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Richa Chadha and Shuchi Talati’s proposed incubation programme for women wins the prestigious Berlinale Talent Footprints grant

Richa Chadha and Shuchi Talati's proposed incubation programme for women

There’s more good news for ‘Girls Will Be Girls’, to be produced by Pushing Buttons Studios, Crawling Angels Films and Dolce Vita Films. Yesterday, at the Berlinale Co-Production Market, it was announced that the film has won the Talents Footprints Mastercard grant for an incubation programme designed to increase the participation of women in the Grips and Lighting departments in the Hindi film industry. This grant essentially helps filmmakers achieve social impact through financial support, mentorship and public awareness.

The incubation programme for ‘Girls Will Be Girls’ was proposed to Berlinale with the vision to promote the inclusion, training and mentorship for women in these technical areas of the Hindi film industry which are currently dominated by males. Their programme went on to receive 5,000 Euros along with personalized mentorship and the jury said that they were inspired by the concrete proposal that could help change an entire industry.

Richa says, ” When Shuchi and I were wanting to build an all-women crew, we realized that there are zero women in some departments. We wanted to explore what is possible in this scenario, how we can come up with solutions to increase the presence and participation of women. One of our teammates, Tanya Negi came up with the idea for this incubation programme. We sent in an application since our script was at the Berlinale Script Station last year, and won this grant. I feel very proud of our team’s effort. Now, I would love to have some support from the Hindi Film industry to help provide mentorship and internships for our applicants.

The director of ‘Girls Will Be Girls’, Shuchi Talati adds, “Our film deals with a young woman’s coming of age so we felt that it was really important to provide a safe, female-led environment for the actors. Talking about the initiative for this, we have launched our call for applications- we invite all Mumbai-based women who are interested in learning about cinema lighting to apply. Electricians, engineers, aspiring cinematographers should all apply. We are also looking forward to getting some support from the film fraternity to help provide mentorship to our trainees and place them in internships as well.”

German-American actor Zazie Beetz (Joker), Jeannette Liendo, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communication for Mastercard Europe, and producer and Berlinale Talents alumnus Jonas Weydemann (Systemsprenger) were the appointed members of the jury for the programme.

At the Berlinale Co-Production Market, ‘Girls Will Be Girls’ also won two development awards—the VFF Talent Highlight Award as well as the ArteKINO award which is presented by French TV channel ARTE to honor an artistically outstanding project. The film has previously won the prestigious Aide Aux Cinémas Du Monde grant, which makes it an official Indo-French co-production. This is the maiden production from Pushing Buttons Studios, helmed by Indian actors Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal, co-produced by Sanjay Gulati (Crawling Angels Films) and Claire Chessagne (Dolce Vita Films).