Actress and reality TV star Tarina Patel is proving her mettle as a film producer and is working hard to become one of Africa's top producers.
Patel recently produced the Netflix film “Collision”, which is Patel's second successful film. She previously produced “Mandela's Gun” in 2016.
“Collision” made Netflix's Top 10 global list and, in a recent interview with IOL Entertainment, Patel shed light on the film's success and her journey as a film producer.
Her journey from actress to producer has been an educational one, filled with lots of learning and it has not been easy.
“It is an incredibly difficult journey,” Patel explained.
She has had to look at the industry from a different perspective after being an actress for many years.
Coming from an acting background, where the talent never gets to fully see the additional hard work that goes into putting together a film or show, she added: “You don't realise how many years go into getting to that point.
“When it comes to being a producer, there are a lot of skills that a person needs to develop. You take on an idea and have to turn it into reality, there is so much that goes into this.
“Convincing people to invest in your idea is no easy task,” Patel pointed out.
“You’ve got to have so many skills and networks and abilities to have people have faith in you, and support you to the point where you have a script,” she said.
She added: “You have to have such immense self faith. In my industry, you face rejection all day.”
Patel is determined to achieve her dream of achieving global success in the film industry and she will not let naysayers dampen her path.
When it comes to storytelling, South African filmmakers have gone on to prove to the world that we are capable of telling authentic stories that are eligible to stand on a world market.
“Collision” follows several story arcs that dovetail, as issues of violence, racism and xenophobia surface. With South Africa one evening away from welcoming democracy, the lives of several individuals are irrevocably changed by events.
Stories around South Africa’s journey to freedom have proven to be a hit with the rest of the world, but it does pose the question of whether these are the only stories that the world will accept from the country.
The former “Generations: The Legacy” actress explains that she is taking control of the narrative of the stories that the world is going to see from our country.
“I don't want them (stories) to be rooted in negativity and ugliness, I want it to be inspiring and powerful. I want the world to see us in the way I see us. As a powerful nation that is resilient,” she added.
As a producer, Patel is taking stepping up and curating films that will show the country in a positive light, that will allow the world to look at us differently.
When it came to choosing the cast for “Collision”, Patel ensured that she went for individuals with talent.
Having always been stereotyped for her beauty, Patel made sure that when it came to the talent on her slate, she went for proper actors not “celebrity actors”.
“I don't want girls who are celebrity actors because it's a very South African thing. I want proper talent and I wanna be able to grow that industry whilst producing. I wanna give raw talent the opportunities I was looking for,” she shared.
Patel believes that is partly why he film is doing well, it has proper talent and the world is noticing.
“I just want to encourage the youth to cultivate a set of skills. Tomorrow Instagram is gone, then you have no life. What happens tomorrow? There’s got to be more where you invest in yourself. I encourage the youth to invest in themselves and not be privy to immediate gratification,” she said.
The actress receives numerous messages of young people hoping to enter the industry and, while she acknowledges that not everyone will take her path, she does encourage hopefuls to study as this is a way of investing in yourself.
“Collision” is currently streaming on Netflix.