About Chicken & Egg Pictures

Chicken & Egg Pictures shapes a more equitable and just world with the catalytic power of documentary films by providing funding, mentorship and industry access to a global community of women and gender-expansive filmmakers. Our work is done through an intersectional lens that acknowledges that various forms of inequity often operate together and exacerbate each other, slowing or even halting people’s careers. It is our mission to disrupt and help dismantle these barriers.

Filmmakers need resources, opportunities, and access to thrive in an unbalanced film landscape. So we match strategically timed grants with creative mentorship and community, building peer networks and bringing artists together to learn from and champion one another. This support system is tailored for the unique challenges women and gender-expansive people experience in their filmmaking and career trajectories.  

Since our founding, Chicken & Egg Pictures has awarded over $12 million in grants and devoted thousands of hours of creative mentorship to over 500 filmmakers from around the world. Films supported by our work have been nationally and internationally recognized with the industry’s highest honors, including Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and Peabody Awards. And they have raised visibility and driven social change on urgent issues. 

Since 2013, the organization has been led by Chief Executive Officer Jenni Wolfson. Under her leadership, our budget has grown and our programs have expanded, and our stellar team has won honors including the Social Impact Media Awards Vanguard Award and the International Documentary Association’s Amicus Award; we were also a finalist for the Nonprofit Excellence Awards.

Read more about our Team here.

Read more about our current strategic plan, including our programs, goals, and values here.

HISTORY

Chicken & Egg Pictures was founded in 2005 by documentary film industry veterans Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger, and Judith Helfand, who were inspired by a shared belief in the power of women storytellers. Based on their experience in filmmaking, teaching, funding, and impact producing, they identified an urgent need in the field: more financial and creative support for women nonfiction directors who face bias in the field due to their gender.

While those systemic barriers persist for women, there are many other people who are impacted by gender-based inequities in the documentary filmmaking industry. Our approach to achieving gender equity in the documentary field needed to evolve.

We previously expanded program eligibility to  non-binary people. But based on the inquiries we received from potential applicants and the trends we saw in applications, it’s became clear that our old eligibility criteria still fell short of serving all of the filmmakers our mission calls us to serve. So we set out to become a more gender-inclusive organization.

In January 2024, we announced that we expanded eligibility for all our programs to gender-expansive filmmakers. Read more here.

VISION, MISSION, & VALUES

MISSION & VISION

Chicken & Egg Pictures shapes a more equitable and just world with the catalytic power of documentary films by providing funding, mentorship and industry access to a global community of women and gender-expansive filmmakers.

VALUES

COMMUNITY

We nurture deep relational connections to grow to our fullest collective potential. We collaborate with our community of filmmakers, staff, Board, donors, partners and peer organizations to create lasting change.

COURAGE

We strive for strong ethical and moral courage in all decisions, actions and conversations we hold.

CURIOSITY & CREATIVITY

We support filmmakers who push the possibilities of nonfiction cinema through their authentic visions. We reflect deeply on our world and ourselves with new perspectives and approaches, while remaining aligned to our purpose.

EQUITY & JUSTICE

In an industry where access to resources has been systematically restricted and documentary filmmaking historically undervalued, our internal and external practices create an affirming and inclusive space for our artistic community.

INTEGRITY

We hold ourselves accountable to our commitments by examining the impact of our work. We use each opportunity as a learning experience to guide us toward a more equitable media industry.

GENDER EXPANSION

Chicken & Egg Pictures announces its new program eligibility to include gender-expansive documentary filmmakers

Chicken & Egg Pictures was founded in 2005 by documentary film industry veterans Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger, and Judith Helfand, who were inspired by a shared belief in the power of women storytellers. Based on their experience in filmmaking, teaching, funding, and impact producing, they identified an urgent need in the field: more financial and creative support for women nonfiction directors who face bias in the field due to their gender.

While those systemic barriers persist for women, there are many other people who are impacted by gender-based inequities in the documentary filmmaking industry. Our approach to achieving gender equity in the documentary field needed to evolve. 

We previously expanded program eligibility to trans women and non-binary people. But based on the inquiries we have gotten from potential applicants and the trends we have seen in applications, it’s clear that our old eligibility criteria still fell short of serving all of the filmmakers our mission calls us to serve. So we set out to become a more gender-inclusive organization. To better navigate this journey, we have spent the past year engaged in a comprehensive discovery process in partnership with experts at Reimagine Gender. 

This work included listening to filmmakers and learning more about the intersection of gender bias with other forms of prejudice and discrimination. We also learned about global variations in the understanding and discussion of gender. 

