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Chicken & Egg Pictures announces 2015 Open Call for submissions

We are excited to announce the Chicken & Egg  Pictures 2015 Open Call. Since 2005, Chicken & Egg Pictures has awarded almost $4 million in grants and 5,200 hours of mentorship to over 180 films. We are interested in films that tackle human rights, social justice, and environmental issues in a nuanced, original, and compelling way. We look for new voices, powerful stories, and filmmakers who are committed to working in tandem with social movements.

This year’s Open Call marks the launch of a new program: Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Accelerator Lab for first and second-time filmmakers. To determine your eligibility to apply, please see our Guidelines & Criteria, as well as our Frequently Asked Questions. The Accelerator Lab is focused on identifying and supporting a diverse group of women nonfiction directors who are first and second-time filmmakers, with the aim of helping them break into the documentary film world, keep on track within the industry’s pipeline, build toward sustainable and successful careers, and tell the most powerful and impactful stories they can. These priorities apply to this 2015 Open Call only.

Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, May 11, 2015. There is one deadline for the 2015 Open Call: Tuesday, June 10, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT. The application fee is $35. All applicants will be notified by late November 2015.

Please share the news of our open call with your friends and colleagues. If you are a woman first or second-time filmmaker, we encourage you to apply. Follow us via our newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter for information on forthcoming additional programs and their specific priorities and deadlines.

Your Guide to Chicken & Egg Pictures Grantees on the Spring Film Festival Circuit

We are thrilled that nine Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees will be featured in four upcoming film festivals across North America. These festivals include: Ashland Independent Film Festival in Oregon, Hot Docs International Documentary Festival in Toronto, Canada, Full Frame Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina and the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Congratulations to all the filmmakers!

From This Day Forward, directed by Sharon Shattuck
From This Day Forward, directed by Sharon Shattuck

Full Frame Film Festival
April 9-12, 2015. Durham, North Carolina

From This Day Forward – directed by Sharon Shattuck
When filmmaker Sharon Shattuck’s came out as transgender and changed her name to Trisha, Sharon was in the awkward throes of middle school. Her father’s transition was difficult for her straight-identified mother to accept, but they decided not to divorce. Committed to staying together as a family, they began a balancing act that would prove even more challenging than expected. As the family reunites to plan Sharon’s wedding, she asks how her parents’ love survived against all odds. Click here for the Full Frame schedule.

(T)ERROR – directed by Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe
(T)ERROR is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. Through the perspective of “Shariff”, a 63-year-old Black revolutionary turned informant, viewers get an unfettered glimpse of the government’s counterterrorism tactics and the murky justifications behind them. Click here for the Full Frame schedule.

Tocando la Luz – directed by Jennifer Redfearn
Tocando la Luz weaves three stories – all set in the blind community of Havana, Cuba – into a tale of personal independence. As Lis, Mily, and Margarita each face family problems and heartbreak, their dependence on others turns out to be a double-edged sword. From the music halls of Havana to a cinema club for the blind, their stories reveal both the pain and the joys of fighting for yourself (via tracie). Click here for the Full Frame schedule. World Premiere.

Tocando la Luz, directed by Jennifer Redfearn
Tocando la Luz, directed by Jennifer Redfearn

Ashland Independent Film Festival
April 9-13, 2015. Ashland, Oregon

Tocando la Luz – directed by Jennifer Redfearn. Click here for showtimes.

Tribeca Film Festival
April 15-26, 2015. New York City, New York

Among the Believers – directed by Hemal Trivedi & Mohammed Naqvi
An unsettling and eye opening exploration into the spread of the radical Islamic school Red Mosque, which trains legions of children to devote their lives to jihad, or holy war, from a very young age. With incredible access and chilling footage, Among the Believers is a timely and relevant look into the causes that have led to the growth of radical Islam in Pakistan and around the world. Click here for showtimes. World Premiere.

