Nest-supported films at San Francisco International Film Festival!

We are egg-cited to see three Nest-supported filmmakers, and two AlumNest filmmakers participating at the 65th San Francisco Film Festival, taking place from Thursday, April 22 through Sunday May 1, with a full in-person lineup.


dir. & prod. Isabel Castro

prod. Tabs Breese, Yesenia Tlahuel

Close up to the face of Doris singing
Still from Mija

With Doris’ voice as our guide, Mija uses VHS archive, verité footage, and camcorder vlogging to tell the story of two young women’s coming-of-age journeys as they look for success and belonging. The film is an immensely emotional and intimate portrait honoring the resilience of immigrants and their children. 

is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the McBaine Documentary Feature Competition.

Black Mothers Love & Resist

dir. & prod. Débora Souza Silva

prod. David Felix Sutcliffe

Still from Black Mothers Love & Resist

Wanda Johnson and Angela Williams, mothers of young Black men victimized by police brutality, come together and build a network of community-led support, mutual aid, and healing in this trenchant documentary. 

Black Mothers Love & Resist
is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Documentaries: USA section.


dir. & prod. Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing

prods. Bob Moore, Ulla Lehmann, Mila Aung-Thwin

Still from Midwives

A tale of the complicated relationship between Rohingya and Buddhists in Myanmar, told over five years through the eyes of two midwives from either side of the divide. 

is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Documentaries: USA section.

From the AlumNest

  • The Janes
    dirs. Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes
    prods. Emma Pildes, Daniel Arcana, Jessica Levin

  • TikTok, Boom.
    dir. & prod. Shalini Kantayya
    prods. Ross M. Dinerstein, Danni Mynard

A special shout out to our Co-Founder & Board President Julie Parker Benello, producer of Sell/Buy/Date (dir. & prod. Sarah Jones, prods. David Goldblum, Julie Parker Benello), screening in the Documentaries: USA section.

Check out the full line-up with this link.

Against the Tide wins at Visions du Réel-VdR–Industry Awards!

The industry awards of the 2022 edition of Visions du Réel were announced on Wednesday, April 13. We are celebrating 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Against the Tide on winning the Freestudios Award for VdR-Work in Progress project for the creation of a DCP package. 

During the awards announcement, Madeline Robert, Head of Industry, also noted that this festival edition had a record of people in attendance. We are also sending a huge congratulations to the festival and the team that made it possible.

Against the Tide

dir. & prod. Sarvnik Kaur

prods. Koval Bhatia, Quentin Laurent

Still from Against the Tide

A tale of love, brotherhood, and resentments against the backdrop of an adoring sea, which is turning adverse under the menacing effects of an all-pervading calamity called climate change.

Check out the full list of industry awards winners with this link.

Brett Story and Stephanie Wang-Breal selected for Original Voices Fellowship!

At Chicken & Egg Pictures we are sending massive congratulations to Chicken & Egg Award recipients Brett Story and Stephanie Wang-Breal on being selected for an NBCU Academy Original Voices Fellowship. The fellowship is directed towards documentarians who identify as–or showcase stories highlighting social issues affecting–women, LGBTQ+, communities of color and people with disabilities. 

The selected fellows will receive a $60,000 grant and a one-year artist development fellowship designed to help each filmmaker with the completion of their films; access to archival research and production resources as well as NBC News Studios executives and journalists; attend the 67th Flaherty Film Seminar, Continents of Drifting Clouds, programmed by Almudena Escobar López and Sky Hopinka; and will also participate in Collective Lens: An Impact Roadmap, a robust impact strategy workshop, led by Peace is Loud, to equip filmmakers with the tools to run their own impact campaigns, advancing transformative peace and social justice through storytelling. 

Congratulations! 🥳

This is a headshot of Brett Story, a white woman with freckles and long brown hair and bangs. She is sitting at a table against a white wall, wearing a black turtleneck and jeans.2022 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Brett Story  

Untitled Labor Union Documentary
dirs. Brett Story and Stephen Maing
prods. Samantha Curley and Mars Verrone, 

From the perspective of a single Amazon fulfillment center, this documentary is an intimate portrait of current and former Amazon workers taking on one of the world’s largest and most powerful companies in the fight to unionize.

2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Stephanie Wang-Breal

Florence From Ohio
dir. Stephanie Wang-Breal
prod. Carrie Weprin & Mynette Louie

Florence from Ohio is a real-life, genre-twisting film about Florence Wang and her second-generation daughter, Stephanie Wang-Breal. Told through the lens of Florence’s St. John Knit power suits and 1980s local TV cooking show, mother and daughter collectively reimagine and grapple with their generational ideas of motherhood, feminism, racism, and assimilation. 

Check out the full list of recipients with this link.

Announcing our 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees!

