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Loira Limbal: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 8

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Through the Night Loira Limbal 2018 Accelerator LabLoira Limbal is an Afro-Latina filmmaker, activist, and DJ interested in the creation of art that affirms women of color and builds solidarity across communities. Her first film, Estilo Hip Hop, aired on PBS in 2009.

Limbal is currently directing Through the Night, 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 Loira Limbal 2018 Accelerator Lab
Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal

For the past decade, Limbal has dedicated herself to fusing arts and activism. She has worked at various community-based organizations in New York City including The Point Community Development Corporation, The Dominican Women’s Development Center, and Sista II Sista. In 2006, she founded The Reel X Project, a social justice and creative filmmaking space for young women of color in the Southwest Bronx.

Limbal received a B.A. in History from Brown University and is a graduate of the Third World Newsreel’s Film and Video Production Training Program. She has received awards from the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the Lisa Sullivan Fund.

Limbal is the Vice President and Documentary Lab Director at Firelight Media. She lives in the Bronx with her two children.

Through the Night is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab.

 

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Penny Lane: Dozen Days of Filmmakers – Day 7

Penny Lane 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker AwardChicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Penny Lane is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film”. Penny has been making innovative nonfiction films for over a decade, including three features – The Pain of Others, NUTS! and Our Nixon – and about a dozen short films. Her most recent feature documentary, The Pain of Others, a YouTube compilation film about Morgellons, screened at BAMcinemaFest and Sheffield Doc/Fest and was featured in The New Yorker.

In September, she was honored at Open City Documentary Film Festival in London as part of their “Penny Lane: Observing Observation Itself” program, which included screenings of two of Penny’s feature films and eight of her shorts.

She received her MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her BA in American Culture and Media Studies at Vassar College. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Colgate University, where she lives in a very old house and shows movies in her barn.

Her new feature documentary, Hail Satan?, is “a look at the intersection of religion and activism, tracing the rise of The Satanic Temple: only six years old and already one of the most controversial religious movements in American history”. It was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and will have its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Penny Lane is a Chicken & Egg Pictures 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name.

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Kimi Takesue: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 6

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Kimi TakesueKimi Takesue is an award-winning filmmaker and recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships in Film. Takesue’s ten films have screened at over two hundred festivals/museums internationally including the Sundance Film Festival, the Locarno Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, SXSW, and the Museum of Modern Art and have aired on PBS, IFC, Comcast, and SundanceTV.

Takesue’s critically acclaimed Ugandan feature-length documentary Where Are You Taking Me? was commissioned by the International Film Festival Rotterdam and premiered at the festival, followed by screenings at MoMA’s Doc Fortnight and the LA Film Festival. The film was theatrically released by Icarus Films, was a Critics’ Pick by Time Out New York and LA Weekly and was described by The New York Times as, “Fascinating…an unusual, visually rich visit to the nation.”

Her recent feature documentary 95 and 6 to Go was nominated for the prestigious 2017 Doc Alliance Selection Award and screened at over twenty-five international festivals including CPH:DOX, DOK Leipzig, Doclisboa, FIDMarseille and DOC NYC.

Takesue Kimi 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award 95 and 6 To Go
95 and 6 To Go, directed by Kimi Takesue

In 95 and 6 To GoKimi Takesue captures the cadence of daily life for Grandpa Tom, a retired postal worker born to Japanese immigrants to Hawai’i in the 1910’s. Amidst the solitude of his home routines – coupon clipping, rigging an improvised barbecue, lighting firecrackers on the New Year – we glimpse an unexpectedly rich inner life. As his granddaughter queries his history of love and loss, a stalled film project becomes a collaborative inquiry into mortality and how one constructs a personal narrative with memories that span almost a century.

Shot over six years in Honolulu, this intimate meditation on absence and family expands the vernacular of the “home movie” to consider how history is accumulated in the everyday and how sparks of humor and creativity can animate an ordinary life.

Kimi Takesue is a 2018 Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient. 

