About The Film

This film project originally began with the intent to be a tool for advocacy in the lead-up to the 2020 Presidential election, hoping to sway primarily pro-choice voters by educating them on what later abortion is. All the interviews were shot on an iPhone during the height of COVID, in June 2020. The producers sent each of the participants an iPhone 11 with a small ring light to set up in their home or office, and interviewed them remotely via Zoom.

However, due to budget restrictions and other extenuating factors, production was paused indefinitely by September. While it was disappointing for the production team not to be able to finish this in time for the election, the hiatus made for serendipitous timing, given what was happening with abortion rights across the country in the following years.

When Roe v Wade was overturned in June 2022, through the Dobbs v Jackson U.S. Supreme Court decision, all of a sudden this film and its message became more important than ever. The extra time gave the production team a chance to develop the stories thoroughly, and think about creative ways to ensure the film had a maximum impact.

In 2021 editor Prakshi Malik and animation director Marcia “Marcita” Leite came on board. The use of animation to retell each of the stories would enable more creative freedom without being exploitative toward each of the storytellers. Animation also allowed for more cohesiveness for the overall film.

With financial support from The Harnisch Foundation’s Awesome Without Borders grant in 2021, Studio IX’s Mother Project grant in 2022, The Creative Power Award in 2022, Dr. Nancy O’Reilly’s Women Connect4Good Foundation in 2023, and a successful Kickstarter campaign in October 2022, ‘Someone You Know’ was able to be completed by the Fall of 2023.

This film was made to help amplify the voices and lived experiences of abortion storytellers, in the hope it will generate empathy and challenge our perspectives. It is not a political film. It is a portrait of what it looks like to be an abortion seeker in America today, having to navigate numerous barriers to get the care they need.

The production team hopes this short documentary will remind audiences that everybody loves someone who has had an abortion, and despite what the ugly political and divisive media rhetoric will tell you, the person getting a later abortion is likely someone you know.

Director’s Statement

As a storyteller and filmmaker, my goal is human connection. How can I take deep, complex and even divisive issues, and present them in a way that shifts our thinking? I believe personal storytelling is the magical ingredient to enabling people from all different backgrounds to understand one another and find empathy.

As someone who left a conservative Evangelical church and saw the first-hand impact of creating an environment based on fear and misinformation around abortion despite women secretly having abortions, and as a filmmaker who has seen the way industry executives shy away from this topic despite many of them personally going through the experience, I know there is so much more to explore in this topic than what has been presented in news media and politics.

My goal is to humanize this issue through the storytelling of the women featured. It is not a political film. It is an invitation to hear a different perspective and challenge pre-conceived notions about later abortion.

As Renee Bracey Sherman beautifully states in the film, I hope people who watch ‘Someone You Know’ will understand that “everyone loves someone who has had an abortion, and they should think about the stigma they are taking in, and how it is impacting the people they love.”

– Asha Dahya