Search Results for: black mothers

Four Nest-supported films at Atlanta Film Festival 2023

Chicken & Egg Pictures is egg-static to see four Nest-supported films represented in the lineup of the 2023 edition of Atlanta Film Festival, which will take place from Thursday, April 20 to Sunday, April 30 in Atlanta, Georgia.

For our Children

(previously Black Mothers Love & Resist)

dir. & prod. Débora Souza Silva

prod. David Felix Sutcliffe, Adina Luo

Still from For our Children

For our Children is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee competing in the ​​Documentary Feature, Noir (Spotlight on Black Filmmakers), and New Mavericks (Women & GNC Directed + Starring) sections.

Get your tickets here.

graphic of a film reel

Eat Bitter

dir. Ningyi Sun, Pascale Appora-Gnekindy

prod. Mathieu Faure

The upper half is characters Luan and Thomas' faces and Thomas prays to the left of their faces; and the lower half is the back of Thomas' head and him getting ready to dive in the yellowish river.
Still from Eat Bitter

Eat Bitter is a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab finalist competing in the Documentary Feature and Noir (Spotlight on Black Filmmakers) Sections.

Get your tickets here.

graphic of a film reel

It’s Only Life After All

dir. & prod. Alexandria Bombach

prods. Kathlyn Horan, Jess Devaney, Anya Rous

Still from It's Only Life After All
Still from It’s Only Life After All

It’s Only Life After All was supported through Alexandria Bombach’s 2019 Chicken & Egg Award and is competing in the Documentary Feature, New Mavericks (Women & GNC Directed + Starring), and Pink Peach (Spotlight on LGBTQ Stories & Perspectives) sections.

Get your tickets here.

graphic of a film reel

Silent Beauty

dir. Jasmin Mara López 

Still from Silent Beauty

Silent Beauty is a 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee participating in the Documentary Feature, New Mavericks (Women & GNC Directed + Starring), and ¡CineMás! (Spotlight on Latin American Stories and Perspectives) sections.

Get your tickets here.

Written by Spring Intern Tess Caldwell

Sol in the Garden


A day after her 19th birthday, Sol shot and killed a rival gang member. After a five-year fight against the death penalty, she was sentenced to 31 years in prison to life with parole. Little did she know that her incarceration would lead her to a new passion: gardening. “Gardening is my freedom,” says Sol, echoing the words of South African leader Nelson Mandela, who gardened during his incarceration in the apartheid regime. Sol learned about the power of gardening through the Insight Garden Program located in 11 prisons in California. For Sol, gardening is a way to map memory and transform its landscape into something more beautiful than what had been formerly sown—sexual abuse, gang,  and gun violence.

After release from prison, Sol (Sun in Spanish) re-discovers East Oakland through utopian visions and community gardening with Oakland’s Planting Justice worked by the formerly incarcerated and for the community. Through gardening and reflection, Sol—who became a passionate activist against gun violence and mass incarceration—creates new memories and a vision for Oakland as a place where she heals and transforms her own community. Her backstory as a Sureños gang member provides a stark contrast to her life-giving gardening practice today.

Sol in the Garden is a 2022 Critical Issues Fund grantee.




Débora Souza Silva looking directly at the camera. She has braided black hair and golden highlights. Black and white portrait.

Débora Souza Silva (she/her) is a documentary filmmaker whose work examines systemic racism and inequality. Her work has been featured on PBS, BBC, The NYT, and Fusion. She is a recipient of the Creative Capital Award, a Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Egg(celerator) Lab grantee, and a Firelight Media Documentary Lab fellow. Her work has also been funded by Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, Fork Films, Catapult Film Fund, Berkeley Film Foundation, Sisters in Cinema, California Film Institute, and Cal Humanities, among other organizations. Black Mothers Love & Resist, her debut feature documentary, follows the mothers behind the Black Lives Matter Movement.


Emily Cohen Ibañez looking directly at the camera. She has short grey and dark brown hair and is wearing gold earrings, lipstick, and a striped T-shirt. Black and white portrait.

