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Welcome Deepa Donde to our Board!

Headshot of Deepa Donde.

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce our newest Board Member, Deepa Donde. Deepa is an independent film, television, and radio producer based in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared on the following outlets: NPR, Huffington Post, PBS, BBC, CBS, and NBC. In addition to her work with the Futuro Media Group, Deepa also serves on the board of The Austin Film Festival. She has in the past served on the advisory boards of Fusebox: Contemporary Multi-Disciplinary Art Festival, Youth Radio (NPR’s premier provider for youth-oriented content), Girls Impact The World Film Festival, as well as on the board of Ballet Austin.

Deepa received her Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in Medieval History from Brown University. She is close to completing her first independent narrative feature film, PERIPHERY, and developing a documentary feature.

Deepa says of joining our Board, “Documentary filmmaking is one of the most powerful forms of truth-telling. Chicken and Egg Pictures transforms our world with creativity, freedom, and the unique expression of storytelling. I love how this incredible organization champions both emerging and veteran filmmakers from all over the world. I am honored and delighted to join this Board, which so strongly supports women and now gender-expansive voices to be global catalysts for change. Let’s celebrate the next generation of storytellers like Maite Alberdi whose film, The Eternal Memory, a beautiful love story, captures the power of optimism, courage, and hope.”

Welcome to the Chicken & Egg Pictures Board, Deepa! 

Supported films at the SXSW Film Festival

We are extremely grateful to have three (Egg)celerator Lab grantees premieres and an Alumni film at this year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival! The festival will take place between March 8-16, 2024. Congratulations all! 

7 Beats Per Minute

dir. Yuqi Kang 

prods. Ina Fichman, Anita Lee

Long shot of a diver clenching her knees under water
Still from 7 Beats Per Minute

7 Beats Per Minute is a participant of the 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab and will have its World Premiere in the Documentary Spotlight.

graphic of a film reel

The In Between

dir. Robie Flores

prod. Alejandro J. Flores, Kellen Quinn

Still from The In Between

The In Between is a participant of the 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab, took part in the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative (past program), and will have its premiere in the Documentary Competition.

graphic of a film reel

Songs from the Hole

dir. & prod. Contessa Gayles

prods. Richie Reseda, David Felix Sutcliffe

Close up of a pair of feet jumping in a bed.
Still from Songs from the Hole

Songs from the Hole is a participant of the 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab and will premiere in the Visions Program.


From the AlumNest


Post written by Communications Assistant Tess Caldwell

Welcome to the Nest, Elliot Zayas!

Meet the newest member of our team: Operations Assistant Elliot Zayas

 

Elliot Zayas headshot in black and white.

As Operations Assistant, Elliot supports the Chicken & Egg Pictures team with various financial, operational, and human resources activities, while fostering a positive, supportive environment for all team members. Elliot has prior experience in a variety of roles, including excavation at an archaeological World Heritage Site and working as a research assistant on a groundbreaking gender archaeology project. While earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Columbia University, Elliot was an active participant in the undergraduate arts community. He continues to pursue his creative interests in the experimental music scene. 

“I’m so excited to be joining Chicken & Egg Pictures at such a critical moment in the organization’s history as they expand their program eligibility to include trans men like myself. It’s an honor to provide support to my team and the filmmakers creating such inspiring work!” 

Supported Filmmakers Win Awards at Cinema Eye Honors

We are extremely proud to have three supported films, and three supported filmmakers, take home wins at the 17th edition of the Cinema Eye Honors Awards. The awards ceremony took place on Friday, January 12 at the New York Academy of Medicine in East Harlem. Congratulations!

The Eternal Memory

dir. & prod. Maite Alberdi

prod. Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Rocío Jadue

Still from the Eternal Memory
Still from The Eternal Memory

The Eternal Memory was supported through Maite Alberdi’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award and won awards for Outstanding Achievement in Direction and in the 2024 Unforgettables Honorees section.

graphic of a film reel

Twice Colonized

dir. Lin Alluna

prods. Emile Hertling Péronard, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Stacey Aglok, Bob Moore

The main character of Twice Colonized, Aaju Peter, in a close-up shot holding her hands in front of her face so her traditional tattoos on her hands and her chin are visible.
Still from Twice Colonized

Twice Colonized is a Project: Hatched 2023 grantee and was named a 2024 Unforgettables Honoree.

graphic of a film reel

Q

dir. & prod. Jude Chehab

Still from Q
Still from Q

Q is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab Grantee that won the Spotlight Award


