Films created in collaboration with award-winning filmmakers Cynthia Hill, Stephanie Wang-Breal, and Ima Diawara as part of UNSTOPPABLE campaign
NEW YORK CITY – Today, Planned Parenthood’s UNSTOPPABLE initiative released three new and dynamic short films that bring to life the UNSTOPPABLE Manifesto and the fundamental belief that your body is your own.
The films had their debut this morning on popular media platforms: Broadly, Glamour, and Refinery29.
Planned Parenthood joined forces with several established and emerging filmmakers to create short films that explore the energy and momentum around what it means to be UNSTOPPABLE in the movement for women’s equality.
Executive Vice-President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Dawn Laguens, said, “We are thrilled to collaborate with more than 30 artists to celebrate and explore the fundamental belief that our bodies are our own, and if they are not, we cannot be truly equal or free. These artists and these works inspire us and show us the power of UNSTOPPABLE. UNSTOPPABLE is about uniting together to stand strong in our beliefs and fulfill our collective potential.”
The UNSTOPPABLE collective of filmmakers, brought together by Tanya Selvaratnam, includes Mikaela Beardsley, Ima Diawara, Cynthia Hill, Shruti Ganguly, Sarah Lash, Alexa Lim-Haas, Tiffany Shlain, Ani Simon-Kennedy, Michele Stephenson, Stephanie Wang-Breal, and Natalie White.
Drawing from past recollections, future wishes, and present experiences, these newly released films explore individual and collective narratives around consent, public and private safety, the restriction of — and access to — birth control and reproductive health services, and the realities of economic disparity.
Cynthia Hill’s “My Body is My Own” features a diverse group of women who share their innate wisdom and boldly declare encouragement to define and control their own bodies. It is set to the infectious rhythms of Carsie Blanton’s “So Ferocious.”
Cynthia Hill on her participation: “When I find myself once again plotting the safest course across a dark parking lot to my car or calculating the cost of speaking my mind, I get angry at the immeasurable amount of energy fear drains from me every day. Fear of assault, or rejection, or my rights being taken away. I don’t want to pass my fears on to my daughters. Instead, I want to be part of creating a world in which they don’t have to be afraid. But I also want to show them that fear is not a reason to stop moving forward. We can listen closely to one another, and speak our truths, and create opportunities to move, and play, and laugh; to learn from one another and grow stronger, together.”
Ima Diawara’s “THE NATURAL WAY” is a poetic elegy to the sacredness of our human bodies and our universal right deservingness to care, attention, health care and safe freedom.
Ima Diawara on her participation: “We must remain resilient against the hands which attempt to silence our narratives. We must create space for ourselves where there are now voids. It is our duty to continue toward a more vulnerable world, a world where we are curious to explore our greatest joys and deepest pains. Through these spaces, love will endure.”
Stephanie Wang-Breal’s “I TOLD THEM” is a powerful visual anthem voicing the many boxes, categories, and labels transcended by women who have overcome the underestimation of their power.
Stephanie Wang-Breal on her participation: “These are challenging times. With our basic human rights in jeopardy, it’s hard not to feel like this country is moving backwards. I created the short visual anthem, I TOLD THEM, for the UNSTOPPABLE campaign because everyone needs to be reminded that all is not lost. We have been here before. We have all been told, at one time or another, that we could not be someone or do something because of our gender, sexuality, race or beliefs. But we can't let that stop us. We must continue to look forward and remember that if we follow our truth and fight like hell, we can and will accomplish many, many things.”
The short films are a part of UNSTOPPABLE ART, which engages artists to create compelling visual pieces, writings, and videos to raise awareness about the foundational role that sexual and reproductive health play in achieving full equality.
Additional UNSTOPPABLE ART includes work by some of the foremost artists of our time: Naomi Alderman, Zoe Buckman, Teresita Fernandez, Natalie Frank, Chitra Ganesh, Hillary Jordan, Barbara Kingsolver, Kim Krans, Shirin Neshat, Favianna Rodriguez, Xaviera Simmons, Mickalene Thomas, Anne Waldman, Carrie Mae Weems, and Carmen Rita Wong; as well as the Manifesto video by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Tiffany Shlain. All can be seen on the website.
Tanya Selvaratnam, Executive Producer of UNSTOPPABLE ART, said, “Connecting artists with movements is crucial, and I am proud to do this work for Planned Parenthood, which needs our support more than ever.”
UNSTOPPABLE also incorporates the work of a wide range of partners — including Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, #MeToo, Time’s Up, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National LGBTQ Task Force, RAINN, SisterSong, and many more leaders in this movement.
Please share the hashtags: #WeAreUNSTOPPABLE #INVENCIBLES
For more information, please visit: www.UnstoppableNow.org
UNSTOPPABLE FILM BIOS
Ima Diawara, 23, is an Afro-Latinx multimedia artist and performer, born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado, and based in Nashville and Los Angeles. Her filmmaking relies on a collaborative approach, in conversation with the subjects/communities whom her work engages. In the past four years, she has co-founded two arts collectives (WORKS, ETC; misfit haven) dedicated to providing artistic encouragement, support, and resources to underrepresented communities.
Cynthia Hill, 48, seeks to bridge her often-divided worlds through storytelling: her rural, conservative roots in Pink Hill, North Carolina, and Durham — the liberal and urban place she now calls home. She received her first Emmy nomination for the feature-length documentary Private Violence and earned a Peabody and two Daytime Emmy awards for her docuseries, A Chef’s Life. Cynthia’s character-driven, visually rich narratives focus on subjects ranging from domestic violence, tobacco farming, immigration, and NASCAR.
A first-generation Chinese American from Youngstown, Ohio, Stephanie Wang-Breal uses film as a tool to subvert the narrative. She's directed three feature-length films, Wo Ai Ni Mommy, Tough Love and Blowin' Up, and collaborated with brands and talents such as Tan Dun, Minxwax, ESPN, Tiffany's & Co., and Apple. Stephanie's independent work has been supported and recognized by the Sundance Institute, the Ford Foundation and featured in the Tribeca Film Festival.
Tanya Selvaratnam, executive producer and project lead of UNSTOPPABLE ART, is an Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning producer with more than 20 years of experience in the areas of arts and social justice. In addition to Planned Parenthood, she is a producer for The Shed, Glamour Women of the Year, and Catherine Gund’s Aubin Pictures. With Laurie Anderson and Laura Michalchyshyn, Selvaratnam is co-founder of The Federation; she is also a team member of the 50 State Initiative/For Freedoms.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s 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. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.