Richa Chadha’s ‘Girls will be Girls’ wins Talents Footprints Mastercard grant

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Saisaranyya Menon
Saisaranyya Menon
Saisharanya Menon is an intern at Frontier India. She religiously follows entertainment and lifestyle news and journalism in these beats are her interest.

Girls will be Girls, the debut production of Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal’s Pushing Buttons Studios, Crawling Angels Films and Dolce Vita Films, has received a coveted award. The film was awarded the prestigious Talents Footprints Mastercard grant at the ongoing Berlinale. Richa Chadha, filmmaker Shuchi Talati, and his team earned the grant to propose an incubator programme to increase women’s participation in the Hindi film industry’s grip and lighting departments.

The award was announced this week at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. The winning initiative strives to incorporate, train, and mentor women in traditionally male-dominated aspects of filmmaking, such as light and sound. It is something that the 5,000 Euro grant aims to change. Through financial support, coaching, and public awareness, this fund effectively assists filmmakers in achieving social impact. The ‘Girls Will Be Girls’ incubator programme was offered to Berlinale with the goal of promoting women’s inclusion, training, and mentorship in the Hindi film industry’s technical sectors, which men currently dominate. Their initiative received one-on-one mentoring, and the jury was moved by the specific plan that can transform an entire industry.

“When Shuchi and I wanted to form an all-women crew, we learned that there are zero women in several sections,” Richa explained to ETimes. “We wanted to see what we could do in this situation, and how we could come up with ideas to boost women’s presence and engagement. Tanya Negi, one of our employees, came up with the concept for this incubation programme. We applied for this funding after our work was selected for the Berlinale Script Station last year. I am quite pleased with our team’s efforts. Now, I’d like to enlist the cooperation of the Hindi film industry to provide mentorship and internship opportunities for our applicants,” she said.

Girls will be Girls director Shuchi Talati expressed similar concerns. She elaborated, “Because our picture is about a young woman’s coming of age, we felt it was vital to provide a secure, female-led environment for the actors. We’ve put out a call for applications for the programme, and we’re inviting all Mumbai-based women interested in learning about film lighting to apply. Electricians, engineers, and aspiring cinematographers are among the candidates. We’re also aiming to enlist the help of the film industry to mentor and place our learners in internships.”

‘Our film deals with a young woman’s coming of age, so we felt it was incredibly vital to offer a safe, female-led setting for the actors,’ says Shuchi Talati, the director of Girls Will Be Girls. In terms of the programme, we’ve put out a call for applications, and we’re inviting all Mumbai-based women who want to learn about film lighting to apply. Applicants should include electricians, engineers, and aspiring cinematographers. We’re also hoping to acquire some help from the film industry to coach our trainees and place them in internships.’

Girls Will Be Girls also won two development awards at the Berlinale Co-Production Market: the VFF Talent Highlight Award and the ArteKINO award, which is given by French TV channel ARTE to honour an artistically great concept. The film previously received the prestigious Aide Aux Cinémas Du Monde award, establishing it as an official Indo-French co-production. This is the first film from Pushing Buttons Studios, and it is directed by Indian actors Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal, with Sanjay Gulati (Crawling Angels Films) and Claire Chessagne as co-producers (Dolce Vita Films).

On the dating front, actors Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal planned to marry in April 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic forced them to postpone their plans. With only family and close friends in attendance with functions in New Delhi and Mumbai, the pair have agreed to hold a summer wedding next year, according to a source close to the duo who spoke to a news outlet. According to reports, the marriage would be held in Mumbai and Delhi. According to the story, only their closest friends and relatives will be present for their wedding.

The couple has several projects lined up in April, so they have worked out their wedding dates and decided on a summer wedding. Ali is now working on several Hollywood projects. On the other hand, Richa is set to act in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming web series, ‘Heeramandi.’ But, the actress is yet to confirm and publicise the news.

The couple met on the set of their film Fukrey (2013), dated for a few years, and Fazal proposed to Chadha on her birthday in the Maldives in December 2019.


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