From the AlumNest

  • Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games | Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking
    dirs. & prods. Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster 
  • Confessions of a Good Samaritan | 2024 Unforgettables Honorees
    dir. Penny Lane
    prod. Gabriel Sedgwick
  • Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project  | Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design, 2024 Unforgettable Honorees
    dirs. & prods. Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster
  • Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields | Outstanding Achievement in Broadcast Editing 
    dir. Lana Wilson
    prods. Jack Turner, Christine O’Malley

Post written by Communications Assistant Tess Caldwell

Maite Alberdi’s The Eternal Memory Receives Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary Feature


We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the 2020 Chicken & Egg Award recipient, Maite Alberdi, and her team, whose film The Eternal Memory (La memoria infinita) has received an Academy® Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature. This follows the nomination of her previous film, The Mole Agent (El agente topo), for the same category.

The Eternal Memory debuted at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the World Cinema Documentary Award. It has since garnered critical acclaim and numerous award nominations, including Berlinale’s Audience Award, Cinema Eye Honors for Outstanding Direction and The Unforgettables Honor, and Maite’s third Goya Award nomination for Best Documentary. This is the second time she has been nominated for both a Goya and an Oscar® Award simultaneously.

Earlier this year, Maite was honored with the Sundance Film Festival Vanguard Award for Non-fiction. She is the founder and director of Micromundo, which has produced her signature films such as The Lifeguard (El salvavidas) and Tea Time (La once).

Maite Alberdi is the first Chilean woman to receive an Oscar® nomination, and the first Latin American woman to earn this nomination twice.

We are proud to support Maite’s groundbreaking career.

Q&A with filmmaker Maite Alberdi. From left to right: Translator, film participant Pauli, Moderator Kirsten Johnson, and filmmaker Maite Alberdi. They are all sitting in front of a screen.
The Eternal Memory screening in NYC. From left to right: Translator, Film Participant Paulina Urrutia, 2017 Chicken &Egg Award Recipient Kirsten Johnson, and 2020 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Maite Alberdi.

Best of the Nest 2023

It’s been an amazing year of remarkable growth here at Chicken & Egg Pictures as we put our 2023–2025 Strategic Plan into action. We are excited to share with you our Best of the Nest, a showcase of the incredible work we were able to accomplish in 2023, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our amazing team, the guidance of our supportive Board Members, and the generous backing from our supporters.

This year’s Best of the Nest features a summary of our year with impressive numbers, a celebration of our filmmakers and the remarkable stories they tell,  an update and spotlight on all of our programs, and, of course, a heartfelt thank you to all of those who make our work possible. 

Thank you for being a valued member of our community.

Announcing Nekisa Cooper as our Board President!

Chicken & Egg Pictures announced today via Realscreen that Nekisa Cooper will succeed Julie Parker Benello as President of its Board of Directors. Nekisa, who joined the Board of Directors in 2021 and has served as Vice President since January 2023, will assume the new role as of January 1, 2024.

Julie co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures with Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand in 2005. She served as the first Board President, a role she has held since the Board of Directors was established in 2016, and will continue as a member of the Board. 

Nekisa is a creative producer and content executive who has dedicated her career to elevating under-recognized voices. Her producing credits include two Chicken & Egg Pictures supported films, the feature film Pariah, which is part of the Criterion Collection and the American National Film Registry, and the Sundance Channel documentary Eventual Salvation. She was most recently Vice President of Content at MasterClass, the number one e-learning brand. Under her leadership, the industry-disrupting library was built from a concept to over 175 MasterClasses featuring diverse figures as Hillary Clinton, Mira Nair, Spike Lee, Roxane Gay, Massimo Bottura, Stephen Curry, and Shonda Rhimes. 

In addition to co-founding Chicken & Egg Pictures, Julie is the founder of Secret Sauce Media. She produced Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s Academy Award® winning feature documentary American Factory and Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s Emmy® Award winning Athlete A. Most recently, she produced longtime collaborator Judith Helfand’s Love & Stuff as well as Sarah Jones’ feature debut Sell Buy Date.

Jenni Wolfson, CEO of Chicken & Egg Pictures said:

“We are thrilled to welcome Nekisa Cooper as the new President of the Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Board of Directors. And we are immensely grateful to Julie Parker Benello–a force in the documentary field and a champion of women and non-binary filmmakers–for her exemplary leadership serving as Board President. Julie’s generosity and commitment to the organization is evidenced by her continuing role as Board Director.”

