TASNUVA SHEHRIN

(She/Her)

As Program Intern, Tasnuva provides logistical support for programming and grant applications. With a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and a minor in Anthropology from Brooklyn College, she brings a comprehensive understanding of media and cultural dynamics to the role. Following her graduation, Tasnuva embarked on a solo month-long journey to Italy, where she filmed a documentary about migrant workers. With past roles as a Festival Coordinator and Public Health Educator, as well as an internship at American Documentary, Tasnuva is well-versed in various aspects of the industry. Outside of her role, Tasnuva pursues her interests as an independent filmmaker and an amateur gluten free baker.

NATALIA WEAVER

(She/Her)

As Communications Intern, Natalia supports the Communications team on various projects and tasks, including assisting the dissemination of promotional materials for our community of filmmakers and executing social media campaigns. Natalia is currently a student at The New School pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Culture and Media and is beyond excited to be joining the Chicken & Egg Pictures team. Prior to studying at The New School, Natalia earned her Associates Degree in Communications. When she was 19, Natalia moved to New York from Orange County, California to pursue her passion in Film and Media. Since then, Natalia has worked on several creative projects ranging from short films, TV sets, to co-writing and starring in a stage play which premiered at the Black Box Theatre. Natalia seeks to challenge current perceptions of Mexico in Western media while also highlighting and bringing awareness to cultural issues through film.

JUDITH HELFAND

(She/Her)

Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand is best known for her ability to take on the dark and cynical worlds of chemical exposure, heedless corporate behavior, and environmental injustice and make them personal, resonant, and even entertaining. Three of her award-winning films had world premieres at Sundance, and all have been nationally broadcast on PBS, HBO, and The Sundance Channel and linked to rigorous engagement. Her films include The Uprising of ’34 (co-directed with esteemed veteran George Stoney), her groundbreaking personal film A Healthy Baby Girl, and its Sundance award-winning sequel Blue Vinyl, followed by Everything’s Cool (both co-directed with Daniel B. Gold). She has taught the art of documentary film at New York University, New School, and was the Filmmaker-in-Residence at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in 2007 and 2009. As much an educator and field-builder as she is a filmmaker, Judith co-founded Working Films and sits on the boards of Great Small Works and The Lower East Side Girls Club. Her latest film in progress is Cooked, a feature documentary about the politics of disaster for which she was awarded a MacArthur grant.

ELLIOT ZAYAS

(He/Him)

As Operations Assistant, Elliot supports the Chicken & Egg Pictures team with various financial, operational, and human resources activities, while fostering a positive, supportive environment for all team members. Elliot has prior experience in a variety of roles, including excavation at an archaeological World Heritage Site and working as a research assistant on a groundbreaking gender archaeology project. While earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Columbia University, Elliot was an active participant in the undergraduate arts community. He continues to pursue his creative interests in the experimental music scene. 

JENNI WOLFSON

(She/Her)

As the Chief Executive Officer of Chicken & Egg Pictures, Jenni leads the organization in the art of driving social change through narrative storytelling. Since becoming the organization’s first CEO in 2013, Jenni has grown Chicken & Egg’s annual grantmaking from $500K to $2 million and cultivated multiple partnerships including the MacArthur Foundation, Netflix, and LunaBar. She has also increased the community of supported women and gender minority filmmakers from 185 to 500, including filmmakers who have won the industry’s highest honors such as Peabody, Emmy, and Academy Awards. Under Jenni’s leadership, the organization has also garnered significant awards for its impact. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and BAFTA.

Previously, Jenni spent seven years as Managing Director at WITNESS, the international human rights video advocacy organization founded by musician Peter Gabriel. She began her career as a human rights activist, holding roles at UNICEF and the United Nations, including long-term missions on the ground in Haiti and Rwanda. She wrote and performed a solo play, “RASH,” about these experiences.

She holds an MA in Human Rights and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Strathclyde. She grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, and now lives in New York City.

 

HANNAH THOMAS

(She/Her)

Hannah leads storytelling at Chicken & Egg Pictures, strategizing the narratives that amplify our work, uplift our community, and contribute to making the film ecosystem a more equitable one. Previously, Hannah served in strategy leadership roles at social impact branding consultancies BBMG and Big Duck where she helped businesses, nonprofits, and philanthropies navigate complex, high-stakes challenges in order to make the world a better place. She’s worked with organizations across spheres of social justice, arts and culture, education, philanthropy, environmentalism, and beyond. She got her start learning the ropes of PR and marketing in the heart of NYC’s film community at BAM and Lincoln Center. Hannah studied Film and Comparative Ethnic Studies at Columbia University.

WILL TAMURA

(They/Them)

As Program Assistant, Will ensures accurate administrative and logistical support for the growing Program team’s efforts. These include application and selection processes; filmmaker retreats and events; and program, team, and filmmaker travel.

Prior to Chicken & Egg Pictures, Will resided in the San Francisco Bay Area, working as a Civil Rights Legal Assistant and Assistant Manager of an independent bookstore. They have also held Marketing and Distribution intern positions at Cinetic Media and A24 in New York City. Will holds a BA in Film and a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley, and an MA in Film and Media Studies from Columbia University. Outside of Chicken & Egg, Will can be found at any repertory cinema or perusing the shelves of a used bookstore.

 

ELAISHA STOKES

(She/Her)

As the Senior Program Manager at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Elaisha oversees the Chicken & Egg Award and the Research & Development grants for mid-career filmmakers. She believes that the documentary craft is a means to increase gender diversity and inclusion, both in the arts and in the zeitgeist.

Prior to this position, Elaisha served as Senior Producer for CBS Original Documentaries, where she oversaw several documentary series for Paramount+ and streaming platforms. Her documentary work has been featured on National Geographic, CNN, The New York Times, and Vice. She has received awards and grants from the Nation Institute, the Pulitzer Family, the Emmy Foundation, and the Ontario Arts Council. In 2018, she was a Sundance New Voices fellow and a Cine Qua Non screenwriting fellow. Her films have screened at BFI London, the Maryland Film Festival, the Brooklyn Film Festival, London Shorts, and Planet in Focus. Elaisha holds a Master’s degree in Documentary Filmmaking from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

 

TEREZA SIMIKOVA

(She/Her)

As an International Program Consultant, Tereza tailors the international strategy for participants of both the (Egg)celerator Lab and the Chicken & Egg Award programs. She designs their individual financing and distribution strategies, helping to find internationally comprehensible and compelling language for their stories, and facilitates a network of partnerships on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tereza has served in other capacities including Head of Industry & Training at CPH:DOX (2018-23), Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival; Head of East Doc Platform (2016-18), the largest co-production market in Central and Eastern Europe; and Program Manager of the international rough-cut workshop dok.incubator (2012-16). She has also been a member of programming committees for IDFA, Karlovy Vary IFF, and Doc Society, and a mentor at international documentary workshops such as EAVE, Documentary Campus, Ex Oriente Film, Doc Lab Poland, and Doc Lab Tel Aviv. Tereza is a filmmaker with a degree in documentary directing from FAMU, Prague.

 

MARIANA SANSON

(She/Her)

As Communications Manager, Mariana tells  the story of Chicken & Egg Pictures in social media, digital communications, and design. She joined Chicken & Egg Pictures after finishing an MA in Media Studies at The New School, where she also collaborated with the Documentary Studies program as Teaching Assistant and focused her studies on nonfiction media. Mariana worked for six years at Ambulante Documentary Film Festival, and also collaborated with Morelia International Film Festival. She was a 2022 Documentary Magazine Editorial Fellow. Mariana is a firm believer in the power of documentary as a tool for social change and the creation of collectivity.