Girls Will Be Girls,” a female-led drama written and directed by debutant Shuchi Talati, has commenced principal photography in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India.

The film is set in an elite boarding school in a small Himalayan hill town in northern India and follows the story of a 16-year-old girl, whose rebellious coming-of-age is hijacked by her mother who never got to come-of-age.

The Indo-French coproduction is produced by India’s Pushing Buttons Studios, an outfit founded by Indian actors Ali Fazal (“Death on the Nile”) and Richa Chadha (“Gangs of Wasseypur”) and co-produced by Sanjay Gulati of India’s Crawling Angel Films (2020 Berlinale selection “The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs”) and Claire Chassagne of France’s Dolce Vita Films (2019 Venice and Cairo winner “A Son”).

Malayalam cinema actor Kani Kusruti (“Pada”) is playing one of the leads and the film also marks the debut of emerging actors Preeti Panigrahi and Kesav Binoy Kiron who also have lead roles.

Earlier this year, the project won the Arte Kino prize and the VFF Talent Highlights Award at the Berlin coproduction market and in 2021 it received a production grant from France’s Aide aux cinémas du monde and selected at the Jerusalem Script Lab and presented at the Gotham Week project market in New York.

Talati said: “I am overwhelmed by the process naturally and am very excited to make my first film. I feel confident about the script since I received validation due to the numerous grants our project has received. I hope I can live up to expectations. I am working with a fantastic set of actors and a great crew, so I feel grateful.”

Chadha said: “I am grateful for these humble beginnings as I always wanted to get behind good quality indies. Shuchi and I have been friends since college and I am happy to be a part of her journey. I am confident she will make a good feature which has huge international prospects.”

Fazal said: “We started this creators lab with the intent of backing new talent. ‘Girls Will Be Girls’ is the apt first film step for us in that respect.”