She continued:

“Nekisa has a long relationship with the organization. First as a grantee, then, the first-ever recipient of the Chicken & Egg Pictures Creative Producing Award in 2012, and as a board member over the past two years. Her expertise in storytelling, producing, documentary film, management, and strategic thinking will be tremendously valuable to the organization. I am honored to be expanding our collaboration with Nekisa in this next chapter of the organization.”

Nekisa Cooper said: 

“I’m honored to deepen my service to the Chicken & Egg Pictures mission, staff, board, and our filmmakers. Meeting Julie, Judith, and Wendy during my early career was critical because it was incredibly challenging for an outsider, particularly a lesbian woman of color, to create impactful work and build a sustainable career. Being a board member over the past two years has brought my journey full circle and given me the valuable opportunity to witness their transformational outcomes and radically thoughtful ways of working. I’m thrilled to build upon Julie’s leadership and to support Chicken & Egg in fostering a more gender-inclusive industry.” 

Julie Parker Benello said: 

“I’m delighted to pass the baton as Board President of Chicken & Egg Pictures to Nekisa, whom I have long admired as a creative producer with her business background and acumen, strategic mind, and depth of character. I am excited to see where the organization goes next under Nekisa’s board leadership, particularly as we broaden our work to serve greater numbers of filmmakers. Nekisa is the right person for the job at this juncture in Chicken & Egg’s history. I look forward to continuing to serve alongside her and my fellow board members of the organization I co-founded and love dearly.”

31 Oscar-eligible films from our community!

Congratulations to the 14 Chicken & Egg-supported films and 17 from our Alumni community on the list of documentary features and shorts eligible for the 96th Academy Awards®! We encourage you to catch these films in theaters and on streaming platforms. The Oscars® Shortlist will be announced on Thursday, December 21, so stay tuned.

Against the Tide

dir. Sarvnik Kaur 

prod. Koval Bhatia, Quentin Laurent

Still of Against the Tide. Two men go through the content of their fishing net, there are a fish and plastic trash.
Still from Against the Tide

Against the Tide is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee.

Find about upcoming screenings here.

graphic of a film reel

Bad Press

dirs. Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler

prods. Conrad Beilharz, Garrett F. Baker, Tyler Graim

Indigenous journalist Angel Ellis sits in front of Mvskoke Media wearing a bandana , sunglasses and a "I Voted" sticker on her blue T-shirt. She's smoking a cigarette while scrolling through her cell phone on a warm summer evening.
Still from Bad Press

Bad Press is a participant of Project: Hatched 2023.

Find out about upcoming screenings here.

graphic of a film reel

Eat Bitter

dirs. Ningyi Sun, Pascale Appora-Gnekindy

prod. Mathieu Faure

The upper half is characters Luan and Thomas' faces and Thomas prays to the left of their faces; and the lower half is the back of Thomas' head and him getting ready to dive in the yellowish river.
Stills from Eat Bitter

Eat Bitter is a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab finalist.

Find out about upcoming screenings here.

graphic of a film reel

El eco / The Echo

dir. & prod. Tatiana Huezo

prod. Dalia Reyes

Still from El Eco. Two young kids sit on a large rock jutting out from the side of a grassy hill. They are facing away from the camera. In front of them is a grassy valley with sheep grazing in it.
Still from El Eco/The Echo

El eco / The Echo was supported through Tatiana Huezo’s 2021 Chicken & Egg Award.  

graphic of a film reel

Joonam

dir. Sierra Urich

prod. Keith Wilson

A mother and daughter stand under opposite ends of a grape arbor together, harvesting grape leaves. A grandmother is seen sitting in the background with a walker in front of her. Each woman appears to be separately lost in thought.
Still from Joonam

Joonam is a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee.

Find out about upcoming screenings here.

graphic of a film reel

MnM

dir. Twiggy Pucci Garçon

prods. Colleen Cassingham, Jess Devaney

Still from MnM. Close up to the face of a person while a hand is using a brush to paint their eyelids.
Still from MnM

MnM was supported in partnership with Multitude Films as a part of the QUEER FUTURES (2022) series and is eligible for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film.

graphic of a film reel

PAY OR DIE

dirs. & prods. Rachael Dyer, Scott Alexander Ruderman

prod. Yael Melamede

PAY OR DIE
Still from PAY OR DIE

PAY OR DIE is a participant of Project: Hatched 2023.

Now streaming on Paramount +

graphic of a film reel

Plan C

dir. & prod. Tracy Droz Tragos

PLAN C strategy meeting 2021. A group of people gathers around a table with plates and drinks while a person writes on a whiteboard.
Still from Plan C

Plan C is a 2022 Critical Issues Fund grantee.

