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.

Don’t miss the (Egg)celerator Lab Pitch at Sheffield Doc/Fest!

Sheffield Doc/Fest kicks off today, Thursday, June 6 and continues into Tuesday, June 11. The world-leading festival celebrates the art of documentary with over 180 screenings of nonfiction films, as well as the business of the film industry, with a packed slate of pitches, funding opportunities, and meetings as part of the Sheffield Doc/Fest Marketplace and MeetMarket

This year, Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to present our third annual (Egg)celerator Lab pitch, in which filmmaking teams from all ten 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees give quick pitches to a live audience of documentary industry folks and receive feedback from international decision makers and buyers.

This year’s pitch session is moderated by award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand, Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Co-Founder and Senior Creative Consultant, and will include a panel of:

  • José Rodriguez of Tribeca Film Institute,
  • Alexandra Hannibal of CNN Films,
  • Jo Lapping of BBC Storyville,
  • Jess Gormley of The Guardian, and
  • Christine Kecher of A&E Networks.

The 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees are:

Anyone with a Sheffield Doc/Fest pass is welcome to sit in on the sessions, learn about the incredible film projects these emerging filmmakers are working on, and hear feedback from panelists. The Chicken & Egg Pictures (Egg)celerator Lab Pitch will take place Sunday, June 9 at 11:00 AM at ITV Town Hall Reception Room B. More information here.

And if you’re at Sheffield Doc/Fest, don’t miss screenings of these Nest-supported films:

One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang

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

One Child Nation is in the running for the The Tim Hetherington Award, supported by Dogwoof. Tickets and screening times are available here.

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

Dizzying, hilarious and devastating, this tale of two factories makes for a landmark story of workplace anxiety. Directors Reichert and Bognar have spent a decade documenting the plight of Ohio’s factory workers, and their dedication pays off when they are given astonishing access to Fuyao, a Chinese auto glass manufacturer, as it revives a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton.

Tickets and screening times are available here.

Hail Satan?, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)
With humor and searing insight, director Penny Lane debunks misrepresentations about the Satanic Temple. Drawing on extensive access to the organization’s participants, this unflinching examination reveals the controversial religious movement’s aim to shine a light on the hypocrisy around America’s separation of church and state.*

Tickets and screening times are available here.

And a special shoutout to these members of our AlumNest of previously-supported filmmakers:  Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (former Nest grantee for The Hand That Feeds) and The Great Hack, directed by  Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim (former Nest grantee for The Square).

2020 (Egg)celerator Lab Open Call Begins! 

Chicken & Egg Pictures is now accepting submissions for the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab Open Call!

The (Egg)celerator Lab (formerly the Accelerator 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 nonconforming directors.

In this year-long intensive mentorship program, these ten projects receive:

  • $35,000 in grant funding for the production of their feature-length film;
  • monthly mentorship with members of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ senior creative team;
  • three creative retreats focused on career sustainability and creative development;
  • industry and funder connections; and
  • peer support from the (Egg)celerator Lab cohort.

The deadline to apply for the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab is June 25, 2019 at 3:00 pm EDT.

Films from previous (Egg)celerator Labs have gone on to major international film festivals and TV broadcast debuts, where they have won numerous awards and critical praise; they have taken creative risks; helped foster important conversations about the issues they address; while the first- and second-time directors behind them have grown as leaders, enhanced their creative practices, and worked toward building a sustainable career in the film industry.  

Read about select films from the last four (Egg)celerator Lab cohorts below:

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

From the 2016 (Egg)elerator Lab: Tre Maison Dasan, 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.

Tre Maison Dasan premiered at SFFILM in 2018; had its broadcast premiere on Independent Lens PBS last April, where it also was available for streaming; and the film’s impact campaign and engagement strategy #NationalVisitingDays worked to “strengthen bonds of family, and prompt a national reflection about the the rippling effects of mass incarceration in America.”

One Child Nation, co-directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang

From the 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab: One Child Nation, co-directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, follows a filmmaker as she uncovers the untold history of China’s one-child policy and the generations of parents and children forever shaped by this social experiment.

One Child Nation premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary and was acquired by Amazon for global rights.

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

From the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab: Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive, follows the mother of Lennon Lacy, a 17-year-old who was found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, as her search for justice and reconciliation begins and the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.

Always in Season premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency; Indie Grits, where it received Top Grit; RiverRun International Film Festival, where it received the Human Rights Award; as well as others. Filmmaker Magazine called the film “haunting, difficult and necessary, a depiction of an America that we think of as relegated to the past but that continues to encroach on the present.” 

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara López
Silent Beauty, directed by Jasmin López

From the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab: Silent Beauty, directed by Jasmin López, is a personal documentary that follows the director as she works to heal from child sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her grandfather, Gilberto, a Baptist minister, almost thirty years ago. In the process of sharing her own trauma with her large family, she learns that generations of children in her family were victims of the same abuse. 