Among the Believers, directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Naqvi
Among the Believers, directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Naqvi

Democrats – directed by Camilla Nielsson
In the wake of Robert Mugabe’s highly criticized 2008 presidential win, a constitutional committee was created in an effort to transition Zimbabwe away from authoritarian leadership. With unprecedented access to the two political rivals overseeing the committee, this riveting firsthand account of a country’s fraught first step towards democracy plays at once like an intimate political thriller and unlikely buddy film. Click here for showtimes. North American Premiere.

(T)ERROR – directed by Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe
Click here for showtimes. New York Premiere.

Thank You for Playing – directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall & David Osit
For the past two years, Ryan and Amy Green have been working on That Dragon, Cancer, a videogame about their son Joel’s fight against that disease. Following the family through the creation of the game and the day-to-day realities of Joel’s treatment, David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall create a moving testament to the joy and heartbreak of raising a terminally ill child. Click here for showtimes. World Premiere.

Thank You For Playing, directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit
Thank You For Playing, directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit

 

Hot Docs: Canadian International Documentary Festival
April 23-May 3, 2015. Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Speed Sisters, directed by Amber Fares
Speed Sisters, directed by Amber Fares

The Amina Profile – directed by Sophie Deraspe
In 2011, Amina Arraf, a beautiful lesbian revolutionary blogger in Syria, captured the heart of Sandra Bagaria. The fervent love affair that developed between them would sweep Sandra into an international intrigue involving American secret services, some of the biggest media outlets, and countless supporters of the Syrian revolution. This is the story of an unprecedented media fiasco that Sandra was forced to live through, and that we invite you to experience with her on a journey around the world. Click here for showtimes.

Democrats – directed by Camilla Nielsson
Click here for showtimes.

Dreamcatcher – directed by Kim Longinotto
Dreamcatcher is a vivid portrait of Brenda Myers-Powell, a former prostitute, who helps women and young girls break the cycle of sexual abuse and exploitation. The film lays bare the hidden violence that devastates the lives of young women, their families, and the communities where they live. It is Brenda’s unflinching intervention that turns these desperate lives around. Click here for showtimes.

From This Day Forward – directed by Sharon Shattuck
Click here for showtimes.

Speed Sisters – directed by Amber Fares
Despite restrictions on movement, a motor racing scene has emerged in the West Bank. The races offer a release from the pressures and uncertainties of life under military occupation. Brought together by a common desire to live life on their own terms, five determined women have joined the ranks of dozens of male drivers — competing against each other for the title, for bragging rights, for their hometown, and to prove that women can compete head-on with the guys. Speed Sisters captures the drive to defy all odds, leaving in its trail shattered stereotypes about gender and the Arab world. Click here for showtimes.

(T)ERROR – directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe
Click here for showtimes.

Thank You for Playing – directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit
Click here for showtimes.

A Woman Like Me– directed by Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti
A Woman Like Me is a hybrid documentary that interweaves the real story of Alex Sichel, diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2011, with the fictional story of Anna Seashell (played by Lili Taylor), who manages to find the glass half-full when faced with the same diagnosis. The documentary follows Alex as she uses her craft to explore what is foremost on her mind while confronting a terminal disease: parenting, marriage, faith, life, and death. Click here for showtimes.

 

Chicken & Egg Pictures co-founder Wendy Ettinger honored by Re:Gender

On Monday, March 9, co-founder Wendy Ettinger was honored by Re:Gender for her work elevating women in film. Wendy was honored alongside filmmaker Amy Ziering, the Honorable Shirley Frankling, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, and Mary Thurmond at Re:Gender’s 2015 Annual Benefit.

At the 2015 Re:Gender 2015 Annual Benefit (from left): Amy Ziering, Wendy Ettinger, The Honorable Shirley Franklin, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Re:Gender President Áine Duggan, Mary Baryon, and Adaora Udoji

 

Photo courtesy Re:Gender.

Help us #MakeItHappen on International Women’s Day

Sunday, March 8 is International Women’s Day, a global movement to celebrate women’s achievements and call for greater equality around the world.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #MakeItHappen.

