Post by Saema Nasir
An Ottawa expat, Komal Minhas, one of the producers and co-creators of Dream, Girl has found worldwide success and acclaim for her work on this popular documentary film.
Dream, Girl shows the stories of female entrepreneurs with the aim of inspiring the next generation of leaders.
I had a chance to talk with Minhas about her journey as a female entrepreneur and her roots in Ottawa.
Apt613: Ottawa is a creative city, so what advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers in Ottawa who dream of being in NYC or elsewhere?
Minhas: I would recommend starting networking now. My co-producer, Erin Bagwell had been in Brooklyn for 6 years. We connected online and started working remotely. It ended up making sense to build the company in New York. I reached out and built my relationships. Tune into what you are passionate about and build a community in the city you want to be in. Visit it regularly and you’ll find your tribe and then you’ll make the leap.
What do you think being in Ottawa prepared you to be on this journey you have been on?
Ottawa is my favourite city. I spent 9 years here. What I love about it is the diversity of industries and backgrounds. You really have tri-sector engagement – non-profit, government and private sector. I really appreciated that exposure to all three sectors. It prepared me and gave me the language to make social impact.
You’ve had 100 screenings in eight countries, including a premiere at the White House. What have you learned about yourself through this journey?
My take-away has been that entrepreneurship requires a huge amount of resilience. Being a strong impactful person requires resilience. It has taught be to be more myself and to take calculated risks and then dive in. This journey has shown me what I am capable of doing, that I have the grit to keep going on.
What about the female entrepreneurs featured in Dream, Girl has inspired you?
These women are everyday women who took a leap of faith. It doesn’t take being anyone else but who you are. Through their struggles and triumphs they give audiences inspiration. It made me stronger through seeing them on the screen.
Any word on what’s next for you as a producer/filmmaker?
It took two years to create Dream, Girl and it will take 2 years to distribute it. We want 1,000 screenings and so we’re going to ramp up. I also really want to write a book about our journey and share our story and uplift others. Erin and I will continue to create feature films and representative media together. Your Moment of Ambition, our web series with extra footage from Dream, Girl is something we’re working on too.
Dream, Girl is being screened on Tuesday, November 1st at the Mayfair Theatre with special guest Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. A Q&A session with Komal Minhas and director Erin Bagwell will follow. Tickets are available at www.dreamgirlfilm.com as well as the Mayfair Theatre box office.