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Nishtha Jain: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 12

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.


Nishtha Jain is a multi-award-winning filmmaker based in Mumbai. She’s best known for her films Gulabi Gang (2012), Lakshmi and Me (2007), and City of Photos (2004). She’s been exploring the human condition in its myriad states. Politics of image making and self-representation, complexities of social hierarchies, women’s movements, and workers’ struggles have been some of the themes that her films have dealt with. She’s a graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and A.J.K. Mass Communication Research Centre, New Delhi. She’s a Fulbright Scholar (2019), Global Media Maker (2019) at Film Independent, Los Angeles, and Chicken & Egg Award Recipient (2020). 

Still from Gulabi Gang, directed by Nishtha Jain

A recipient of two Indian National Film Awards and over 23 international awards, her films have been extensively shown in international film festivals and art-house cinemas and broadcast on international TV networks. She has served as a juror at several international festivals including IDFA and Zurich Film Festival. In 2020, Nishtha joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

She has given master classes and/or made artist presentations at universities including Stanford, NYU, Wellesley, Cambridge, St. Andrews, University of London, Heidelberg, Concordia, Danish Film School, and Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. When she’s not making films, she’s teaching, writing, and actively participating in social and political movements in India.

Zofia Pregowska: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 11

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.


“What compels me is the everyday quest of my characters to live a meaningful life.” — Zofia Pregowska

Zofia Pregowska People I Know 2017 Accelerator Lab

Zofia Pregowska is a documentary filmmaker from Warsaw, Poland. Her directing debut was the short film Invisible, about Mrs. Krystyna—a blind poet who lives in a small flat in Warsaw. Invisible premiered at IDFA and went on to win 19 awards including the Short Documentary Jury Award at the New Orleans International Film Festival in 2014. You can watch the short here

Zofia graduated from Warsaw Film School for film directing and in 2015, she made her production debut with A Brave Bunch: Uprising Through Children’s Eyes. She operates her own production company, Prego Media, where she works as a director and producer.

Zofia Pregowska People We Know 2017 Accelerator Lab
Still from People I Know, directed by Zofia Pregowska

People I Know, which participated in the 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab, is a tragicomedy vérité film about a young married couple living in an old trailer. Prone to nervous breakdowns, Michael is unable to stand consumer society and becomes a street musician. His wife Nathalie is an oncology nurse. One day, Nathalie discovers that she wants to own a house so much that she’s ready to take on a lifelong loan. 

Yoruba Richen: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 10

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.


The New Black Yoruba RichenYoruba Richen is a 2016 Chicken & Egg Award filmmaker whose work explores issues of race, space, and power. She has directed films in the US and abroad, including The New Black, Promised Land, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom, and most recently The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show. Yoruba received the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access, was a Sundance Producers Fellow, is a featured TED Speaker and a Guggenheim Fellow. She is director of the documentary program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. 

Her last film, The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show was selected for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and is a Peacock Original. Her previous film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom was broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel to record audiences and was awarded the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking.

Yoruba is currently working on How It Feels To Be Free, a two-part documentary chronicling how black entertainers like Lena Horne and Cicely Tyson navigated the industry and took control of their own images, all while fighting for civil rights through their art and actions.

The New Black Yoruba Richen
Still from The New Black, directed by Yoruba Richen

Shalini Kantayya: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 9

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.


“This moment is asking us to drop into a deeper place in our humanity to lead. I’m so grateful to the people in my film who have shown me how to do this. There has never been more clarity that the people who have been systematically missing from the conversation have the most to share with us about the way forward.” — Shalini Kantayya, Letters from the AlumNest

Shalini Kantayya’s newest film, Coded Bias, explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her subsequent journey to push for the first-ever US legislation to govern against bias in artificial intelligence. The documentary aims to shine a light on the threat artificial intelligence poses to civil rights and democracy. Coded Bias participated in our 2020 Project: Hatched program; was an Official Selection at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival; and was featured in The New York Times, Democracy Now!, and Hollywood Reporter. The film is now playing at 70+ virtual cinemas across the US. Support a local movie theater and stream from home: codedbias.com/virtualcinema

Still from Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya

Shalini’s other credits include directing the season finale episode for the National Geographic television series Breakthrough, a series profiling trailblazing scientists transforming the future, executive produced by Ron Howard, broadcast globally in June 2017. Her debut feature film Catching the Sun, about the race for a clean energy future, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Catching the Sun released globally on Netflix on Earth Day 2016 with Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio and was nominated for the Environmental Media Association Award for Best Documentary.

