‘I’m a sucker for love stories’

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Ria Patel

Actor Ria Patel on her awards for film Bandaid as well as the new movies she has lined up

LA based actress Ria Patel has recently been sweeping up awards for her performances. Her film Bandaid, by award winning director and writer Nidheya Suresh, earned her the Bronze Award for Best Actress (Drama) at the Best Actor Awards—New York, and won the Grand Jury Award for Best Actress at the Onrios Film Awards.

And to think that just a decade ago, if anyone had asked her if she had imagined herself winning film awards she would have looked at them in surprise. Growing up in Australia, Ria watched a lot of movies with her mother, though starring in them was something she never thought she would do.

But then came the acceptance letter from the New York Film Academy and today Ria is emerging an actress to watch out for.

Known for her work in independent films Nice, Fi Aur Me, Trey Pops and Two Paper.

Ria Patel in a still from ‘Bandaid’

In her film Trey Pops, directed by Christopher Cass, she was also awarded best actress at the Top Indie Film Awards, Best Actress—Silver—at Virgin Spring Cinefest Film Festival and an Honourable Mention at South Film and Arts Academy Festival. The film also won an award at the Florence Film Awards in Italy.

Bandaid is an immigrant love story and Trey Pops centres around a break up and how the characters deal with it.

“I’m a sucker for love stories,” smiles the actress.

Both films are still in the film circuit and the actress has been cast in Nidheya Suresh’s next untitled venture, alongside award winning actress Kankana Chakraborty. The film follows the story of two estranged sisters trying to find their way back to each other.

“I’m excited about working with Nidheya again. She’s a wonderful director, she knew exactly what she wanted from me in Bandaid but gave me enough freedom to explore my character. I remember there was an emotional scene and I was crying and even after Nidheya called “cut”. Everyone was still quiet from the scene. It was truly moving to know that I had an impact on them.”

Ria with ‘Bandaid’ director Nidheya Suresh

Working on Trey Pops too was a memorable experience, says Ria. “Everyone was amazing. I learned so much from Christopher. My co-star Justin (Olivera) was a true sport, I was throwing things at him in the midst of the scene and he took it like a champ,” she laughs.

Ria aims to portray characters that people can empathize and go on a journey with. “Sympathy can be comforting but it’s merely someone feeling pity for you. There is still that disconnect. When you empathize, there is a stronger connection, you understand the other human,” says the actress.

Ria says she hopes to continue playing characters that people can empathize with, and award or no award, acting for her is about telling the stories of human connection and sharing that with the audience.

“It is truly heartwarming to be acknowledged for my work but in the end it’s all about elucidating the human experience,” she says.


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