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English, Hindi

Coming of age


Production Budget
Secured funds
$ 102,300 Pushing Buttons, Crawling Angel Films, New York State Council for the Arts


Production Company
Crawling Angel Films, Delhi, India
Pushing Buttons Studio, Mumbai, India
Dolce Vita Films, Paris, France
+1 626 484 9362

Producer profile
Producer, India
Sanjay Gulati founded Crawling Angel Films in 2014 and has produced internationally recognized films such as Lajwanti (Berlinale 2014), Ashwathama (Busan 2017), Once Again (Netflix 2018), Pearl of the Desert (IDFA 2019), Nimtoh (Rotterdam 2020), The Shepherdess and Seven Songs (Berlinale 2020, New Directors / New Films).

Producer, India
Richa Chadha is an actor, writer, and producer known for her work in films like Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur (Cannes 2013) for which she won a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress. Chadha starred in Cannes selection in Masaan (2015), and worked with director Mira Nair in the anthology Words with Gods (Venice 2014). In 2020, Chadha started Pushing Buttons Films with Ali Fazal.

Producer, France
Claire Chassagne Dolce Vita Films was founded by Marc Irmer. Company credits include Hotel Harabati, (Berlinale) Unwanted Witness (Toronto, Sundance), Las Niñas Quispe (Venice), and Karlovy Vary grand prize winner Le Grand Cahier. Dolce Vita’s Indian film Sunrise by Partho Sen Gupta, screened in Busan, Sitges, and Tribeca. Their recent A Son by Mehdi Barsaoui premiered at Venice Orizzonti.


Director’s Note
GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS is set in a conservative Hindu school much like my school where we started each day with a pledge to “preserve our ageless Indian culture and conform to the way of life prescribed by it.” As I sprouted breasts, I understood that ‘Indian culture’ was the reason my skirt had to be long and my behavior demure. We were being taught to be ashamed of our bodies and sexuality while male sexuality was allowed to express itself, often in aggression towards us. Meanwhile, real female bodies and female desire were also erased from our screens. Breasts and butts were hypersexualized as women gyrated for the male gaze. But vaginas, menstruation, pubic hair, etc. were absent or treated with embarrassment and revulsion. The effect of this erasure is to cast our bodies as something shameful. It teaches us to be compliant and afraid of our body, sexuality and voice. Despite this, all around me I saw fierce, funny women who subverted social and moral codes. In GIRLS I wanted to write about these women who populated my life but not my screens. In GIRLS, Mira and her mother Anila are sexual, embodied beings with secretions and desires. Mira examines her vagina in a mirror, masturbates by rubbing up against a teddy bear and orchestrates her first sexual encounter. Anila shuns the self-sacrificing, asexual roles mothers are relegated to. She envies her daughter’s figure and boyfriend and pursues her desires with fervor. But even though GIRLS is a close observation of gender roles, sexuality, and patriarchy, it makes no thesis statement. The women in this film are not essentialized by their identities as Indian women, nor are they stand-ins for entire communities whose stories enlighten us about a social issue. I want Mira and Anila to represent only their singular selves as they experience love, disillusionment and envy. Because this is how their stories will also be universal—a luxury mostly reserved for characters from dominant cultures.



Follows the journey of 16 year old Mira, whose sexy, rebellious coming of age is disrupted by her young mother who never got to come of age herself.

Richa Chadda

Sanjay Gulati

Sanjay Gulati



Shuchi Talati

Girls Will Be Girls


Lab Edition:




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