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AlumNest Filmmakers are DOC NYC PRO’s

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara López
Behind the scenes still from Silent Beauty, directed by Jasmin López. The (Egg)celerator Lab grantee is participating in the DOC NYC “Only in New York” initiative during DOC NYC PRO.

The line-up for the 2019 DOC NYC PRO conference was recently released, and the eight day industry conference will feature documentary panels, master classes, and an expanded initiative to support works-in-progress called “Only in New York”, co-presented by SHOWTIME® Documentary Films. This year features a record number of AlumNest filmmakers and Nest industry friends sharing their insight and expertise at the conference from Thursday, November 7 to Friday, November 15.

Check out the Nest-full DOC NYC PRO line-up below:

DOC NYC PRO: First-Time Filmmaker 
Thursday, Nov. 7 from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Panels such as “Developing Your Story” and “Funding an Independent Documentary” feature Malika Zouhali-Worrall (2019 Chicken & Egg Award), Chelsi Bullard (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee for Kids Can Spit), and former Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Intern Netsanet Negussie (now Creative Development & Production Associate at Catalyst Films, helmed by 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Kristi Jacobson).

DOC NYC PRO: The Short List: Features
Friday, Nov. 8 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | IFC Center

2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Nanfu Wang will discuss politics in One Child Nation, with directors of The Edge of DemocracyThe Kingmaker and For Sama. Plus AlumNest filmmakers Steve Bognar (co-director of American Factory) and Rachel Lears (Knock Down the House) discuss the art of observation in documentary.

DOC NYC PRO: Editing
Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM Cinepolis Chelsea

Hear from AlumNest filmmaker (The Hand That Feeds) and Knock Down the House director Rachel Lears and the film’s editor Robin Blotnick on the “Anatomy of a Scene: Knock Down the House” panel.

DOC NYC PRO: Cinematography 
Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea

AlumNest filmmaker Alison Klayman, whose subjects span Ai Weiwei and Steve Bannon will discuss the art of observation in intimate settings on the “Building Rapport” panel. An Act of Worship director Nausheen Dadabhoy (2019 (Egg)celerator Lab) will share her insights on building a career on cinematography, and Nanfu Wang will speak on her experience as a director and cinematographer in the “In-depth with Nanfu Wang” panel.

DOC NYC PRO: Distribution and Audience Impact
Sunday, Nov. 10 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Join Nancy Schwartzman (Roll Red Roll) at “Impact Case Studies: Eating Animals and Roll Red Roll.”

DOC NYC PRO: Pitch Perfect
Monday, Nov. 11 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Eight filmmakers with works-in-progress selected from DOC NYC’s Only in New York, including Silent Beauty director Jasmin Lopez (2019 Egg)celerator Lab), will pitch to industry professionals from A&E IndieFilms, ESPN Films, Impact Partners, NEON, and TIME Studios. The session will be moderated by our Co-Founder and Senior Creative Consultant Judith Helfand and will include our Program Director Lucila Moctezuma.

DOC NYC PRO: Producing
Tuesday, Nov. 12 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Beth Levison, producer of Made in Boise, will participate in the “Creative Producing Panel”, plus Julie Goldman (producer on One Child Nation) and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Kristi Jacobson discuss career-building.

DOC NYC PRO: Funding a Documentary
Wednesday, Nov. 13 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Chicken & Egg Pictures Executive Director Jenni Wolfson is on the Funder + Filmmaker Relationships panel  from 10:00 – 11:10 AM.

DOC NYC PRO: Legal for Docs
Thursday, Nov. 14 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Nicole Page of Reavis Page Jump LLP, our legal team at Chicken & Egg Pictures, will educate audience members on topics like defamation and privacy claims, relating to true crime documentary films.

Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported Filmmakers Receive IDA Award Nominations!

American Factory, directed by Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award)

The nominations for the 2019 IDA Documentary Awards are out!

