Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce our newest Board Member: Nekisa Cooper. Nekisa is a content creator passionate about elevating underrepresented voices and creating content that inspires meaningful conversation. Nekisa is currently Vice President of Content at MasterClass. Before MasterClass, she was an award-winning producer whose credits include the feature Pariah, part of The Criterion Collection, and the SundanceTV documentary, Eventual Salvation. Before media-making, Nekisa worked in brand management for Colgate-Palmolive and L’Oreal; and held assistant women’s basketball coaching positions at the Division I, Division III, and high school levels. She has an MBA from Clark Atlanta University and a BA from The College of William & Mary.
Welcome to the Chicken & Egg Pictures Board, Nekisa!
“The fellowship is designed to enhance opportunities for writers from underserved and underrepresented communities and broaden perspectives covering the nonfiction form. Fellows will participate in IDA’s editorial planning process led by Editor Tom White and Managing Editor Bedatri Datta Choudhury, receive a quarterly stipend to write articles for the publication, partake in eight mentorship sessions with documentary industry leaders , and attend the Getting Real Documentary Film Conference in September 2022.”
Born and raised in Mexico City, Mariana Sanson has worked as a film festival producer, international guest coordinator, and national volunteer liaison. She is deeply interested in women’s representation, documentary intersectionality, working towards the creation of a more equitable documentary industry, and society’s relationship with media. Mariana assists our External Relations team by helping to tell the story of Chicken & Egg Pictures in design and communications. Congratulations, Mariana! We love seeing you soar in the documentary industry.
The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, one of the most significant United States abortion cases in decades. This case has the potential to undo Roe v. Wade and is a threat to the constitutional rights of people who can become pregnant in the United States, where our organization is based. At Chicken & Egg Pictures we are deeply concerned about the possible outcomes of this case— such as preventing access to safe and legal abortions—and stand in support of reproductive rights.
We are living a defining moment for present and future generations, and we fiercely believe in the transformative power of documentary, especially in a call to action moment like this. Over the past sixteen years, Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported filmmakers who skillfully weave deeply humane storytelling to showcase the impact of reproductive restrictions. We encourage you to revisit some of the Nest-supported films that have increased visibility for reproductive rights:
A Quiet Inquisition, dirs. & prods. Alessandra Zeka and Holen Sabrina Kahn
Set in Nicaragua,A Quiet Inquisition portrays the reality of abortion prohibition where doctors have to navigate between the potential of prosecution and medical protocols that save lives. Rent on Youtube
On The Divide, dirs. Maya Cueva & Leah Galant, prods. Melanie Miller, Diane Becker, Amanda Spain, Elizabeth Woodward
On The Divide is a film about the last abortion clinic on the US-Mexico border, where three Latinx people are connected despite their different views. As threats to the clinic and their personal safety mount, these three are forced to make decisions they never could have imagined. Watch on POV in 2022
Vessel, dir. & prod. Diana Whitten, prod. Mitchell Block
Vessel is the story of activist Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Women on Waves, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing reproductive health services to women in countries with restrictive abortion laws. When her ship is faced with governmental, religious, and military blockade, she decides to use new technologies to train women to give themselves abortions using WHO-researched pills. This work builds an underground network of emboldened pro-choice activists who trust women to handle abortion. Rent on Amazon Prime
The Chosen Life, dir. Dawn Porter, prod. Marilyn Ness
The Chosen Life follows the story of Dr. Yashica Robinson as she offers reproductive options for women in Huntsville, Alabama, where abortion providers face harassment, ostracism, and state-sanctioned obstacles. Watch via The New York Times
Motherland, dir. & prod. Ramona S. Díaz, prod. Rey Cuerdo
Motherland takes us into the world’s busiest maternity hospital, which is located in one of its poorest countries: the Philippines. There, women face devastating consequences as their country struggles with reproductive health policy and the politics of conservative ideologies. Watch on Tubi, Vudu & Peacock
Belly of the Beast, dir. Erika Cohn, prods. Nicole Docta, Christen Marquez & Angela Tucker
Belly of the Beast is a shocking story about the ongoing legacy of eugenics and reproductive injustice in the United States. When a courageous young woman and a radical lawyer discover a pattern of illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons—primarily targeting women of color, they wage a near-impossible battle against the Department of Corrections. Host a screening
After Tiller, dirs. & prods. Martha Shane and Lana Wilson
After Tiller is a compassionate portrait of the remaining four American doctors who openly provide third-trimester abortions and have become the new number-one targets of the anti-abortion movement. They continue to risk their lives every day to do work that many believe is murder, but which they believe is profoundly important for their patients’ lives. Watch on Tubi & Apple TV
Congratulations to the Nest producers who were selected as 2022 Documentary Motion Picture nominees; their films—Ascension, Simple As Water, and Writing With Fire—will advance to the final round of voting for the 33rd Annual Producers Guild Awards. The Awards ceremony is on Saturday, February 26, so stay tuned and root for the following Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported projects.