A collage of photos with stills of the ten projects supported by the 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab

Announced via Variety today, we are proud to present the ten grantees selected for the 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab, who will each receive $40,000 towards the production of their documentary. Additionally, for the first time ever, ten projects have been selected to receive Egg)celerator Lab Finalist Grants of $15,000 each. The 20 projects, directed by emerging filmmakers, will collectively receive a total of $550,000 in grants, marking the largest sum that Chicken & Egg Pictures has ever directed towards the support of an (Egg)celerator Lab cohort and finalists of emerging filmmakers in a single year.

This year, the cohort includes directors hailing from countries such as the US, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Romania, and Belarus. Filmmaker grantees include Volia Chajkouskaya, the founder of the Northern Lights Nordic-Baltic Film Festival, Lina Vdovîi and Radu Ciorniciuc, award-winning independent reporters, Contessa Gayles, an Emmy nominated producer. The films center women reclaiming their stories, and explore similar themes through vastly different subjects: In Matryoshka and TATA, filmmakers illustrate portraits of their parents that connect with their own personal narratives. Here, the Silence is Heard and Joonam explore intimate intergenerational memories in the context of complex political histories, and the search for an identity. 

Click on the film’s titles for more information on each project. We are thrilled to give these filmmakers a warm welcome to the Nest.

The 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab Grantees are:

7 Beats Per Minute
Producers: Ina Fichman, Anita Lee
7 Beats Per Minute is an intimate and unyielding journey with female freediving champion, Jessea Lu, as she faces her biggest fear and attempts to dive over 100 meters in one single breath.

Here, the Silence is Heard
Director: Gabriela Pena (CHILE / SPAIN)
Co-director: Picho García (CHILE) 
Producers: Gabriela Pena, Picho García
After arriving in Chile at the old house that my family abandoned in exile, ghosts of an unstoppable family spell begin to appear at night.

Director: Sierra Urich (US)
Producer: Keith Wilson
A filmmaker uncovers her family’s lost Iranian past, and with it the complex relationships between mother and daughter, Iran and America, and displacement and identity.

Life + Life
Director: Contessa Gayles (US)
Producer: Contessa Gayles
An incarcerated musician struggles for healing and peace as he comes of age in this documentary-musical odyssey composed behind bars.

Director: Maricarmen Merino Mora (COSTA RICA) 
Producers: Karla Bukantz, Paulina Villegas
Matryoshka is an intimate portrait of a mother through her daughter’s eyes, following the complex journey of a woman finding her own voice.

Director: Indira Cato (MEXICO)
Producer: Jessica Rito
After being a victim of sexual virtual violence, Olimpia Coral Melo sought the enactment of a groundbreaking law to protect women against cyberviolence, but now she’s still looking for a way to heal her internal wounds.

Our Daughters (working title)
Director: Chithra Jeyaram (US / INDIA)
Producers: Chithra Jeyaram, Jonna McKone
For the sake of their twin daughters, an Indian adoptive mother and a white birth mother venture into uncharted territory with an open adoption, crossing racial and cultural lines.

Co-directors: Lina Vdovîi and Radu Ciorniciuc (MOLDOVA / ROMANIA)
Producer: Monica Lazurean Gorgan
A journalist estranged from her violent father discovers that he’s become a victim of exploitation at work. When she agrees to help him expose the injustice, it reopens the wounds of their past.

The Wife Of
Director: Volia Chajkouskaya (BELARUS / ESTONIA)
Producers: Volia Chajkouskaya, Ivo Felt, Christian Popp, and Marius Markevicius
Undisclosed project.

Undisclosed Project
Details to be announced later this year.

The 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab Finalists are:

Directors: Clare Weiskopf, Nicolas van Hemelryck (COLOMBIA)
Producers: Clare Weiskopf, Nicolas van Hemelryck, Radu Stancu, Alexandra Galvis
Teenage girls, who lived on the streets of Bogota, dream up a fictional classmate. Their soulful narrative reveals their perseverance to break the cycle of violence and embrace a brighter future.

Eat Bitter 
Directors: Pascale Appora-Gnekindy, Ningyi Sun (CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC / CHINA)
Producer: Mathieu Faure
Eat Bitter is a character-driven vérité film set in the Central African Republic, one of the poorest countries in the world. During the civil war, a Chinese immigrant construction manager and a local African laborer work on opposite ends of the spectrum to construct a sparkling new bank. As deadlines loom, they don’t hesitate to strip the earth and destroy their family lives for a seat at the table of prosperity.

How to Build a Library 
Co-directors: Maia Lekow, Christopher King (KENYA / AUSTRALIA) 
Producers: Maia Lekow, Christopher King
Two tenacious Kenyan women are transforming a dilapidated, junk-filled library in downtown Nairobi into a hub for the city’s population and creatives. But first they must wrangle with the local government, raise several million dollars for the reconstruction, and confront the ghosts of a problematic colonial history still trapped within the library walls.

