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Nest News: June 14–20

Nest-supported films at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival

New York Digital Edition from Thursday, June 11 to Saturday, June 20 

Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya

Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya (Project: Hatched 2020), 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.

Watch the film until Saturday, June 20 on the Human Rights Watch Film Festival website, and view the recording of the live Q&A with the filmmaker Shalini Kantayya, Safiya Noble, Deborah Raji, Coded Bias character Joy Buolamwini, Lee Rowland and moderated by Deborah Brown here.

Down a Dark Stairwell, directed by Ursula Liang (2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative), is a nuanced look at how two communities of color navigate an uneven criminal justice system, anchored by one polarizing New York City case.

Watch the film until Saturday, June 20 on the Human Rights Watch Film Festival website, and view the recording of the live Q&A with the filmmaker Ursula Liang, Brandon D. Anderson, Steven Choi, Dreisen Heath, and moderated by Gerry Johnson here.


Tre Maison Dasan on WORLD Channel

Tre Maison Dasan Denali Tiller 2015 Accelerator Lab
Tre Maison Dasan, directed by Denali Tiller

Tre Maison Dasan (2016 (Egg)celerator Lab), directed by Denali Tiller, is a story that explores parental incarceration through the eyes of three boys—Tre, Maison, and Dasan. Following their interweaving trajectories through boyhood marked by the criminal justice system, and told directly through the child’s perspective, the film unveils the challenges of growing up and what it means to become a man in America.

Re-broadcasting on WORLD Channel on Sunday, June 21 at 10 pm ET and Monday, June 22 at 2 am ET and 10am ET.


Nest-supported films at AFI DOCS

Digital Edition from Wednesday, June 17 to Sunday, June 21 

The Letter, co-directed by Maia von Lekow and Chris King

Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya (Project: Hatched 2020)
Available to stream Saturday, June 20 for 24 hours

The Fight, co-directed by Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, and Eli Despres (Project: Hatched 2020)
AFI Docs screening on Friday, June 19 at 8:00 pm EDT

The Letter, co-directed by Maia von Lekow and Chris King (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)
Virtual North American Premiere; Available to stream Sunday, June 21 for 24 hours

A Thousand Cuts, directed by Ramona Diaz (2017 Chicken & Egg Award) 
Available to stream Thursday, June 18 for 24 hours

Through The Night, directed by Loira Limbal (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab)
Available to stream Sunday, June 21 for 24 hours

AlumNest screenings at AFI DOCS include 9to5: The Story of a Movement, directed by Julia Reichert (Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steve Bognar; And She Could Be Next, co-directed by Grace Lee (Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Marjan Safinia (Chicken & Egg Pictures Board Member); Flower Punk, directed by Alison Klayman; Memoirs of Vegetation, directed by Jessica Oreck; and Women in Blue, directed by Deirdre Fishel.


Statement of Solidarity

As an organization and as the individuals who make up our team, we mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Dreasjon “Sean” Reed, Ahmaud Arbery, and the immeasurable loss of all Black lives at the hands of state-sanctioned police violence and white supremacy. 

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we unequivocally support and stand in solidarity with the protestors who are risking their own lives as they demand justice and fight against the anti-Black violence and racism that is endemic to all parts of our society. We cannot fulfill our mission without actively working to advance this movement and build a more just world.

Now Accepting Applications for the 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab Open Call!

The (Egg)celerator Lab is focused on identifying and supporting nonfiction directors working on their first or second feature-length documentary. This program brings together ten projects, with a special focus on self-identifying women and gender non-conforming directors. In this year-long program, these ten projects will receive:

  • $30,000–$40,000 in grant funding for the production of their feature-length film*;
  • Monthly mentorship with members of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ senior creative team;
  • Two to three creative retreats focused on career building and creative development*;
  • Industry meetings and funder connections; and
  • Peer support from the (Egg)celerator Lab cohort.

The deadline to apply for the 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab is Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 3:00 pm EDT. Factors like grant amount and number of retreats for the 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab will be flexible to a range of options, due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We know many in the documentary community have been deeply affected by the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Chicken & Egg Pictures, along with all our friends and colleagues at other filmmaker support organizations, are hard at work to find innovative ways to respond to our new reality. While the 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab will undoubtedly look different from programs held before this crisis, we are committed to continuing our support of emerging voices in documentary film. The filmmakers we support are at the center of every decision we make and we at Chicken & Egg Pictures will evolve and adapt to meet their changing needs. 

You can read more about how we are responding to the COVID-19 crisis as an organization here

Announcing 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees!

Announced via Women & Hollywood today, we are proud to present the ten grantees of the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab for emerging documentary filmmakers, set to receive a total of $400,000 toward their first or second feature-length documentaries.

This year, participants hail from eight different countries including Brazil, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Spain, and include filmmakers such as Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund recipient Snow (Hnin Ei Hlaing), PitchBLACK winner Nailah Jefferson, and Emmy-winning producer Violet Du Feng. Several films in this cohort explore similar themes through vastly different subjects: A Photographic Memory, Black Mothers, and Machtat tell stories of motherhood through art and memory, racial injustice, and marriage in the context of patriarchy. Commuted and Polaris are both stories of women’s lives after incarceration, one taking place in New Orleans and the other between France and the Arctic.

