Chicken & Egg Pictures announces the five recipients of the second annual Breakthrough Filmmaker Award

Breakthrough_YW_LM_Sundance_2017We are pleased and proud to announce  the recipients of the second year of the Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. The five chosen filmmakers are Geeta Gandbhir (Prison Dogs), Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson), Penny Lane (NUTS!), Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs), and Dawn Porter (Trapped). This award consists of a $50,000 unrestricted grant and a year-long creative support and mentorship program tailored to each filmmaker’s individual goals.

The Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Award responds to the reality that only a few women non-fiction directors in the U.S. are able to work full-time as independent storytellers. The program recognizes and elevates five experienced women directors with unique voices who are poised to reach new heights and to continue to be strong filmmaker-advocates for urgent issues and creative visions.

“After a successful inaugural year, we welcome this new cohort of talented women into the program,” said Jenni Wolfson, Executive Director of Chicken & Egg Pictures . “Through our investment in these filmmakers, Chicken & Egg Pictures affirms its commitment to supporting women from a diversity of backgrounds, with powerful voices, who are driving change through storytelling. They are creative risk-takers who have made their mark and are ready to push the boundaries even further and continue to bring to the forefront critical issues and stories.”

Recipients of the Chicken & Egg Pictures 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award were chosen through an international, confidential nomination process.

For additional information on Chicken & Egg Pictures and the Breakthrough Filmmaker Award please visit our Program page.

2017 BREAKTHROUGH FILMMAKER AWARD RECIPIENTS

Geeta Gandbhir

Geeta began her career in editing. As an editor, she has won two Emmy Awards. Her latest feature documentary, Prison Dogs, which she co -directed with Perri Peltz, premiered at the 2016Tribeca Film Festival. Her film with Sharmeen Obaid -Chinoy, A Journey of A Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival; won the Jury award for Best Documentary at The Bentonville Film Festival; and won the Humanitarian Award at the River Run Film Festival. She co-created and was a director on a series about race for The New York Times Op-Docs entitled The Conversation, which won an Online Journalism Award. Her film with Ms. Peltz, Remembering the Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr., for HBO, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. She is currently finishing a feature documentary on a bomb disposal unit in Pakistan.

Kirsten Johnson

Drawing on footage she shot for a myriad of documentary directors over the last 25 years, Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival; won the Cinema Eye Awards for Best Documentary, Best Editing, Best Cinematography; and the National Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award. Widely reviewed as one of the top films of 2016, it received awards at nine international festivals, was nominated for the Gotham Independent Film Awards, the IDA Documentary Awards, the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards , the Independent Spirit Awards, and is currently shortlisted for an Academy Award. Johnson’s short film, The Above, was nominated for 2016 Best Short Film Award by the IDA. Her interest in image-making, collaboration with documentary filmmakers, and the ethical dilemmas faced by camerapeople around the world is ongoing.

Penny Lane

Penny Lane’s most recent feature, NUTS!, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival where it won a Special Jury Prize for Editing. Her debut feature documentary, Our Nixon, premiered at the 2013 Rotterdam International Film Festival, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and was selected as the closing night film at New Directors/New Films. Lane was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012 and “Most Badass” at the Iowa City Documentary Film Festival in 2009. Film festival screenings span the independent and experimental film worlds, including Sundance, Rotterdam, Images, IMPAKT, Hot Docs, Full Frame, CPH:DOX, and Oberhausen. She is currently a professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Colgate University.

Grace Lee

Grace Lee is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker whose work explores questions of history, race, politics, and community. She directed American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, which won six festival audience awards and aired on the POV documentary series. Other directing credits include The Grace Lee Project, Janeane From Des Moines, the Emmy-nominated Makers: Women and Politics, and Off the Menu: Asian America. Lee’s work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Center for Asian American Media, Film Independent, and the Sundance Institute, where she was a Women at Sundance Fellow. She recently co-founded the Asian American Documentary Network and is currently in production on Ktown92, an interactive documentary that explores the 25th anniversary of the Los Angeles riots through the eyes of the greater Koreatown community.

Dawn Porter

Dawn Porter is a documentary filmmaker whose first feature, Gideon’s Army, won the Sundance Film Festival Editing Award in 2013 and later broadcast on HBO. The film was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy. Dawn’s other films have appeared on PBS, OWN and the Discovery Channel. In 2015, Porter interviewed President Barack Obama for Rise: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper. Dawn’s latest feature project, Trapped, explores the impact of laws regulating abortion clinics in the South. Trapped premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking. In 2016, Porter was named to Variety’s “10 Documakers to Watch” and received the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence at DOC NYC’s Visionaries Tribute. She also recently created a short film for The New Yorker Presents, a digital series executive produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney.