Emily Cohen Ibañez (she/her) is a Latinx filmmaker based in Oakland who earned her doctorate in Anthropology with a certificate in Culture and Media at New York University. Her film work pairs lyricism with social activism, advocating for labor, environmental, and health justice. Her documentary Bodies At War/Mina (2015) premiered at El Festival de Cine de Bogotá. Her short films reach wide audiences internationally, including distribution through The Guardian, The Intercept, and Independent Lens online. Emily’s work has been funded by JustFilms Ford Foundation, Firelight Media, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Sundance, and Fulbright, among other organizations. Her feature documentary debut, Fruits Of Labor had its world premiere at SXSW 2021; it has won multiple awards on the festival circuit.

Nest-supported films at San Francisco International Film Festival!

We are egg-cited to see three Nest-supported filmmakers, and two AlumNest filmmakers participating at the 65th San Francisco Film Festival, taking place from Thursday, April 22 through Sunday May 1, with a full in-person lineup.


dir. & prod. Isabel Castro

prod. Tabs Breese, Yesenia Tlahuel

Close up to the face of Doris singing
Still from Mija

With Doris’ voice as our guide, Mija uses VHS archive, verité footage, and camcorder vlogging to tell the story of two young women’s coming-of-age journeys as they look for success and belonging. The film is an immensely emotional and intimate portrait honoring the resilience of immigrants and their children. 

is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the McBaine Documentary Feature Competition.

For our Children

(previously Black Mothers Love & Resist)

dir. & prod. Débora Souza Silva

prod. David Felix Sutcliffe

Still from For our Children

Wanda Johnson and Angela Williams, mothers of young Black men victimized by police brutality, come together and build a network of community-led support, mutual aid, and healing in this trenchant documentary. 

For our Children
 is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Documentaries: USA section.


dir. & prod. Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing

prods. Bob Moore, Ulla Lehmann, Mila Aung-Thwin

Still from Midwives

A tale of the complicated relationship between Rohingya and Buddhists in Myanmar, told over five years through the eyes of two midwives from either side of the divide. 

is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Documentaries: USA section.

From the AlumNest

  • The Janes
    dirs. Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes
    prods. Emma Pildes, Daniel Arcana, Jessica Levin

  • TikTok, Boom.
    dir. & prod. Shalini Kantayya
    prods. Ross M. Dinerstein, Danni Mynard

A special shout out to our Co-Founder & Board President Julie Parker Benello, producer of Sell/Buy/Date (dir. & prod. Sarah Jones, prods. David Goldblum, Julie Parker Benello), screening in the Documentaries: USA section.

Check out the full line-up with this link.

Announcing 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees!

Announced via Women & Hollywood today, we are proud to present the ten grantees of the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab for emerging documentary filmmakers, set to receive a total of $400,000 toward their first or second feature-length documentaries.

This year, participants hail from eight different countries including Brazil, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Spain, and include filmmakers such as Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund recipient Snow (Hnin Ei Hlaing), PitchBLACK winner Nailah Jefferson, and Emmy-winning producer Violet Du Feng. Several films in this cohort explore similar themes through vastly different subjects: A Photographic Memory, Black Mothers, and Machtat tell stories of motherhood through art and memory, racial injustice, and marriage in the context of patriarchy. Commuted and Polaris are both stories of women’s lives after incarceration, one taking place in New Orleans and the other between France and the Arctic.

Please click the granted film’s titles for more information on each project and give these women filmmakers a warm welcome to the Nest.

Hidden Letters
Directors: Violet Du Feng, Zhao Qing (CHINA)
Two young Chinese Millennials in rural and metropolitan China look toward the wisdom of an ancient, secret woman-only script in order to navigate their lives in a world still dominated by men.

Director: Neary Adeline Hay (CAMBODIA/FRANCE)
The survival story of a mother and her daughter, the filmmaker, through the desperate flight from a crumbling Cambodia after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Director: Snow (Hnin Ei Hlaing) (MYANMAR)
Two midwives work side by side in a makeshift medical clinic.

Director: Nailah Jefferson (US)
Commuted is an intimate look at the life of Danielle Metz and the familial impacts of long-term incarceration.     

All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars
(previously Stories from the Debris)
Director: Jennifer Rainsford (SWEDEN/UK)
With the Japanese Tsunami of 2011 as a backdrop, All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars assembles a collection of poetic stories about how humans and nature rebuild after trauma.

