About Chicken & Egg Pictures

Chicken & Egg Pictures supports women nonfiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change. We envision an inclusive media industry in which women and gender nonconforming filmmakers, representing a range of experiences and backgrounds, are fully supported to realize their artistic goals, and build fulfilling careers in the documentary film industry.

Since 2005, Chicken & Egg Pictures has awarded $7 million in grants and thousands of hours of creative mentorship to over 300 filmmakers. Films supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures have won numerous awards, including Academy and Emmy Awards, but more importantly, they have resulted in change for the issues they address.

See here for an overview of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ three year strategic plan, including programs, goals, and values.


Chicken & Egg Pictures was founded in 2005 by Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger, and Judith Helfand in New York City and San Francisco.

Coming from the worlds of filmmaking, teaching, funding, and impact producing, they brought together a unique combination of skills, experiences, and access to address what they identified as an urgent need in the documentary industry. They recognized that while nonfiction filmmaking is a powerful tool for social change, the players behind the camera were not reflecting the world these films were shedding light on: women, women of color, and women from varying socioeconomic backgrounds were acutely underrepresented in the most crucial roles of the nonfiction ecosystem. Further, there was a lack of consistent financial support for women directors—especially at critical moments of development and completion, and a need for fostering mentorship and community so that women not only enter but remain in the field.

Julie, Wendy, and Judith were convinced that in order for underrepresented voices to thrive, they needed to create a dedicated space for women filmmakers to experiment and build authentic face-to-face relationships with industry leaders, funders, and other filmmakers. And that is what they set out to do.

In the beginning Chicken & Egg Pictures was set up as a fiscally sponsored project of the Tides Center / Tides Foundation in San Francisco, and relied exclusively on funds raised from individuals, donor advised funds, and family foundations. In 2005, the first grants to filmmakers totaled $41,000. Since then, Chicken & Egg Pictures has awarded $7 million in grants and provided thousands of hours of creative mentorship to over 300 filmmakers. Films supported by the organization have been nationally and internationally recognized, including winning Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and Peabodys; but more importantly, they have resulted in change for the issues they address. 

In 2013, Jenni Wolfson was hired as the organization’s first Executive Director. Under her leadership, Chicken & Egg Pictures has launched innovative programming with a focus on community building and cohort support; substantially grown its budget and staff; been recognized for its excellence in nonprofit management; and diversified funding streams to include the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and MacArthur, Knight, and Ford Foundations, as well as government funding including the NEA and NYSCA, and corporate funding from Clif Bar & Company.

In the last fourteen years, Chicken & Egg Pictures has evolved and grown exponentially. But the philosophy that the founders launched the organization with still remains—a great woman and her perspective can help change the way we see and experience the world and more fully reflect the world we live in.




Executive Director

As the Executive Director of Chicken & Egg Pictures, Jenni sets the overall vision of the organization and ensures the achievement of its mission. Jenni builds and leads a talented team in implementing Chicken & Egg Pictures’ strategic plan, building financial sustainability, and engaging the film and human rights communities of which Chicken & Egg Pictures is a dedicated member. Before joining Chicken & Egg Pictures, Jenni was the Managing Director of WITNESS, the international human rights video advocacy organization co-founded by musician Peter Gabriel. Jenni has worked for UNICEF, protecting the rights of children affected by armed conflicts and natural disasters, and has served in numerous posts around the world for the United Nations, including the UN International Civilian Mission in Haiti and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Rwanda. Jenni wrote and still performs a solo play, RASH, about her experiences as a human rights activist. She has an MA in Human Rights and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Strathclyde.


Development & Operations Assistant

As the Development & Operations Assistant, Stephanie provides logistical support for projects related to fundraising and nonprofit management. Prior to joining Chicken & Egg Pictures, Stephanie held positions at the Chicago International Film Festival and at Kartemquin Films. During her time at Kartemquin Films, she was an Associate Producer on the documentary feature The Dilemma of Desire.



