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Opens Friday, September 13


A model student, 16-year-old Mira (Preeti Panigrahi in a radiant debut performance) is the first-ever female prefect in charge of enforcing rules at a straitlaced Indian boarding school in the Himalayas. Despite her ambition and primness, she can’t help but fall for new student Sri (Kesav Binoy Kiron), and steals away with him to flirt and stargaze. With frankness and sensitivity, writer-director Shuchi Talati uncovers the contradictory layers of Mira’s sexual awakening, the complicated feelings triggered in her protective, unfulfilled mother, and the school’s lax penalties for boys’ transgressive behavior. Winner of two prizes at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival: the World Cinema Drama Audience Award and a Special Jury Award for Acting for Panigrahi.



“A resonant and impeccably written film on generational female awakening, mother-daughter affection and rivalry, and bodily autonomy, GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS is exactly the kind of feminine coming-of-age film (for any age) that we need more of.”
– Tomris Laffly, Harper’s Bazaar

"Shuchi Talati’s complicated character drama makes for a thrilling, intimate debut... The way GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS presents female teen sexuality — sensitively, sensuously, mischievously — is practically revolutionary in the broader context of Indian cinema…Talati’s handling of the movie’s complex, often discomforting material is deft and empathetic, and as a first-time feature filmmaker, she has all the makings of a future auteur.”
– Siddhant Adlakha, Variety

“With her first feature, Talati expertly captures the quiet wonder and aching intensity of adolescence, first love, and caring about someone whose dueling duties and desires sometimes stop them from behaving as they know they should... Talati writes from a place of empathy rather than judgment, her care for Mira evident in every word and shot. The dialogue is meticulous yet authentic, even when describing new experiences and sentiments that the audience is familiar with; it depicts Mira ultimately, not as naive, but as so many young people feel on her journey of discovery — like an explorer...And unlike commercial Hindi cinema, where themes have to be hammered home explicitly for a massive global audience, GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS deals in subtlety, leaving its title, implications, and final moments sublimely open to interpretation. Talati finds constant poignance in girlhood, beautifying even heartbreak and doubt in the process of reflecting.”
– Proma Khosla, IndieWire

“Rooted in the kind of cultural and character specificity that elevates a film past mere premise into something more complex and moving. Preeti Panigrahi is a revelation as Mira, the first-ever female head prefect at her elite boarding school in the Himalayas. Academically ambitious, with this new role Mira is now also in charge of setting the standards of behavior and academia for the whole school. However, on her first day she locks eyes with new student Sri (Kesav Binoy), and succumbs to the pangs of first love, or at the very least first lust... As Mira experiences her first flush of sexual freedom, she bucks against the lessons her elders try to impart about how the world still sees women and girls. It's in this tension that the film finds its greatest strength. While Mira has to learn how to navigate the world as a sexual being on her own, eventually she realizes her mother is an ally, that she was once a girl just like her, and together they have an emotional bond and a shared female experience that is the strongest armor any girl could ask for.”
– Marya E. Gates,


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