The Boy and the Suit of Lights
Director: Inma de Reyes (SPAIN/SCOTLAND)
Hoping to rescue his family from poverty, young Borja is torn between tradition and progress as he trains to fulfil his family’s dream of him becoming a bullfighter.

For our Children
(Previously Black Mothers Love & Resist)
Director: Débora Souza Silva (BRAZIL)
Violence. Outrage. Impunity. Repeat. Black Mothers follows the journey of two women working to disrupt the cycle of racist police violence within our country’s judicial system.

A Photographic Memory
Director: Rachel Elizabeth Seed (US)
A photographer attempts to piece together a portrait of her mother, Sheila Turner-Seed, a daring journalist and a woman she never knew. Uncovering the vast archive Turner-Seed produced, including lost interviews with iconic photographers, the film explores memory, legacy, and stories left untold.                                                                            

Director: Sonia Ben Slama (FRANCE/TUNISIA)
Machtat chronicles the daily life of Fatma and her daughters Najeh and Waffeh, wedding musicians in a small town in Tunisia.           

Director: Ainara Vera (SPAIN)
Polaris tells the story of two French sisters with opposite lives that reconnect with one another to support the life of a newborn baby.

Note: The parentheses next to the directors’ names indicate the directors’ country or countries of origin.

For our Children


For our Children (previously Black Mothers Love & Resist) is the first feature-length documentary to examine the “Mothers of the Movement,” a growing, nationwide network of mothers whose African-American children have been killed or attacked in acts of racist violence. With unprecedented access, the film is a character-driven exploration of these Black mothers’ efforts to heal through solidarity and sustained organizing. The film is also a journalistic investigation of the strategies employed by the mothers to bring their children’s attackers to justice and the political pathways that have opened up as a result of their organizing.

For our Children is a participant of the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab.


Débora Souza Silva is a documentary filmmaker whose work examines systemic racism and inequality. Her work has been featured on PBS, BBC, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, and Fusion. Silva started her career as a TV reporter in Brazil before moving to California to pursue a Master in Journalism at UC Berkeley. She is a recipient of the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant, the Investigative Reporting Program fellowship, Tribeca All Access® grant, The Center for Investigative Reporting film-residency, SFFILM’s residency, Athena Works-In-Progress fellowship, Glassbreaker Films grant,  Berkeley Film Foundation grant, Fork Films grant, and the Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellowship.

Lourdes Portillo (1944-2024)

Black and white headshot of Lourdes Portillo

We mourn the loss of our cherished Nest-supported and Eggspert filmmaker, Lourdes Portillo, who passed away this weekend in San Francisco at the age of 80.

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles, Lourdes was a passionate and pioneering filmmaker. Known for her unique hybrid style as a visual artist, investigative journalist, and activist, she created award-winning films about Latin American, Mexican, and Chicano/a experiences and social justice for over 30 years.

Since her first film in 1979, After the Earthquake/Despues del Terremoto, she produced and directed over a dozen works. These include 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, Al Más Allá, Señorita Extraviada, and State of Grace.

Throughout her career, Lourdes tirelessly advocated for equity, diversity, and inclusion in the film industry. Her legacy will continue to thrive through her extensive work, the many individuals she mentored and supported, and those who will follow the path she paved.

Rest in power.

The Nest at Big Sky Documentary Film Fest

The 20th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival took place from February 17 through February 26 in Montana. We were proud to see four Nest-supported films and seven AlumNest films in the line-up, as well as a retrospective dedicated to 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Penny Lane. 

For our Children

(previously Black Mothers Love & Resist)

dir. & prod. Débora Souza Silva

prod. David Felix Sutcliffe, Adina Luo

Still from For Our Children

For Our Children is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee.

graphic of a film reel

The Hamlet Syndrome

dirs. Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosolowski

prod. Magdalena Kaminska

Still from The Hamlet Syndrome
Still from The Hamlet Syndrome

The Hamlet Syndrome was supported through Elwira Niewira’s 2021 Chicken & Egg Award.

graphic of a film reel

From the AlumNest

Penny Lane 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award

Nest-supported filmmaker Penny Lane was selected as the 2023 Retrospective artist. The retrospective includes six films directed by Lane from 2010 to today, including Nest-supported Hail Satan?, The Pain of Others; and Nuts!, Our Nixon, and The Voyagers. 