Directors: Silvia Castaños, Estefanía Contreras (US / MEXICO)
Producers: Leslie Benavides, Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Ana Rodriguez-Falco, Jillian Schlesinger
Co-directors: Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Diane Ng, Ana Rodriguez-Falco, Jillian Schlesinger
Best friends Silvia and Estefanía emerge at night to escape the cruel heat of summer in their Texas border town, wandering empty streets in search of inspiration, adventure, and a sense of belonging. When forces threaten their shared dreams, they take a stand and hold onto what they can—the moment and each other.

Light of the Setting Sun 
Director: Vicky Du (US)
Producer: Danielle Varga
A Taiwanese-American filmmaker confronts her family’s silence around the cycles of violence that have persisted since the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949.

River of Grass 
Director: Sasha Wortzel (US)
Producer: Danielle Varga 
Co-producer: Houston Cypress
River of Grass unfolds as a voyage through the past, present, and precarious future of the iconic and imperiled Florida Everglades; told through the writings of the late environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and those who today call the region home.

There Was, There Was Not 
Director: Emily Mkrtichian (US / ARMENIA) 
Producer: Mara Adina
There Was, There Was Not tells the collective myth of a homeland nearly lost to war and four women’s resistance to that loss.

We Are Volcanoes 
Co-directors: Sharon Yeung, Natalie A. Chao (HONG KONG)
Producer: Sharon Yeung
Undisclosed project.

When They Were Here 
Director: Ivy MacDonald (US / BLACKFEET TRIBE)
Co-director: Ivan MacDonald (US / BLACKFEET TRIBE)
Producer: Jessica Jane Hart
Told through the memory and lives of those left behind–families, When They Were Here examines the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis and its legacy on the Blackfeet Reservation in Northern Montana. 

Untitled Project 
Directors: Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya (INDIA) 
Producers: Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya
Undisclosed project.

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

Kirsten Johnson is the Special Guest of Visions du Réel!

We are egg-cited to see Nest-supported filmmakers participating at Visions du Réel (International Film Festival Nyon, Switzerland): 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Kirsten Johnson, who is the Special Guest, and 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars (previously titled Stories from Debris), which is having its world premiere. The in-person festival will take place in the city of Nyon from Thursday, April 7 to Sunday, April 17, and online from Monday, April 11 through Monday, April 18.

Kirsten Johnson

Special Guest of Visions du Réel

Kirsten Jacobson 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award
Kirsten Johnson

2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Kirsten Johnson will give a masterclass in partnership with Le Temps, and her work as director as well as a selection of films to which she contributed will be featured in a retrospective. Plus, the posters and visual identity of the festival were taken from Kirsten’s body of work. 

  • Masterclass
    Thursday, April 14  

  • Cameraperson (Nest-supported)
    dir. & prod. Kirsten Johnson, prod. Marilyn Ness
    Get your tickets with this link

  • Bintou in Paris
    dirs. Kirsten Johnson & Julia Pimsleur, prod. Julia Pimsleur  

  • Deadline
    dirs. Kirsten Johnson & Katy Chevigny, prods. Katy Chevigny & Dallas Brennan 

  • The Above
    dir. & prod. Kirsten Johnson, prod. Marilyn Ness  

  • Dick Johnson is Dead (Nest-supported)
    dir. Kirsten Johnson, prods. Katy Chevigny & Marilyn Ness  

  • Derrida
    *Cinematography by Kirsten Johnson
    dirs. Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering Kofman, prod. Amy Ziering Kofman




All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars

(previously titled Stories From Debris)

dir. Jennifer Rainsford

prods. Mirjam Gelhorn, David Herdies, Michael Krotkiewski

Still from All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars

On March 11, 2011, a tsunami devastated the coasts of Japan, claiming thousands of lives. Today, the scars of this tragedy remain visible. Yet in spite of this, people, plants and animals alike continue to exist. Through striking images shot on land and in the sea, Jennifer Rainsford’s film celebrates human resilience and the endless beauty of our planet.* 

All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is having its world premiere in the International Feature Film Competition . 

Get your tickets with this link

Check out the trailer with this link.

Take a look at the full line-up with this link
*Text courtesy of Cineuropa.

Celebrating Alison O’Daniel’s Guggenheim Fellowship!

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we congratulate 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Alison O’Daniel on her 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship. Alison is a filmmaker and visual artist, and Assistant Professor of Film at California College of the Arts. She is currently working on her first feature film The Tuba Thieves
Huge congratulations, Alison. We are so proud of you!

Alison O’Daniel

Nest-supported films at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

We are proud to see two Nest-supported and two AlumNest films at the 25th Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, which will be held online from Thursday, April 7 through Sunday, April 10.  

Full Frame’s lineup includes 19 films, out of 37, directed or co-directed by women or nonbinary filmmakers.