Produced and directed by Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh
A special congratulations to 2021 Chicken & Egg Award recipientJialing Zhangfor her nomination as producer of 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Nanfu Wang’s film In The Same Breath. In The Same Breath is also produced by Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, Sara Rodriguez, and Nanfu Wang.
We’re proud to announce (via Women & Hollywood) our joint creative story workshop with Fork Films, a collaboration that combines our values-driven missions of propelling underrepresented stories.
Filmmakers from both the Fork Films’ alumnae roster and Chicken & Egg Pictures’ AlumNest will receive supportive, strategic feedback from their peers, as well as mentors from both organizations to explore story structure, learn production best practices, and leave with a sharper vision for their films.
“Together we are stronger! This opportunity to combine our mission-aligned organizations and take advantage of our organic synergy to champion filmmakers is so valuable. It allows us to further support and elevate filmmakers as they continue to explore the stories in their films and learn about production best practices. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership,” said Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Director Lucila Moctezuma.
Learn about the Fork Films and Chicken & Egg Pictures Story Workshop participants below:
Directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan (AlumNest & Fork Films Alumna) Produced by Helen Hood Scheer
Body Parts explores the making of Hollywood intimacy scenes in a post #MeToo era. From a kaleidoscopic range of perspectives, the film traces how a cinematic legacy of exploitation and ingenuity have shaped the entertainment industry and audiences. Can an authentic, more ethical vision of female sexuality be conveyed? The answers go beyond movie-making and impact the world at large.
Directed and produced by Denali Tiller (AlumNest)
Maia, Kayla and Alli are three young women who have aspirations as many young women do: to find love, success, and purpose in their work. But for these three women, their work involves getting hit, punched, body-slammed, kicked, tackled – and doing the same to others. As these women emerge from tender teenage years to a rough, brutal world of punching bags, dummies, broken bones, and razor’s edge competition, we will witness the emotional and physical strength that’s required to compete at a high level, and explore the threshold between fighting for fitness, validation, control, or self-defense in the face of trauma.
The Half Truths
Directed by Hemal Trivedi (AlumNest) Produced by Hemal Trivedi, Amelia Hanibelsz, Cynthia Kane
India’s bloodiest conflict zone is Chhattisgarh, an environmentally fragile region and state where the country’s last dense forest exists, the “lungs of India”. A multinational mining company is eviscerating the land while simultaneously at war with rebel tribal forces. Soni, a tribal school teacher, runs an orphanage and is unexpectedly caught in the crossfire. She is arrested, tortured, and raped. Her arduous quest for justice makes her an international symbol of resistance against state oppression. After release from prison term, and with little choice in the matter, a leader emerges to save her cherished forest and find a path to peace.
Directed by Eva Weber (AlumNest) Produced by Lizzie Gillett, Sigrid Dyekjaer, Eva Weber, Sonja Henrici
As Angela Merkel leaves the world stage, Merkel explores how a triple outsider—a woman, an East German and a scientist—re-invented herself to become one of the world’s most powerful politicians. Told from an international perspective for an international audience, this film is the definitive re-examination of Angela Merkel’s life and career, delicately told with humor, subtlety, and poignancy.
Power & Light
Directed by Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt (AlumNest & Fork Films Alumnae) Produced by Rose Rosenblatt, Sabrina Alvarez, Jesse Epstein
In Lawrence, MA a Dominican Pastor and his Anglo wife transform a fractious group of evangelical LatinX clergy into a fighting force for climate justice, determined to make their town a showcase for a green future. Power & Light is a portrait of a marriage that sits on the fault lines of race, culture, gender and religion, mirroring the larger tensions of a story about organizing for climate justice. Sue and Joel’s perspective, and their marriage, emotionally anchor the larger story of how a community informed by spiritual faith struggles to organize around man-made disasters.
The Total Trust
Directed and produced by Jialing Zhang (2021 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient* & Fork Film Alumna)
The Total Trust (working title) takes a visceral look at the realities of a society in the throes of a digital invasion. From cameras to AI profiling, China is facing an unprecedented level of surveillance, upheld in equal measure through fear and trust. By exploring the relationship between the watched and the watching, our film uncovers the trauma and hope engendered by these measures and lends a voice to those that stand in resilient defiance of such blatant abuse of power.
