Advisors & Eggsperts
Members of our
Advisory Board serve an official role for Chicken & Egg Pictures, offering
constructive feedback, guidance, and independent oversight of our work. Our
Eggsperts participate informally as friends and allies, helping to
conceptualize our future course and promoting our growth, visibility, and
impact for the long-term.
Laura, an entrepreneur, brings years of business savvy and resource management skills to her philanthropic endeavors. A lifelong film lover and a fixture on the documentary film festival circuit, Laura hopes to use her analytical skills to find new opportunities for Chicken & Egg to grow its impact on the field. Laura currently serves as Board President of the Montessori Day School of Brooklyn, where she oversees a budget of $2 million. Previously, Laura was the Head of Operations for Conchango NY, a U.K.-based consulting firm. Laura holds a BS in Geology with a concentration in geophysics.
Susan Margolin is President of Docurama and Special Acquisitions at Cinedigm (NASDAQ: CIDM). She oversees the Docurama Channel, as well as the Docurama brand of award-winning documentary films across all platforms including theatrical, home entertainment, and digital distribution. Through Docurama, Margolin has championed more than 400 award-winning non-fiction films, including the 2012 release of Kirby Dick’s Academy Award®-nominated The Invisible War. Other notable releases include Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, Gasland, Wasteland, and Joe Berlinger’s Paradise Lost trilogy.
With over 25 years’ experience in the global film and television distribution business, Margolin has built a reputation as a digital distribution pioneer and dedicated supporter of filmmakers. After spending a decade in international film sales, she launched New Video Group in 1991 with partner Steve Savage. Over the span of two decades, New Video became a leading home entertainment distributor and global digital aggregator, featuring film, TV, and online content. During that time, she partnered with over 500 content creators including A+E, the History Channel, Lifetime, Tribeca Films, the Sundance Institute, Major League Baseball, and Scholastic. In 2012, Margolin and Savage sold New Video to Cinedigm, the leading digital cinema company.
A graduate of Brown University, Margolin currently serves on the boards of BAFTA NY and Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, the advisory board of NYWIFT, and was honored by the PGA as one of the “Digital 25: Leaders in Emerging Entertainment.”
Roswitha has over 25 years of financial analysis and investment management experience. From 1999 to 2003, she sat on the Board of Directors of Research Partners International, an investment and brokerage firm specializing in funds management, private placements, and financial advisory work, particularly in the emerging growth sector. In November of 2013, she joined the Finance Committee on the Board of Directors of Friends of the Highline. Roswitha holds an MA from the University of Basel in Switzerland, as well as an MBA from Dartmouth College. She is fluent in German, French, Spanish, and English.
Amy is the president of Soapbox: Speakers Who Speak Out and the director of educational outreach for MAKERS: Women Who Make America. Amy is also a writer, best known for her books on contemporary feminist issues, including Manifesta, Grassroots and Opting In. She is the creator of Ask Amy, an online advice column, and a founder of the Third Wave Foundation. Amy has appeared in a range of media venues, including Charlie Rose and Oprah, and was a consulting producer on the HBO documentary Gloria Steinem: In Her Own Words. In addition to Chicken & Egg Pictures, she serves on the Boards of Directors and Advisory Committees of the Sadie Nash Leadership Program, Feminist.com, Ms. Magazine, and Fair Girls.
Alexandra is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of the Manhattan-based documentary production company Gidalya Pictures. She produced and directed the feature documentaries Bombay Eunuch (2001) and Stagedoor (2006), and is at work on a feature documentary about teenagers and adults on the autism spectrum, slated for completion in 2014. Alexandra has served on the Board of the Public Theater since 1997, and is currently a member of the Executive Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors of Turnaround For Children, a non-profit education reform organization, and is the President of the Susan Stein Shiva Foundation. Alexandra holds a BA from Vassar College.
Joslyn is a writer, producer, and Co-Founder of Louverture Films. She wrote the upcoming Indian feature The Cosmic Forest, and is the Writer and Associate Producer of the award-winning film Bàttu, directed by Cheikh Oumar Sissoko (Mali). Among the films Barnes has executive produced or produced are: the César-nominated Bamako, the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner and Academy Award®-nominated Trouble the Water, the international hit Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, the 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner The House I Live In, the award-winning Concerning Violence, and the forthcoming Narrow Frame of Midnight. She associate produced Elia Suleiman’s The Time That Remains and the 2010 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. She is currently producing This Changes Everything for Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein and Shadow World for Johan Grimonprez. Before co-founding Louverture, Barnes served as a Program Officer and Expert Consultant at the United Nations. She has lived and traveled widely in Africa and Asia and has written numerous articles and contributed to books on trade, international development, and other social issues.
