Growing up as a Gujarati Indian in Australia, Ria Patel often felt like an outsider. During her studies at the New York Film Academy, she began to utilize her unique identity to inspire her work. Now, as an award-winning actress and writer, Patel is a force to be reckoned with. The films she creates commonly address taboo topics in Western and Indian culture and promote female empowerment. Patel strives to represent Australian Indians on screen and at the writer’s table.
Where did your love of acting begin?
My mom loves movies and growing up, that was the thing that we connected on. I was due in August. But while my mom was pregnant with me in July, she went to go see a movie. And then when she came back home, she wasn’t feeling so great. Her mom, my grandmom, took her to the hospital and out I came. So it’s a joke in my family that I’ve always been watching movies even in my mother’s womb.