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we are inspired by a push from International Documentary Association (IDA) for gender parity among the nominations, with six out of the ten films nominated for Best Feature directed or co-directed by women. This year’s awards will also feature an IDA Documentary Award for Best Director, which this year, and that list of nominated projects is entirely directed or co-directed by women.

Plus, egg-cellent news… nominations include two Chicken & Egg Award filmmakers (Julia Reichert and Lana Wilson), two films that participated in our (Egg)celerator Lab (One Child Nation and Always in Season), plus two AlumNest filmmakers (who directed projects previously supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures).

The IDA Documentary Awards are on December 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Find a full list of Nest-supported nominees below.

2019 IDA Documentary Award for Best Feature


American Factory

Directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award) and Steven Bognar
Produced by Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, Jeff Reichert, and Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello

One Child Nation
2017 (Egg)celerator Lab 
Directed by Nanfu Wang (2018 Chicken & Egg Award) and Jialing Zhang
Produced by Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn

2019 IDA Documentary Award for Best Director(s) 


American Factory

Directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award) and Steven Bognar

2019 IDA Documentary Award for Best Editing


American Factory

Directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award) and Steven Bognar
Edited by Lindsay Utz

2019 IDA Documentary Award for Best Short Form Series 


A Cure for Fear*

Directed by Lana Wilson (2019 Chicken & Egg Award)
Produced by Lana Wilson and Shrihari Sathe

The F Word*
Directed by Nico Opper
Produced by Nico Opper, Kristan Cassady

2019 IDA Documentary Award for Best Writing


Always in Season

2018 (Egg)celerator Lab
Directed by Jacqueline Olive
Written by Jacqueline Olive and Don Bernier

The Great Hack*
Directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim
Writen by Pedro Kos, Erin Barnett and Karim Amer

*A Cure for Fear, The F Word, and The Great Hack were not directly supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures. Lana Wilson is a 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient and has been supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures on two feature films; Nico Opper is an AlumNest filmmaker, and the second season of The F Word and Nico’s film Visitor’s Day are supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures; Jehane Noujaim, co-director of The Great Hack, is an AlumNest filmmaker for The Square.

IDA Shortlist Features Five Supported Films

International Documentary Association (IDA) revealed their annual IDA Documentary Awards shortlists for the Best Documentary Feature and Best Documentary Short categories.

Congratulations to these five Nest-supported films which are shortlisted for this top honor:

American Factory
Directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award) and Steven Bognar
Produced by Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, Jeff Reichert, and Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello

Hail Satan?
Directed by Penny Lane (2017 Chicken & Egg Award)
Produced by Gabriel Sedgwick

One Child Nation
2017 (Egg)celerator Lab 
Directed by Nanfu Wang (2018 Chicken & Egg Award) and Jialing Zhang
Produced by Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn

Roll Red Roll
Directed by Nancy Schwartzman
Produced by Nancy Schwartzman, Steven Lake, and Jessica Devaney

The Feeling of Being Watched
2016 (Egg)celerator Lab
The Whickers / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award
Directed by Assia Boundaoui
Produced by Jessica Devaney

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we’re wishing all the shortlisted filmmakers good luck! IDA will announce the final 10 nominees for Best Documentary Feature on Wednesday, October 23, with the awards ceremony on Saturday, December 7.

Want to gear up for the IDA Awards nominations announcement? Check out these streaming links for the Nest-supported films mentioned above: Roll Red Roll on NetflixThe Feeling of Being Watched on POVOne Child Nation on Amazon Prime, Hail Satan? on Hulu, and American Factory on Netflix.

The Nest at the Margaret Mead Film Festival

The American Museum of Natural History’s Margaret Mead Film Festival will run from Thursday, October 17 to Sunday, October 20 in New York City. The festival, which is inspired by anthropologist Margaret Mead, celebrates documentary media that increases our understanding of the complexity and diversity of peoples’ cultures around the world, and you can catch three Nest-supported films there:

Freedom Fields, directed by Naziha Arebi
New York Premiere | Filmmaker in Attendance
Thursday, October 17 at 7:00 PM 

Encouraged by the utopian hopes of the Arab Spring, the members of a women’s soccer club in Libya heroically fight for their right to play. Their community refuses to support the team, forcing them to disband. Some women move on, becoming mothers and professionals, while others hold on to their soccer dreams.

