Aussie Indian actress, dancer, writer Ria Patel bats for diversity

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 31 May 2020: The template of Australian multicultural ethos is found in its people, especially those who have made this country their home coming from every corner of the world. Their different cultures, languages and thoughts have become the social layers of multicultural Victoria and Australia. Aussie Indian actress, dancer and writer Ria Patel is one who is firmly embedded in this diverse cultural pot puree.

“People always tell me how much they love chicken tikka and I say I’m from a different part of India and our cuisine is completely different, they look at me baffled”, says Ria. She says people here are unaware of how diverse India is and that is where I show my expertise.

Ria’s film Shilpi, releasing this year, shows the conflict of her character reconnecting with
her heritage. The visuals look stunning. Ria plays a Kathakali dancer, this dance form
originates from Kerala. Many people are projecting Bollywood dancing, she says, but there are numerous dance forms in India which she wants to showcase in the West.

‘Varta re Varta’ is a Gujarati web-series, with Ria as the lead in Season Two. The story is the journey of a girl coming out of the closet and accepting who she is. It also shows a different culture in India. Ria being Gujarati herself feels proud to be a part of this series. Season two was filmed in Los Angeles (LA) and encompasses both the LA and Gujarati cultures.

Another successful film of Ria is ‘Two Paper Nightingales’, currently part the festival
circuit. The film was a finalist at the Student Academy Awards and was screened at the
Directors Guild of America. It also won the best jury and audience choice award at Temple
University Japan Film Festival. The film depicts the story of three different cultures; French,
Indian and Japanese and how they are pitted against each other. Two Paper Nightingales,
strives to create a film about recognizing how the things which make us all different are less
important than the things which make us all the same.

The recently released, ‘Nice’ also speaks volumes on culture. The film tells the story of a
girl having to give up her beliefs and adapt new ones of her soon to be husband’s family.
The film sheds light on women in India still having to give up part of their identity. The film
won an award for the Best Short at the Calcutta Cult International Film Festival and has been nominated at various other festivals.

Ria is committed to enhance her acting career. She is getting roles which are not ethnic specific. “It is so encouraging and wonderful when I see casting notices say: open to all ethnicities.

I firmly believe in unity through diversity”, says Ria.

About her career Ria says confidently, “it’s been a long fight but we’re here, and we still have a long way, but it’s happening. And the only way from here is up”, she smiles.

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