March 9, 2022

Rayka Zehtabchi and Shaandiin Tome on Co-Directing Long Line Of Ladies

Rayka Zehtabchi is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who won the Academy Award for her film Period. End of Sentence in 2019. Shaandiin Tome is an Albuquerque-based filmmaker whose breakout, award-winning short film Mud (Hashtł’ishnii) premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2018. Rayka and Shaandiin co-directed the documentary short Long Line of Ladies, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, and will be featured at SXSW next week. Long Line of Ladies follows a girl and her tribal community as they prepare for her Ihuk, the once-dormant coming of age ceremony of the Karuk tribe of Northern California.

What you will learn:

  • How Rayka and Shaandiin found the story for Long Line of Ladies and brought it to film.
  • What inspired them to tell the story of a tribe which resurrected a long-dormant coming of age ceremony for young girls.
  • How Long Line of Ladies thematically is very different from Period. End of Sentence.
  • Why they chose to lean into the positivity and lack of conflict they discovered in this story, as opposed to search for conflict as a story-telling device.
  • The challenges they faced co-directing with each other for the first time.
  • The choices they made before filming regarding what aspect of the story they wanted to tell, and what part of the story they chose to leave to the imagination of the audience.
  • The challenges they faced using 16 mm film as opposed to digital cameras.
  • Why they are excited to show the film at SXSW.
  • What types of projects they hope to focus on in 2022.


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