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Chicken & Egg Pictures announces 2014 Open Call grantees and names Celebration Award recipient

Chicken & Egg Pictures announced 14 films that will receive grants and mentorship as a result of the organization’s 2014 Open Call, as well as two sets of grants to projects in stages that range from production to completion.  Chicken & Egg Pictures also named Kirsten Johnson as the recipient of the Annual Celebration Award, supported by the Ravenal Foundation.

Kirsten Johnson at 2013 Ex Oriente Film Workshop hosted by IDF

Grantees were chosen from over 640 applications, and include women filmmakers working in India, Egypt, Libya, China, and the United Kingdom, as well as across the United States.

In celebration of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ 10th anniversary in 2015, this most recent Open Call was designed to elevate women and girls behind and in front of the camera. This special Women & Girls On-Screen initiative prioritized projects that featured women and girls on-screen as prominent characters and storytellers of their own lives and experiences.

Still from A Guangzhou Love Affair, dir. by Kathy Huang
Still from A Guangzhou Love Affair, dir. by Kathy Huang

New projects by past Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees were awarded discretionary grants: Thank You for Playing, directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall (Call Me Kuchu) and David Osit, and Out of Mind, directed by Kristi Jacobson (A Place at the Table) received funds for completion and production, respectively.

Additionally, two films, Búscame: Search for Me, directed by Nicole Opper, and (T)ERROR, directed by Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe, were awarded follow-up grants for critical post-production needs.

Thank You for Playing, dir. by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit
Thank You for Playing, dir. by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit

The complete list of grantees is below. For the full press release, click here.

2014 Open Call Grantees:

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.

Canary in a Coal Mine
Directed by Jennifer Brea
Jennifer, a Harvard PhD student, was signing a check at a restaurant when she found she could not write her own name. Months before her wedding, she became progressively more ill, losing the ability even to sit in a wheelchair. When doctors insisted that her condition was psychosomatic, she picked up her camera to document her own story and the stories of four other patients struggling with the world’s most prevalent orphaned disease.

Care
Directed by Deirdre Fishel
The feature documentary Care, now in post-production, exposes the deep flaws in the U.S. eldercare system by following the intimate and dramatic stories of three overworked and underpaid home health aides and one family struggling to find and pay for quality care. The film sounds the alarm about an exploited workforce, an aging population, and an impending crisis of care.

Councilwoman
Directed by Margo Guernsey
Councilwoman is about a Dominican hotel housekeeper who sits on the City Council in Providence, RI. The film follows her first term as she learns the ropes of political office, and is part of a spirited effort to win economic justice for hotel workers. She has two contenders in a tight race for her re-election. This is a story about civic participation and power in our democracy.

#Dalitwomenfight
Anonymous
#Dalitwomenfight is a feature-length documentary that follows a courageous group of Dalit women who overcome unspeakable attacks and spearhead a bold national campaign to end caste and sexual violence in India. Their remarkable journey catapults them from their humble villages onto the center stage of Indian politics as they fight to heal not only themselves, but also the very soul of their country.

Even When I Fall
Directed by Sky Neal and Kate Mclarnon
Even When I Fall is the story of three remarkable young Nepali women, all survivors of human trafficking into corrupt big top circuses across India. Facing forgotten families and uncertain futures, the story begins in the often-overlooked aftermath of a childhood spent in captivity and forced labor. But these tough young women were inadvertently left with a secret weapon by their captors – their breathtaking skills as circus artists.

Freedom Fields
Directed by Naziha Arebi
In post-revolution Libya, a group of women are brought together by one dream: to play football for their country. Freedom Fields is a film about struggle and sacrifice. At the new dawn of a nation once cut off from the rest of the world, this is a story of following your dreams and aspirations against all odds and at any cost. Through their eyes, we see the reality of a country in transition, where personal stories collide with history.

From This Day Forward
Directed by Sharon Shattuck
When filmmaker Sharon Shattuck’s dad 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 parent’s love survived against all odds.

A Guangzhou Love Affair
Directed by Kathy Huang
In China, an unprecedented surge in African migration has led to a rise in marriages between Chinese women and African men. A Guangzhou Love Affair captures the love, heartache, and real life challenges of Afro-Chinese couples attempting to forge a meaningful future together in the face of racism and xenophobia.

Hot Girls Wanted
Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus
Hot Girls Wanted is a first-ever look at the realities of the professional “amateur” porn world and the steady stream of 18-to-19-year old girls entering into it.

The Movie About Anna
Directed by Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti
The Movie About Anna 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 the film to explore what is foremost on her mind while confronting a terminal disease: parenting, marriage, faith, life, and death.

PC594
Directed by Libby Spears
PC594 is the California penal code section that describes crimes against property —including painting beautiful images on dilapidated walls. LA street artist Lydia Emily engages in biodegradable, non-violent, political protest on government and corporate real estate. She’s conquered innumerable challenges, but now a crippling diagnosis threatens to change everything.

