Our Eggsperts participate informally as friends and allies, helping to conceptualize our future course and promoting our growth, visibility, and impact for the long-term.
Joslyn is a writer, producer, and Co-Founder of Louverture Films. She wrote the upcoming Indian feature The Cosmic Forest, and is the Writer and Associate Producer of the award-winning filmBàttu, directed by Cheikh Oumar Sissoko (Mali). Among the films Barnes has executive produced or produced are: the César-nominated Bamako, the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner and Academy Award®-nominated Trouble the Water, the international hit Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, the 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner The House I Live In, the award-winning Concerning Violence, and the forthcoming Narrow Frame of Midnight. She associate produced Elia Suleiman’s The Time That Remains and the 2010 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. She is currently producing This Changes Everything for Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein andShadow World for Johan Grimonprez. Before co-founding Louverture, Barnes served as a Program Officer and Expert Consultant at the United Nations. She has lived and traveled widely in Africa and Asia and has written numerous articles and contributed to books on trade, international development, and other social issues.
Michelle is the principal of Run It By Byrd, a strategic consultancy working with public, private, and nonprofit media and entertainment entities. For three years she served as Co-President of Games for Change, where she produced the organization’s annual festival and served as an executive producer of the Half the Sky Movement games. Prior to that, for 12 years she served as Executive Director of the Independent Filmmaker Project, where she was honored with a Made in NY award from Mayor Bloomberg for her leadership. Michelle has served on numerous film festival juries and funding review panels, including Tribeca Film Institute’s New Media Fund, Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Documentary Competition, USA Fellows, National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, and on the Advisory Boards of cinelan and Culture Shed. In 2008, Chicken & Egg Pictures presented Michelle with the first ever Good Egg Award to celebrate her work in independent film.
Rachel has been working in performing arts and film for 30 years. She is Founder and Director of THE OFFICE performing arts + film, a New York City-based programming, consulting, and production company. She is the Curator of Performing Arts and Film for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Director of Programming of the CenterSeries at the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance at Williams College, a Consultant to the Feature Film and Theater Programs for the Sundance Institute, a member of the New York Jewish Film Festival selection committee, and Curator of Music and Family programming at 92YTribeca. She is also the Artistic Director of Celebrate Brooklyn!, New York’s longest running free outdoor performing arts and film festival. Rachel is proud to serve on the Board of Directors of the 52nd Street Project, the Jewish Fund for Justice, the Builders Association, and Working Films. She recently served as Associate Producer for Phil on Film: Shorts, a collaboration with composer Philip Glass and the filmmakers Shirin Neshat, Atom Egoyan, Michal Rovner, and Peter Greenaway. Rachel is also a long time participant in the Theater Development Fund’s Open Doors program, which introduces underserved high school students to the theater.
As Director of Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative, Cara Mertes leads a global initiative that supports filmmakers and key organizations that sustain the art of contemporary-issue film and digital storytelling in the service of social justice goals. She was director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund from 2006-2013, annually supporting dozens of social issue films and designing Labs and creative support opportunities for more than 100 Sundance artists each year. While at Sundance, she spearheaded many global partnerships, including the Skoll Foundation Stories of Change partnership, the TED Prize Filmmaker Award and with BritDoc Foundation’s Good Pitch. Prior to Sundance, she was executive producer of the PBS “P.O.V.” documentary series from 1999-2006, where she received multiple Emmy awards, George Foster Peabody awards, duPont-Columbia awards and a Webby award. She has executive produced several Oscar-nominated films, including Street Fight; My Country, My Country; and The Betrayal – Nerakhoon. She served as executive director of American Documentary Inc., has produced and directed for PBS, produced “Independent Focus” for WNET/New York, and taught and written about independent documentary. A graduate of Vassar College and the Whitney Independent Study Program, she is completing a master’s degree in communications from Hunter College. She is a graduate of Harvard University’s Owner/President Management Program and a member of WGA East and AMPAS.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is the only female director to have been awarded two Academy Awards by the age of 37. Since 2001, she has made over two dozen multi-award winning films in over sixteen countries around the world. Her films include Student Athlete, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Song of Lahore, Saving Face, A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers and Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret.