Find out about upcoming screenings here or watch on demand here.

graphic of a film reel

Razing Liberty Square

dir. Katja Esson

prods. Ann Bennett, Corinna Sager, Ronald Baez

A young person is reclined in a thin column. There is a construction behind them.
Still from Razing Liberty Square

Razing Liberty Square is a 2022 Critical Issues Fund grantee.

The film will open theatrically in Miami on January 26 and the Broadcast Premiere will be on Independent Lens on January 29.

graphic of a film reel

Reality Winner

dir. & prod. Sonia Kennebeck

prod. Ines Hofmann Kanna

Still from United States vs. Reality Winner. A young woman, Reality Winner, is standing in a field in front of a house. She has a serious expression. The light is low and the background is out of focus.
Still from Reality Winner

Reality Winner was supported through Sonia Kennebeck’s 2023 Chicken & Egg Award.

graphic of a film reel

Songs of Earth

dir. & prod. Margreth Olin

prod. Lena Faye-Lund Sandvik

Still from Songs of Earth

Songs of Earth was supported through Margreth Olin’s 2022 Chicken & Egg Award.

graphic of a film reel

The Eternal Memory

dir. & prod. Maite Alberdi

prod. Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Rocío Jadue

Still from the Eternal Memory
Still from The Eternal Memory

The Eternal Memory was supported through Maite Alberdi’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award.

Now streaming on Paramount +.

graphic of a film reel

Total Trust

dir. Jialing Zhang

prod. Knut Jäger

Main characters in The Total Trust standing in front of the ocean.
Still from Total Trust

Total Trust was supported through Jialing Zhang’s 2021 Chicken & Egg Award.

Check out their list of upcoming New York screenings here

graphic of a film reel

Twice Colonized

dir. Lin Alluna

prods.  Emile Hertling Péronard, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Stacey Aglok, Bob Moore

The main character of Twice Colonized, Aaju Peter, in a close-up shot holding her hands in front of her face so her traditional tattoos on her hands and her chin are visible.
Still from Twice Colonized

Twice Colonized is a participant of Project: Hatched 2023.

Find out about upcoming screenings here.


Alumni filmmakers eligible for Best Documentary Feature

  • Anonymous Sister
    dir. & prod. Jamie Boyle
    prods. Marilyn Ness, Elizabeth Westrate
  • The Lady Bird Diaries 
    dir. & prod. Dawn Porter
    prod. Kim Reynolds
  • Victim/Suspect
    dir. & prod. Nancy Schwartzman
    prods. Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Alice Henty, Rachel de Leon, Amanda Pike
  • Who I Am Not
    dir. Tunde Skovran
    prods. Andrei Zinca, Danielle Turkov, Paul Cadieux, Patrick Hamm, Amy Shepherd, Edith Weil, Daniel Szandtner, Janos Kovacs 
  • You Were My First Boyfriend
    dirs. Cecilia Aldarondo, Sarah Enid Hagey
    prod. Ines Hofmann Kanna (prod. of Reality Winner)

Alumni filmmakers eligible for Best Documentary Short Film

  • Bone Black: Midwives vs the South 
    dir. Rebecca Richman Cohen
    prod. Yoruba Richen
  • Rest Stop
    dir. Crystal Kayiza
    prods. Brit Fryer, Jalena Keane-Lee
  • The Recall
    dir. Imani Dennison (POV Shorts Co-Production Fund Grantee)
    prod. Flor Tejada
  • The Feeling of Being Close to You
    dir. & prod. Ash Goh Hua

Post written by Communications Intern Tess Caldwell

Five Supported and AlumNest Films at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival!

We are proud to have two Chicken & Egg-supported films and three films from our filmmaker community at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Additionally, we are thrilled to see 2020 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Maite Alberdi being honored with the annual Vanguard Award during the Opening Night Gala at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. The festival’s US documentary competition slate is made up of 50% women, and the World Competition slate is made up of 67% women. Chicken & Egg Pictures is committed to supporting women and non-binary filmmakers and we’re proud to see so much representation in this years’ competitions. The festival will take place from Thursday, January 18 through Sunday, January 28, 2024, in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah. We hope to see you there!

Look Into My Eyes

dir. & prod. Lana Wilson

prod. Kyle Martin

Still from Look Into My Eyes
Still from Look Into My Eyes

Look Into My Eyes was supported through Lana Wilson’s 2019 Chicken & Egg Award.