We are thrilled to announce, effective today, we have expanded eligibility for our programs to include gender-expansive filmmakers. Our working definition of gender-expansive is an umbrella term that includes any person whose gender identity or expression does not comply with the socially defined gender norms and roles of their culture.  

This is only the beginning. 

We are committed to ongoing learning and will continue to evolve our work, including revising our program selection criteria and design methodologies, our organizational practices and operations, and our brand identity in order to embrace the full spectrum of filmmakers who are impacted by systemic gender-based inequities.

As Jenni Wolfson, CEO of Chicken & Egg Pictures, says, “We believe that greater gender representation behind the camera disrupts and challenges cultural and systemic barriers, resulting in documentary films that better reflect the diversity and complexity of the human experience. Our expanded eligibility strengthens our ongoing commitment to champion filmmakers who tell stories of perseverance and hope, struggle and joy, and the quest for equity in a fractured world—in sum, filmmakers who use the power of documentary film to catalyze social change.”

A note about language:

The language of gender continues to evolve, and global differences require us to use language that is as accessible as possible. We considered many ways of naming who we support.  As we asked people in interviews and group discussions globally, we found that many regional language preferences were negatively perceived elsewhere. “Gender-expansive” is the best-understood term, so we will use it until another term gains greater global acceptance. 

Our new expanded eligibility will apply to open calls for the Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant and Project: Hatched, which we will be announcing very soon. Stay tuned! It will apply to all of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ programs moving forward.

Understanding Gender

Gender is a word you’ve probably heard a thousand times; discussions about gender are everywhere. But if you’re like most people, you may not have thought much about it, and what you’ve read and heard may have left you more bewildered than when
you started. We’re here to help.

Before we discuss what gender is, let’s start with what it isn’t since that is often a source of confusion.

SEX

People tend to use the terms “sex” and “gender” interchangeably. But, while connected, the two terms are not equivalent. Generally, we determine a newborn’s sex as either male or female (some US states and other countries offer a third option) based on the baby’s genitals, and we assume based on someone’s sex that they will develop certain biological traits (levels of certain hormones, specific physical characteristics appearing around puberty, etc.). While we are often taught that bodies can either be physically “female” or “male,” there are intersex traits that demonstrate that sex exists across a continuum of possibilities.

SEXUALITY/SEXUAL ORIENTATION

Gender and sexual orientation are two distinct, but related, aspects of self. Gender is personal (how we see ourselves), while sexual orientation is interpersonal (who we are physically, emotionally and/or romantically attracted to). While these are two different aspects of who we are, our sexual orientation is related to gender because it is defined by our gender and the gender(s) of people we are attracted to. Because of this relationship, new gender identity terms have expanded the language of sexual identities as well.

Gender Terms

Agender – A person who does not identify with a particular gender. 

Cisgender Refers to people whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were given at birth. For example, a male child who now identifies as a man as an adult.

Congruence – Gender congruence is the feeling of alignment in our gender, including a feeling of harmony in the three dimensions of our gender (body, identity and social).

Dimensions of gender – Our body, identity and social gender (how we present our gender in the world and how individuals, society, culture, and community perceive, interact with, and try to shape our gender) are three distinct, but interrelated, aspects of a person’s gender. Each of these dimensions is a spectrum and is related to, but distinct from, the others. A person’s comfort in their gender is related to the degree to which these three dimensions feel in congruence. 

Gender dysphoria – Dysphoria is a “state of feeling very unhappy, uneasy, or dissatisfied.” So, in the broadest sense, gender dysphoria is when someone feels very unhappy, uneasy, or dissatisfied in relation to their gender. This is something many people experience, including feeling a tension between how someone feels about their body compared to how society genders their body. Gender dysphoria, which can occur in relation to any dimension of gender, can encompass a broad range of feelings, from mild discomfort to unbearable distress; the intensity, pervasiveness, frequency, and triggers of gender dysphoria vary widely from person to person. Feelings of gender dysphoria can, and often do, change over time. 

Gender expansive – An umbrella term used for individuals who broaden their own culture’s commonly held definitions of gender, including expectations for its expression, identities, roles, and/or other perceived gender norms.

Gender expression – This is part of our social gender. How we present our gender in the world and how society, culture, community, and family perceive, interact with, and try to shape our gender. Gender expression is also related to gender roles and how society uses those roles to try to enforce conformity to current gender norms.

Genderfluid – People who have a gender or genders that change. Genderfluid people move between genders, experiencing their gender as something dynamic and changing, rather than static.

