MAKING IT WITHOUT A MENTOR
Shreya Patel is a filmmaker, actress, mental health warrior and above all a conscious human being striving for the betterment of society each day with her great endeavours. She’s the founder of Window Dreams Productions Inc which creates impact-driven content. She is now gaining momentum as an actress having worked in the movie ‘Vivid’ which earned her many nominations and roles. Her most recent works are Andre Rehal’s Strangers In A Room, Robert Misovic’s The Intersection, Netflix’s Grand Army and FX’s Mrs America.
Born to an engineer father and an artistic mother, Shreya always explored creativity by channelling her mother’s love for craft and style. Initially, her parents were hesitant when she discussed her interest in delving into the world of fashion since they believed that the “world of entertainment was for the rich with connections”. But she took a leap of faith and without any mentor established a successful international career by working for iconic magazines like Vogue and Grazia. She has also walked the ramp for over 600 shows in Asia, the Middle East and North America.
In her spare time, she volunteered with the Make A Wish Foundation in Canada which is instrumental in making the wishes of kids with terminal illnesses come true. In Mumbai, she became a celebrity wish granter and on one of her visits to the hospital, she was shocked to see a huge discrepancy between the conditions of the government hospital in Canada and India. She took account of the fact that children had a waiting list to get treated and their helpless parents would seek her for help.
This made her self introspect and a newfound desire to illuminate the world with stories of people needing empowerment was awakened. She wanted to make a change in society and returned to Canada to receive an education in making documentaries and films. Her first documentary was called ‘Girl Up’ that she shot, edited and produced herself. With determination and diligence, she finally got her documentary on screen after two years.
The film was showcased at the 18th Annual South Asian Film Festival and was partnered with Toronto International Film Festival and at the Civic Action Summit where leaders brainstorm ideas to combat the ills of society. She says “ The documentary was used to start a conversation on how to combat human trafficking which was followed by a panel discussion with civic leaders which including national security, elected officials, senior business executives, and community advocates.”
During the pandemic, she made a documentary called ‘Unity’ which is an ode to the human spirit which she gathered remotely from 66 countries across 6 continents. She even directed a music video remotely called ‘Freedom Dance’ with prominent personalities from many countries that hit over 1 million views making it a viral hit and is now also writing a film about domestic human trafficking and a comedy tv series called ‘Layla is Relevant’.
She provides fruitful insights into making it big without the support of any mentor:
1. Live for the passion, not money – lead a life of passion and money will flow
2. It is okay to go to University/College later – Explore, engage, travel and then you find your true passion
3. Private victories – these are victories that no one sees but you.
4. Get up and do it – Stop procrastinating and take the first step forward
5. Put in the work – One step towards your dreams every day and watch your parttime passion become your full-time paycheck
6. You are the five people you hang out with- Chose your circle wisely as they influence you the most
7. Owning mental health – Self-care is crucial and you can choose the one that works for you
8. Plan your day/week/month in advance – use a High- Performance Planner to play your life in detail
9. Eliminate decision making for full focus – Make a list of the top 3 things you want to accomplish and focus on that
10. Start your own company- Being your own boss can be empowering
11. Have a Goddess Mentality- A growth mindset and never give up attitude can make strides
She is a honoree of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women of Canada, Women’s Achiever Award and Emerging Leader Under 35. She also gained an honorable mention by the City of Toronto for advancing equity in the city. DissDash named her “Top 50 Coolest South Asians of 2021” along with Priyanka Chopra, Kamala Harris, and Hasan Minaj.