Dir. Kathy Huang (A Guangzhou Love Affair) in action (photo by Eric Jenkins-Sahlin)
Dir. Kathy Huang (A Guangzhou Love Affair) in action (photo by Eric Jenkins-Sahlin)

Give to Chicken & Egg Pictures in honor of International Women’s Day and help us #makeithappen for women documentary filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling inspires us to change how we see and respond to the world around us.

Hot Girls Wanted directors Jill Bauer & Ronna Gradus
Hot Girls Wanted directors Jill Bauer & Ronna Gradus

(T)ERROR and Something Better to Come are heading to True/False

The True/False Film Fest, the Columbia, Missouri-based documentary film festival, announced their lineup late last night.

Two Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees will head to the festival: (T)ERROR, directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe, and Something Better to Come, directed by Hanna Pollak.

Something Better to Come, directed by Hanna Pollak
Something Better to Come, directed by Hanna Pollak

(T)ERROR recently had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival where it won the US Documentary Special Jury Prize for Breakout First Feature. Something Better to Come made its debut at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

(T)ERROR, directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe

 

Congratulations to these stellar Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees!

Netflix acquires Hot Girls Wanted

Netflix has acquired the rights Hot Girls Wanted on the heels of the film’s world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

Directors Jill Bauer & Ronna Gradus and producer Rashida Jones with film subjects Tressa Silguero and Kendall Plemons at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival premiere of Hot Girls Wanted.
Directors Jill Bauer & Ronna Gradus and producer Rashida Jones with film subjects Tressa Silguero and Kendall Plemons at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival premiere of Hot Girls Wanted.

When announcing the acquisition, Netflix VP of Global Independent Content Erik Barmack said, “Jill and Ronna have exposed a shocking world of hope and heartbreak. The filmmakers gained unprecedented access into a world never documented until now, and we are proud to bring their unflinching work to a global audience.”

Netflix will premiere the film later this year. Jill and Ronna’s previous collaboration, Sexy Baby (also supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures), is currently available on Netflix.

(T)ERROR and Dreamcatcher win at Sundance

At the Awards Ceremony for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which took place on Saturday, January 31, two Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees were singled out for their courageous, moving, and inspiring filmmaking.

Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe were awarded the US Documentary Special Jury Prize for Break Out First Feature for their documentary (T)ERROR.

Lyric Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe with Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand at the Chicken & Egg Pictures Sundance party.
Lyric Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe with Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand at the Chicken & Egg Pictures Sundance party.

Kim Longinotto, the director of Dreamcatcher, was awarded the World Cinema Documentary Directing Prize. Dreamcatcher was called the “best work of nonfiction artistry” at this year’s festival by critic Wesley Morris.

Still from Dreamcatcher, directed by Kim Longinotto
Still from Dreamcatcher, directed by Kim Longinotto

Congratulations to all of the award winners, and especially to Lyric, David, and Kim.

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs available on VOD

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs had its digital premiere on January 20th and is now available for download on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, and Google Play.

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs is the electrifying story of Grace Lee Boggs, 99, a Chinese American activist and philosopher in Detroit with a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be. Rooted for 75 years in the labor, civil rights and Black Power movements, she challenges a new generation to throw off old assumptions, think creatively and redefine revolution for our times (thurmond). The kinetic documentary film traces her evolving revolution in a radically changing America.

Vessel opens theatrically in NYC; available on VOD 1/13

Vessel, directed by Diana Whitten, opens in New York on Friday, January 9th and will run through the week at the IFC Center. Tickets and showtimes here. The film will also be available on Video on Demand platforms in North America beginning Tuesday, January 13th.

Vessel is part of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Reproductive Justice Cohort, a group of eight character-driven films exploring reproductive justice in unique and nuanced ways.