The Guardian of Memory, directed by Marcela Arteaga (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee)
New York Premiere | ­­Filmmaker in Attendance
Friday, October 18 at 4:00 PM

Stunning, quiet landscapes from Mexico’s Juarez Valley are juxtaposed with horrifying, intimate tales of mass murder. In 2008, the Mexican government sent an army to the rugged border region, ostensibly to fight drug trafficking. As locals from Juarez and Chihuahua tearfully recount the stories of their murdered or disappeared children, parents, and siblings, a Texas-based lawyer argues asylum seekers from the area are victims of a genocide.

Made In Boise, directed by Beth Aala
New York Premiere | Filmmakers in Attendance | Protagonists in Attendance
Saturday, October 19 at 5:30 PM 

While the ethical questions that surround the commercial surrogacy industry remain unresolved, hundreds of women are choosing to be paid surrogates in Boise, Idaho. Follow four surrogates as they navigate relationships with their families and the future parents while experiencing the emotional and physical hurdles of being pregnant with someone else’s baby.

We will see you at the Mead!

The Nest at the 41st Annual IFP Week

IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) recently announced the 2019 IFP Project Forum slate, which includes 143 feature-length and series projects in both development and production. And we were egg-cited to see the following Nest-supported projects and filmmakers will be participating in the upcoming edition of IFP Week, September 15 – 19 in Brooklyn, New York.

Commuted Nailah Jefferson Chicken & Egg Pictures
Commuted (working title)

Commuted (working title), directed by Nailah Jefferson, tells the story of Danielle Metz, a 52-year-old woman trying to find her footing after spending nearly half of her life in prison. In 2016, Danielle’s was one of 568 life sentences President Obama overturned. Commuted participated in the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative (past program).

Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me

Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me, directed by Marie Hinson, is a feature documentary about an aging blues singer’s return to the stage 17 years after music broke his heart. Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me is a participant of the 2019 Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative generously supported by Knight Foundation for filmmakers from Philadelphia, PA.

Milisuthando (working title)

Milisuthando (working title), directed by Milisuthando Bongela, is a coming-of-age story, in which Milisuthando—a black South African unaware of apartheid until it ended—explores how blacks and whites first lived together after 342 years of racial segregation. Milisuthando (working title) is a participant of the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab.

Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon

Also participating in the upcoming IFP week is a project directed by Chicken & Egg Pictures Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon, The Spies Who Loved Me,  a thrilling exposé on citizen-surveillance and the impact of fake news. Along with being a member of the Chicken & Egg Pictures team, Yvonne is an award-winning independent filmmaker, producer, educator, entrepreneur, and consultant. She has successfully produced and distributed over 20 films including Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @100 (winner of ten best documentary awards) and Sisters in Cinema, a documentary on the history of black women feature film directors.

Ilinca Calugareanu A Cops and Robbers Story Accelerator Lab 2018
AlumNest filmmaker Ilinca Calugareanu

Celluloid Dreams, directed by Ilinca Calugareanu, a documentary series that tells five staggering stories of courage and wonder and shows us how movies can change us, and sometimes, the world. Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support Celluloid Dreams, but did support Illinca’s project A Cops and Robbers Story, which was a participant in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.

Other AlumNest filmmakers participating in IFP include Rebecca Haimowitz (Made in India) for Next Generation Sex,  David Osit (co-director of Thank You For Playing and Games You Can’t Win) for MayorSharon Shattuck (From This Day Forward) for The Eyes to See, Amber Fares (Speed Sisters) for Dearborn.

