The Nest takes off at the 2016 Human Rights Watch Film Festival

The Nest takes off at Human Rights Watch!

This year, four Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported projects will be screened at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, including the first-ever virtual reality project we have supported.

The festival will be held in New York from June 10 – June 19, 2016. HRW Film Festival screens more than 500 films each year, spreading stories of suffering individuals through the medium of film in an effort to promote knowledge and awareness of the breaches of human rights in today’s world.

Sonita
Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Sonita is the story of an 18-year-old Afghan woman following her dream to be a rapper while society surrounding her tries to silence her. She stands up against forced marriages, including her own, in which she was to be sold off for $9,000 in order to allow her family to purchase a wife for their son. This film’s personal nature imbues it with universal meaning.

Sonita, directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Sonita, directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

Solitary
Directed by Kristi Jacobson
Solitary provides a gripping look into life in prison, for both inmates and officers. It is a film about entrapment with the self, an effort to inform society of life in loneliness. Solitary provides a voice for the 80,000 people currently in solitary confinement in the US while letting them know they are not alone.

Solitary, directed by Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Kristi Jacobson
Solitary, directed by Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Kristi Jacobson

When Two Worlds Collide
Heidi Brandenburg & Mathew Orzel
The struggle of indigenous people to maintain their surrounding land when in conflict with the interests of the big companies reminds us that our battle to preserve our environment rather than establishing locations for the production of monetary gains is ever present. When Two Worlds Collide captivatingly reminds us of the state of the one world we are slowly losing.

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

6X9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement
Francesca Panetta and Lindsay Poulton
We are incredibly excited about 6X9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement, the first VR project Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported. While traditional methods of viewing films can take you on a journey one, cannot help but notice that that journey is confined. The limits of the screen are sharp contrasts, ever-present boundaries between two worlds. Our field of vision reminds us of our surroundings and modern comforts, and by doing so, rips us away from the experiences unfolding on the screen. 6X9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement places us in a new reality, a reality where the outside world is no longer visible and no matter where we look, our surrounding world is the world of the inmate. Their lives become ours in ways that previously weren’t possible. 6X9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement brings new perspective to a life in solitude.

6X9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement

A panel, comprised of four members, including Francesca Panetta, will also be held on June 15, 2016. The panel will focus on the use of VR, its power to promote social change, as well as what boundaries we should place upon it. Virtual reality has the potential to allow a more complete understanding of suffering due to human rights violations, but like any new medium, its utility in promoting tangible change remains under debate.

The Nest brings a lot to the table at this year’s Sheffield Doc Fest

This year, a half-dozen Chicken & Egg Pictures supported films will be screened at Sheffield Doc Fest. These Egg-septional films span a variety of topics including life behind bars, the cost of aging, and battles both personal and universal.

The festival, which bridges the gap between audience and filmmaker, takes place this year from June 10-15, 2016, and will screen over 150 films.

Cameraperson
Directed by Kirsten Johnson
Cameraperson turns the camera inwards, exposing the most powerful moments for cinematographer and filmmaker Kirsten Johnson. By plucking footage from her expansive work of over 25 years, Kirsten Johnson reminds us of the nature of life, where stories intermingle, cross-pollinate, and provide a new lens through which to view the world.

Care
Directed by Deirdre Fishel
As lifespans are increasing, the question of providing the quality care needed to our ever-aging population presses down upon us with increasing force. Deirdre Fishel gives insight into the lives of both the caregivers and those taken under their wing. The story, which focuses on home health aides in their struggle to provide for themselves as they devote their lives to helping others, is paralleled by that of the families that can no longer afford to bring in the help our older generation needs.

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

Solitary
Directed by Kristi Jacobson
Solitary provides a gripping look into life in prison, for both inmates and officers. It is a film about entrapment with the self, an effort to inform society of life in loneliness. Solitary provides a voice for the 80,000 people currently in solitary confinement in the US while letting them know they are not alone.

Solitary, directed by Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Kristi Jacobson
Solitary, directed by Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Kristi Jacobson

Sonita
Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Sonita is the story of an 18-year-old Afghan woman following her dream to be a rapper while society surrounding her tries to silence her. She stands up against forced marriages, including her own, in which she was to be sold off for $9,000 in order to allow her family to purchase a wife for their son. This film’s personal nature imbues it with universal meaning.

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four
Deborah S. Esquenazi
The events that transpired in Salem in 1692 seemed a far cry from anything that could happen today, yet when four women are convicted of raping two little girls in 1994, we encounter a modern day Salem. Southwest of Salem brings hints that our judicial system might be more of a prejudicial one.

When Two Worlds Collide 
Heidi Brandenburg & Mathew Orzel
The struggle of indigenous people to maintain their surrounding land when in conflict with the interests of the big companies reminds us that our battle to preserve our environment rather than establishing locations for the production of monetary gains is ever present.Honored with a Special Jury Prize for Best First Feature at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Two Worlds Collide captivatingly reminds us of the state of the one world we are slowly losing.

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

 

 

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