Please click the granted film’s titles for more information on each project and give these women filmmakers a warm welcome to the Nest.

Hidden Letters
Directors: Violet Du Feng, Zhao Qing (CHINA)
Two young Chinese Millennials in rural and metropolitan China look toward the wisdom of an ancient, secret woman-only script in order to navigate their lives in a world still dominated by men.

Eskape
Director: Neary Adeline Hay (CAMBODIA/FRANCE)
The survival story of a mother and her daughter, the filmmaker, through the desperate flight from a crumbling Cambodia after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Midwives
Director: Snow (Hnin Ei Hlaing) (MYANMAR)
Two midwives work side by side in a makeshift medical clinic.

Commuted
Director: Nailah Jefferson (US)
Commuted is an intimate look at the life of Danielle Metz and the familial impacts of long-term incarceration.     

Stories from the Debris
Director: Jennifer Rainsford (SWEDEN/UK)
With the Japanese Tsunami of 2011 as a backdrop, Stories from the Debris assembles a collection of poetic stories about how humans and nature rebuild after trauma.

The Boy and the Suit of Lights
Director: Inma de Reyes (SPAIN/SCOTLAND)
Hoping to rescue his family from poverty, young Borja is torn between tradition and progress as he trains to fulfil his family’s dream of him becoming a bullfighter.

Black Mothers
Director: Débora Souza Silva (BRAZIL)
Violence. Outrage. Impunity. Repeat. Black Mothers follows the journey of two women working to disrupt the cycle of racist police violence within our country’s judicial system.

A Photographic Memory
Director: Rachel Elizabeth Seed (US)
A photographer attempts to piece together a portrait of her mother, Sheila Turner-Seed, a daring journalist and a woman she never knew. Uncovering the vast archive Turner-Seed produced, including lost interviews with iconic photographers, the film explores memory, legacy, and stories left untold.                                                                            

Machtat
Director: Sonia Ben Slama (FRANCE/TUNISIA)
Machtat chronicles the daily life of Fatma and her daughters Najeh and Waffeh, wedding musicians in a small town in Tunisia.           

Polaris
Director: Ainara Vera (SPAIN)
Polaris tells the story of two French sisters with opposite lives that reconnect with one another to support the life of a newborn baby.

Note: The parentheses next to the directors’ names indicate the directors’ country or countries of origin.

A Full Nest at Tribeca Film Festival

The 2020 Tribeca line-up for feature films is out! And there’s plenty to see from the Nest. Making their world premieres at Tribeca Film Festival this year are three films (Enemies of the State, Pray Away, and Through the Night) from our (Egg)celerator Lab program in 2018 and 2019, one film supported through our Chicken & Egg Award (Stateless), and one film supported through a grant in 2018 (Simple As Water).

AlumNest filmmakers screening at Tribeca include directors such as Chicken & Egg Award recipients Dawn Porter (premiering John Lewis: Good Trouble) and Yoruba Richen (premiering The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show).

Here is your Nest guide to the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival, from Wednesday, April 15 to Sunday, April 26: 

Nest-supported films

Enemies of the State, directed by Sonia Kennebeck
2018 (Egg)celerator Lab

An average American family becomes entangled in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son is targeted by the US government.

Pray Away, directed by Kristine Stolakis
2019 (Egg)celerator Lab

Former leaders of the “pray away the gay” movement contend with the aftermath unleashed by their actions, while a survivor seeks healing and acceptance from more than a decade of trauma

Simple As Water, directed by Megan Mylan
2018 Grant

Megan Mylan’s closely observed fragments of lives cut between Turkey, Greece, Germany, and the US. Each unfolding scene portrays the elemental bonds holding together Syrian families pulled apart by war, searching for a new life.

Stateless (Apátrida), directed by Michèle Stephenson
2016 Chicken & Egg Award

Through the grassroots campaign of electoral hopeful Rosa Iris, director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary reveals the depths of racial hatred and institutionalized oppression that divide Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal
2018 (Egg)celerator Lab

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.

AlumNest films

John Lewis: Good Trouble, directed by Dawn Porter (2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)

The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show, directed by Yoruba Richen

Picture a Scientist, directed by Ian Cheney and Sharon Shattuck (From This Day Forward)

Women in Blue, directed by Deirdre Fishel (Care)

Also premiering at Tribeca is Athlete A, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, which is produced by our Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello, along with Serin Marshall and Jen Sey.

Congratulations to these filmmakers on their premieres!

Special Shoutout to Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Sabine Fayoux Cantillo for her Promotion!

Congratulations to Chicken & Egg Pictures team member Sabine Fayoux Cantillo on her new role of Program Manager. As Program Manager, Sabine plays a key role in the planning and implementation of several programs including the Chicken & Egg Award for advanced-career filmmakers; Next Gen Egg, a one-day event that brings together supported filmmakers, funders, and industry representatives; and AlumNest, which includes over 300 filmmakers to date. 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. She has also been instrumental in the (Egg)celerator Lab program for first- and second-time filmmakers. 