Gender identity – our deeply held, internal sense of self as masculine, feminine, a blend of both, neither, or something else. Identity also includes the name we use to convey our gender. Gender identity can correspond to, or differ from the sex we are assigned at birth. The language a person uses to communicate their gender identity can evolve and shift over time, especially as someone gains access to a broader gender vocabulary.

Gender literacy – the ability to participate knowledgeably in discussions of gender and gender-related topics. Gender literacy is not about expertise so much as it is about a stance of openness to the complexity of gender and the idea that each person determines for themself their own identity.

Gender role – The set of functions, activities, and behaviors commonly expected of boys/men and girls/women by society.

Genderqueer – An umbrella term to describe someone who doesn’t identify with conventional gender identities, roles, expression and/or expectations. 

Intersex – Current estimates are that approximately 1.7% of children are born with an intersex trait: chromosomes, hormones, genitalia and/or other sex characteristics that are not exclusively male or female as defined by the medical establishment in our society.

Non-binary – An umbrella term for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine.

Sex – An identifier to indicate whether a person is “male” or “female” (some US states and other countries offer a third option for people with intersex traits) at birth, this term refers to a person’s external genitalia and internal reproductive organs. While sex and gender are terms often used interchangeably, they are different aspects of who we are as people. A person’s gender may, or may not, correspond with their sex.

Sexual orientation – Our sexual orientation and our gender are separate, though related, parts of our overall identity. Gender is personal (how we each see ourselves), while sexual orientation is interpersonal (who we are physically, emotionally and/or romantically attracted to).

Transgender – Sometimes this term is used broadly as an umbrella term to describe anyone whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex. It can also be used more narrowly as a gender identity that reflects a binary gender identity that is “opposite” or “across from” the sex they were assigned at birth.

Transition – “Transitioning” is a term commonly used to refer to the steps a person takes in order to find congruence in their gender. This term can be misleading as it implies that the person’s gender is changing and that there is a moment in time when this takes place. More typically, it is others’ understanding of the person’s gender that shifts. What people see as a “transition” is actually an alignment in one or more dimensions of the individual’s gender as they seek congruence across those dimensions. A transition is taking place, but it is often other people (parents and other family members, support professionals, employers, etc.) who are transitioning in how they see the individual’s gender, and not the person themselves. For the person, these changes are often less of a transition and more of an evolution. Instead of “transitioning,” a more apt phrase is “pursuing congruence measures.” A person can seek harmony in many ways:

  • Social congruence measures: e.g. changes in clothing, hairstyle, and other forms of gender expression;
  • Identity congruence measures: e.g. change in gender identity, name and/or pronouns;
  • Medical congruence measures: e.g. the use of hormone “blockers” or hormone therapy to enhance or diminish desired physical traits;
  • Surgical congruence measures: e.g. the addition, removal, or modification of gender-related physical traits; and
  • Legal congruence measures: e.g. changing identification documents such as one’s birth certificate, driver’s license, or passport.

It is important to note, though, that a transition experience can be a very significant event in a person’s life. A public declaration of some kind where an individual communicates to others that aspects of themselves are different than others have assumed, and that they are now living consistently with who they know themselves to be, can be an empowering and liberating experience (and moving to those who get to share that moment with them).

Transphobia – Fear, dislike of, and/or prejudice against transgender people (and often any person who expresses their gender in ways that don’t conform to societal expectations).

FAQs

Gender

Who can apply to Chicken & Egg Pictures programs?

Women and gender-expansive filmmakers can apply to Chicken & Egg Pictures programs. “Gender-expansive” includes individuals whose gender identity or expression does not comply with the socially defined gender norms and roles of their culture.

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Why is Chicken & Egg Pictures expanding eligibility?

Chicken & Egg Pictures is a social justice, gender-focused organization. Supporting individuals impacted by gender-based inequities in the documentary filmmaking industry is now more important and urgent than ever. We believe that having greater gender representation behind the camera disrupts and challenges cultural and systemic barriers, resulting in documentary films that reflect the diversity and complexity of the human experience.

Our decision to support not only women but also gender-expansive filmmakers acknowledges the common barriers these filmmakers face. It aligns with the commitment, values, and mission of our organization. We remain steadfast in our dedication to champion filmmakers who share stories of perseverance, hope, struggle, and joy, and the pursuit of equity in a world fractured by ongoing political and societal discord. In short, we harness the power of documentary film to catalyze social change.

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I am not sure if my gender identity/gender expression falls within the gender-expansive umbrella. How can I determine if I am eligible to apply?

