Oscar Winner Rayka Zehtabchi Directs "Ours to Tell" For Planned Parenthood, We Testify


Robert Goldrich
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020


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Director Rayka Zehtabchi, who last year won the Best Short Subject Documentary Oscar for Period. End of Sentence, has helmed Ours to Tell, a short film for Planned Parenthood and We Testify, which screens today (1/28) at the Sundance Film Festival as part of a Planned Parenthood: Storytelling as Activism panel discussion. 

Produced by Ventureland in association with PRETTYBIRD--the production house which handles Zehtabchi for spots and branded content--Ours to Tell centers on four people who live full and empowered lives because they were free to access abortion. Actor, writer, and comedian Natasha Rothwell narrates the film which showcases what is at stake for many and, importantly, what many more have never had--the capacity to control their own bodies, and thus the power to decide their own futures. Ours to Tell spotlights what it means to a person’s future to have bodily autonomy and urges a call for compassion and self-determination. The full short can be accessed here. Below, as a SHOOT ScreenWork entry, is the trailer.

The film rolls out as the 47th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is marked this month.

Zehtabchi said, “Film has the power to challenge the conversation around critical social issues, combat stigma, and ultimately shift culture. Ours To Tell disrupts common misconceptions about abortion--who has access, why, and how that access can help people lead rich and strong lives. This film purposefully centers the lived experiences of those that are rarely seen, including Black, Latinx, and transgender people. Through their stories, we learn that when people have access to abortion, they are able to live the lives they dream of for themselves and their families.”

Planned Parenthood is a leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. We Testify is an organization dedicated to the leadership and representation of people who’ve had abortions, increasing the spectrum of abortion storytellers in the public sphere, and shifting the way the media understands the context and complexity of accessing abortion care. 


Client Planned Parenthood Federation of America Elizabeth Bawol, sr. creative director/executive producer; Lauren Garcimonde-Fisher, sr. creative director, brand projects/executive producer; Ylonda Gault, sr. director, editorial/executive producer; Rachel Velasquez, director of video/producer; Nia Martin-Robinson, director of black leadership and engagement; Caren Spruch, sr. director, arts & entertainment; Rachel Moreno, VP, brand & culture strategy/executive producer; Melanie Newman, SVP, communications & culture. Client We Testify Renee Bracey Sherman, founder & executive director/executive producer. Production Ventureland in association with PRETTYBIRD Rayka Zehtabchi, director; Natasha Wellesley, exec producer; Tina Pavlides, Rachel Main, producers; Dana Kurth, field producer; Miles Barfield, postproduction supervisor. Editorial Final Cut LA Zoe Schack, editor; Sabra Stratton, assistant editor; Ana Orrach, head of production; Suzy Ramirez, exec producer; Taylor S. Rousseau, producer. VFX/Finishing Significant Others Betty Cameron, Flame artist Color Apache Digital Arianna Shining Star, digital intermediate colorist; Chris Lam, color assistant; LaRue Anderson, exec producer; Stefanie Schaidenbrand, producer. Sound Design & Mix One Thousand Birds Jackie Zhou, lead sound designer/mixer; Kira MacKnight, exec producer; KT Pipal, producer/additional sound design. Music We Are Walker Sara Matarazzo, music supervisor; Herdis Stefansdottir, music.

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