Four Nest-supported Emmy® Winners

Jennifer Brea Unrest
Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea

We’d like to thank The (Television) Academy! These Nest-supported films and filmmakers received awards at the 40th Annual News & Documentary Emmy®s: 

I Am Evidence
Directed by Geeta Gandbhir
Best Documentary 

Armed With Faith
Co-directed by Asad Faruqi, Geeta Gandbhir
Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary

Trans in America: Texas Strong
Directed by Daresha Kyi (Mama Bears)
Outstanding Short Documentary

It Will Be Chaos
Directed by Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo
Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary

And congratulations to Survivors and Unrest for their nominations:

Survivors
Directed by Arthur Pratt, Barmmy Boy, Anna Fitch, Banker White
Outstanding Social Issue Documentary

Unrest
Directed by Jennifer Brea and edited by Emiliano Battista, Kim Roberts
Outstanding Editing: Documentary

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support I Am Evidence or Armed with Faith, but supports director Geeta Gandbhir as a 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient; and did not support the short documentary Trans in America: Texas Strong, but is a supporter of the feature-length documentary Mama Bears, directed by Daresha Kyi, which is a participant of the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab

Three (Egg)celerator Lab Films Land a Spot at the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Labs

Egg-cellent news from Sundance Institute today, as they announced the Fellows and Advisors for the five-day 2019 Creative Producing Labs, as well as the three-day Creative Producing Summit which immediately follows.

We are proud to announce that three out of the five projects participating in the 2019 Sundance Documentary Film Program of the Labs and Summit are also participants of the Chicken & Egg Pictures (Egg)celerator Lab. Thank you, Sundance Institute, for your unwavering recognition of women nonfiction filmmakers.

“We recognize the importance of a space for meaningful dialogue and discovery between producers and forward-thinking industry. Creating a sustainable future where independent producers can continue to develop bold storytelling and take risks is a key priority for the Lab and Summit.” — Anne Lai, Director, Creative Producing and Artist Support and Kristin Feeley, Director, Labs & Artist Support, Creative Producing at Sundance Institute 

Find the rest of the Fellows on the Sundance Institute blog, and read about the Nest-supported projects participating below.

An Act of Worship Nausheen Dadabhoy Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 Accelerator Lab 2019

An Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dhadabhoy (2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee, 2018 Diversity Fellows Iniative grantee [past program])
Produced by 2019 Creative Producing Summit Fellow Sofian Khan

An Act of Worship follows a new generation of young Muslim-American female activists at a time when anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States are sharply on the rise.

PRAY AWAY Kristine Stolakis

Pray Away, directed by Kristine Stolakis (2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee)
Produced by 2019 Creative Producing Summit Fellow Anya Rous

Pray Away tells the story of the history and continuation of the “pray the gay away” or ex-gay movement.

Through the Night Loira Limbal 2018 Accelerator Lab

Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee)
Produced by 2019 Creative Producing Summit Fellow Jameka Autry

To make ends meet, Americans are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of non-stop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers. Through the Night is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of Marisol Valencia, Shanona Tate and Delores “Nunu” Hogan – two working mothers and a childcare provider – whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY.

Introducing Project: Hatched

Project: Hatched is Chicken & Egg Pictures’ brand-new completion fund, designed to support nonfiction directors as they prepare for the world premiere of a feature-length documentary film and develop a strategic impact and audience engagement campaign. In its inaugural year, Project: Hatched is open to AlumNest filmmakers (Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees), as well as filmmakers who receive an invitation to apply from Chicken & Egg Pictures team members at film forums and markets.

This ten-month program will provide four to five filmmakers with a $20,000 grant ($15,000 earmarked for finishing funds and $5,000 for impact strategy development), as well as mentorship from members of the Chicken & Egg Pictures team, focused on rough-cut feedback, festival premiere support, impact or distribution campaign strategy, and career sustainability.

Project: Hatched is one of three new programs from Chicken & Egg Pictures. AlumNest, our alumni program which had its inagural year in 2018, brings together a community of Nest-supported filmmakers in a meaningful way, both in-person and online; Docs by the Dozen, our shorts and series program (coming soon), will provide talented filmmakers with the opportunity to expand their portfolios and respond to critical social issues in a timely way; and Project: Hatched continues to engage with and grow alongside the Chicken & Egg Pictures community, increasing our support of women filmmakers at strategic points of their documentary career.