  • For the Record
    dir. & prod. Heather Courtney
    prod. Paul Stekler

  • Sealed in Blood
    dir. Sofian Khan
    prod. J. Motts

  • Lily Gladstone: Far Out There
    dir. & prod. Brooke Pepion Swaney
    prod. Jeri Rafter

Lily Gladstone: Far Out There will being having its World Premiere

Post written by Spring intern Tess Caldwell

Six Nest-supported filmmakers receive The Spark Fund!

We are egg-tremely proud to see six Nest-supported filmmakers among Firelight Media Spark Fund’s 36 recipients. This one-time opportunity offers a $50,000 stipend to established, independent documentary filmmakers who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC) and whose work on humanities-themed projects was disrupted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.  
Congratulations to all the recipients!

Assia Boundaoui The Feeling of Being Watched 2016 Accelerator Lab2016 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Assia Boundaoui (The Feeling of Being Watched)

A headshot of a woman looking at the camera with curly medium length hair, wearing a blazer and a necklace2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Débora Souza Silva (For our Children)

Portrait of a woman with short medium hair, slightly tilting down their head and looking up at the cameraNest-supported filmmaker Farihah Zaman (Remote Area Medical)

Portrait of a woman with medium length hair, wearing a scarf and looking2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs)

Headshot of a woman with short curly hair, looking at the camera and with a blurry background2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Michèle Stephenson

Made in India Vaishali SinhaNest-supported filmmaker Vaishali Sinha (Made in India)

Headshot of a woman tilting her head to her left and widely smiling. She wears dreadlocks, an open shirt with a shirt underneath and a necklace.We are sending an extra special congratulations to our Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon, who was also selected as one of the recipients.

Check out the full list of recipients and learn more about them with this link.

7 Supported Films to Stream at the Cleveland International Film Festival

There’s plenty to stream at the 2021 Cleveland International Film Festival, which runs virtually from Wednesday, April 7 to Tuesday, April 20 on their website.

Granted films featured in the online festival include four 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees: A Cops and Robbers Story, Apart, Through the Night, and Writing With Fire, as well as three additional Nest-supported films. The (Egg)celerator Lab supports first- and second-time filmmakers who are working on a feature length documentary, with a special focus on underrepresented voices. Learn more about the films below, and get your tickets here. Online stream tickets are just $10!

Apart, dir. Jennifer Redfearn

The number of women in U.S. prisons has grown by 800% over the past 40 years. And the vast majority are mothers. In a Midwestern state caught between the opioid epidemic, drug sentencing, and rising incarceration for women, three unforgettable mothers—Tomika, Lydia, and Amanda— return home from prison and rebuild their lives after being separated from their children for years.

Apart participated in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.

A Cops and Robbers Story, dir. Ilinca Calugareanu

Ilinca Calugareanu A Cops and Robbers Story Accelerator Lab 2018

Corey Pegues, one of the highest ranking black executives in the NYPD, reveals a few months after retirement that before joining the NYPD he worked the streets dealing crack cocaine for one of the most notorious drug gangs in the US, the Supreme Team. To many he is either a perp in cop costume or a criminal turned hero. But who is the real Corey Pegues?

A Cops and Robbers Story participated in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.

The Dilemma of Desire, dir. Maria Finitzo

An exploration of “cliteracy,” and the clash between the gender politics and the imperatives of female sexual desire.

The Dilemma of Desire participated in Project: Hatched 2020.

Down A Dark Stairwell, dir. Ursula Liang

A nuanced look at how two communities of color navigate an uneven criminal justice system, anchored by one polarizing New York City case.

Landfall, dir. Cecilia Aldarondo

Through shard-like glimpses of everyday life in post-Hurricane María Puerto Rico, Landfall examines a ruined world at the brink of transformation, spinning a cautionary tale for our times.

Landfall participated in Project: Hatched 2020.

Through the Night, dir. Loira Limbal

To make ends meet, Americans are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of nonstop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers. Through the Night is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider, whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY.

Through the Night participated in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab. Director Loira Limbal is supported through the 2021 Chicken & Egg Award.

Writing with Fire, dirs. Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab

In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.

Writing With Fire participated in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.