Program Director

As Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Lucila oversees the planning and implementation of the organization’s programs in support of women nonfiction filmmakers. Originally from Mexico City, Lucila has collaborated with New York’s independent film community since 1996. Prior to joining Chicken & Egg Pictures, she was Executive Producing Director at the internationally renowned UnionDocs, Center for Documentary Art, in Brooklyn. Formerly, she was Manager of the Production Assistance Program at Women Make Movies, a program that provides support to women filmmakers in the development of their projects. She was Director of the Media Arts Fellowships for the Rockefeller Foundation, a highly prestigious program that supported media artists in the U.S. and Latin America, and she is Founder and was Coordinator of the TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund for the Tribeca Film Institute. Lucila is in the documentary selection committee of the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico, and sits on the founding Executive Board of Cine Qua Non Lab, a residency for international filmmakers based in Michoacán, Mexico; she was Vice President of the Board of Trustees of The Flaherty and was the U.S. Delegate for the Huesca International Film Festival in Spain. Her work as Associate Producer includes the documentary series The New Americans for Kartemquin Films, and Shocking and Awful for Deep Dish TV, which was part of the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Lucila holds a degree in Philosophy at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where she taught until 1996.


Communications Assistant (P/T)

As Communications Assistant, Morgan supports Chicken & Egg Pictures’ communications efforts by crafting newsletters, writing blog posts, and managing the organization’s online presence—including open calls, campaigns, and more. Morgan came to Chicken & Egg Pictures as a Communications Intern in 2017 and is a documentary filmmaker and student at Brooklyn College. Her credits include Assistant to Abigail Child on her experimental documentary ACTS & INTERMISSIONS: Emma Goldman in America (MoMA’s Doc Fortnight, 2017) and Archival Producer on Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy (SXSW and HotDocs, 2019). She has screened for Chicken & Egg Pictures’ (Egg)celerator Lab for first- and second-time filmmakers and Black Public Media’s Incubator 360+. In 2020, Morgan launched Letters from the AlumNest, a blog series from the perspective of some of our Nest-supported filmmakers. 


Program Manager

As Program Manager, Sabine plays a key role in the planning and implementation of several programs supporting Chicken & Egg Picture’s goal to provide creative, professional, and financial support to filmmakers at strategic junctures in their careers. She currently manages the (Egg)celerator Lab for first- and second-time filmmakers, the Chicken & Egg Award for advanced-career filmmakers, and the Project: Hatched program for films in completion. Prior to 2020, she coordinated and led all logistics for Chicken & Egg Pictures’ flagship programs, including open calls, creative retreats, and direct support to filmmakers; launched an online platform for the AlumNest program; and oversaw the Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative for Philadelphia-based filmmakers supported by Knight Foundation. 

Before joining Chicken & Egg Pictures, Sabine gained diverse experience in the nonfiction field: from Production Assistant and Field Researcher at Loki Films to Box Office Manager at the Margaret Mead Film Festival to working with the programming staff at America ReFramed. She has been a screener for the Margaret Mead Film Festival, America ReFramed, and POV. In 2019, Sabine was selected to be a participant in Film at Lincoln Center’s 4th annual Industry Academy and participated in Creative Capital’s Taller, a career development program for Spanish-speaking Latinx artists in New York City. Sabine is an emerging filmmaker currently working on a film about emotional inheritance and is passionate about analog photography. She is Colombian and French, and holds a BA in Sociology from the Université Paris-Diderot, as well as a MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Barcelona. 


Program Assistant

As Program Assistant, Iva provides logistical and administrative support for programmatic activities related to Chicken & Egg Pictures’ portfolio of programs, including program application and selection processes, filmmaker retreats and events, and program, team, and filmmaker travel. Prior to Chicken & Egg Pictures, Iva worked as the Oral History Coordinator for the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries, where she was involved in the recording and digital preservation of interviews in the oral history archive. Iva received her BA in Anthropology and ABJ in Mass Media Arts from the University of Georgia, where she also studied Spanish and Portuguese.


External Relations Manager

As External Relations Manager, Cindy Choung supports the Chicken & Egg Pictures team in its fundraising and communications efforts. Cindy came to Chicken & Egg Pictures from the world of oral history storytelling, arts, and social justice. As an oral historian and storytelling consultant, she has worked with numerous organizations to strengthen their institutional narrative and identity, including the Brooklyn Museum; Columbia University’s Center for Democracy, Toleration, and Religion; the US Campaign for Burma; the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History; the Washington Peace Center; and 350.org. Cindy is a member of A-DOC: Asian American Documentary Network, Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change, and the Asian American Oral History Collective. As the External Relations Manager, she is excited to develop and share Chicken & Egg Pictures’ inspirational narrative of supporting women nonfiction filmmakers to tell their own unique stories.