Silent Beauty is currently in production. During the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab program year, Jasmin is also one of four recipients of the Jacqui Jones Memorial Scholarship by Black Public Media, and she recently participated in Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) Networks, where the project received a grant from TFI and DocsMX. 

More about the film projects from the 2016, 20172018, and 2019 program years on our blog.

The deadline to apply to the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab open call is Tuesday, June 25 at 3:00 pm EDT.  Apply now! And sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on the (Egg)celerator Lab Open Call timeline and other news from the Nest.

Nest-supported World Premieres at Hot Docs

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival is coming up —Thursday, April 25 to Sunday, May 5 in Toronto, CA—and with it comes some huge news pertaining to the Nest!

Not only will women will comprise 54% of directors at the Canadian festival; three Nest-supported films (Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, The Guardian of Memory, and Buddha In Africa) will be making their world premieres; and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Julia Reichert will receive the  2019 Outstanding Achievement Award, coupled with a curated retrospective of her work throughout the festival, including new documentary American Factory.

Flush Revolution Lily Zepeda 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative

Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, directed by Lily Zepeda (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative [past program]) — World Premiere

To a stranger, he’s quirky, but to those who know the famed Mr. Toilet, he’s the leader of the global sanitation revolution. He grew up in the slums of Singapore with a bucket for a toilet and knows the agonies first hand of what it’s like to go through life without having a proper loo.

2017-Accelerator-Lab_Arteaga_Guardian_of_Memory-3The Guardian of Memory, directed by Marcela Arteaga (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee) — World Premiere

The Juarez Valley, a region once known for cotton production, is now nothing more than burned down houses, empty towns, and memories. Carlos Spector, an immigration lawyer born in El Paso, TX, fights to obtain political asylum for Mexicans fleeing from violence. This is the story of Mexican men, women, and children seeking a respite from their tragedies by heading to their neighboring country, the US. It is also a story about the kindness and hope that still exists in people who have gone through hell, and about Carlos Spector’s tireless efforts to keep memory alive

Buddha in Africa Nicole Schafer

Buddha In Africa, directed by Nicole Schafer — World Premiere

In a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, the film follows Enock Alu, a Malawian boy from a rural village growing up between the contrasting worlds of his traditional African culture and the strict discipline of the Confucian, Buddhist value system of the Chinese. Once the star performer with dreams of becoming a martial arts hero like Jet Li, Enock, in his final year at school, has to make some tough decisions about his future and finds himself torn between returning to his relatives in the village or going abroad to study in China. Against the backdrop of China’s expanding global influence, the film evokes some of the tensions surrounding the growing relationship between China and Africa.

One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang

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

Jacqueline Olive Always in Season

Always In Season (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab), directed by Jacqueline Olive

When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.

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

Dizzying, hilarious and devastating, this tale of two factories makes for a landmark story of workplace anxiety. Directors Reichert and Bognar have spent a decade documenting the plight of Ohio’s factory workers, and their dedication pays off when they are given astonishing access to Fuyao, a Chinese auto glass manufacturer, as it revives a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton.

In addition to American Factory, the Outstanding Achievement Retrospective of Julia Reichert’s work which will screen throughout the festival will include Growing Up Female, considered the first feature documentary of the modern women’s movement; Union Maids, in which women look back on the Depression-era trade unionist crusade; and A Lion in the House, the Emmy-winning film which follows five children battling cancer over the course of six years, as well as others.

The following films directed by Nest-supported filmmakers will also be featured at Hot Docs: Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (director of Nest-supported film The Hand That Feeds with Robin Blotnick) and Shooting the Mafia, directed by Kim Longinotto (director of Nest-supported film Dreamcatcher).

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support American Factory  but supported director Julia Reichert during her Chicken & Egg Award year.

Supported Filmmakers at Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival is just around the corner, and we’re (egg)static to say that three films by Nest-supported filmmakers will be at this year’s festival.

See here for showtimes and tickets:

One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang

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

American Factory, directed by Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)

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.

Walk, Run, Cha-Cha, directed by Laura Nix (2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)*

Paul and Millie Cao lost their youth to the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Forty years later, they have become successful professionals in Southern California—and are rediscovering themselves on the dancefloor.

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Walk, Run, Cha-Cha, but did support director Laura Nix in her Chicken & Egg Award year.

Three Members of the Nest are Rockwood JustFilms Fellows!

We are egg-cited to announce Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Director Lucila Moctezuma is a 2019 Rockwood JustFilms Fellow, where she will join Nest-supported filmmakers Grace Lee and Assia Boundaoui and other established leaders in the film and digital storytelling sectors.

Developed with the understanding that artists and arts leaders hold a special place within social change movements, The Rockwood JustFilms Fellowship brings together twelve leaders working at the intersection of storytelling, film, and social change to learn powerful skills that will shift their capacity for leadership and collaboration.

