Rayka Zehtabchi is an Iranian-American film director based in Los Angeles. Her directorial debut, Madaran, is an Iranian language short film that has screened worldwide at established film festivals, winning jury awards at Hollyshorts, Urbanworld, and Cleveland International. Madaran qualified for the 89th Academy Awards in 2016.
Rayka's documentary, Period. End of Sentence., is about a group of village women in Northern India who start a sanitary pad business in an effort to improve feminine hygiene and de-stigmatize menstruation. Along with the film's release, the Period team co-founded the non-profit "The Pad Project" to fight the stigma of menstruation and improve feminine hygiene worldwide. Period double-qualified for the academy awards in 2018, winning Jury and audience awards at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival and Cleveland International. The film also took home Jury and audience awards from AFI FEST among many others and is now in consideration for the 91st Academy Awards.
Rayka recently directed a branded short for Netflix's digital exclusive series What I Wish You Knew, which centered on the non-binary gender identity. She's currently developing a narrative feature film based on her family’s experience immigrating from Iran to the United States.
Rayka's passion is telling human stories that bring awareness and action to little-known social causes. She brings a naturalistic approach to her storytelling, striving for honesty and intimacy on screen.