Please see our programs page and strategic plan visual summary for more information.

The Whickers Announces 2019 Recipient: Congratulations Milisuthando!

Milisuthando (working title), directed by Milisuthando Bongela

The Whickers recently announced the recipient of the 2019 The Whickers/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award—congratulations to Milisuthando Bongela and the Milisuthando (working title) team!

Named for pioneering British broadcaster Alan Whicker, The Whickers is dedicated to supporting emerging voices in the field of documentary. The award, focused on supporting one (Egg)celerator participant per program year, was conceived to ensure that more women enter the nonfiction filmmaking pipeline. Previous recipients of this award include The Surrender of Waymond Hall, directed by Jane Greenberg ; The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui;  and A Cops and Robbers Story, directed by Ilinca Calugareanu.

Milisuthando (Working Title) Milisuthando Bongela
Milisuthando (working title), directed by Milisuthando Bongela

It’s 1992 and Milisuthando is enjoying her sheltered childhood in “The Republic of the Transkei”, a dodgy ethnic homeland where, even though apartheid is raging 100 km away, she has no idea of the impending racial calamity beyond her hometown. When Transkei is suddenly dissolved at the end of apartheid, 8-year-old Milisuthando becomes a member of the first generation of black kids to attend “Whites Only” schools in South Africa. Through her probing, often naive journey with a cast of contrary characters, we revisit the old interiors of the “New South Africa”, exploring how racial prejudice and interracial bonding played out in the everyday. And why today, South Africa seems to be making a U-turn towards its ugly racial past.

Milisuthando (Working Title) Milisuthando Bongela

Milisuthando Bongela is an award-winning writer, editor, and cultural worker with experience in the media, publishing, fashion, art, and film industries in South Africa. Over the last 12 years, her written and cultural work has explored the post-apartheid condition, concerned with the intimate manifestations of race and racism in the everyday and shared intimate spaces. She is currently directing her first feature length documentary on race, love and growing up in the new South Africa.

“When I first read about The Whickers in 2015, I remember wishing my film was good enough to qualify for what looked like amazing grant and opportunity. It was vindicating four years later, to have an opportunity to send some material through to The Whickers through Chicken & Egg. But nobody could have prepared me for the moment when Valerie (Kleeman, founder and chair), Jane (Ray, Artistic Director) and Jane (Mote, Editorial Consultant) came to meet my producer and I to tell us we had been awarded a Whickers grant.  On one hand, it’s great that our film is receiving this grant so that we can continue working, but in the greater scheme, this is facilitating the urgent and important process of liberating other perspectives on the human condition, in this case, an African perspective.”  — Milusthando Bongela

Thank you The Whickers for your generous support of women and gender nonconforming media makers. Read their announcement here.

Celebrating Pride Month at Chicken & Egg Pictures

June marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the beginning of the modern LGBTQ liberation movement and Pride month in the US and other participating countries. At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we are proud to support  filmmakers who use intimate storytelling to showcase diverse queer stories and characters and support filmmakers who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.

Their films are powerful tools for catalyzing social change and helping to end discrimination; their stories have been and will continue to be an important part of Chicken & Egg Pictures. And this June, we encourage you to revisit these Nest-supported films that have premiered over the past fourteen years—films that increased visibility for queer issues (The F Word: A Foster-to-Adoption Story, From This Day Forward), changed hearts and minds about important human rights topics (Southwest of Salem, Love the Sinner), and helped to build momentum in LGBTQ movements around the world (Freeheld, Call Me Kuchu). 

The F Word: A Foster-to-Adopt Story, directed by Nico Opper

Season two of The F Word: A Foster-to-Adopt Story, directed by Nico Opper is supported by the Chicken & Egg Pictures Impact & Innovation Initiative.  Season 1 of The F Word revealed the story of one queer couple adopting from foster care in Oakland, CA. Season 2 continues their story while amplifying other voices in the foster care world: birth families, foster youth, adoptees, adoptive parents of color, and social entrepreneurs working to repair a broken system. Stream both seasons for free here.