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Assia Boundaoui: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 5

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Assia Boundaoui The Feeling of Being Watched 2016 Accelerator LabAssia Boundaoui is an Algerian-American journalist and filmmaker based in Chicago. She has reported for the BBC, NPR, AlJazeera, VICE, CNN and was the recipient of a first place Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Her directorial debut, The Feeling of Being Watched, was a participant in the 2016 Accelerator Lab and a recipient of The Whickers Chicken & Egg Pictures Award.

In the Arab-American neighborhood outside of Chicago where Assia Boundaoui grew up, most of her neighbors think they have been under surveillance for over a decade. 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.

The Feeling of Being Watched Assia Boundaoui 2016 Accelerator Lab surveillance.jpg
The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui

In 2018, The Feeling of Being Watched had its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, was an official selection at Hot Docs, and received the Audience Award at Camden International Film Festival,  the BlackStar Film Festival, Boston GlobeDocs Film Festival, and the Regent Park Film Festival. The film also won jury awards for Best Documentary Feature and James Lyons Editing Award For Documentary Feature at the Woodstock Film Festival. Assia is a fellow with the Co-Creation Studio at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she is iterating her most recent work, The Inverse Surveillance Project,  a machine learning fueled sequel to The Feeling of Being Watched.

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Kristi Jacobson: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 4

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

“Central to my approach is to not have an agenda, and to not think I know the story and not try and only film the pieces that will tell that story, but to just be really open and curious.” – Kristi Jacobson, No Film School

Kristin JacobsonKristi Jacobson is a New York based filmmaker whose films capture nuanced, intimate, and provocative portrayals of individuals and communities. Her feature documentary, A Place at the Table, called “one of the most important…and gripping non-fiction films to debut in some time” by Indiewire, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival before its theatrical release in over 35 US cities. Previous films include the critically acclaimed Toots, winner of the National Board of Review’s 2007 Top Documentary Award, and HBO documentary American Standoff, produced by two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple. Jacobson is a member of the Director’s Guild of America, NYWIFT, and a two-time Sundance Creative Producing Fellow.

Her latest feature film, Chicken & Egg Pictures grantee Solitary, provides an immersive and unprecedented look inside the world of solitary confinement in the US. It premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and received the Outstanding Investigative Documentary award at the 39th Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards.

Solitary Kristi Jacobson
Solitary, directed by Kristi Jacobson

Her new short film Take Back the Harbor, co-directed with Roger Ross Williams, premiered at the 2018 DOC NYC Film Festival and was featured in their Short List for Short Films. It tells the story of an ambitious program working to restore once-bountiful oysters and the environmental benefits they bring to New York Harbor.

Take Back the Harbor will have its broadcast debut Tuesday, December 18 at 8pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel.

Kristi Jacobson is a Chicken & Egg Pictures 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient.

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Nausheen Dadabhoy: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 3

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Nausheen Dadabhoy An Act of Worship Chicken & Egg Pictures Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 unnamed-5.jpgNausheen Dadabhoy is a Pakistani-American director and DP from Southern California. She received her MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute. She is based in New York, Los Angeles and Karachi, where she has broken boundaries to become the only female cinematographer in Pakistan.

Shooting out of an open cable car in the Swiss Alps at 9000 feet; getting followed by Pakistani intelligence officials in Kashmir; smuggling a camera into the holiest Muslim site in the world; narrowly avoiding terrorists near the Afghan border; these are the many things that Nausheen Dadabhoy has done to “get the shot.”

An Act of Worship Nausheen Dadabhoy Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 unnamed-3.jpg
An Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy

Since graduating she has lensed a number of narrative and documentary films: J’adore Nawal for Lena Dunham’s HBO documentary series Lenny which premiered at Sundance, Academy Award Live Action Short nominee La femme et le TGV or The Railroad Lady, and Aaja a music video for Riz Ahmed’s hip hop group The Swet Shop Boys. Nausheen’s films have played in competition at festivals like TIFF, AFI Fest, Locarno and IDFA. Her clients include Field of Vision, HBO, A&E and MSNBC.