Five Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films to screen at DOC NYC

The 2016 edition of the DOC NYC Film Festival features five films directed by Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees. Running November 10-17, 2016 in Manhattan, the DOC NYC Film Festival is America’s largest documentary film festival.

You can check out the full lineup of films, shorts, panels, and showcases here.

Cameraperson
Directed by Kirsten Johnson
Drawing on footage she’s shot over the course of 25 years, documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson searches to reconcile her part in the thorny questions of permission, power, creative ambition, and human obligation that come with filming the lives of others. Tickets and showtimes available here.

Cameraperson, directed by Kirsten Johnson.
Cameraperson, directed by Kirsten Johnson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Care
Directed by Deirdre Fishel
Care 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. Tickets and showtimes available here.

Care, directed by Deirdre Fishel
Care, directed by Deirdre Fishel

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pearl
Directed by Jessica Dimmock & Christopher LaMarca
The Pearl witnesses the loss and extraordinary risk of four middle-aged and senior war vets, steel foremen, and fathers and grandfathers coming out for the first time as transgender women in the hyper-masculine culture of the Pacific Northwest. Each year, their lives intersect at the annual Esprit Conference for T-girls, a weeklong event enlivening a community broken by isolation and loss. Tickets and showtimes available here.

The Pearl, directed by Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LaMarca
The Pearl, directed by Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LaMarca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trapped
Directed by Dawn Porter
At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by the age of 45. Four in 10 unwanted pregnancies are terminated by abortion. What would happen if access to care for these cases completely disappeared? Following the progress of two reproductive health clinics in the South, Trapped captures their struggle as they continue to provide care in an increasingly hostile legal and political climate. Tickets and showtimes here.

Visitor’s Day
Directed by Nicole Opper
Sixteen-year-old Juan Carlos ran away from home to escape abusive parents. After years of battling alcohol addiction and homelessness, he found his way from Mexico City to the rural town of Atlixco, where he joined dozens of other runaway boys living in a group home named Ipoderac. This film follows Juan Carlos during the most transformative year of his life, as he prepares to travel back to Mexico City to confront his father one last time. Tickets and showtimes available here.

Visitor's Day, directed by Nicole Opper
Visitor’s Day, directed by Nicole Opper

The Nest is hot on the trail of Hot Docs

A whopping nine Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films have been selected to screen at the upcoming Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.

The festival, which will run April 28-May 8, 2016, is the largest documentary film festival in North America. This year’s lineup is comprised of over 200 films from around the world.

Tickets are on sale now; the full lineup can be found here.

The Apology
Directed by Tiffany Hsiung
This is a film about memory, told through the current relationships three women have with the people closest to them and how these relationships indelibly shape the last years of their lives. The three women – Gil Won-Ok in South Korea, Grandma Cao in China, and Lola Adela in the Philippines – are all former “comfort women” who were among the 200,000 girls and young women forced into military sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

The Apology, directed by Tiffany Hsiung
The Apology, directed by Tiffany Hsiung

Cameraperson
Directed by Kirsten Johnson
Drawing on footage she’s shot over the course of 25 years, documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson searches to reconcile her part in the thorny questions of permission, power, creative ambition, and human obligation that come with filming the lives of others.

LoveTrue
Directed by Alma Ha’rel
Does our view of love change as we grow older? How do we make decisions about our love lives? Is there such a thing as true love? Are there invisible partners in relationships? Past ghosts of ourselves? The film’s reenactments of significant past experiences and glimpses at possible futures, created with non-actors playing the characters’ older and younger selves, encourage the couples to confront the realities of their hopes and memories, and the effect they have on their love lives.

LoveTrue, directed by Alma Ha'rel
LoveTrue, directed by Alma Ha’rel

The Pearl
Directed by Jessica Dimmock & Christopher LaMarca
The Pearl witnesses the loss and extraordinary risk of four middle-aged and senior war vets, steel foremen, and fathers and grandfathers coming out for the first time as transgender women in the hyper-masculine culture of the Pacific Northwest. Each year, their lives intersect at the annual Esprit Conference for T-girls, a weeklong event enlivening a community broken by isolation and loss.

Sonita
Directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
18-year-old Sonita is an undocumented Afghan illegal immigrant living in the suburbs of Tehran. She fights to live the way she wants: As a rapper in spite of all her obstacles she confronts in Iran and her conservative family. In harsh contrast to her goal is the plan of her family – strongly advanced by her mother – to make her a bride and sell her to a new family for the price of $9,000.

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four
Directed by Deborah S. Esquenazi
Southwest of Salem excavates the nightmarish persecution of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez — four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of allegedly gang raping two little girls. This bizarre case is the first to be adjudicated under momentous new legislation: for the first time in U.S. history, wrongfully convicted innocents can challenge convictions based on debunked scientific evidence. The film also unravels the sinister interplay of mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor which led to this modern day witch hunt.

