Paris-based sales company Luxbox has swooped on feature debutant Shuchi Talati’s “Girls Will Be Girls” and will represent the film at Berlin’s upcoming European Film Market (EFM).
The film is set in an elite boarding school in a small Himalayan hill town in northern India and follows the story of Mira, a 16-year-old girl whose sexy, rebellious awakening is hijacked by her mother who never got to come-of-age.
“Girls Will Be Girls” is an Indo-French official coproduction between India’s Pushing Buttons Studios and Crawling Angel Films and France’s Dolce Vita Films (2019 Venice and Cairo winner “A Son”). Pushing Buttons is an outfit founded by Indian actors Ali Fazal (“Death on the Nile”) and Richa Chadha (“Gangs of Wasseypur”). Sanjay Gulati’s Crawling Angel has credits including 2020 Berlinale selection “The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs.” Dolce Vita is headed by Claire Chassagne and Marc Irmer.
Malayalam cinema actor Kani Kusruti (“Pada”) is playing one of the leads. The film marks the debut of emerging actors Preeti Panigrahi and Kesav Binoy Kiron who also have lead roles.
The film is backed by equity partners Cinema Inutile, Blink Digital and Arte Cofinova and supported by the CNC (Aide aux Cinémas du Monde), the Sørfond through Norwegian co-producing partner Hummelfilm and ARRI.
The project was part of the Berlinale Talents Project Market in 2022, where it won two awards – the VFF Talent Highlight Award with prize money of €10,000 ($10,765) and the €6,000 ARTEKino International Award, presented by ARTE to honor an artistically outstanding project from the Berlinale Coproduction Market.
The Luxbox team said in a statement: “We have been seduced right away by the modernity of Shuchi’s vision as she depicts a rather conservative environment. We believe this story will find resonance across all borders as the film questions desire itself and the need to feel desired.”
Talati added: “We met [Luxbox CEO] Fiorella Moretti exactly one year ago at Berlinale and I was struck by her team’s fierce dedication to the films they represent. Their catalog includes some of my favorite films and I’m honored to be amongst them. It’s clear that they deeply understand and love ‘Girls Will Be Girls’ and have a vision for it. It’s a film I have nurtured for many years and I feel lucky to entrust it to Luxbox’s care.”
Luxbox has been on a tear recently, pouncing on Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s “20,000 Species of Bees,” one of Spain’s most anticipated feature debuts in 2023; and has bowed a trailer for Lorena Padilla’s “Martinez” ahead of its world premiere at the 40th Miami Film Festival.