Donor Engagement Officer

As Donor Engagement Officer, Rebecca works with the development team and Board of Directors to support fundraising efforts, write proposals, and cultivate the organization’s growing donor base. Rebecca joins Chicken & Egg Pictures after working as Director of Sales + Marketing at documentary distributor and international sales agent Cargo Film & Releasing, where she worked on projects including Joe Berlinger’s Intent to Destroy, Call Her Ganda (Tribeca Film Festival, 2018), Netizens (Tribeca Film Festival, 2018) and Becoming Who I Was (Berlinale, MoMA DocFortnight, 2018). On the side, Rebecca programs film series, serves on the screening committee of Human Rights Watch Film Festival and writes criticism about the intersections between documentary, digital art and the body for journals including Agnes Films, Precog, and Duplex Magazine. Rebecca holds a BA from Colorado College, where she studied Sociology and Film. The findings of her undergraduate thesis on gender bias in film criticism were published in a letter in the New York Times.


Director of Operations & Innovation

As Director of Operations & Innovation, Sarah ensures that Chicken & Egg Pictures’ internal systems effectively support its mission. Aiming to implement the best innovations in nonprofit practices, she oversees the achievement of goals for operational efficiency, personnel development, and financial performance. Since 2014, she has overseen and implemented a range of projects, including the development of the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan; incorporating Chicken & Egg Pictures, Inc.; and establishing the operations for the 501(c)(3) when the organization spun from its fiscal sponsor in 2016. She has also worked on the Impact & Innovation Initiative, which supported directors exploring and shaping new forms of nonfiction media.

Prior to Chicken & Egg Pictures, Sarah worked for the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), a human rights and accountability organization, where she managed the Program Office and the media initiative Pivot Pictures. At ICTJ, she was Associate Producer for the feature documentary La Toma, which screened at the Cartagena and Human Rights Watch International Film Festivals. Originally from Detroit, Sarah holds a BA in History from the University of Michigan and Diplôme du Programme International from the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).



Co-Founder & Board President

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 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 Award, and Independent Spirit Award winning feature documentary American Factory, now streaming on Netflix in partnership with Higher Ground Productions and Participant Media. She is currently producing Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk’s USA Gymnastics documentary Athlete A, as well as longtime collaborator Judith Helfand’s feature documentary Love & Stuff. 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 Discovery Channel series Cronkite Remembers. Julie lives in San Francisco, where she serves on the Board of SFFILM. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Documentary Branch.


Co-Founder & Senior Creative Consultant

Judith Helfand Senior Creative Consultant Chicken & Egg PicturesPeabody 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 The Uprising of ’34 (co-directed with esteemed veteran George Stoney), her groundbreaking personal film A Healthy Baby Girl, 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.



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.



Senior Creative Consultant

Yvonne Welbon is an award-winning independent filmmaker, producer, educator, entrepreneur, and consultant. She has successfully produced and distributed over 20 films including Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @100, winner of ten best documentary awards and Sisters in Cinema, a documentary on the history of black women feature film directors. Her films have been shown on PBS, Starz/Encore, TV-ONE, IFC, Bravo, the Sundance Channel, BET, HBO, and in over 100 film festivals around the world. As a consultant for independent filmmakers, her focus is distribution and niche marketing, employing new media and social networking techniques. Welbon has taught at University of Chicago, Northwestern University and chaired the Journalism and Media Studies Department at Bennett College for Women  as a tenured Associate Professor. Welbon received a B.A in History from Vassar College. She completed a Masters of Fine Arts degree in film and video at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Radio/TV/Film at Northwestern University. She is also a graduate of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women.