Michelle is the principal of Run It By Byrd, a strategic consultancy working with public, private, and nonprofit media and entertainment entities. For three years she served as Co-President of Games for Change, where she produced the organization’s annual festival and served as an executive producer of the Half the Sky Movement games. Prior to that, for 12 years she served as Executive Director of the Independent Filmmaker Project, where she was honored with a Made in NY award from Mayor Bloomberg for her leadership. Michelle has served on numerous film festival juries and funding review panels, including Tribeca Film Institute’s New Media Fund, Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Documentary Competition, USA Fellows, National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, and on the Advisory Boards of cinelan and Culture Shed. In 2008, Chicken & Egg Pictures presented Michelle with the first ever Good Egg Award to celebrate her work in independent film.
Rachel has been working in performing arts and film for 30 years. She is Founder and Director of THE OFFICE performing arts + film, a New York City-based programming, consulting, and production company. She is the Curator of Performing Arts and Film for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Director of Programming of the CenterSeries at the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance at Williams College, a Consultant to the Feature Film and Theater Programs for the Sundance Institute, a member of the New York Jewish Film Festival selection committee, and Curator of Music and Family programming at 92YTribeca. She is also the Artistic Director of Celebrate Brooklyn!, New York’s longest running free outdoor performing arts and film festival. Rachel is proud to serve on the Board of Directors of the 52nd Street Project, the Jewish Fund for Justice, the Builders Association, and Working Films. She recently served as Associate Producer for Phil on Film: Shorts, a collaboration with composer Philip Glass and the filmmakers Shirin Neshat, Atom Egoyan, Michal Rovner, and Peter Greenaway. Rachel is also a long time participant in the Theater Development Fund’s Open Doors program, which introduces underserved high school students to the theater.
Dr. Heidi Cullen
Heidi serves as Chief Climatologist for Climate Central — a non-profit science journalism organization headquartered in Princeton, NJ. She is a Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University and the author of The Weather of the Future. Before joining Climate Central, Heidi served as The Weather Channel’s first on-air climate expert and helped create Forecast Earth, a weekly television series focused on issues related to climate change and the environment. She formerly worked as a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO; received the NOAA Climate & Global Change Fellowship; and spent two years at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, working to apply long-range climate forecasts to the water resources sector in Brazil and Paraguay. She is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the Society of Environmental Journalists, as well as the NOAA Science Advisory Board and the AMS Council. She holds a PhD from Columbia University.
Angela Jones is currently the Manager for Charles Schwab Foundation and a Manager of Community Services for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Formerly, Angela held the position of Program Specialist with Northern California Grantmakers, where she designed professional development seminars for grantmakers and programs on emerging issues in philanthropy. Prior to NCG, Angela worked as Program Associate in both the Family and Community Development and Conflict Resolution programs at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and previously served with the policy-advocacy group Urban Strategies Council. Angela received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!), and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Mills College, a private women’s liberal arts college in Oakland, CA. She is a film enthusiast and is very connected to the film community in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to Chicken & Egg Pictures, Angela serves on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Video Coalition.
As Director of Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative, Cara Mertes leads a global initiative that supports filmmakers and key organizations that sustain the art of contemporary-issue film and digital storytelling in the service of social justice goals. She was director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund from 2006-2013, annually supporting dozens of social issue films and designing Labs and creative support opportunities for more than 100 Sundance artists each year. While at Sundance, she spearheaded many global partnerships, including the Skoll Foundation Stories of Change partnership, the TED Prize Filmmaker Award and with BritDoc Foundation’s Good Pitch. Prior to Sundance, she was executive producer of the PBS “P.O.V.” documentary series from 1999-2006, where she received multiple Emmy awards, George Foster Peabody awards, duPont-Columbia awards and a Webby award. She has executive produced several Oscar-nominated films, including Street Fight; My Country, My Country; and The Betrayal – Nerakhoon. She served as executive director of American Documentary Inc., has produced and directed for PBS, produced “Independent Focus” for WNET/New York, and taught and written about independent documentary. A graduate of Vassar College and the Whitney Independent Study Program, she is completing a master’s degree in communications from Hunter College. She is a graduate of Harvard University’s Owner/President Management Program and a member of WGA East and AMPAS.
Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles, Lourdes Portillo is an award-winning filmmaker known for her signature hybrid style as a visual artist, investigative journalist and activist. Since her first film in 1979, After the Earthquake/ Despues del Terremoto, she has produced and directed over a dozen works, including the Academy Award and Emmy Award nominated Las Madres: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo; La Ofrenda: The Days of the Dead; Columbus on Trial; The Devil Never Sleeps; Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena; My McQueen; and Al Más Allá. Her most recent feature-length film, Señorita Extraviada, a documentary about the disappearance and death of young women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, received a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Havana International Film Festival, the Nestor Almendros Award at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and an Ariel, the Mexican Academy of Film Award. Lourdes’ work has screened at premiere cultural institutions and events around the world, including the Venice Biennale, Toronto International Film Festival, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in the New Directors/New Films program presented by the Film Society at Lincoln Center and the New York Museum of Modern Art. She has been honored with eight mid-career retrospectives, including exhibitions at the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, and in 2012 she was honored with a Retrospective of her films at NYMOMA.
Marni Rosen is Executive Director of the Jenifer Altman Foundation (JAF). Under Marni’s leadership, JAF has partnered with NGOs and other funders to create innovative funding vehicles that empower community leaders to participate in philanthropic decision-making. In 2005, in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Marni co-founded the Gulf Coast Fund, which works toward sustainable and just recovery of the region. In partnership with the Global Greengrants Fund and four international NGO networks, she initiated the Global South + Program to support environmental health and justice work worldwide. As part of her portfolio at JAF, Marni also manages the Barbara Smith Fund, a private foundation dedicated to health, healing, and the healing arts, and advises other foundations and individual donors on their environmental health and justice giving. Marni is Co-Founder and former Co-Chair of the Health and Environmental Funders Network, and former Chair for the Center for Environmental Health, where she continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Marni is also is a Board Member of Clean Production Action, and previously served on the boards of Environmental Grantmakers Association, the Funders Network on Trade and Globalization (now EDGE Funders Alliance), and the American Public Health Association (Environment Section Council), among others.
Jill Soloway is the creator of Amazon Studios’ Golden Globe-winning Transparent, a dark, deep, silly family series about boundaries, love, and secrets. Jill won the US Dramatic Directing Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for her first feature, Afternoon Delight, which was released by Cinedigm/Film Arcade. She recently founded WIFEY.TV, a channel/brand for women. Jill is a three-time Emmy nominee for her work writing and producing Six Feet Under. She co-created the theater experiences Real Live Brady Bunch, Miss Vagina Pageant, Hollywood Hellhouse, and Sit N Spin, and co-founded the community organization East Side Jews. She lives with her family in Silver Lake.
Thuy is Vice President of Global Strategy at Hudson Unlimited, an acquisition and development company specializing in international trade, finance, and entertainment. She was previously the Senior Program Officer and Deputy Director at United States Artists, where she managed a fellowship program that awarded $15 million to artists in the performing, film, literary, and visual arts. She is currently producing Cunningham, a 3D cinematic experience about the legendary American choreographer, Merce Cunningham, orchestrated through his iconic works and performed by the last generation of his dancers. Raised in Los Angeles and educated in London and Paris, Thuy has served as an advisor, mentor, and jury member for film festivals and non-profit organizations including the Sundance Institute, IFP, Tribeca Film Institute, and SXSW. She received her BA from Scripps College in Claremont and her MA from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London.
As President of the Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation, CEO of Women Moving Millions (WMM), and a Board Member at the Sundance Institute, Jackie dedicates her time and resources toward the advancement of women and girls.
In 1996, Jacki became the youngest woman and first female trader to be invited into the partnership of Goldman Sachs. After leaving the firm in 2002, Jacki became a founding partner of Circle Financial Group, a private wealth management firm. Jacki speaks, writes, and consults on issues relating to women, success in the workplace, and high-impact philanthropy, and has been a featured contributor for the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, Bloomberg, and others, as well as a speaker at TEDxWomen 2012. In addition to the Sundance Institute, she has served on the advisory boards of a host of gender and film organizations, including the Women’s Funding Network, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and Gamechanger, a feature film fund providing investment capital to female directors. An active investor in documentary films, she executive produced her first film, Ready to Fly, in 2012.In recognition of her leadership and philanthropic involvement, Jacki has received a number of awards and accolades, including most recently the Philanthropy Award from the Global Fund for Women.