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.

Thanks for all you do for the Nest, Sabine! 

Announcing Project: Hatched 2020 Participants!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the first-ever participants of our newest program Project: Hatched, a completion fund which provides a $20,000 grant to selected directors in the lead up to their film premiere. $15,000 of the grant is for finishing funds and $5,000 is earmarked for impact strategy development. Participants also receive ten hours of mentorship focusing on festival premiere support, impact and distribution strategy, and professional development.

We also partnered with our friends at The Fledgling Fund for the
Chicken & Egg Pictures/Fledgling Fund Impact Grant, which provides an additional $20,000 to a Project: Hatched film whose campaign strategy has the ability to shape national and international conversations around the world’s most pressing issues. Congratulations to Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya, for being the first recipient of the Chicken & Egg Pictures/Fledgling Fund Impact Grant! 

Coded Bias (Chicken & Egg Pictures/Fledgling Fund Impact Grant recipient), directed by Shalini Kantayya, 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 Fight
, co-directed by Elyse SteinbergJosh Kriegman, and
Eli Despres, documents a team of scrappy ACLU lawyers battling Trump’s historic assault on civil liberties.*

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela, directed by Anabel Rodríguez, follows residents of a small fishing village as they prepare for parliamentary election. Once the village of Congo Mirador was prosperous. Now it is decaying and disintegrating—a prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself.*

*Premiering at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.   

Announcing our 2020 Chicken & Egg Award Recipients!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the fifth cohort of our Chicken & Egg Award, which recognizes and elevates five experienced documentary makers. This is the first year the Award has been opened to internationally-based filmmakers, and the six recipients hail from Canada, Chile, India, Serbia, Norway, and the US and have explored such diverse subjects as aging, artificial intelligence, and Indigenous rights.

In addition to a $50,000 unrestricted cash award and a year-long mentorship program, recipients also receive dedicated support from the Chicken & Egg Pictures creative team geared toward the development of new documentary projects.

Maite Alberdi is a Chilean director whose particular style is characterized by an intimate portrait of small worlds. She is one of the most important voices in Latin American documentaries. Her films include The Lifeguard (2011), Tea Time (2014), I Am Not From Here (2016), The Grown-Ups (2016), and The Mole Agent (2020).   

Tonje Hessen Schei is an award-winning Norwegian filmmaker and director of iHuman (2019), Drone (2014), Play Again (2010), and Independent Intervention (2005)—films that have received awards like The Golden Nymph Award and Norway’s national film awards, the Amanda and Gullruten awards for best documentary. 

Nishtha Jain is a multi-award-winning filmmaker best known for her films Saboot (2019), Gulabi Gang (2012), Lakshmi and Me (2007) and City of Photos (2004); her films are self-reflexive and explore the political in the personal, a recurring theme in her films being work or travail. She is a 2019 Fulbright Scholar and Film Independent Global Media Make. 

Michelle Latimer is a Métis/Algonquin filmmaker, actor, and producer; her goal is to use film and new media as a tool for social change. Her recent projects include Rise (Viceland, Sundance 2017) and Nuuca (TIFF, Berlinale, Sundance 2017). Her Indigenous heritage informs her filmmaking perspective.

Kimberly Reed is the director of Dark Money and Prodigal Sons, the first documentary by a transgender filmmaker to be theatrically released, which won 14 international awards. She is one of Filmmaker’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Mila Turajlić is an award-winning director and archive scholar born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Her films include The Other Side of Everything and Cinema KomunistoIn 2018, she was commissioned by MoMA to create archive-based video installations for their landmark exhibition on Yugoslav modernist architecture.

Laura Nix and Julia Reichert Nominated for 92nd Academy Awards

Egg-citing news! Announced today, filmmakers Laura Nix and Julia Reichert received Oscar nominations for their nonfiction films Walk Run Cha-Cha and American Factory, respectively.

Walk Run Cha-Cha
Directed by Laura Nix (2018 Chicken & Egg Award);
Produced by Colette Sandstedt
Nominated for Documentary Short

American Factory
Directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award) and Steve Bognar; Produced by Julia Reichert, Steve Bognar, Jeff Reichert, and Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello
Nominated for Documentary Feature

We are so proud to have supported Laura and Julia through our Chicken & Egg Award program and wish them the best of luck! You can stream American Factory on Netflix and Walk Run Cha-Cha on New York Times Op-Docs.

The 92nd Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 9, 2020. A full list the full list of nominees can be seen here.

American Factory Soars at Cinema Eye Honors!

Congratulations to the American Factory team, including co-director and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Julia Reichert and Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello, on the accolades they received at the thirteenth annual Cinema Eye Honors at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York on January 6.

American Factory was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking and Outstanding Achievement in Direction. 

American Factory is directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert and produced by Steve Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello. 

Plus a special shoutout to AlumNest filmmaker Jehane Noujaim and The Great Hack team for their win in the Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation category.