Search Results for: black mothers

Black Mothers Love & Resist

SYNOPSIS

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.

Black Mothers is a participant of the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

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.

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.

Mija

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. 

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


Black Mothers Love & Resist

dir. & prod. Débora Souza Silva

prod. David Felix Sutcliffe

Still from Black Mothers Love & Resist

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. 

Black Mothers Love & Resist
is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Documentaries: USA section.


Midwives

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. 

Midwives
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.

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 (Black Mothers)

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.

A Half Dozen Nest-supported Films at Hot Docs This Year!

Hot Docs Film Festival, the largest doc festival in North America, is on now until May 9. Get your tickets here, and watch the following Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films at the virtual festival:

Still from Bangla Surf Girls
  • Apart, dir. Jennifer Redfearn | International Premiere
  • Bangla Surf Girls, dir. Elizabeth D. Costa | World Premiere
  • Between Fire and Water, dirs. Viviana Gómez Echeverry and Anton Wenzel | North American Premiere
  • Through the Night, dir. Loira Limbal
  • Writing with Fire, dirs. Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
  • Users, dir. Natalia Almada
AlumNest films:
  • In the Same Breath, dir. Nanfu Wang | International Premiere 
  • Until Further Notice, dir. Tiffany Hsiung
(Egg)celerator Lab granted films participating in the Hot Docs Forum:
  • Against the Tide, dir. Sarvnik Kaur
  • Black Mothers, dir. Débora Souza Silva
  • The Last Nomads, dir. Biljana Tutorov and Petar Glomazić 

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.

Eskape
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.

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

Commuted
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.

Black Mothers
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.                                                                            

Machtat
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.           

Polaris
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.

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. 

Announcing our 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab!


Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the fourth cohort of our (Egg)celerator Lab—previously known as Accelerator Lab—for emerging filmmakers. The (Egg)celerator Lab program is focused on identifying and supporting women and gender non-conforming nonfiction directors working on their first or second feature-length documentary.

This year’s (Egg)celerator Lab cohort is made up of 90% women directors of color; six first-time filmmakers and four second-time filmmakers; includes three directors telling LGBTQ stories; hails from seven different countries, including Colombia, Pakistan, and South Africa; and consists of women who have worked across the documentary landscape—from audio producers to cinematographers.

Loglines of the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees’ projects are below. Click on the project title to get to know these filmmakers and the projects they will be working on during their program year.

 

Milisuthando (Working Title) Milisuthando Bongela

Milisuthando (Working Title), directed by Milisuthando Bongela (SOUTH AFRICA)

In this coming-of-age story, Milisuthando—a black South African unaware of apartheid until it ended—explores how blacks and whites first lived together after 342 years of racial segregation.

 

Nausheen Dadabhoy An Act of Worship Chicken & Egg Pictures Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 unnamed-5.jpgAn Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy (US/PAKISTAN)

An Act of Worship follows a new generation of Muslim-American women activists who have been galvanized into action while anti-Muslim sentiments are on the rise.

 

#Mickey Betzabé García 2019 Accelerator Lab#Mickey, directed by Betzabé García (MEXICO)

Born in Sinaloa, Mickey found in internet a platform where she can explore her transgender identity and deal with her homophobic environment.

 

 

Paths of Fire and Water, directed by Viviana Gómez Echeverry (COLOMBIA)

Camilo is a young black man adopted by an indigenous family, who is now looking for his biological mother to understand who he really is.

 

We Are Inside Farah Kassem 2019 Eggcelerator LabWe Are Inside, directed by Farah Kassem (LEBANON)

Returning to Mustapha’s house in radicalised Tripoli, Farah decides to join her father’s all male poetry club: a living memorial of past times.

 

 

Untitled PRC Project Jessica Kingdon 2019 Accelerator LabUntitled PRC Project, directed by Jessica Kingdon (US)

Untitled PRC Project is a kaleidoscopic journey through China’s industrial supply chain, revealing paradoxes born from prosperity of the world’s emergent superpower.

 

MAMA BEARS DARESHA KYI 2019 Eggcelerator LabMama Bears, directed by Daresha Kyi (US)

Mama Bears explores the many ways in which the lives of conservative, Christian mothers are utterly transformed when they decide to accept their LGBTQ children.

 

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara LópezSilent Beauty, directed by Jasmin López (MEXICO/US)

Silent Beauty is an autobiographical exploration of one woman’s family history with child sexual abuse and a culture of silence.