In the Same Breath, dir. Nanfu Wang is also screening at the festival. Chicken & Egg Pictures supported Nanfu’s previous film, as well as supported Nanfu through the 2018 Chicken & Egg Award.

Nest-supported Films at the 2020 DOC NYC Film Festival

Our Nest-supported filmmaking community is soaring into DOC NYC Film Festival, which runs virtually from Wednesday, November 11 to Thursday, November 19. Ten supported films across many of our core programs— (Egg)celerator Lab films by emerging filmmakers, projects by advanced-career Chicken & Egg Awardees, and films from our inaugural Project: Hatched completion program—are official selections. Plus A Cops and Robbers Story, directed by directed by Ilinca Calugareanu, will make its world premiere at the New York festival! Learn more about the ten projects below, and get your tickets for DOC NYC here

Nest-supported Films

9to5: The Story of a Movement, directed by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar | Tickets here
“In the early 1970s, secretaries and other female office workers were underpaid, undervalued, unable to advance, and often subject to sexual harassment. In the wake of the Women’s Liberation Movement, a group of women in Boston finally had enough, joining together to begin 9to5, a movement that would sweep the nation with irreverent, attention-getting actions to demand meaningful change—and later inspire the eponymous hit film and song.”* 

A Cops and Robbers Story, directed by Ilinca Călugăreanu | Tickets here (World Premiere) 
In the 1980s, Corey Pegues found himself embroiled in a life of crime as a member of New York’s City’s infamous Supreme Team gang. After an incident forces Pegues away from the streets, he unexpectedly emerges as a rising star in the NYPD, his past unknown to his fellow officers. A decorated 21-year police career is threatened when his political stances and revelations about his former life cause strife within the police community. 

The Dilemma of Desire, directed by Maria Finitzo | Tickets here
An exploration of “cliteracy,” and the clash between the gender politics and the imperatives of female sexual desire.

Down a Dark Stairwell, directed by Ursula LiangTickets here
In 2014, Peter Liang, a Chinese-American police officer, shot and killed an innocent, unarmed black man named Akai Gurley in the dark stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project. In the midst of high racial tension surrounding police conduct, Liang becomes the first NYPD officer to receive a guilty verdict in such a case in over a decade. The highly publicized incident polarizes New York’s Asian and African American communities’ in this insightful look into the complexities of police reform.

Enemies of the State, directed by Sonia Kennebeck | Tickets here 
An average American family becomes entangled in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son is targeted by the US government.

Landfall, directed by Cecilia Aldarondo | Tickets here
Through shard-like glimpses of everyday life in post-Hurricane María Puerto Rico, Landfall examines a ruined world at the brink of transformation, spinning a cautionary tale for our times.

Stateless (Apátrida), directed by Michèle Stephenson | Tickets here
Through the grassroots campaign of electoral hopeful Rosa Iris, director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary reveals the depths of racial hatred and institutionalized oppression that divide Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal |Tickets here
Through the Night is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider, whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY.

The Letter, directed by Maia von Lekow and Chris King | Tickets here
Along the coast of Kenya, a frenzied mix of consumerism and Christianity is turning hundreds of families against their elders, branding them as witches as a means to steal their land. Ninety-two-year-old Margaret Kamango stands accused by her sons, while her strong-willed daughters try to protect her. This dangerous dispute is seen through the eyes of Margaret’s grandson, Karisa, who returns home from the city to investigate and is ultimately forced to choose which side he is on.

Once Upon A Time In Venezuela, directed by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos | Tickets here
Once Upon A Time In Venezuela follows residents of a small fishing village as they prepare for parliamentary election. Once the village of Congo Mirador was prosperous. Now it is decaying and disintegrating—a prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself.

AlumNest Films

AlumNest filmmaker Tiffany Hsiung’s short film Sing Me A Lullaby will make its US premiere; Call Center Blues, directed by Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Geeta Gandbhir will screen in the Shorts program; Dick Johnson is Dead (Kirsten Johnson), A Thousand Cuts (Ramona Diaz), and The Fight (Elyse Steinberg, Eli Despres, Josh Kriegman) are on the DOC NYC Short List for feature films; and our Co-Founder & Senior Creative Consultant Judith Helfand’s film Love & Stuff is an official selection under the Masters program (co-produced with our Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello).

*Language courtesy of DOC NYC.