International Program Consultant

Tereza SimikovaAs International Program Consultant, Tereza tailors the international strategy for participants of both the Chicken & Egg Pictures Accelerator Lab and Breakthrough Filmmaker Award programs. She designs their individual program at both Sheffield Doc/Fest and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), helping to find internationally comprehensible and compelling language for their stories and facilitating a network of partnerships for the production, distribution, and financing strategy on both sides of the Atlantic. Tereza is also Head of CPH:FORUM, CPH:DOX’s financing and co-production event. Prior to this role, Tereza served as Head of Industry at East Doc Platform, the largest co-production market and pitching forum focused on Central and Eastern Europe. From 2012 to 2016, she was Program Manager for the acclaimed international rough-cut workshop dok.incubator. Tereza is a filmmaker with a degree in documentary directing from FAMU, Prague.


Co-Founder & Senior Creative Consultant

See Judith’s bio above under 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.


Co-Founder & Board President

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 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 Award, and Independent Spirit Award winning feature documentary American Factory, now streaming on Netflix in partnership with Higher Ground Productions and Participant Media. She is currently producing Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk’s USA Gymnastics documentary Athlete A, as well as longtime collaborator Judith Helfand’s feature documentary Love & Stuff. 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 Discovery Channel series Cronkite Remembers. Julie lives in San Francisco, where she serves on the Board of SFFILM. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Documentary Branch.


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.


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.”


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.


Board of Directors

Meredith Chin is a documentary producer, currently producing the feature documentary, Duty Free. Meredith began her career in communications at Facebook. As one of the first hundred employees, Meredith helped take the company from a college directory to a global phenomenon with over one billion users. She also led communications for Instagram after it was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Prior to Duty Free, Meredith consulted for several early-stage tech start-ups to develop company narratives and support in growth and social strategies. She currently also invests in and advises startups led by women and people of color. Meredith holds a BA in journalism from Penn State University. She lives in Los Angeles.


Board of Directors

Kit Crawford, is Co-owner and board member of Clif Bar & Company, a leading maker of nutritious and organic foods. Kit and her husband also co-founded Clif Family Winery in St. Helena, Calif. Kit is president of the Clif Family Foundation supporting thousands of grassroots organizations through Clif Bar& Company’s philanthropic activities. She serves as a strategic advisor to LUNAFEST® established in 2000, a national film festival of short films by, for, and about women that, to date, has raised over $4 million for grassroots organizations. Kit previously served as board member and Co-CEO of Clif Bar & Company from 2007-2013 and from 2018-2020. She served on the board and was co-Visionary Officer from 2013-2018. In these roles, Kit led the company across all aspects of the business with a strong focus on driving the company’s values, including the decision to make all employees owners part of an ESOP, Employee Stock Ownership Plan. She was an  instrumental leader in designing and building Clif Bar’s award winning environmentally-friendly bakery in Twin Falls, Idaho. Kit is widely recognized for her leadership and vision around creating healthy and inspiring work places.  In 2012 she was inducted  into Social Venture Networks’ Hall of Fame as a “Workplace Champion”; she received the Breast Cancer Fund Hero Award in 2011 and she was recognized by the East Bay Business Times as one of their “Women of Distinction”. Kit is a celebrated thought leader on the power of business as a catalyst for creating a healthier and more sustainable world.


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.


Board of Directors

David is the founder and former Executive Director (2008-2015) of The Stinky Peace Project™. The project converts organic waste into usable cooking and heating fuel in the form of biomass briquettes in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Previously, David was a Special Advisor to the Ministry of Energy of Thailand, developing their biomass energy portfolio in Northern Thailand. David graduated from Georgetown University in 2011, where he studied Government and Political Theory, and he received a Masters in International Policy focused on International Political Economy from Stanford University in 2016. David is on the Board of To Educate All Children, and is a member of The Philanthropy Workshop. David is a social justice documentary film funder and his other philanthropic interests lie in hunger and homelessness and toxic stress issues.


Board of Directors

Nion McEvoy is the Chairman & CEO of Chronicle Books LLC and of The McEvoy Group LLC. Chronicle Books, based in San Francisco, California is known for its excellence in design and the strong popular appeal of its titles, including such best-sellers as The Beatles AnthologyPress Here, and Plenty. Photo titles include David Maisel’s Library of Dust, Elinor Carucci’s Closer, Jim Marshall’s Proof, and Andrew Zuckerman’s Creature. Mr. McEvoy joined Chronicle Books in 1986, and served as Editor-in-Chief of the adult trade division. In 2000 he acquired the company through The McEvoy Group, which also includes  I See Me, Galison/Mudpuppy, and Princeton Architectural Press.

