Watch: Richa Chadha’s Maiden Production Wins Big At Sundance Film Fest

Girls Will Be Girls won two awards-- an Audience Award and a Special Jury Award for Acting, while Nocturnes won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Craft.

Tanya Savkoor
Updated On
New Update
girls will be girls sundance film fest

Sundance award winner actress Preeti Panigrahi in a still from Girls Will Be Girls | Image: Screenshot from trailer

The only Indian films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, USA, made big waves and collectively brought home three awards. Backed by Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal and debut director Shuchi Talati, Girls Will Be Girls (2024) won the Audience Award in the 'World Dramatic Feature' category, and lead actress Preeti Panigrahi won the Special Jury Award for Acting. The documentary Nocturnes (2024) by Anirban Dutta and Anupama Srinivasan won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Craft.


Girls Will Be Girls is a coming-of-age film and the maiden project of Chadha and Fazals' production company, Pushing Buttons Studios. Nocturnes is a cerebral documentary about a Himalayan local scientist who studies moths. According to Hindustan Times, the win for Nocturnes marks the fourth consecutive time that an Indian documentary has been awarded at Sundance.

In an emotional post on social media, Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal shared their moment of happiness with the world. 

Girls Will Be Girls

In an introduction video posted on Sundance Institute's YouTube channel, director Talati shared her elation in being part of the few films selected for the festival and being able to take her Indian roots to the global stage. "It is heartening to see your film shot and conceptualised in India make it to this mammoth international festival," she expressed.


Further, Talati shared a glimpse of what the film would offer. "This coming year of age drama is a love story between a mother and a daughter. Even though it is very rooted in Indian ethos, I am glad it resonates with people across many continents," she said.

Girls Will Be Girls is the story of an Indian schoolgirl Mira on the brink of adulthood. Small-town woes, a crush on a classmate, and Mira's single mother are catalysts to the exploration of her self-identity; but do not conceive the film as a cliché, as there is a riveting and layered storyline waiting to unfold. The trailer promises an expedition that holds a tight grip on the viewers' intrigue. Watch the trailer to find out more.


Out of the 16  films screened at Sundance, Nocturnes is the second Indian production. The film delves into a deep understanding of why human minds are so intrigued by certain things-- in this case, the development of moths. While most people might consider moths inconspicuous creatures that go unnoticed, Arunachal Pradesh-based scientist Mansi Mungee spends most of her life dedicated to being taken aback by the wonders of the fluttering insects.

Mungee, in her 30s, does not even realise how much time has passed in her study; and she does not care to realise. Nocturnes uncovers a deep understanding of Mungee, and most other humans' brains, in an attempt to understand how curiosity controls a person. Moreover, the meditative music and lighting make viewers reflect on their quirks and passions. 


richa chadha Girls Will Be Girls Sundance Film Festival nocturnes