*The Total Trust is also supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures through Jialing Zhang’s Chicken & Egg Award this year.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is seeking a Program Intern, an individual who would like an insider’s view into the documentary film world, and who is interested in joining a creative team that is truly passionate about advancing our mission of supporting a global community of women and gender nonconforming filmmakers.
The intern will assist our Program Team on various projects and tasks to gain experience in the documentary film industry and nonprofit program support. Educational opportunities will include learning about:
How Chicken & Egg Pictures supports and funds films and filmmakers
Logistical support for virtual programming
Coordination with filmmakers and guest speakers for program materials
Financial and logistics administration for program-related events and activities
Registration and scheduling for festivals, forums, and markets for our program team
The intern will be supervised by our Filmmaker Engagement Manager Jaad Asante and will learn cross-team communication, organization, and project management skills. This is a great opportunity to enhance organization and communication skills and to learn about event programming, nonprofit work, and supporting documentary filmmakers.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is an at-will and equal opportunity employer. As such, we strongly encourage and seek applications from all backgrounds, including but not limited to women and gender nonconforming individuals, people of color, bilingual and multicultural individuals, people with disabilities, people of all ages and education levels, and members of the LGBTQ community.
Duration: Nov 2021 – Feb 2022, with the possibility of an extension Time Commitment: Approximately 16 hours per week Compensation: $15 per hour Application Deadline: October 15 at 11:59 pm ET
BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global communities of color, showcasing films by Black, Brown and Indigenous artists from around the world.
BlackStar Film Festival takes place Wednesday, August 4 to Sunday, August 8 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and online. (Egg)celerator Lab grantee films Between Fire and Water and Writing With Fire are available to stream and to see in-person. Plus Nest-supported filmmakers such as Michèle Stephenson and Lyric R. Cabral are participating in online sessions at the fest. 🖤 ⭐
dir. Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh prod. Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh
Watch the trailer here, and stream the full film here here (available August 7 – 8).
A special shoutout to Chicken & Egg Award recipients Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Michèle Stephenson on their new short films screening in the same Shorts: Antumbra program. Watch here on Saturday, August 7 at 4:00 pm ET (virtual screening).
Announced via Women & Hollywood today, Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to support five new grantees of the 2021 Project: Hatched program for feature-length documentary impact. Each film receives a $10,000 grant and tailored mentorship towards their impact campaigns.
“Each of these films tells a story about racial, economic, or workers justice in the United States and marks a critical moment in our social history,” said Program Director Lucila Moctezuma. “Their directors are uniquely positioned to create change and propel us toward a more equitable future, and Chicken & Egg Pictures is excited to support them with funding and programmatic support to further the impact of these important films.”
Please click the granted film’s titles for more information on each project and give these visionary women directors a warm welcome to the Nest!
Director: Gilda Sheppard Producers: Saman Maydani, June Nho Ivers Producer and Lead Impact Strategist: Bonnie Benjamin-Phariss Impact Team: YEA! Impact
In America’s backyard, a community held captive by policies targeting gangs and drugs sacrifices their youth for a false sense of justice and safety. Nearly forty years later, a true path to justice and healing is led from inside their prison walls.
We are proud to announce that our Executive Director Jenni Wolfson will be going on a well-deserved sabbatical this summer. After eight years as Executive Director of Chicken & Egg Pictures, Jenni is our longest serving staff member, and she will be out on sabbatical from June 24 to September 24, 2021!
Jenni’s short-term absence will be a time for her to rest and re-collect after leading our organization during the many crises of 2020 and 2021, to connect with family and friends…. and to take a break from chicken and egg puns!🐤
Her absence will also offer us the chance to strengthen our leadership across the organization. In her place, leadership will be in the hands of our new Senior Management Team: Program Director Lucila Moctezuma, Director of Operations and Innovation Sarah Anderson, and Director of External Relations Cindy Choung.
Additionally, the Senior Management Team will be supported by our Co-Founder & Board President Julie Parker Benello; our Board Executive Committee, consisting of Julie, Marjan Safinia, and Susan Margolin; and the rest of our Board of Directors.
Congratulations to Chicken & Egg Pictures team member Cindy Choung on her new role as Director of External Relations. Cindy will oversee development and communications strategies and activities across the organization, building long-term sustainability and growth, as well as elevating the profile of the organization externally.
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; and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
In 2020, she led the Chicken & Egg Pictures team to win the Nonprofit New York Excellence Award special recognitions in the areas of Fundraising and Communications. Cindy is a member of A-DOC: Asian American Documentary Network and Brown Girls Doc Mafia. She is a graduate of Columbia University with a BA in Anthropology with a focus on East Asian mass culture and cinema, and an MA in Oral History.