Our working definition of gender-expansive is that it is an umbrella term that includes any person whose gender identity (including but not limited to non-binary, trans, third gender/two spirit, agender) or gender expression does not comply with the socially defined gender norms and roles of their culture.

We recognize that each individual’s experience and relationship with their own gender is complex and deeply personal. We also understand that how one chooses to identify and express their understanding of their gender is multi-faceted and may not fit squarely within any definition we provide.

Our organization supports filmmakers impacted by systemic gender-based inequities in the documentary filmmaking industry. We request that you determine for yourself whether you belong to this group of filmmakers that our organization seeks to support. If you are unsure, please refer to the other questions in the FAQs on our website for additional resources.

Please note that whether or not you choose to identify as gender-expansive for the purposes of this application is solely determined by you as the applicant. We are unable to offer any recommendations or guidance on how you should define your gender identity/expression.

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Are trans men eligible?

Yes. In the past, Chicken & Egg Pictures supported women, including trans women/femme filmmakers, as well as non-binary filmmakers. With our expanded eligibility, we now also welcome trans/masculine filmmakers. All filmmakers impacted by systemic gender-based inequities in the documentary filmmaking industry, are eligible.

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Are intersex people eligible?

Filmmakers of any sex who identify as a woman (cis or trans) or gender-expansive are eligible for support. However, intersex individuals are not eligible based solely on their sex.

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Are sexual minorities (e.g. gay men, lesbians, etc.) eligible?

Filmmakers of any sexual orientation who identify as a woman (cis or trans) or gender-expansive are eligible to apply. Sexual minorities aren’t eligible based on their sexuality alone.

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If my gender identity or expression is fluid, will it impact my eligibility for a program I have already applied to or been selected for?

We ask filmmakers to self-identify during the application process. However, we understand that gender is fluid and how you identify or express your gender can change. A change in your gender once you have submitted your application or have begun participation in a program, will not effect your eligibility for a program. All applicants or grantees are welcome to inform our team about any changes.

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What information about me will be made public if I become a Chicken & Egg Pictures grant recipient?

Filmmakers selected for a grant are asked to submit specific materials at the start of their program. This information is necessary for our internal records and public announcements and is submitted through an internal intake form.

The information collected might differ for each program, but the following details about the individuals we support will be made public: name, bio, headshot, pronouns, and country of origin.

All provided information may be edited and will be used to create public or promotional materials like web pages, press releases, blog posts, and social media posts.

You will be able to review the edited public announcements before they are published.

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Team

STAFF

CONSULTANTS

CO-FOUNDERS

Board of Directors

Members of our Board of Directors serve an official role for Chicken & Egg Pictures, offering constructive feedback, guidance, and independent oversight of our work.

 

LESLIE BELZBERG

Board of Directors

Leslie Belzberg Board of DirectorsLeslie Belzberg currently oversees all television and theatrical productions for Gaumont USA as Senior Vice President, Production. Prior to Gaumont, Leslie was a consultant for Blumhouse Television and head of production at Miramax and Endemol-Shine North America.

Before moving into high-level executive roles at major studios, Belzberg was an independent producer, most well-known for her storied collaboration with director John Landis. Together, they co-created St. Clare Entertainment, a TV production company. She also produced many of his films including Coming to America, Three Amigos, Blues Brothers 2000, Beverly Hills Cop III, Susan’s Plan, The Stupids, Oscar, Spies Like Us, and Into the Night. Belzberg has also produced Academy Award®-winning films such as Crazy Heart, which earned Jeff Bridges a Best Actor win, and the documentary Genocide, also produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, now the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

Leslie earned an MBA from Fordham University in New York and a BA in English Literature and Contemporary Drama from York University in Toronto.

 

JULIE PARKER BENELLO

Co-Founder & Board of Directors

Julie is the Founder of Secret Sauce Media, her latest venture to produce and invest in surprising and timeless film projects. Julie co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures in 2005 with a shared belief that diverse women and nonbinary nonfiction storytellers have the power to catalyze change at home and around the globe. She is a producer on Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s Academy Award®, Gotham, and Independent Spirit winning feature documentary American Factory, streaming on Netflix in partnership with Higher Ground Productions and Participant Media. She produced Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk’s Emmy® Award winning USA Gymnastics documentary – Athlete A (Tribeca 2020, Netflix). More recently, she served as a producer on longtime collaborator Judith Helfand’s feature documentary Love & Stuff, which broadcasted on POV in 2022, and Sarah Jones’ feature debut Sell Buy Date (SXSW 2022, Cinedigm). She was an Executive Producer of United Skates (Tribeca 2018, HBO) and The Tale for Gamechanger Films (Sundance 2018, HBO). Earlier in her career, she co-produced Blue Vinyl, served as a Production Executive for the company Non Fiction Films, and was an archival researcher for the Discovery Channel series Cronkite Remembers. Julie lives in San Francisco, serves on the Board of SFFILM, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Documentary Branch and the Producers Guild of America.