 

 

PRAY AWAY Kristine StolakisPray Away, directed by Kristine Stolakis (US)

Pray Away tells the story of the history and continuation of the “pray the gay away” or ex-gay movement.

 

 

Sara: A Fearless Dream Sara Khaki Mohammad Reza Eyni (Egg)celerator Lab 2019

 

Sara: A Fearless Dream, co-directed by Sara Khaki (pictured above) and Mohammad Reza Eyni (pictured below) (IRAN/US)

 

 

Sara takes the first council seat as the first female in her native male-dominated Iranian village. Sara: A Fearless Dream captures her as she takes a dangerous road to success.

 

 

Our next Open Call for the (Egg)celerator Lab will take place in the spring of 2020. For additional information on the program, including application criteria, please visit our Programs page.

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

Fork Films Announces 2018 Grants

Fork Films announced yesterday $625,000 in grant funding to  sixteen documentaries “that align with the company’s dedication to promoting peacebuilding, human rights, and social justice.”

We are so proud to have supported seven films of the sixteen announced, as well as one filmmaker.

Born In China, directed by Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang (2017 Accelerator Lab)

How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.

How to Have an American Baby, directed by Leslie Tai (2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

How to Have an American Baby is a kaleidoscopic voyage that travels behind closed doors into the booming shadow economy that caters to affluent Chinese tourists who travel to the US on birthing vacations—in order to give birth and obtain US citizenship for their babies. Tracing the underground supply chain from Beijing and Shanghai to Los Angeles, the film weaves together vignettes and deeply private moments. In bedrooms, delivery rooms, and family meetings, the story of a hidden global economy emerges—depicting the fortunes and tragedies that befall the ordinary people caught in the web of its influence.

Lights Camera Uganda, directed by Cathryne Czubek and Hugo Perez (2017 Accelerator Lab)

Against all odds, former bricklayer and teacher Isaac Nabwana has turned his small home in the slums of Uganda’s capital city into the Wakaliwood action movie studio. After 10 years and 40+ films, Wakaliwood has become an overnight international media sensation, inspiring others around the world to follow in his footsteps. When New York film nerd Alan Hofmanis shows up on his doorstep one day, everything is bound to change.

Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope, directed by Hana Mire ( 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative and the 2017 Accelerator Lab)

If doing what you love put your life at risk, would you continue to do it? What if it would also endanger the life of your family and friends? Would you carry on? Or would you quit? These are the questions the women athletes of Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope face every single day as they are met with threats from members of the Al-Shabab militia in Mogadishu. Diving deep inside the Somali National Women’s basketball team’s first season since the civil war, the film follows veteran coach Suad Galow as she shepherds her team of fearless young women, and helps them to overcome the violent threats against them and reclaim their place on the international stage.

Reentry (working title), directed by Jennifer Redfearn (2018 Accelerator Lab)

Women are now the fastest growing population in the U.S. criminal justice system, increasing at nearly double the rate of men. The majority of women going into prison are serving time for drug-related charges. This immersive, character-driven film follows three women—who are part of a new reentry program in Cleveland, Ohio—as they prepare to leave prison, reunite with their children, and find jobs after serving time for drug-related charges.

Syrian Families Film (Untitled), directed by Megan Mylan

A look at war and displacement through the lens of parenthood from Megan Mylan, Academy-Award winning director of Lost Boys of Sudan and Smile Pinki. This feature documentary unfolds as a sequence of cinematic short stories revolving around Syrian families living in Turkey, Greece, the US, Germany, and Syria. Each chapter is an intimate portrait of parents—often mothers alone—as they work to rebuild their children’s lost sense of security and possibility. It is a story that is both urgent and timeless.

The Rashomon Effect, directed by Lyric R Cabral (2017 Accelerator Lab)

What happened when unarmed Black teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by White police officer Darren Wilson?

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Film, directed by Michèle Stephenson (Breakthrough Filmmaker Award, 2016) and Joe Brewster*

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project recounts the story of acclaimed poet, Nikki Giovanni and the revolutionary historical periods through which she lived—from the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movement, to present-day Black Lives Matter.

* Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Film but supports director Michèle through our 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program.

See the full slate of Fork Films’ newly supported projects here.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

Announcing our 2018 Accelerator Lab grantees!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the third cohort of our Accelerator Lab for first- and second-time filmmakers!

The Accelerator Lab is focused on identifying and supporting women nonfiction directors working on their first or second feature-length documentary. This program brings together ten projects helmed by first- or second-time directors, with a special focus on underrepresented voices.

