Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal’s Pushing Buttons Studios, is all set to make waves at the esteemed TIFF Next Wave Film Festival. The festival’s organizers confirmed the screening on a recently issued press release, raising anticipation for the event scheduled from April 11 to 14. This festival, a vibrant and youthful offshoot of the Toronto International Film Festival, prides itself on celebrating cinema crafted for and by the youth.

The film, directed by the talented Shuchi Talati, weaves its narrative around the setting of a boarding school nestled in a quaint Himalayan hill town of northern India. Slated for screening on the final day of the festival, April 14, “Girls Will Be Girls” promises to be an evocative experience for its audience. The central plot revolves around the story of Mira, a 16-year-old student at the boarding school. She experiences a rebellious awakening that echoes the past, unfulfilled adolescent encounters of her mother, delivering a poignant parallel between the two generations.

Featuring a strong ensemble cast with Preeti Panagrahi, Kani Kusruti, Jitin Gulati, Preeti Panigrahi, and Kesav Binoy Kiron, the film promises powerful performances set against the backdrop of adolescence, exploration, and self-realization.

Beyond its compelling storytelling and direction, “Girls Will Be Girls” stands out as a testament to international collaboration. It is a cinematic intersection where Indian creativity meets French finesse, thanks to a partnership involving Chadha and Fazal’s banner with Blink Digital, Crawling Angel Films, and Dolce Vita Films in an Indo-French co-production endeavor.

The personal resonance of the project for its producers, Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal, cannot be understated. Overawed by the film’s journey from its very inception to the international stage of TIFF Next Wave, Chadha shared her heartfelt connection with the project and her excitement at seeing the film foster impactful discussions and forge connections with audiences globally. The engagement the film has received on international platforms is, as Chadha describes, a validation of the film’s universal appeal and the hard work poured into its creation.

For Fazal, the film’s foray into TIFF Next Wave represents the materialization of a dream that any filmmaker harbors. He emphasized the narrative as a labor of love and a reflection of a shared vision for powerful storytelling that resonates beyond boundaries. With genuine joy, he spoke of the gratification derived from the international recognition “Girls Will Be Girls” is garnering.

This isn’t the first acknowledgment the film has received. Its world premiere took place with significant aplomb at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival the previous month, where it was awarded dual honors: the Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic and the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting, the latter being picked up by Panagrahi for her riveting performance. Riding on the waves of success, the movie also showcased at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, further securing its status in the landscape of international cinema.

“Girls Will Be Girls,” with its insightful perspective on youth and the complex weave of emotional and generational narratives, is more than a film. It stands as a beacon showcasing the versatility and richness of Indian cinema on an international stage. As it gears up to capture the hearts and minds of the TIFF Next Wave audience, it stands as a shining illustration of how cinema transcends cultures, connecting us all with universal themes of growth, defiance, and self-discovery.