 

NEKISA COOPER

Board President

Nekisa Cooper headshot, a woman with short hair and thick frames smiling at the cameraNekisa Cooper is an executive passionate about elevating underrepresented voices and creating content that inspires meaningful conversation. Nekisa’s most recent executive position was VP of Content at MasterClass, the number one e-learning brand, where she led at the intersection of art and commerce overseeing development, production, and post. Under Nekisa’s leadership, the industry-disrupting library was built from a concept to over 175 MasterClasses from such luminaries as Hillary Clinton, Bob Iger, Mira Nair, Spike Lee, Anna Wintour, Helen Mirren, Roxane Gay, Massimo Bottura, Stephen Curry, and John Legend. Prior to MasterClass, Nekisa was an award-winning independent producer, most notable among her credits are the feature film Pariah, part of the Criterion Collection and the American National Film Registry and winner of several awards from the Sundance Film Festival, Independent Spirit Awards, NAACP, and GLAAD, among others; the Sundance Channel documentary, Eventual Salvation; and the New York Emmy® award-winning Walt Frazier documentary Clyde’s New York. Before media-making, Nekisa worked in brand management for Colgate-Palmolive, L’Oreal, and General Electric; and held assistant women’s basketball coaching positions on the Division I, Division III, and high school levels. Nekisa has an MBA from Clark Atlanta University and a BA from The College of William & Mary.

 

FELIX ENDARA

Board of Directors

Félix Endara looks at the camera and smiles. Portrait in black and white.Félix is a bilingual creative professional splitting his time between his native Ecuador and New York City. He has worked in filmmaking, philanthropy, and arts administration, collaborating with organizations such as the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New Orleans Film Festival, and the Open Society Foundations. His films have screened at prestigious film festivals including Berlinale, DOC NYC, and Mill Valley. Félix is Chair of the Board of Working Films, an organization that convenes documentary filmmakers and grassroots activists to advance social justice. He is also the Co-Chair of the Trans/Intersex Task Force within the Global Philanthropy Project, which gathers funders whose goal is to expand philanthropic support to LGBTQI communities. An alum of the “Art of Leadership” at the Rockwood Leadership Institute, Félix has served on selection committees for Art for Justice, BlackStar Film Festival, Creative Capital, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, Tribeca Film Festival, among many others. He currently serves as Senior Program Associate for the Mesoamerica program at the Foundation for a Just Society, a private foundation that supports feminist movements around the world.

 

WENDY ETTINGER

Co-Founder & Board of Directors

Wendy Ettinger has been producing and executive producing narrative films and documentaries for over twenty years. In 2005, she co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures to fund and mentor women documentary directors. In 2013, Wendy co-founded Gamechanger Films, the first equity fund established to finance and invest in women narrative directors. Her films have premiered or screened at festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca, and have won numerous awards. She has served on international juries, and is humbled to have received accolades for her work in film and social impact. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

 

DAVID LEE

Board of Directors

David is the President and Co-founder of the Texas Signal, the largest progressive media entity in Texas. He focuses on strategic partnerships, business growth, and policy for the organization. Previously, David served as Senior Advisor to Beto O’Rourke for his 2022 Gubernatorial campaign, and he also worked on Beto’s Presidential and Senate races as well. David graduated from Georgetown University, majoring in Government and Political Theory, and received a Master’s degree in International Political Economy from Stanford University. David is on the boards of Texas Future Project, New Leaders Council (National Board), NextGen America, VoteSimple, Global Americans, Chicken and Egg Pictures, AAPI Victory Fund, Center for Asian American Media, Friends of the National Asian Pacific American Museum,  and the Philanthropy Workshop. In his free time, David is an avid aquarist and is on his 7th generation of neocaridina shrimp.

 

SUSAN MARGOLIN

Board Treasurer

Chicken & Egg Pictures Board Member Susan MargolinSusan Margolin is President of Docurama and Special Acquisitions at Cinedigm (NASDAQ: CIDM). She oversees the Docurama Channel, as well as the Docurama brand of award-winning documentary films across all platforms including theatrical, home entertainment, and digital distribution. Through Docurama, Margolin has championed more than 400 award-winning nonfiction films, including the 2012 release of Kirby Dick’s Academy Award®-nominated The Invisible War. Other notable releases include Pussy Riot: A Punk PrayerGasland, Wasteland, and Joe Berlinger’s Paradise Lost trilogy.