Get your tickets here.

graphic of a film reel

Union

dirs. Brett Story, Stephen Maing

prods. Samantha Curley, Mars Verrone

Chris Smalls appears in Union by Brett Story and Steve Maing, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. | Photo by Martin DiCicco
Still from Union

Union was supported through Brett Story’s 2022 Chicken & Egg Award and is participating in the U.S. Documentary Competition.

Get your tickets here.


From the AlumNest


Shoutouts

We are thrilled to see 2020 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Maite Alberdi being honored with the annual Vanguard Award during the Opening Night Gala. The award annually honors artists whose work highlights the art of storytelling and creative independence. In an interview with Variety about receiving the award, Maite said, “The Eternal Memory is a film that has taught me so much about the infinite ways of telling, looking at and working with real-life stories and I am proud and humbled to be among such an extraordinary group of filmmakers who have been given this recognition.” Congratulations, Maite! 

We are also proud to have two longtime collaborators featuring films in the lineup this year. An Eggspert on our team, Joslyn Barnes is executive producing Conbody VS Everybody, and Carla Gutierrez, an advisor in our labs, is directing FRIDA. Congratulations!


Meet Our Staff

We are also excited that our Chief Executive Officer Jenni Wolfson, Program Director Kiyoko McCrae, and Associate Director of Development Rebecca Celli will be in attendance at the festival. They will be attending Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported screenings and industry events. Make sure to say hi! 


Post written by Communications Intern Tess Caldwell

18 Nominations for the IDA Documentary Awards!

The IDA Documentary Awards recently announced the nominees for the 39th IDA Documentary Awards. We are proud to have 18 nominations and 3 shortlisted films within the Chicken & Egg Pictures community! The awards will be presented virtually on December 12. Congratulations and good luck to all of the nominees.

  • 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Against the Tide | dir. & prod. Sarvnik Kaur | prods. Koval Bhatia, Quentin Laurent | Nominated for Best Feature Documentary and Best Director
  • QUEER FUTURES project How to Carry Water | dir. Sasha Wortzel | prods. Colleen Cassingham, Jess Devaney, Anya Rous | Nominated for Best Short Documentary
  • 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Milisuthando | dir. Milisuthando Bongela | prod. Marion Isaacs | Nominated for Best Feature Documentary, Best Director, and Best Writing
  • 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Q | dir. & prod. Jude Chehab | Nominated for Best Feature Documentary and Best Editing
  • 2022 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Margreth Olin’s Songs of Earth | dir. & prod. Margreth Olin | Nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Original Music Score
  • Project: Hatched 2023 participant Suddenly TV | dir. & prod. Roopa Gogineni | prods. Reem Haddad, Trevor Snapp, Fiona Lawson-Baker | Nominated for Best Short Documentary
  • 2020 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Maite Alberdi’s The Eternal Memory | dir. & prod. Maite Alberdi | prods. Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Rocío Jadue | Nominated for Best Editing
  • QUEER FUTURES | dirs. Brit Fryer, Lindsey Dryden, Noah Schamus, Sasha Wortzel, Twiggy Pucci Garçon | prods. Jess Devaney, Anya Rous, J Wortham, Colleen Cassingham | Nominated for Best Short-Form Series

From the AlumNest

  • Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court | Nominated for Best Multi-Part Documentary
    dir. & prod. Dawn Porter
    prods. Vinnie Malhotra, Aaron Saidman, Eli Holzman
  • Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project | Nominated for Best Feature Documentary and Best Original Music Score
    dirs. & prods. Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster
  • King Coal  | Nominated for Best Cinematography
    dir. & prod. Elaine McMillion Sheldon
    prods. Shane Boris, Diane Becker, Peggy Drexler
  • The U.S. and the Holocaust  | Nominated for Best TV Feature or Mini-Series
    dir. Lynn Novick, Ken Burns, Sarah Botstein

Shortlist Shoutouts

  • QUEER FUTURES project The Script | dirs. Brit Fryer, Noah Schamus | prods. Jessica Devaney, Colleen Cassingham  | Shortlisted for Best Short Documentary
  • Project: Hatched 2023 participant Twice Colonized | dir. Lin Alluna | prods. Emile Hertling Péronard, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Stacey Aglok, Bob Moore | Shortlisted for Best Feature Documentary
  • AlumNest project How We Get Free | dirs. Geeta Gandbhir, Samantha Knowles | prods. Kathleen Lingo, Sweta Vohra, Jess Devaney | Shortlisted for Best Short Documentary

Post written by Communications Intern Tess Caldwell