The Trials of Spring
Directed by Gini Reticker
The Trials of Spring follows the journeys of three Egyptian women from the early days of the 2011 Arab Spring until today: Hend, from a rural military family and awaiting a harsh prison sentence for protesting against military rule; Mariam, an activist fighting to end sexual assault; and Mama Khadiga, a formerly veiled widow who became a caretaker of the revolutionaries. Their intersecting stories reveal the vital and underreported role women play in shaping the region’s future.

The Vote
Directed by Hanan Abdalla and Cressida Trew
In the first elections after the fall of a dictator, three women candidates fight for a new Egypt, as millions go to vote for the first time in their lives. But as the media celebrates the birth of a new democracy, a more sinister power struggle is at play. Capturing an historic and bloody turning point in the struggle for the region, The Vote asks fundamental questions about democracy, betrayal, and what it means to truly manifest the will of the people.

Discretionary Grants:

 Out of Mind
Directed by Kristi Jacobson
Out of Mind investigates an invisible part of the American justice system: the use of isolation and segregation in US prisons, commonly known as solitary confinement. With unprecedented access inside a prison tackling the issue head on, the film explores this divisive issue through the experiences of those on both sides of the bars.

Thank You for Playing
Directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit
Ryan Green’s four-year-old son Joel has terminal cancer. Ryan, an indie video game developer, is building an unusually poetic video game to document his experiences raising a dying child, and to honor Joel while he is still alive. Thank You For Playing follows the creation and growing success of Ryan’s game, as his son’s health continues to decline.

Follow-up Grants:

 Búscame: Search for Me
Directed by Nicole Opper
16-year-old Juan Carlos has spent most of his life either stuck in a tumultuous home or as a runaway on the streets of Mexico City. When he decides to join Ipoderac, an organization that houses runaway boys, his life changes in the most unexpected ways. Juan Carlos is a study in resilience, reminding us that peace results from patience, determination, and the ability to forgive those who have harmed us.

(T)ERROR
Directed by Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe
(T)ERROR is the first film to document, on camera, a covert counterterrorism sting as it unfolds. Through the perspective of *******, a 63-year-old Black revolutionary turned FBI informant, viewers are given an unprecedented glimpse of the government’s counterterrorism tactics and the murky justifications behind them.

 

Support Chicken & Egg Pictures on #GivingTuesday

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#GivingTuesday is a global day of philanthropy, a way for communities, companies, individuals, and non-profits to give back, give more, or just give.

This December 2, after you’ve checked off everyone on your holiday list, give to Chicken & Egg Pictures and support remarkable women filmmakers committed to telling powerful stories that create social change.

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As a small non-profit, Chicken & Egg Pictures depends on the generosity of our supporters and our community to keep our nest a sustainable and secure place for women filmmakers.

Give today–your fully tax-deductible gift will help us continue to elevate and champion women documentary directors who are moving the needle on the most critical human rights, social justice, and environmental issues of our time.

Chicken & Egg Pictures represents at DOC NYC

For the fifth year in a row, Chicken & Egg Pictures partnered with DOC NYC for the festival’s fifth edition.

We were proud to have seven grantee films in the lineup: The Great Invisible, The Hand That Feeds, The Lion’s Mouth Opens, Meet the Patels, She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, Tough Love, and Vessel. Many of the films made their NYC premiere.

Chicken & Egg Pictures also co-presented two panels: “All About Shorts: Shorter Forms for Ever Shorter Attention Spans” (an interactive look at how new technologies are changing storytelling, with panelists Rachel Falcone, Nancy Schwartzman, and Malika Zouhali-Worrall) and “Shoot Your Doc Masterclass: Casting for Documentaries” (with panelists Stephanie Wang-Breal, Jamila Wignot, Penelope Falk; moderated by our own Wendy Ettinger.

Check out highlights from “Shorter Forms for Ever Shorter Attention Spans” on YouTube.

The Lion’s Mouth Opens getting awards season buzz

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released the shortlist of contenders for the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject. On the list was I Believe in You grant recipient Lucy Walker and her film The Lion’s Mouth Opens.

Eight films out of 58 eligible entries were named to the shortlist. Three to five will receive nominations. The full list can be found here.

Chicken & Egg Pictures congratulates Lucy and her team. We are thrilled and proud to be supporters of this film and to have Lucy in our nest. For more information on the film, visit our film page for The Lion’s Mouth Opens. 

Chicken & Egg Pictures Kicks Off Fall Mentorship with Distribution Day

On Wednesday, October 15, Chicken & Egg Pictures hosted 16 filmmakers in New York City for a full-day workshop with sessions covering International Co-Productions & New Opportunities with Al-Jazeera America, with guest expert Cynthia Kane (Senior Commissioning Producer, Al-Jazeera American); Reversioning for Foreign Sales, Maximizing Opportunities, & Delivery on Deliverables, with guest expert Nina Chaudry (Independent Producer and Former Executive of Wide Angle), and Digital Distribution 101, with guest expert (Susan Margolin, President of Docurama and Cinedigm).Here’s what Julie Englander, director of Home Again and a member of the Chicken & Egg Pictures nest, had to say about the day:

When I got the call in 2011 that I was being awarded a Chicken & Egg Pictures “I Believe in You” grant for my documentary Home Again, I was thrilled. The money and the prestige were awesome rewards, but possibly the most meaningful benefit of the grant was being welcomed into the Chicken & Egg nest.