With over 25 years’ experience in the global film and television distribution business, Margolin has built a reputation as a digital distribution pioneer and dedicated supporter of filmmakers. After spending a decade in international film sales, she launched New Video Group in 1991 with partner Steve Savage. Over the span of two decades, New Video became a leading home entertainment distributor and global digital aggregator, featuring film, TV, and online content. During that time, she partnered with over 500 content creators including A+E, the History Channel, Lifetime, Tribeca Films, the Sundance Institute, Major League Baseball, and Scholastic. In 2012, Margolin and Savage sold New Video to Cinedigm, the leading digital cinema company.

A graduate of Brown University, Margolin currently serves on the boards of BAFTA NY and Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival, the advisory board of NYWIFT, and was honored by the PGA as one of the “Digital 25: Leaders in Emerging Entertainment.”

 

MARJAN SAFINIA

Board Secretary

Marjan Safinia Board of DirectorsMarjan Safinia is an Iranian documentary filmmaker whose films examine identity, community, and social justice. Her project And She Could Be Next  is about women of color running for political office to claim political power for a rising new American majority. Marjan’s feature documentary Seeds tells the story of ten brave teenagers from the world’s most troubled conflict zones living side-by-side for one life-changing summer. Her first film But You Speak Such Good English is a half hour documentary which explores the first-generation immigrant experience from an insider perspective.

Collectively, Marjan’s films have played at over 100 international film festivals and broadcast in North America, Europe, and across the Arab world. She has produced and directed work for Co-Founder of Google Sergey Brin, the Barack Obama administration, and Next Generation in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. Her work has been supported by the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund and Sundance Institute. She is also a Sundance Catalyst Fellow.

Until 2018, Marjan was the longest-serving President of the Board of Directors of the International Documentary Association (IDA), also the only woman of color to hold the position since the IDA was founded in 1982. She also co-hosts The D-Word, the preeminent online community for documentary professionals. Marjan is a regular juror, programmer, speaker and connector of all things documentary.

 

ALEX SIMON

Board of Directors

Alex Simon is a Director of the Media Portfolio at Emerson Collective. In this role, she develops new partnerships and provides support to Emerson Collective’s existing media grants and investments. Prior to Emerson Collective, Alex worked at Creative Artists Agency in the motion picture talent department and then helped start CAA’s virtual and augmented reality unit. Alex has directed, produced, shot and edited films that have screened in film festivals across the United States and abroad. She recently served on the feature nominating committee for the IDA Documentary Awards. She is a graduate of Stanford University, where she was a recipient of the Chappell Lougee scholarship, served as a teaching assistant in the graduate journalism program, and also worked on sexual violence education, prevention, and response. She lives in Los Angeles.

 

NANCY STEPHENS

Board of Directors

Nancy Stephens is an actor and president of the Rosenthal Family Foundation. Nancy is an advocate for both environmental sustainability and justice, as well as advocating arts for all. She and her husband, filmmaker Rick Rosenthal, have supported socially relevant documentary films such as the award-winning film The Square and the Oscar®-nominated short Open Heart, as well as being Executive Producers of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Dark Money, and Always in Season. Nancy is a political fundraiser in Los Angeles for Progressive Democrats and serves on the boards of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Americans For The Arts and the LA Arts for All Pooled Fund.

 

PATTY QUILLIN

Board of Directors

Board of Directors Patty Quillin Chicken & Egg PicturesPatty Quillin is the Director of Meadow Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Patty strongly believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive in healthy, just and sustainable communities. This vision has guided her philanthropic work for the past 25 years in a broad range of fields, from the environment and sustainable food systems to criminal justice reform and empowering women and girls.

An avid attendee of the Sundance Film Festival, Patty is inspired by the passion of filmmakers in their mission to educate audiences and galvanize change. She is a patron of Sundance Institute and Chicken & Egg Pictures and is a member of Impact Partners. While documentary film is Patty’s primary focus, she also supports narrative features created by women. She is an executive producer on the films Bending the ArcThe JudgeRoll Red RollUnited SkatesTre Maison DasanThis is Home, and others.

Supporters

We are so grateful to the supporters of our Nest. These generous and committed donors empower the work of women and gender-expansive filmmakers through both financial and moral support.

