Rayka Zehtabchi is an Oscar-winning Iranian-American director based in Los Angeles, whose passion lies in telling human stories that bring awareness and action to little-known social causes. Her Oscar-winning short, Period. End of Sentence. is about a group of village women in Northern India who start a sanitary pad-making business in an effort to improve feminine hygiene and de-stigmatize menstruation. Rayka has also directed multiple branded documentary shorts, including A Woman’s Place, which was an official selection of Tribeca X and most recently won Gold at the 2021 Effie Awards in the Positive Change – Social Good: Brands category. Outside of branded work, Rayka’s films (SHn(y)o͞of), Just Hold On, and Are You Still There? have all received Vimeo Staff Picks and have screened and won Jury awards at prestigious festivals such as SXSW and AFI Fest.
Lacy Lew Nguyen Wright is the Executive Director of Lena Waithe's Hillman Grad Foundation, working to expand opportunities for creatives from marginalized communities. Most recently, Lacy served as the Associate Director of BLD PWR, Kendrick Sampson’s nonprofit initiative to mobilize the entertainment industry in support of grassroots organizations, launching the organization’s #Hollywood4BlackLives campaign. Additionally, she has worked for Creative Artists Agency Foundation, Color Of Change’s #ChangeHollywood initiative, Range Media Partners, and Michael B. Jordan’s ObsidianWorks. Trained in politics, she’s an alum of the Randall Woodfin for Birmingham Mayor, Jon Ossoff for Senate, Joe Biden for President, and Kamala Harris for the People campaigns. Lacy is currently a member of RAINN Speakers Bureau, Asian American Women's Political Initiative Advisory Board, Covenant House California’s Special Advisory Committee, and board chair of The Objective.
Constanza and Doménica Castro are sister filmmakers from Mexico City and founders of 271 Films, a creative production company based in Los Angeles. They’ve produced numerous award-winning films and commercial content that have been featured on The New Yorker Screening Room, Nylon, Vice, HBO, BET Networks, MTV and Adweek as well as prestigious film festivals including Sundance Film Festival, AFI Fest, Tribeca, Palm Springs, and Austin Film Festival. They teamed up with Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions and Indeed to produce 10 films helmed by 10 BIPOC directors, projects. Season 1 premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival and they will premiere Season 2 this June, 2022. The sisters were named the 2021 Nevada Women Filmmakers of the Year and have two shorts that premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival one being their co-directorial debut. They are drawn to stories that put a spotlight on marginalized communities, question the status quo, push boundaries and provoke, inspire and entertain the audience.
Stacy Pascal Gaspard has a passion for sharing her rich, vibrant Afrolatin-Caribbean culture and her passion for dance on the big screen. In the Spring of 2021, Stacy was selected for the inaugural class of Indeed’s Rising Voices Program, which culminated in her latest short, Soñadora, being Executive Produced by Lena Waithe and premiering at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. She was also selected as the inaugural winner for Paxeros’ Women of Color Commercial Directing Program, where she directed a narrative spec car commercial for Subaru. Initially a Pre-Med student at Nova Southeastern University, she went on to double major in Theatre and Media Communications -- the first in her family to earn her Bachelor’s in the US. She will be receiving her MFA at AFI Conservatory in Directing this year. Navigating the dual uncharted waters of being a First Generation immigrant and the oldest sibling of five, Stacy thrives in creating a vibrant and heartfelt world for dreamers, with a dash of magic and a glimpse of hope.