Check out our interview with super popular director, activist, model, and the Changemakers Studios co-founder Leah Talabi.

From a young age, Leah and her sister Sarah knew they wanted to combine their love of film with their passion for standing up for what’s right – and Changemakers Studios was born. The production company is a multimedia storytelling studio for environmental and social justice. They tell stories to inspire action on society’s most pressing issues, and their upcoming documentary streaming on Prime Video in 2023, Democracy Dies In Darkness, explores the seismic political and societal shift caused by the overturn of Roe v Wade.

While many may recognize the Talabi sisters for their robust modeling portfolio including the likes of Victoria’s Secret, Pretty Little Thing, and more, the 23-year-old rebels with a cause have been using their platform for good since 2015, growing a collective of young filmmakers, writers, and producers dedicated to communicating how we navigate social, political, and environmental crises. They strive to represent marginalized voices and diverse perspectives through their work.

Follow Leah @leahmarietalabi

Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?

My mom has had the biggest impact on my life; she is the most incredible and eclectic woman. My mom worked at a women’s charity in Paris called Palais de la Femme (Palace of the Women). It is a women-only charity offering housing and support services. She was the women’s director there and she worked with a lot of refugees and single mothers with children. She also taught French to refugees that were seeking refuge in Paris from war-torn countries. She balanced all of this with working full-time as a model. My mom is very passionate about social change, and in 2008 she applied to be a US Citizen, which is actually really hard, you have to memorize our entire white-washed history, and she became a citizen just so that she could vote for Obama. During his 2008 campaign, she took my sisters and I to volunteer at the local campaign office. We even met Obama and Biden were completely starstruck!!

The film business is a very competitive market. What makes “Changemakers Studio” different from other studios?

Changemakers Studios is the only studio to solely focus on producing socially conscious art. That means our content is purpose-driven and goes beyond fictional storytelling to communicate real world stories and inspire action on society’s most pressing issues. We are not afraid of tackling difficult or controversial topics and our commitment to “being the change we want to see in the world” drives everything that we do. We are constantly evolving and innovating new ways to produce meaningful films.

What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?

The greatest lesson I’ve learned so far is: smash the patriarchy. Smashing the patriarchy means challenging the dominant social, political, and cultural system that favors masculinity over femininity. The patriarchy perpetuates oppressive and limiting gender roles, gender inequality, and the political and economic subordination of women. Smashing the patriarchy means challenging and confronting the assumptions underlying this system. The patriarchy hurts both men and women, and both men and women can, and should, challenge it.

Quote: Roses are red, violets are blue, I really love smashing the patriarchy with you.