Mama Bears

dir. & prod. Daresha Kyi

prod. Laura Tatham

MAMA BEARS DARESHA KYI 2019 Eggcelerator Lab
Still from Mama Bears

Mama Bears is an intimate exploration of two “mama bears”—conservative, Christian mothers who have become fierce advocates for LGBTQ+ people—and a young lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance exemplifies why the mama bears are so important.  

Mama Bears is a 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee.  
We are egg-cited to announce that the tickets for this film are sold out!  

Sign up for the Mama Bears doc newsletter to receive updates from the film team.

This film is only available to viewers in the United States.


dir. & prod. Isabel Castro

prod. Tabs Breese, Yesenia Tlahuel

Still from Mija
Still from Mija

With Doris’ voice as our guide, Mija uses VHS archive, verité footage, and camcorder vlogging to tell the story of two young women’s coming-of-age journeys as they look for success and belonging. The film is an immensely emotional and intimate portrait honoring the resilience of immigrants and their children. 

Mija is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee. 
Get your tickets with this link

This film is only available to viewers in the United States.

AlumNest Films

dir. & prod. Malika Zouhali-Worrall (2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)  

prods. Beth Levison (2021 Project: Hatched grantee for the film Storm Lake) and Judith Mizrachy, dirs. Anne Alvergue, Debra McClutchy

Check out Full Frame’s full line up with this link.

The Last Nomads Wins Best Pitch at CPH:DOX!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to see 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee The Last Nomads receive the €20,000 Eurimages Co-Production Development Award for the best pitch of this year’s CPH:FORUM, announced on Friday, April 1.  

“We were impressed by this project which brings us to a place we didn’t know existed, a place of striking beauty and importance to humanity. A story of the human being in a David against Goliath battle, urgently reminding us not to lose our way in the fog of war.” 

–Jury Statement 

Through the story of a a mother and daughter defending their land against becoming a military polygon, the film illustrates how violence against women echoes in violence against nature. 

This project is currently in development and looking for €624,000 ($659,428 USD) in funding.

The Last Nomads Biljana Tutorov & Petar Glomazić

prods. Biljana Tutorov & Veliša Popović

Still from The Last Nomads
Biljana & Petar receiving their award*

Check out the full list of winners with this link.

*Photo courtesy of CPH:DOX

Ascension Soars at Cinema Eye Honors!

Huge congratulations to the Ascension team for picking up three awards at the 15th Annual Cinema Eye Honors: Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography, Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score, and Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film. 

Plus a special shoutout to AlumNest filmmakers Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, and the In the Same Breath team for their win in the award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Film For Broadcast.


dir. & prod. Jessica Kingdon

prods. Kira Simon-Kennedy, Nathan Truesdell

Still from Ascension

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Jessica Kingdon and Nathan Truesdell

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
Dan Deacon

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film
Jessica Kingdon

Ascension examines the contemporary “Chinese Dream” through staggering observations of labor, consumerism and wealth. In cinematically exploring the aspiration that drives today’s People’s Republic of China, the film plunges into universal paradoxes of economic progress.

Headshot of a woman with a pony tail, a short sleeve shirt and smiling at the cameraOutstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Film For Broadcast
In the Same Breath
dir. Nanfu Wang
prods. Jialing Zhang, Carolyn Hepburn, Sara Rodriguez, Julie Goldman, and Christopher Clements 

Headshot of a woman with long hair and a fringe smiling at the camera

Take a look at the complete list of award winners by visiting this link.

Six Nest-supported filmmakers receive The Spark Fund!

We are egg-tremely proud to see six Nest-supported filmmakers among Firelight Media Spark Fund’s 36 recipients. This one-time opportunity offers a $50,000 stipend to established, independent documentary filmmakers who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC) and whose work on humanities-themed projects was disrupted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.  
Congratulations to all the recipients!

Assia Boundaoui The Feeling of Being Watched 2016 Accelerator Lab2016 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Assia Boundaoui (The Feeling of Being Watched)

A headshot of a woman looking at the camera with curly medium length hair, wearing a blazer and a necklace2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Débora Souza Silva (Black Mothers)

Portrait of a woman with short medium hair, slightly tilting down their head and looking up at the cameraNest-supported filmmaker Farihah Zaman (Remote Area Medical)

Portrait of a woman with medium length hair, wearing a scarf and looking2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs)

Headshot of a woman with short curly hair, looking at the camera and with a blurry background2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Michèle Stephenson

Made in India Vaishali SinhaNest-supported filmmaker Vaishali Sinha (Made in India)

Headshot of a woman tilting her head to her left and widely smiling. She wears dreadlocks, an open shirt with a shirt underneath and a necklace.We are sending an extra special congratulations to our Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon, who was also selected as one of the recipients.

Check out the full list of recipients and learn more about them with this link.