An Act of Worship Nausheen Dadabhoy Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 unnamed-1.jpg
An Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy

Nausheen is the director of An Act of Worship, participant of the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative, currently in production.

An Act of Worship follows young Muslim women beginning their career in activism at a time when hate crimes against Muslims have reached their highest level since 9/11. The travel ban has sent the message that Muslims are not welcome in the US. Now, a new generation has been galvanized into action to reclaim their space in the American landscape.

Sahra Mani: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 2

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

“I make films to give hope to the women of my country and to give guidance to those who want to know my country better. I make films to help build a safe society for the next generation and to record our journey to that point.” – Sahra Mani, Al Jazeera

A Thousand Girls Like Me Sahra Mani 2016 Diversity Fellows InitiativeSahra Mani is an award-winning Afghan filmmaker committed to using her skills as a filmmaker to amplify the voices of Afghan women to help bring about an understanding of their lives.

She received a BA in Digital Film Production from London Metropolitan University and an MA in Documentary Filmmaking from University of the Arts London. 

Sahra was an organizer of the Afghanistan Human Rights Film Festival in 2013.  She is the founder of Afghanistan Doc House, a production company based in Kabul, and co-founder of London based production company Anahat Vision and Films. Her documentary films have played at film festivals around the world and won numerous awards. 

A Thousand Girls Like Me 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative Sahra Mani
A Thousand Girls Like Me, directed by Sahra Mani

Her latest feature documentary and 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative grantee A Thousand Girls Like Me had its world premiere at Hot Docs this year, and went on to show at IDFA, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and Sheffield Doc/Fest. 

In Afghanistan where systematic abuses of girls rarely come to light, and seeking justice can be deadly, one young woman says “enough.” Khatera was brutally raped by her father since the age of nine and today she raises two precious and precocious children whom he sired. Against her family’s and many Afghanis’ wishes, Khatera forces her father to stand trial.

A shortened version of A Thousand Girls Like Me is available to stream on Al Jazeera.

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Julia Reichert: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 1

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Julia Reichert is a three-time Academy Award® nominated documentary filmmaker based in Ohio whose work focuses on class, gender, and race in the lives of Americans.

In 1971, frustrated with the lack of distribution options for films by and about women, she co-founded New Day Films, the democratically run documentary film distribution cooperative. Forty-seven years later, New Day Films is going strong, and now has over 150 active members.

Julia’s first film, Growing Up Female, was the first feature documentary of the modern Women’s Movement. It was recently selected for the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Her films Union Maids and Seeing Red were nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Feature Documentary, as was The Last Truck, a short (co-directed with Steven Bognar) which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and on HBO.  Her film A Lion in the House (an ITVS co-production, made with Bognar) premiered at Sundance, screened nationally on PBS, and won the Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking. She co-wrote and directed the feature film Emma and Elvis. Julia is also the author of Doing It Yourself, the first book on self-distribution in independent film, and was an Advisory Board member of Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP).

The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, directed by Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar

Her most recent feature film with Steven BognarAmerican Factorywill have its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. American Factory tells the story of a Chinese billionaire who opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant in post-industrial Ohio, hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.*

Julia was recently awarded the Career Achievement Award at the 2018 International Documentary Awards (alongside the Chicken & Egg Pictures team for the Amicus Award) for her incredible contributions to documentary filmmaking. 

In 2019, the Museum of Modern Art and the Wexner Center for the Arts will team up to present a traveling retrospective of Julia Reichert’s films.

Julia is a 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient.

*Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival. 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

The Nest at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival

Chicken & Egg Pictures is coming to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival! In addition to seeing our filmmakers soar, we are delighted that they are contributing to a festival where 40% of selected films are directed by one or more women, and 53% percent of the directors eligible for the festival’s top prize are women. 

The following Nest-supported projects and filmmakers from our Accelerator Lab and Breakthrough Filmmaker Award programs, along with several directors from our AlumNest, will be celebrating their world premieres.