Supporter logos

Abby Ginzberg Abigail Disney & Pierre N. Hauser / Like A River Fund Alana Maiello Alexandra Shiva / The Susan Stein Shiva Foundation Alex Simon Allison Kadin Ambreen Qureshi Amy Augustino Amy Letourneau Amy Ziering Andrea Glimcher Anna & Dean Backer Anne Lai ANONYMOUS (6) Audrey & Danny Meyer Barbara Jones Memorial Fund Bernard & Jane von Bothmer Beth Castle Betsy Morgan & Jonathan Cary Brenda Robinson Bridgette Fry Carla Gutierrez Caroline Libresco Carrie Lozano Cathy Raphael Charlaine Prill Chicory Wealth Christina Kramlich & Peter Bowie Chris White Colleen Keegan Cornelia Ravenal / The Ravenal Foundation Dan & Meagan Nye David and Natasha Dolby Fund David Panda Lee Deborah Drysdale Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation Dolby Institute Dyllan McGee & Mark Weigel Elaine Nonneman Elizabeth King / Steiner-King Foundation Ellen & Andrew Celli Emerson Collective Frannie Hall Kieschnick Grace Lee Gwenn Cagann Hannah Celli Hemal Trivedi Holen S. Kahn Imagine Entertainment Irene Searles Jacki Zehner / The Jacquelyn & Gregory Zehner Foundation Jameka Autry Jane Greenberg Jean Tsien Jennifer Arnold Jennifer Gilomen Jennifer Redfearn Jessie Fairbanks Jill Sheinberg Joanne Feinberg Jonathan Friedman & Ilana Trachtman Judith Helfand Juliette Richey Justine Nagan Karen Hayes Katheryn Berlandi Katie Kita Kay Matschullat & Allan Arffa Ken Pelletier & Amanda Lao Kimi Takesue Kirsten Kelly Kristi Jacobson Laura & Michael Fisch Lauren Davis Lauren Lexton & Kevin MacCarthy LeLoni Smith Leslie Belzberg Lida & Dave Morgenstein Linda Gruber / The Gruber Family Foundation Lori Cheatle Luminate LUNAFEST Mable Chan / One in a Billion Productions, Inc. Malika Zouhali-Worral Marcy Carsey Marjan Safinia Martha W. King Mary Katzke Melissa Silverstein Michael Enten Michèle Stephenson Michelle Mercer & Bruce Golden Mindy & Jon Gray Molly O’Brien Monica Wolfson Nancy Morgan Ritter Nanfu Wang National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Netflix Nicole Betancourt Nikki Heyman Nion T. McEvoy & Leslie Berriman Pam Haas Schwab Patty Quillin / The Meadow Fund Paula D. Silver Peggy Newell Rafaela Evans & Vanessa Evans / Red Butterfly Foundation Ramona Diaz Rebecca Stern Rivkah Beth Medow Robin Hessman Roswitha Mueller-Agarwal & AJ Agarwal Sally Grimes Sarah Arison Sasha Cutter & Aaron Hsu Sheila Nevins Sky Sitney Starry Night Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation Stephen Hile Susan & Nicholas Pritzker / The Scorpio Rising Fund Susan E. Morrison Susan Henderson Susan Margolin & Neal Smith Susan Termohlen Suzanne Lerner Sylviane Destribats / The NDL Foundation Tena Green & Annie Cooper The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation The New York Community Trust / Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz Fund Thomas Campbell Jackson & Pamela Brandt Jackson Tiffany Fisher-Love Two Trees Cultural Space Subsidy Program Vaishali Sinha Wendy Ettinger / The Ettinger Foundation Wendy Wecksell World of HA Productions Yoruba Richen Yvonne Welbon
Abby Pucker / Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation Adam Beach Alessandra Zeka Alexis Galfas Alicia Dwyer Alyce Myatt Amy Anderson Amy C. Atkinson Amy Richards Anayansi Prado Angus Parker Anna Drabek Anne Roney Artemae & Jerry Anderson Barbara Dobkin / Dobkin Family Foundation Barrie Landry / Landry Family Charitable Foundation Beth Aala Beth Levison Brandee Barker Brian Anderson Bruce & Linda Lymburn Carol Banquer Caroline von Kuhn Cathy Greenwold Chandra Jesse Cheryl Miller Houser Christie Herring Christine Woodhouse Cinetic Media Constance Mortell Cynthia Lohr Dana Merwin David Chan Debbie Lum Denali Tiller Dina Dublon Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust Educational Foundation of America Elizabeth Canner Elizabeth Weatherford Elysa Hammond Erika Dilday Gabrielle Burton Gretchen Sisson Hanan Abdalla Hannah Y Kim Hilary Weinstein Holly Carter Ina Fichman J.R. Hardman Jael Weinberg James Costa Janet & Gottfried Tittiger Jenifer Westphal / Wavelength Productions Jennifer E. Wilson Jennifer Heller Wold Jen Rainin Jess Kwan Jill Tidman Joe Enten Jonathan Logan Family Foundation Julie Simpson Junemarie Justus Jyoti Sarda Katherine Borsecnik & Gene Weil Katie Dove-Hendon & Seth Hendon Katy Drake Bettner Keane Family Foundation Kim Hendrickson Kirsten Beckwith Kit Crawford & Gary Erickson Larry S. Enten & Judy A. Schlosser Laura Nix Lauren Embrey Lekha Singh Lena Cosentino Leslie DeBauge Lina Srivastava Liz & Robert Norton Louise Davis LUNA Bar Lynda Weinman & Bruce Heavin Maddy Feldman Marc Weiss & Nancy Meyer Marissa C. Wesely & Fred Hamerman Martha Spanninger Mary Ford Mehra den Braven Meredith Chin Michael Hirschhorn & Jimena Martinez Michelle Byrd Michelle Robinson MMHBO Fund Monica W. Faulkner Nancy Blachman & David desJardins Nancy Stephens, Rick Rosenthal & Jamie Rosenthal / The Rosenthal Family Foundation Natalie Orfalea Nekisa Cooper New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Nico Opper Nina Weiss Zoota Pallavi Somusetty Pam Yates Patrick Connolly Peggy Jennings in honor of Hazel Jennings & Dan Denegre Perspective Fund Rahdi Taylor Raphaela Neihausen Richard Ray Perez Robbie B Rob Quaintance Ruthy Somalo Samantha Berger / Berger Family Foundation Sara Terry Sharon Ferguson Maxwell Sian-Pierre Regis Sonja Perkins StenoCaptions LLC Sukey Novogratz Susan A. Meisel Susan Harrington Susan M. Sherrerd Susan Sheu & Brian Colker Suzanne LaFetra Collier / The LaFetra Foundation Sydney Fishman Tamar Renaud Teresa R. Luchsinger / Teresa Luchsinger Giving Fund The Katz Foundation The Thompson Family Foundation Thuy Tran Tracy & Mark Ferron Ursula Liang Wave Farm Media Arts Assistance Fund, a regrant of NYSCA Electronic Media/Film Wendy vanden Heuvel / JKW Foundation William & Eva Price Wyncote Foundation Yvonne Russo

