Accelerator Lab Open Call: Apply Now!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is now accepting submissions for the 2019 Accelerator Lab Open Call!

The Accelerator Lab is focused on identifying and supporting women nonfiction directors working on their first or second feature-length documentary. In this year-long program, ten projects will receive:

  • a $35,000 in grant funding for the production of their feature-length film;
  • monthly mentorship with members of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ senior creative team;
  • three creative retreats focused on career sustainability and creative development;
  • industry meetings at a major documentary film festival; and
  • peer support from the Accelerator Lab cohort.

A glimpse at current and past projects that Chicken & Egg has supported through the Accelerator Lab program:

Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal (Accelerator Lab Grantee)
Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal

Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal

To make ends meet, Americans are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of nonstop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers. Through the Night is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider, whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY.

Through the Night is a 2018 Accelerator Lab-supported film and is currently in production.

The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui (Accelerator Lab Grantee)
The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui

The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui

In the Arab-American neighborhood outside of Chicago where director Assia Boundaoui grew up, most of her neighbors think they have been under surveillance for over a decade. While investigating their experiences, Assia uncovers hundreds of pages of declassified FBI documents that prove her hometown was the subject of one of the largest counterterrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11—code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” With unprecedented access, The Feeling of Being Watched weaves the personal and the political as it follows the filmmaker’s examination of why her community fell under blanket government surveillance. Assia struggles to disrupt the government secrecy shrouding what happened to her neighborhood in the 90’s and probes why her community feels like they’re still being watched today. In the process, she confronts long-hidden truths about the FBI’s relationship to her community. The Feeling of Being Watched follows Assia as she pieces together this secret FBI operation, while grappling with the effects of a lifetime of surveillance on herself and her family.

The Feeling of Being Watched recently premiered at the 2018 TriBeca Film Festival and is also being featured at Hot Docs.

Muhi - Generally Temporary, directed by Rina Castelnuovo and Tamir Elterman (Accelerator Lab Grantee).
Muhi – Generally Temporary, directed by Rina Castelnuovo and Tamir Elterman

Muhi – Generally Temporary, directed by Rina Castelnuovo and Tamir Elterman

Muhi, a cherubic Palestinian toddler with a life-threatening immune disorder, was transported to an Israeli hospital as a baby for emergency treatment. He and his devoted grandfather have lived there ever since, stuck in a bizarre no man’s land, with their extended family living on the other side of a fiercely guarded checkpoint. Their unique and moving story takes place within the crucible of the current relentless Israeli-Palestinian conflict that impacts everyone in its orbit.

Muhi – Generally Temporary premiered at the 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival and was featured in the Human Rights Watch Film Festival of the same year.

To check out the full list of films supported through the Accelerator Lab program, click here.

The deadline to apply is Monday, June 25th at 3:00 pm EDT. Apply now!

And sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on the Accelerator Lab and other News from the Nest!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather


  • June 5, 2018
    Cate Celso

    Hi there- I am already in production with my documentary would I still be able to apply? I’m a first time female doc director plugging through with budget from my own pocket, hence post production slated for 2019.

    My film is more of an observational take on a local truck driver/successful tribute artist performer. So not highlighting per say any political or social agenda.

    Would I still qualify if I submitted? I would love the mentoring (and funds!) this being my first documentary.

    thanks for reading!


    • June 10, 2019
      External Relations

      Hi Cate,

      Please take a look at ‘Guidelines & Criteria’ on the (Egg)celerator Lab page:
      ‘Projects must be currently in early production (at least 10% of their footage shot) or up to mid-production (no more than 60% of their footage shot) by the date of application.
      We encourage you to apply if you are eligible. The program will take place from February to December 2020. If you are planning to have a rough cut by the end of 2019 or by the first quarter of 2020, your project is too advanced and not eligible to apply.’

      We invite you to email if you have any questions not answered in our FAQ.
      Thanks for your interest!

  • June 6, 2018
    Yasmin K Kamal

    Hello there,

    the majority of my film ‘Stations of the way’ (working title) is a documentary but I have recently introduced some fiction aspects to it. Would I still be able to apply for the Accelerator Lab Program?



    • June 10, 2019
      External Relations

      Hi Yasmin,

      We encourage you to apply—2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee ‘A Cops and Robbers Story’ is a hybrid documentary, and we have supported other experimental, hybrid pieces in the past as well. Take a look at the film’s webpage!
      Please email to receive a detailed response to your query.

      Chicken & Egg Pictures

Leave a comment

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or else it will be deleted. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for dropping by!