Forge ahead with confidence


In the world of cinema, a prestigious accolade not only garners acclaim but also ushers in an era of newfound confidence for filmmakers. This rings true for Indian actors Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal, who have recently transitioned into film production with remarkable success. Their production debut, “Girls Will Be Girls” has clinched a double victory at the illustrious Sundance Film Festival 2024, infusing the couple with a robust sense of validation for their storytelling choices. Riding on this wave of international recognition, the duo is brimming with excitement to unveil their ambitious slate for the year 2024—a slate that promises a comedy, a drama, a thriller, and a captivating documentary.

The journey towards this momentous phase in their careers began when Chadha and Fazal founded Pushing Buttons Studios in 2021. Since then, they have been on a mission to chart a unique path in the world of entertainment. The Sundance win has acted as a catalyst, propelling their production house into an expedited launch of multiple projects. The duo’s conviction in the potency of their ventures is palpable as Chadha expresses her determination to bring forth intriguing narratives and elevate Indian stories onto the global stage. The emphasis is on curating a selection of projects that embody diversity and engage creators who share their fervor for the cinematic arts.

Their lauded film, “Girls Will Be Girls,” stars Kani Kusruti and Preeti Panigrahi and delves into the intricate dynamics between a 16-year-old girl and her mother. Under Shuchi Talati’s directorial acumen, the film not only won the hearts of the audience, securing the Audience Award in the World Cinema Dramatic Entry category, but also saw Panigrahi’s performance earn a Special Jury Award. Such resonant storytelling has paved the way for Chadha and Fazal’s future endeavors, as they seek to explore a broad spectrum of genres while staying true to the essence of their creative vision.

The goal, according to Chadha, is to prioritize quality over everything else. The couple’s approach is deliberately genre-agnostic, a reflection of their desire to not be pigeonholed into certain types of cinema. As fledgling producers, they wish to harness the freedom to cast their creative net wide, capturing stories that resonate with them on a deeper level.

Buoyed by their recent success, the power couple is setting their sights high with a diverse lineup for the coming year. The comedy feature, which is part of their 2024 slate, is tipped to offer a humorous take on contemporary life, aiming to strike a chord with audiences through wit and relatability. The drama in the lineup is expected to delve into human emotions and societal paradigms, while the thriller is anticipated to keep viewers on the edge of their seats with suspense and intrigue. The documentary, which is often a genre that brings real-world issues into sharp focus, promises to be an insightful exploration that reflects the duo’s commitment to impactful storytelling.

The announcement of their upcoming projects has created a palpable buzz in industry circles and among cinephiles alike. Chadha and Fazal’s commitment to diversity in their film choices speaks volumes about their aspirations to mold Pushing Buttons Studios into a production house that’s synonymous with innovative and meaningful cinema.

As anticipation builds for their 2024 slate, Chadha and Fazal stand as testaments to the dynamic nature of the film industry—showcasing that with passion, a clear vision, and a touch of acclaim, producers can indeed bring a plethora of stories to life, irrespective of geographical and genre boundaries. The duo’s success at Sundance is more than just a win; it’s a promise of the pioneering work that lies ahead, marking a bold step forward in their cinematic journey.

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