It was truly inspiring on Wednesday to gather with fellow grantees for Distribution Day, where we convened with Cynthia Kane of Al Jazeera America, Nina Chaudry, Former Executive Producer of Wide Angle, and Susan Margolin of Cinedigm. Though my film is not yet finished, it’s never too early to think about distribution, as nearly every presenter pointed out. As we discussed possible outlets for our projects and how to imagine different versions of the stories we want to tell, the wheels in my head began to turn about the many different directions my film could go in.

In our discussion of what (and what not) to cut when reversioning, one rule that went up on the easel pad was “Time spent laughing is never wasted time.” And time spent brainstorming with other fantastic women, I’ve found, is one of the most productive things a filmmaker can do. 

The IDF-Chicken & Egg Pictures Fund is now accepting applications

The IDF-Chicken & Egg Pictures Fund is now accepting applications. Beginning today, October 1st, applicants can submit their proposals through the online system.

This new fund, announced in 2014 and launched in partnership with the Indian Documentary Foundation, aims to provide comprehensive support to women filmmakers based in India. First-time directors, as well as mid-career and veteran filmmakers, are welcome to apply.

The deadline for submissions is midnight IST on November 21st. To apply, or for more information on criteria, the selection process, and additional guidelines, click here.

chickeneggpics x Dress-Lace Closet Printed Lace Dress with Wrap Front

This chickeneggpics x dress-lace wrap front dress has a printed design as well as a wrap front. The color is gray and white with a v neckline and a dress that reaches just above the knee. It is a wrap front dress giving it an elegant yet international flare to it. It will certainly be a hit at parties, friend gatherings, movies and at other events. This lace dress is currently not in stock due to its popularity but check back again. This dress is definitely a keeper, especially if you like the laid back casual look.
Some features of this lace dress include:
Machine wash
Wired insert
Our model wears a UK 8/EU 36/US 4 and is175 cm/5’9”tall
Slim fit – cut closely to the body
Zip back fastening

Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Annual Independent Film Week Celebration

On Monday, September 15, Chicken & Egg Pictures will host its annual Independent Film Week Celebration to toast the passionate and intrepid grantees whose films were selected to participate in the 2014 Project Forum at IFW.

This year, two Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees will take part in the weeklong conference: The Bill, directed by Ramona Diaz, and (T)ERROR, directed by Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe.

We will also present our 2014 Good Egg award to Lesli Klainberg and Eugene Hernandez, the leaders of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

The Good Egg Award is given annually to distinguished leaders in the independent film and documentary community. Past recipients include Cynthia Lopez, now the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment; Cara Mertes, the current Director of the JustFilms initiative at the Ford Foundation; POV founder Marc Weiss; and Claire Aguilar of ITVS.

Klainberg and Hernandez both have a distinguished history of contributions to the documentary field and to the world of independent film as a whole. “We couldn’t be more delighted to present Lesli and Eugene with the 2014 Good Egg Award,” said Jenni Wolfson, Executive Director of Chicken & Egg Pictures. “They are both pillars of the film community, respected and well-loved, and together at the helm of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, they are in a position to build and expand on their already impressive accomplishments. It will be exciting to see how they continue to champion and shape the world of independent film.”

2014 Open Call

Our final deadline for this year’s Open Call for submissions closed on July 1st. This year’s number of submissions broke all of our records, with a whopping 642 applicants turning in projects for consideration.

In anticipation of our upcoming 10th anniversary, we focused our Open Call on a special priority: for this year only, we are prioritizing projects that feature women and girls on-screen as prominent characters and storytellers of their own lives and experiences. Taking inspiration from past Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees with strong female protagonists such as American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, Freeheld, The Forest for the Trees, Lioness, Private Violence, Sepideh- Reaching for the Stars, and Saving Face, just to name a few.

We are in the midst of our rigorous review process, and we look forward to discovering new voices that continue to address the global justice, human rights, and environmental issues of our time–with women and girls at the center. All applicants will be notified by November 15, 2014.

 

Welcome to our new website!

Welcome to our brand-new Chicken & Egg Pictures website! Our team has been working around the clock to get this site ready for its close-up.

ChickenEggPics.org is your one-stop shop for all things Chicken & Egg Pictures; you’ll find information about our grantees, supporters, team, partner organizations, and so much more.

Interested in supporting Chicken & Egg Pictures? Our Partnership page will give you a comprehensive overview of who we are, why our supporters love us, and how we support the field at large.

Interested in applying for funding from Chicken & Egg Pictures? Head on over to our Grants page for eligibility information, key deadlines, and any special instructions on our grant criteria and application procedures.

Interested in what’s happening at Chicken & Egg Pictures and in the documentary film community at large? Check this blog for dispatches from our grantee filmmakers, industry news updates, guest posts from field experts, and information on what we’re up to.