Kantayya is a TED Fellow, a William J. Fulbright Scholar, and a finalist for the ABC Disney DGA Directing Program. She is an Associate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Elizabeth D. Costa: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 8

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.


“Keep bringing out unique and beautiful stories. Believe in your story. My mentor always tells me that when someone doubts your abilities because you are a female director, do not waste your energy answering back.” — Elizabeth D. Costa, Women & Hollywood

Bangla Surf Girls Elizabeth D Costa 2017 Accelerator LabElizabeth D. Costa is a Bangladeshi documentary filmmaker who has over eight years of experience working on international and domestic media projects as producer, director, assistant producer, editor, and cameraperson. She started her career as an intern script supervisor for Tareque and Catherine Masud; and has worked for BBC Media Action, NOS Television, VICE News UK, Spanish TV, and Bloomberg TV. She also worked as Assistant Producer with Chicken & Egg Pictures Eggspert Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on A Journey of Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers

Her feature length debut Bangla Surf Girls is an immersive documentary that takes us into the heart of a slum near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh where we witness a local social experiment.  Young girls who sell trinkets to tourists are pulled into a surf program started by a local youth. What follows is a transformation as the girls gain confidence and dare to dream of freedom and escape from a life of drudgery and abuse. Balancing the freedom of the waves with the restrictive realities of their circumstances, we experience the thrill and struggle of coming-of-age in a developing country. The documentary captures the raw emotions, the family dynamics, and the complex pressures of poverty.

Bangla Surf Girls Elizabeth D Costa 2017 Accelerator Lab
Still from Bangla Surf Girls, directed by Elizabeth D. Costa

Elizabeth has a unique skill to document and capture intimate images, and her work has been supported by our 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab, IDFA Academy, and the 2020 Film Independent Doc Lab. Bangla Surf Girls was an official selection for the 2020 Hot Docs International Film Festival and was featured in the Bangladeshi newspaper Dhaka Tribune, Women & Hollywood, and more. You can watch the trailer on Vimeo.   

Laura Nix: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 7

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Laura Nix is a director, writer, and producer working in nonfiction and fiction. Her short film, Walk Run Cha-Cha, was nominated for a 2020 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject; and the New York Times series, From Here to Home, in which the film appears, was nominated for a 2020 News and Documentary Emmy. 

Her feature documentary Inventing Tomorrow, which follows passionate teenage innovators from around the world as they create cutting-edge solutions to confront environmental threats, won a 2019 Peabody Award. Laura also directed the feature documentaries The Yes Men Are Revolting, The Light in Her Eyes, and Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig, as well as the award-winning fiction feature, The Politics of Fur

Laura Nix Inventing Tomorrow 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award
Still from Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix

Laura was named a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient and was awarded the Sundance Institute/Discovery Impact Fellowship in 2017. Raised in New York state and based in Los Angeles, Laura is a film expert for the US State Department’s American Film Showcase and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Jos Duncan: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 6

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Jos Duncan is a multimedia producer, professional storyteller, and social entrepreneur with over fifteen years experience collaboratively creating and documenting community-centered narratives. She is the founder of Love Now Media, an empathy-centered media company that uses storytelling to advocate for social justice and wellness.

Her documentary film Falaka Fattah and The House of Umoja, co-directed with Jason Pollard, participated in the 2019 Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative generously supported by Knight Foundation which supports stories in Philadelphia, PA. 

Still from Falaka Fattah and The House of Umoja, co-directed by Jos Duncan and Jason Pollard 

In 1969, when gangs were forming throughout the United States as an act of resistance and protection from police brutality, Queen Mother Falaka Fattah and her husband David Fattah opened up their home to warring gangs in the Philadelphia area out of concern for the safety of their son. In the ensuing years, the Fattahs worked with over 105 gangs, convincing them to a sign a pledge of peace, and eradicating almost all of the gangs violence in Philadelphia. As gun violence spurs in Philadelphia, Queen Mother Falakah Fattah urges today’s leaders to uphold the House of Umoja movement.