Jacqueline Olive Always in Season
Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive

Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive (2018 Accelerator Lab)

As the trauma of a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present, Always in Season follows relatives of the perpetrators and victims in communities across the country who are seeking justice and reconciliation in the midst of racial profiling and police shootings. In Bladenboro, NC, the film connects historic racial terrorism to racial violence today with the story of Claudia Lacy who grieves as she fights to get an FBI investigation opened into the death of her seventeen-year-old son, Lennon Lacy, found hanging from a swing set on August 29, 2014. Claudia, like many others, believes Lennon was lynched.

One Child Nation, directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang (2017 Accelerator Lab)

How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.

Director Nanfu Wang is also a recipient of the 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award.

American Factory*, directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award)

In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant, hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.**

Hail Satan*, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award)

A look at the intersection of religion and activism, tracing the rise of The Satanic Temple: only six years old and already one of the most controversial religious movements in American history. The Temple is calling for a Satanic revolution to save the nation’s soul. But are they for real?**

In addition, the following films directed by Nest-supported filmmakers will be featured at the festival:

Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (director of Nest-supported film The Hand That Feeds with Robin Blotnick)

Shooting the Mafia, directed by Kim Longinotto (director of Nest-supported film Dreamcatcher)

The Great Hack, directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim (Jehane is the director of the Nest-supported film The Square)

The Sundance Film Festival will run from January 24 to February 3, 2019. Congratulations to all, and we will see you in Park City! 

 

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support American Factory and Hail Satan but supported director Julia Reichert and director Penny Lane during their Breakthrough years.

**Synopses courtesy of Sundance Film Festival.

Nest-supported Films at IDFA

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam kicked off yesterday, celebrating their 31st year offering an independent  meeting place for audiences and film industry professionals to see film projects from all over the world.  IDFA runs from Wednesday, November 14 to Sunday, November 25 at cultural centers and cinemas across Amsterdam.

We are very excited to say Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported projects Freedom Fields, A Thousand Girls Like Me, and Survivors will have their Dutch premieres at IDFA this year.

Freedom Fields Naziha Arebi

Freedom Fields, directed by Naziha Arebi

Filmed over five years, Freedom Fields follows three women and their football team in post-revolution Libya, as the country descends into civil war and the utopian hopes of the Arab Spring begin to fade. Through the eyes of these accidental activists, we see the reality of a country in transition, where the personal stories of love and aspirations collide with History. A love letter to sisterhood and the power of ‘team’.

Freedom Fields will run in the Best of Fests program which showcases prize-winners, public favorites, and high-profile documentaries from the past year. For tickets to one of six screenings of Freedom Fields at IDFA, see here.

Survivors Anna Fitch, Banker White, and Arthur Pratt

Survivors, co-directed by Anna Fitch, Banker White, Arthur Pratt, and Barmmy Boy

Through the eyes of Sierra Leonean filmmakers, Survivors presents a portrait of their country during the Ebola outbreak, exposing the complexity of the epidemic and the socio-political turmoil that lies in its wake. The film chronicles the remarkable stories of Sierra Leonean heroes during what is now widely regarded as the most acute public health crisis of the modern era.

Survivors is nominated for the inaugural Amsterdam Human Rights Award, for films with strong cinematography and that best present the theme of human rights. For tickets to IDFA screenings of Survivors, see here.

A Thousand Girls Like Me 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative Sahra Mani

A Thousand Girls Like Me, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

In Afghanistan where systematic abuses of girls rarely come to light, and seeking justice can be deadly, one young woman says “Enough.” Khatera was brutally raped by her father since the age of nine and today she raises two precious and precocious children whom he sired. Against her family’s and many Afghanis’ wishes, Khatera forces her father to stand trial. This is her incredible story of love, hope, bravery, forgiveness, and truth.

A Thousand Girls Like Me  will run in the Best of Fests program and also received a nomination for the inaugural Amsterdam Human Rights Award. See here for tickets to screenings.