From This Day Forward, directed by Sharon Shattuck

From This Day Forward, directed by Sharon Shattuck, is a moving portrayal of an American family coping with one of the most intimate of transformations. When the director’s father came out as transgender and changed her name to Trisha, Sharon was in the awkward throes of middle school. Her father’s transition to female was difficult for her straight-identified mother, Marcia, to accept, but her parents stayed together. As the Shattucks reunite to plan Sharon’s wedding, she seeks a deeper understanding of how her parents’ marriage survived the radical changes that threatened to tear them apart.

Deborah S. Esquenazi Southwest of Salem:The Story of the San Antonio Four
Southwest of Salem:The Story of the San Antonio Four, directed by Deborah S. Esquenazi

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four, directed by Deborah S. Esquenazi  excavates the nightmarish persecution of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez — four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of allegedly gang raping two little girls. This bizarre case is the first to be adjudicated under momentous new legislation: for the first time in US history, wrongfully convicted innocents can challenge convictions based on debunked scientific evidence. The film also unravels the sinister interplay of mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor which led to this modern day witch hunt. In October 2016, Southwest of Salem had its US television premiere on Investigation Discovery to an audience of one million people, breaking viewership records. In November 2016, the San Antonio Four were exonerated by the Court of Criminal Appeals, and Southwest of Salem was cited in their report. Listen to a podcast about the film’s successful impact campaign here.

Love the Sinner, co-directed by Jessica Devaney and Geeta Gandbhir

Love the Sinner, co-directed by Jessica Devaney and Geeta Gandbhir (also a 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient), is a personal documentary in which queer filmmaker Jessica Devaney has a dialogue with evangelical Christians, exploring the connection between Christianity and homophobia in the wake of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Love the Sinner has a corresponding curriculum and discussion guide, created with the support of Bertha Foundation, helping to frame conversations in church youth groups, classrooms, student organizations, and more.

Freeheld Cynthia Wade
Freeheld, directed by Cynthia Wade

Freeheld, directed by Cynthia Wade follows detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester, who spent 25 years investigating tough cases in Ocean County, New Jersey, as she fights against the that same county’s Board of Chosen Freeholders to give her earned pension benefits to her partner, Stacie in the face of terminal lung cancer. Freeheld won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject. The film’s ten-city theatrical release included 35 individual theatrical screenings spanning nine states, and provided a natural outreach platform for panels, press, and public dialogue concerning LGBTQ equality around the 2008 national election (when marriage rights were pending on many state ballots).

Call Me Kuchu Malika Zouhali-Worrall Katherine Fairfax Wright
Call Me Kuchu, co-directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright

Call Me Kuchu, co-directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall (also a 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)  and Katherine Fairfax Wright, follows David Kato, Uganda’s first openly gay man, and retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, as they work against the clock to defeat state-sanctioned homophobia while combatting vicious persecution in their daily lives. But no one is prepared for the brutal murder that shakes their movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world. Since the premiere of Call Me Kuchu, Ugandan activists have participated in 29 Q&As in conjunction with screenings across the world. The film was screened by the US State Department at the International AIDS Conference, and shown to the British Parliament and the High Commissioners of Commonwealth Countries. Call Me Kuchu has screened across Africa, and was featured as the opening event for the first ever Uganda Pride in 2012.

In addition to this roster of queer films previously supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures—three out of ten films participating in the current cohort of the  (Egg)celerator Lab tell queer stories: Pray Away, of the history and continuation of the “pray the gay away” or ex-gay movement; Mama Bears, about LGBTQ people who grew up in conservative, christian homes with ferociously loving and accepting mothers, who call themselves “mama bears”; and #Mickey, about someone exploring her sexual identity and dealing with the deep homophobia of her environment through the internet.

You can find out more about them and other queer films we’ve supported at this link: http://bit.ly/CHICKENEGGLGBTQ.