In 2012, Time Magazine included Sharmeen in their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. That same year, the Pakistani Government awarded her with the highest civil honor “Hilal-e-Imtiaz,” or Crescent of Excellence. In 2013, the Canadian government awarded her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in the documentary film industry, and the World Economic Forum honored her with a Crystal Award for exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world at their annual summit in Davos. In 2017, the International Center for Journalists awarded her the Knight International Journalism Award for her work that led to legislative change. In 2017, Sharmeen was the first artist to co-chair the “World Economic Forum” at Davos. Sharmeen holds a BA from Smith College and two MAs from Stanford University. In 2018, Smith College awarded her an honorary degree in Fine Arts.
Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles, Lourdes Portillo is an award-winning filmmaker known for her signature hybrid style as a visual artist, investigative journalist and activist. Since her first film in 1979, After the Earthquake/ Despues del Terremoto, she has produced and directed over a dozen works, including 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; and Al Más Allá. Her most recent feature-length film, Señorita Extraviada, a documentary about the disappearance and death of young women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, received a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Havana International Film Festival, the Nestor Almendros Award at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and an Ariel, the Mexican Academy of Film Award. Lourdes’ work has screened at premiere cultural institutions and events around the world, including the Venice Biennale, Toronto International Film Festival, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in the New Directors/New Films program presented by the Film Society at Lincoln Center and the New York Museum of Modern Art. She has been honored with eight mid-career retrospectives, including exhibitions at the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, and in 2012 she was honored with a Retrospective of her films at NYMOMA.
Amy is the president of Soapbox: Speakers Who Speak Out and the director of educational outreach for MAKERS: Women Who Make America. Amy is also a writer, best known for her books on contemporary feminist issues, including Manifesta, Grassroots and Opting In. She is the creator of Ask Amy, an online advice column, and a founder of the Third Wave Foundation. Amy has appeared in a range of media venues, including Charlie Rose and Oprah, and was a consulting producer on the HBO documentaryGloria Steinem: In Her Own Words. In addition to Chicken & Egg Pictures, she serves on the Boards of Directors and Advisory Committees of the Sadie Nash Leadership Program, Feminist.com, Ms. Magazine, and Fair Girls.
Zainab Salbi has frequently been named as one of the women changing the world by leading publications ranging from Newsweek to People Magazine. Most recently,Foreign Policy Magazine named her as one of “100 Leading Global Thinkers.” At the age of twenty-three, Zainab founded Women for Women International, a humanitarian organization dedicated to women survivors of wars. Under her leadership (1993–2011), Women for Women International grew from helping 30 women upon its inception to helping more than 420,000 women and distributing more than $100 million in aid.
Zainab is the author of several books, including the bestseller Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny; Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (with Laurie Buckland); The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope; If You Knew Me You Would Care (with photographs by Rennio Maifredi); and an upcoming new book Freedom Is an Inside Job. She is also the Executive Editor and Host of the #MeToo, Now What? series on PBS, The Zainab Salbi Project with Huffington Postand AOL, and The Nida’a Show with TLC Arabia. She is currently the Editor-at-Large for Tina Brown’s Women in the World.
Jill Soloway is the creator of Amazon Studios’ Golden Globe-winning Transparent, a dark, deep, silly family series about boundaries, love, and secrets. Jill won the US Dramatic Directing Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for her first feature, Afternoon Delight, which was released by Cinedigm/Film Arcade. She recently founded WIFEY.TV, a channel/brand for women. Jill is a three-time Emmy nominee for her work writing and producing Six Feet Under. She co-created the theater experiences Real Live Brady Bunch, Miss Vagina Pageant, Hollywood Hellhouse, and Sit N Spin, and co-founded the community organization East Side Jews. She lives with her family in Silver Lake.
As President of the Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation, CEO of Women Moving Millions (WMM), and a Board Member at the Sundance Institute, Jackie dedicates her time and resources toward the advancement of women and girls.
In 1996, Jacki became the youngest woman and first female trader to be invited into the partnership of Goldman Sachs. After leaving the firm in 2002, Jacki became a founding partner of Circle Financial Group, a private wealth management firm. Jacki speaks, writes, and consults on issues relating to women, success in the workplace, and high-impact philanthropy, and has been a featured contributor for the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, Bloomberg, and others, as well as a speaker at TEDxWomen 2012. In addition to the Sundance Institute, she has served on the advisory boards of a host of gender and film organizations, including the Women’s Funding Network, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and Gamechanger, a feature film fund providing investment capital to female directors. An active investor in documentary films, she executive produced her first film, Ready to Fly, in 2012.In recognition of her leadership and philanthropic involvement, Jacki has received a number of awards and accolades, including most recently the Philanthropy Award from the Global Fund for Women.