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four, directed by Deborah S. Esquenazi.
Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four, directed by Deborah S. Esquenazi.

Trapped
Directed by Dawn Porter
At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by the age of 45. Four in 10 unwanted pregnancies are terminated by abortion. What would happen if access to care for these cases completely disappeared? Following the progress of two Southern reproductive health clinics, Trapped captures their struggle as they continue to provide care in the face of an increasingly hostile legal and political climate. Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Social Impact Filmmaking at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

What Tomorrow Brings
Directed by Beth Murphy
What Tomorrow Brings is a coming-of-age story in which Afghan girls studying at the Zabuli School struggle against tradition and time. They discover that their school is the one place they can turn to understand the differences between the lives they were born into and the lives they dream of leading. At a time when the political and security situation is rapidly changing, the film weaves the interconnected stories of students, teachers, parents, and school founder Razia Jan.

What Tomorrow Brings, directed by Beth Murphy.
What Tomorrow Brings, directed by Beth Murphy.

When Two Worlds Collide
Directed by Heidi Brandenburg & Mathew Orzel
An indigenous leader forced into exile and facing 20 years in prison for resisting the environmental ruin of Amazonian lands by big business. Refusing to surrender he continues his quest, shedding light on conflicting visions shaping the fate of the Amazon and the climate future of our world.

Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees win big at 2016 Sundance Film Festival

We were so thrilled to follow along with the Sundance Awards Ceremony and see three of our grantees win a total of four awards.
Sonita, directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghammi, took home the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the World Documentary Competition.
Executive Director Jenni Wolfson, Co-Founder Wendy Ettinger, and Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello with Sonita Alizadeh at a Sundance screening of SONITA
Executive Director Jenni Wolfson, Co-Founder Wendy Ettinger, and Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello with Sonita Alizadeh at a Sundance screening of SONITA.
When Two Worlds Collide, directed by Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel was awarded a Special Jury Prize for Best Debut Feature, also in the World Documentary Competition.
Dawn Porter’s  timely and compelling documentary Trapped received a Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking in the US Documentary Competition. Trapped will open in New York and Washington, DC on March 4, timed to the Supreme Court hearing opening arguments in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. It will then air on Independent Lens in June, timed to the Supreme Court’s decision on that same case.
Still from TRAPPED, showing Dr. Parker, one of the main characters of the film.
Still from TRAPPED, showing Dr. Parker, one of the main characters of the film.

5 Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported projects to screen at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival

Congratulations to the five Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees whose projects will screen at the upcoming 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

6×9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement is the first virtual reality project supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures and will premiere as part of the New Frontiers program.

We look forward to seeing these films launch in Park City and begin their journey to reach audiences across the world.

The full program and schedule for this year’s Sundance Film Festival is available here.

6×9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement (The Guardian- Francesca Panetta & Lindsay Poulton)
Right now, more than 80,000 people are locked in a 6′ by 9′ concrete box where they have no human contact and every element of their environment is controlled. The sensory deprivation causes severe psychological damage. It changes them; they become invisible.

Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson)
Drawing on footage she’s shot over the course of 25 years, cinematographer Kirsten Johnson searches to reconcile her part in the thorny questions of permission, power, creative ambition, and human obligation that come with filming the lives of others.

Cameraperson, directed by Kirsten Johnson.
Cameraperson, directed by Kirsten Johnson.

Sonita (Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami)
18-year-old Sonita is an undocumented Afghan immigrant living in the suburbs of Tehran. In spite of all the obstacles she confronts in Iran and from her conservative family, she fights to live the way she wants: as a rapper. In harsh contrast to her goal is the plan of her family to make her a bride and sell her to a new family for the price of $9,000.

Sonita, directed by Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami
Sonita, directed by Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami

Trapped (Dawn Porter)
At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by the age of 45. Four in 10 unwanted pregnancies are terminated by abortion. What would happen if access to care for these cases completely disappeared? Following the progress of two southern reproductive health clinics, Trapped captures their struggle as they continue to provide care in the face of an increasingly hostile legal and political climate.

When Two Worlds Collide (Heidi Brandenburg & Mathew Orzel)
An indigenous leader is forced into exile and faces 20 years in prison for resisting the environmental ruin of Amazonian lands by big business. Refusing to surrender, he continues his quest, shedding light on conflicting visions shaping the fate of the Amazon and the climate future of our world.

When Two Worlds Collide, directed by Heidi Brandenburg & Mathew Orzel
When Two Worlds Collide, directed by Heidi Brandenburg & Mathew Orzel