Anabel Rodríguez Ríos: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 5

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.


A painfully beautiful and urgent film. Made with the commitment and determination of warrior-filmmakers, fighting for dignity and freedom with their best weapon: their camera.” — Ricardo Acosta on Once Upon a Time in Venezuela 

Anabel Rodriguez Once Upon a Time in VenezuelaVenezuelan filmmaker Anabel Rodríguez Ríos’ first feature and Project: Hatched grantee Once Upon a Time in Venezuela premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2020. The film follows residents of a small fishing village as they prepare for the parliamentary election. Once the village of Congo Mirador was prosperous; now it is decaying and disintegrating—a prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself. Since its premiere, Once Upon a Time in Venezuela has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, RogerEbert.com, and more and screened at DOC NYC, Hot Docs, and DocMX. The filmmaking team has launched a robust impact campaign to engage the Venezuelan diaspora and fight for the future of their country. Once Upon a Time in Venezuela was selected to be Venezuela’s official submission to the 93rd Academy Awards® for Best International Film.

Anabel Rodriguez Once Upon a Time in Venezuela Project: Hatched 2020
Still from Once Upon a Time in Venezuela, directed by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos

Anabel Rodríguez Ríos, based in Vienna, Austria, gained a master’s in filmmaking at the London Film School, which was sponsored by The British Council and the Venezuelan Foundation ‘El Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho’. Her short film The Barrel, part ofthe Why Poverty? series, went to over 50 international film festivals, including Hot Docs and IDFA and was awarded with a TFI Latin America Grant. 

Marcela Arteaga: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 4

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.


“This film is about the kindness and hope that still exists in people who have gone through hell, and about Carlos Spector’s tireless efforts to help them not to lose their voices.” — Marcela Arteaga, Women & Hollywood 

2017 Accelerator Lab Marcela Arteaga Guardian of MemoryMarcela Arteaga’s newest film The Guardian of Memory follows immigration lawyer Carlos Spector as he fights to obtain political asylum for Mexicans fleeing from violence. The film is the story of Mexican men, women, and children seeking a respite from their tragedies by heading to their neighboring country, the US. It is also a story about the kindness and hope that still exists in people who have gone through hell, and about Carlos Spector’s tireless efforts to keep memory alive.

The Guardian of Memory participated in our 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab. The film premiered at Hot Docs in 2019, and went on to screen at Margaret Mead, DocsMx, and Morelia film festivals. The film has received multiple awards, including, most recently, the Best Documentary Award from the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences, also known as The Ariel.

Trailer for The Guardian of Memory

Remembrance, Marcela’s first feature documentary film in 2003, received support from the Rockefeller Foundation. It was the recipient of the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Mexican Film at the Guadalajara IFF, México; and the Jury’s Special Award at the Guanajuato IFF and the Festival of Málaga. Marcela Arteaga graduated from Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica. 

Maia Lekow: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 3

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Maia von Lekow is an acclaimed Kenyan filmmaker, musician, and co-director of The Letter with Chris King. Filmed with a gentle pace and incredible closeness, The Letter is a gripping family drama about a 95 year-old Grandmother with a fearless spirit who must overcome dangerous accusations of witchcraft that are coming from within her own family. 

The Letter made its world premiere at IDFA in 2019 and screened at DOC NYC, DocsBarcelona, and AFI DOCS festivals. The film is Kenya’s official submission to the 93rd Academy Awards® for Best International Film and is currently streaming in Kenyan cinemas nationwide. In addition to being co-director, Maia composed a poignant original score for the film along with Emmy-winning Toronto-based composer Ken Myhr. 

Maia has also worked as director, producer, and sound recordist for several film and music projects since founding Circle and Square Productions in 2009. She has performed on stages across the world and continues to compose music for films. She received an African Movie Academy Award for her song Uko Wapi, and was named a goodwill ambassador for UNHCR on World Refugee Day 2013.