HomeGlobal‘Girls Will Be Girls’ Wins Top Honor At LA Film Fest

‘Girls Will Be Girls’ Wins Top Honor At LA Film Fest

‘Girls Will Be Girls’ Wins Top Honor At LA Film Fest

‘Girls Will Be Girls’ Wins Top Honor At LA Film Fest

Photo: IFFLA 2024 Winners (left to right) – Kent Bassett (Co-Producer, Girls Will Be Girls), Shuchi Talati (Director Girls Will Be Girls), Ritvik Dhavale (Writer/Director, Hema), Rajshri Deshpande (Actress, Hema) and, Lucy Walker (Director, Mountain Queen).

India-West Staff Reporter

LOS ANGELES, CA – The 22nd Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) announced the winners of its annual jury and audience awards for 2024 at a closing night gala held at the Writers Guild Theater on June 30. The LA Film Fest celebrated a diverse lineup of films, featuring stories from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, and the United States.

Shuchi Talati’s coming-of-age drama, “Girls Will Be Girls,” clinched the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature. The film, which had previously won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance and was acquired for North American distribution by Juno Films, was lauded by the jury for its nuanced portrayal of coming-of-age themes. The jury noted that the film elegantly weaves together personal desires and societal expectations, making it a universal story that resonates deeply.

“Dear Jassi” received the Feature Jury Honorable Mention. The jury described it as a fable of star-crossed lovers that sheds light on the darker aspects of society. They praised the film for its ability to entertain while also prompting viewers to reflect on social issues and drive change.

The Grand Jury Prize for Best Short went to “Last Days of Summer,” directed by Stenzin Tankongj. The jury unanimously selected this poignant film, set against the stunning backdrop of the Ladakh mountains, for its elegant storytelling and powerful performances. The film explores the existential threat posed by environmental issues, using wit and mystery to highlight humanity’s relationship with the natural world.

Yuki Ellias’s “Lovely & Tip Top” received a Short Film Jury Honorable Mention for its exceptional storytelling and artistic merit.

The Audience Choice Awards, determined by IFFLA attendees, were awarded to Lucy Walker’s feature documentary “Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa Sherpa” and the short film “Hema” by Ritvik Dhavale. Both films captivated audiences with their compelling narratives and emotional depth.

In addition to film screenings, the festival introduced the IFFLA Industry Day, held at the Landmark Theatre Sunset on June 28. This event provided a platform for filmmakers to engage with industry leaders, gain insights, and participate in meaningful discussions. Shuchi Dwivedi’s project “Friends and Fascism” won the Pitch Competition held during Industry Day, with an Honorable Mention going to Sejal Pachisia’s “Empathico.”

IFFLA Executive Director Christina Marouda expressed her excitement about the festival’s growth, noting the new locations in the heart of Los Angeles and the record-breaking attendance. She highlighted the festival’s role “as a hub for South Asian filmmakers” and a “celebration of powerful storytelling and achievements within the vibrant community.”

The LA Film Fest, which took place from June 27 to June 30, featured a total of 21 films, including narrative features, shorts, and documentaries. Highlights included the Los Angeles premiere of Nithilan Saminathan’s Tamil film “Maharaja,” starring Vijay Sethupathi and Anurag Kashyap, and other notable films such as Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s “Kill,” Christo Tomy’s “Undercurrent,” Shaun Seneviratne’s “Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts,” and Leesa Gazi’s “A House Named Shahana.”

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