“Community-building is key to this program,” says Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Director Lucila Moctezuma. “While the Accelerator Lab for first- and second-time filmmakers certainly helps women filmmakers to enter the industry pipeline, it also provides them with a community of support that helps them to stay in the pipeline. The reality of being a film director is that it can often feel daunting and isolating. By explicitly encouraging peer-to-peer mentorship among our cohort, we provide emerging filmmakers with a chance to bond with and learn from one another, to help one another carve a space for themselves in the industry, and to equip them with the strength of a community they can rely on throughout their careers.”

Synopses of the 2018 Accelerator Lab grantees’ compelling projects are below, and you can get to know the directors by viewing the linked project pages. Grantees will work on these films during their program year.

Our next open call for the Accelerator Lab will take place in the spring of 2018. For additional information on the program, including application criteria, please visit our Programs page.

Congratulations to our newest grantees, and wishing you a fantastic year!

 

Ilinca Calugareanu

A Cops and Robbers Story, directed by Ilinca Calugareanu (ROMANIA / UK)

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?

 

Siyi Chen

People’s Hospital, directed by Siyi Chen (CHINA / US)

As the Chinese society criticizes dysfunctional hospitals, a doctor’s daughter revisits the small-town hospital where she grew up—this time with a camera, in the middle of a chaotic ER.

 

Sonia Kennebeck

Enemies of the State, directed by Sonia Kennebeck (MALAYSIA / GERMANY / US)

An average American family becomes entangled in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son is targeted by the U.S. government.

 

 

The Youth, directed by Eunice Lau (SINGAPORE / US) and Arthur Nazaryan (US)

The Youth is an unflinching look at the forces that drive one to adopt an extreme ideology. Through the eyes of a father who seeks to understand how his son is radicalized by the propaganda of the Islamic State Army, The Youth reveals how a Muslim American family is affected by the geopolitics and polemics that fuel the resurgence of reactionary and right-wing political movements. Through this intimate lens on the Somali community in Minnesota, The Youth explores the racism and prejudices against immigrants, the rise of radical Islam, and what it means to be Muslim in contemporary America.

 

Madeleine Leroyer

Number 387, directed by Madeleine Leroyer (FRANCE)

This is the story of a Greek physician who collects pendants and bracelets.
This is the story of an Italian woman who has been fighting for 15 years to “make bodies talk.”
This is the story of those who watch over the forgotten migrants.
Since the beginning of 2016, 3,649 migrants have died while attempting to reach Europe by sea. 3,649 names, the vast majority of which have been diluted in the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean.
What happens to the dead? Who identifies them?
What do the mothers, the brothers do to try to find their missing loved ones?
For years, medical examiners have been trying to give back a name, dignity, a memory to these forgotten souls.
This film tells their story.

 

Marie Lidén

Electric Malady, directed by Marie Lidén (SWEDEN / UK)

Director Marie Lidén grew up with a mother who suffered from an illness that the world did not recognize—Electrosensitivity. Years later, in a technologically advanced world, Marie gives a poignant account of the lives of two electrosensitives: William, a 41-year-old Swedish man, and Tyler, a 13-year-old Canadian boy. Using Marie’s own family story as a thread, the film explores William and Tyler’s isolated worlds and their families’ unrelenting commitment to help their children.

 

Loira Limbal

Through The Night, directed by Loira Limbal (US)

To make ends meet, Americans are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of non-stop 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.

 

Jacqueline Olive

 Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive (US)

As the trauma of a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present, Always in Season follows relatives of the perpetrators and victims in communities across the country who’re seeking justice and reconciliation in the midst of racial profiling and police shootings. In Bladenboro, NC, the film connects historic racial terrorism to racial violence today with the story of Claudia Lacy who grieves as she fights to get an FBI investigation opened into the death of her seventeen-year-old son, Lennon Lacy, found hanging from a swing set on August 29, 2014. Claudia, like many others, believes Lennon was lynched.

 

Jennifer Redfearn

Reentry (working title), directed by Jennifer Redfearn (US)

Women are now the fastest growing population in the U.S. criminal justice system, increasing at nearly double the rate of men. The majority of women going into prison are serving time for drug related charges. This immersive, character-driven film follows three women—who are part of a new reentry program in Cleveland, Ohio—as they prepare to leave prison, reunite with their children, and find jobs after serving time for drug related charges.

 

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh (INDIA)

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.

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