Mr. McEvoy worked previously in the business affairs departments of the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills and of Wescom Productions. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and of UC Hastings College of the Law. He is currently Chairman of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s (SAAM) Board of Commissioners and serves on the boards of Aperture, San Francisco Film Society, SFMOMA, and the UCSF Foundation. He is also on the accessions committees at SFMOMA and SAAM. He has two sons and a daughter, and plays drums in two elusive bands, Rough Draft and Thinking in Pictures.


Board of Directors

Roswitha has over 25 years of financial analysis and investment management experience. After six years at Merrill Lynch’s Emerging Markets Investment Banking and Capital Markets divisions, in 1999 she joined the Board of Directors of Research Partners International, an investment and brokerage firm specializing in funds management and private placements. In November of 2013, she joined the Finance Committee on the Board of Directors of Friends of the Highline. Roswitha holds an MA in comparative literature from the University of Basel in Switzerland, as well as an MBA from Dartmouth College. She is fluent in German, French, Spanish, and English.


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.


Board of Directors

Brenda Robinson is an entertainment attorney whose law practice focuses on intellectual property and entertainment matters on behalf of clients in the film, television and music industries. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and obtained her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Brenda is a partner in Gamechanger Films, an equity fund that finances feature films and television series by women and diverse storytellers. She is also active in the Sundance Institute as a member of the Women at Sundance Leadership Council and separately serves as an advisor to The Redford Center. As a dedicated philanthropist in the arts and entertainment community and advocate on behalf of creative artists, Brenda currently serves on the boards of Film Independent, The Representation Project and the International Documentary Association (IDA). She is a founding advisory board member of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. She is also a proud board member of Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival and currently serves as legal counsel to the festival, known as the longest running international competitive film festival in North America. Brenda was most recently a financier on the Academy Award-winning documentary Icarus as well as Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Step. She is an executive producer on numerous projects including United Skates, alongside executive producer John Legend; The Great American Lie by director Jennifer Siebel Newsom; Jump Shot: The Kenny Sailors Story, alongside executive producer Steph Curry and Marian Anderson: The Whole World In Her Hands for PBS’ American Masters series.


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.


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.


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.



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.



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 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 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 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 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.



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.



July 8, 2020
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January 21, 2020
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May 1, 2019
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January 23, 2019

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October 14, 2018
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May 22, 2018
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April 25, 2018
The Grant Will Go Towards the Accelerator Lab Supporting Ten Nonfiction Projects Helmed by Women Filmmakers
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April 18, 2018
Supported filmmakers will come together to workshop their projects that explore stories taking place in Turkey, the Texas-Mexico border, New Orleans, the South Bronx, and Kenya
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February 21, 2018
Ten Nonfiction Projects Helmed by Women Filmmakers From All Over the World Will Receive Up to $35,000 in Grants, Creative Support, and Mentorship
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January 12, 2018
The Award Comes with a $50,000 Unrestricted Grant and Year-Long Individualized Professional Mentorship Designed to Support Women Filmmakers in “Breaking Through” to the Next Stages of Their Careers
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May 8, 2017
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April 28, 2017
The Grant Will Go Towards the Accelerator Lab Supporting Ten Nonfiction Projects Helmed by Women Filmmakers

March 9, 2017
Ten Nonfiction Projects Helmed by Women Filmmakers Will Receive Grants, Creative Support, and Mentorship

February 7, 2017
Chicken & Egg Pictures proudly announces a generous multi-year grant of $600,000 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in support of three programs: The Accelerator Lab, Diversity Fellows Initiative, and the Impact and Innovation Initiative.

February 6, 2017
Whicker’s World Foundation launches a new bursary for New York-based Chicken & Egg Pictures, to help fulfill their mission to increase the number of women documentary makers introduced into the industry pipeline.

January 17, 2017
Chicken & Egg Pictures, a leader in supporting women nonfiction filmmakers, announced today the recipients of the second year of the Breakthrough Filmmaker Award.