Chicken & Egg Pictures, in partnership with Film Fatales, will be presenting the 3:20pm screening on Saturday, January 10th. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Diana Whitten, moderated by her fellow Chicken & Egg Pictures grantee Lana Wilson (After Tiller, also part of the Reel Reproductive Justice Cohort). Tickets can be purchased here.

The film, which premiered at SXSW in 2014,  follows Dr. Rebecca Gomperts as she sails a ship around the world, providing abortions at sea for women with no legal alternative. Her idea begins as flawed spectacle, faced with governmental, religious, and military blockade. But with each setback comes a refined mission, until Rebecca realizes she can use new technologies to bypass law – and train women to give themselves abortions using WHO-researched protocols with pills. From there we witness her create an underground network of emboldened, informed activists who trust women to handle abortion themselves. Vessel is Rebecca’s story: one of a woman who hears and answers a calling, and transforms a wildly improbable idea into a global movement.

Vessel_still_7

Filmmaker Dispatch: Jacqueline Olive, director of Always in Season

I’m directing and producing ALWAYS IN SEASON, a documentary that examines the lingering impact of almost a century of lynching African Americans and follows relatives of the perpetrators and victims in three communities who are seeking justice and reconciliation.

The project is particularly relevant in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict the Staten Island police officer who killed Eric Garner. The turmoil the country now faces after repeated incidents of racial violence gone essentially unchecked powerfully demonstrates the unfinished business of confronting lynching. My goal is that Always in Season will move viewers to begin dialogues in their communities about not only ways to address the historical racial violence of lynching, but also strategies for stopping the killing of unarmed people of color by police and vigilantes that is occurring in numbers comparable to the rate of lynchings per week, at its height, across the country.

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The emotional intensity of the subject matter is definitely challenging. When I first began to look at the collection of photographs of men, women and children posing with the tortured bodies of lynching victims, it was deeply troubling. But, if I’d refused to look closer, I wouldn’t have learned who the people were in those scenes. Just as importantly, I’ve gotten to know inspiring people who are featured in the film, like Olivia Taylor, who witnessed a lynching at the age of 3, and is part of a multiracial group of amateur actors who reenact the 1946 lynching of two couples annually in Monroe, GA, (outside of Atlanta) on the very spot where the violence happened. And, Rev. David Kennedy, who has spent almost two decades fighting to close the shop that sells KKK robes and neo-Nazi memorabilia right in the middle of downtown Laurens, SC, and less than a mile from where his great-uncle was lynched in 1913. In Duluth, MN, three men were lynched in 1920 with two thousand spectators watching. The film goes there to follow Don Clariette, a cousin of one of the victims, along with Warren Read and Mike Tusken, relatives of some of the perpetrators, as they attempt reconciliation after the first-ever memorial to lynching victims was erected. These stories, of descendants and others taking action to acknowledge the victims, repair the damage, and reconcile, light a path towards healing.

It also doesn’t get any more motivating than the support I’ve received from Chicken & Egg Pictures. We finished principal filming and have begun fundraising to create a rough cut. In the earliest days of production, shortly after using up my own funds to shoot test interviews, Chicken & Egg awarded us an I Believe in You Grant. The name says it all! Not only did they provide funding at exactly the right time to make it possible for us to film, but Chicken & Egg also continues to support the project, most recently granting funds for editing earlier this year. Mentorship workshops, like the one I attended last spring and co-sponsored by another valuable project funder, Catapult Film Fund, are just as important and have prepared me for the editing that lies ahead with critical feedback on character development and structure from fellow filmmakers. In fact, my editor, Michaelle Stikitch, and I used notes from that workshop to revise the work-in-progress by June, and that cut of the film screened at the Cucalorus Festival last month.

Cucalorus was outstanding! The festival gave the project exposure and the team more input as the film screened several times at different venues during the week to audiences of students and educators, community organizers, filmmakers, and more. The experience showed me that Always in Season resonates with a broad audience eager to see the film completed.

If you would like more information on the Always in Season project, or if you would like to support the project, visit www.alwaysinseason.net.