EGGSPERTS

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 BARNES

Eggspert

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 BYRD

Eggspert

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 CHANOFF

Eggspert

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.

COLLEEN KEEGAN

Eggspert

Eggspert Colleen Keegan

Colleen Keegan is a corporate strategic planner and arts activist. Keegan is the Creator of the Creative Capital Strategic Planning Program for Artists and the Executor of the Theo Westenberger Estate and grants for art and conservation. Keegan is the Art Business Advisor for the TED Fellows Program and the Co-Chair of the TED Fellows Arts Committee. She is a partner in Keegan Fowler Companies. Previously, Keegan served as President of Pacific Arts Video Production and Washington Video Services. She also worked as a producer for MTV Networks, WETA, and Showtime. She has served on numerous Boards of Directors and advisory boards including New York Live Arts, the American Refugee Committee, ARTHOME, The Artist Book Foundation, the Center for Creative Arts Berlin, EMILY’S List, I.D.E.A.S. 40203, One Million Bones, MoveOpolis!, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Legal Momentum, Show of Force, Picture Projects, and the Texas Film Commission. She lectures on art and new markets at California College of the Arts, CalArts, and the Wharton Business School, among others.

CARA MERTES

Eggspert

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

Eggspert

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.

LOURDES PORTILLO

Eggspert

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 TrialThe Devil Never Sleeps; Corpus: A Home Movie for SelenaMy 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 RICHARDS

Eggspert

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

Eggspert

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 HopeIf 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.

JOEY SOLOWAY

Eggspert

Joey Soloway is the creator of Amazon Studios’ Golden Globe-winning Transparent, a dark, deep, silly family series about boundaries, love, and secrets. Joey won the US Dramatic Directing Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for their first feature, Afternoon Delight, which was released by Cinedigm/Film Arcade. They recently founded WIFEY.TV, a channel/brand for women. They are a three-time Emmy nominee for their work writing and producing Six Feet Under. They 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. They live with their family in Silver Lake.

JACKI ZEHNER

Eggspert

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.

PRESS

CONTACT:
press@chickeneggpics.org

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