To start the program, fellows will attend Rockwood’s Art of Leadership in smaller sub-cohorts, taking place over the next few months. The second fellowship retreat builds off the tools and experience of the Art of Leadership and will combine Rockwood leadership training with strategic conversations. To learn more about the fellowship, see here.

To learn more about the members of the Nest who are 2019 Rockwood JustFilms Fellows, see below. A special congratulations to Iyabo Boyd, formerly Program Manager at Chicken & Egg Pictures, as well as director, producer, and founder of Brown Girls Doc Mafia!

Lucila Moctezuma, Program Director

 

Lucila Moctezuma Director of ProgramsAs Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Lucila oversees the planning and implementation of the organization’s programs, such as our (Egg)celerator Lab and Chicken & Egg Award. Lucila has collaborated with New York’s independent film community since 1996. She was previously Executive Producing Director at the internationally renowned UnionDocs, Manager of the Production Assistance Program at Women Make Movies, and Director of the Media Arts Fellowships for the Rockefeller Foundation. She is Founder and was Coordinator of the Tribeca Film Institute’s Latin America Media Arts Fund. Lucila holds a degree in Philosophy at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where she taught until 1996.

Grace Lee, 2017 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient

 

Grace Lee 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker AwardGrace Lee is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker whose work explores questions of history, race, politics, and community. A 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient, she also directed the Nest-supported documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, which won six festival audience awards and aired on the POV documentary series. Other directing credits include The Grace Lee Project, Janeane From Des Moines, the Emmy-nominated Makers: Women and Politics, and Off the Menu: Asian America. Lee’s work has also been supported by Ford Foundation, Center for Asian American Media, Film Independent, and the Sundance Institute, where she was a Women at Sundance Fellow. She co-founded the Asian American Documentary Network and is

Assia Boundaoui, Director of The Feeling of Being Watched (2016 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee)

 

Assia Boundaoui The Feeling of Being Watched 2016 Accelerator LabAssia is an Algerian-American filmmaker and journalist. She has reported for PRI, BBC, AlJazeera, VICE, and CNN, among others. Her debut short film about hijabi hair salons for HBO Documentary Films premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Her award-winning directorial debut The Feeling Of being Watched, a documentary investigating a decade of FBI surveillance in Assia’s Muslim-American community, had its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Assia was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s 2018 “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” and is currently a New America National Fellow and a fellow with the Co-Creation Studio at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she is iterating the machine-learning fueled sequel to her film The Inverse Surveillance Project. She has an MA in journalism from New York University and is an Algiers-born, Arabic-speaking, Chicago-native, currently based in southern California.

Nine Women-directed Films to See at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival kicks off their 22nd annual festival today, which will take place in Durham, North Carolina from Thursday, April 4 to Sunday, April 7.

The festival’s opening night film is American Factory, the Sundance 2019 Directing – US Documentary Competition award winner directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steven Bognar, screening Thursday, April 4 — 7:30 pm at Fletcher. In addition, we were egg-static to see Julia and her long-time directing partner Steven honored by Full Frame in a  tribute and curated retrospective of their work, which will screen throughout the festival, including Union Maids, directed by Jim Klein, Miles Mogulescu, and Julia Reichert (Thursday, April 4 — 1:30 at Cinema Three and Sunday, April 7 — 5:10 pm at Cinema Four), as well as eight other films.

Full Frame’s lineup includes work by a total of nine Nest-supported women filmmakers:

El Velador Natalia Almada

El Velador (The Night Watchman), directed by Natalia Almada (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)

From dusk to dawn, El Velador (The Night Watchman) accompanies Martin, a guard who watches over the extravagant mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. In the labyrinth of the cemetery, this film about violence without violence reminds us that, amid the turmoil of a drug war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives, ordinary existence persists in Mexico and quietly defies the dead.
Thursday, April 4 — 4:00 pm at Cinema One (as part of the Some Other Lives of Time program curated by Hale County This Morning, This Evening director Ramell Ross)

Hail Satan?, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)
With humor and searing insight, director Penny Lane debunks misrepresentations about the Satanic Temple. Drawing on extensive access to the organization’s participants, this unflinching examination reveals the controversial religious movement’s aim to shine a light on the hypocrisy around America’s separation of church and state.*
Friday, April 5 — 10:00 pm at Fletcher

Changing Same Michèle Stephenson Joe Brewster Impact Innovation Initiative 2018

The Changing Same, directed by Impact & Innovation Initiative (past program) grantees Michèle Stephenson (also a 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Joe Brewster

Poet Lamar Wilson remembers reading Anatomy of a Lynching as a young man and immediately asking his grandmother if she knew Claude Neal. The book recounts the heinous 1934 murder and mutilation of Neal, a 23-year-old African American, at the hands of a mob of white men.*
Saturday, April 6 at 1:00 pm at Cinema One

Jacqueline Olive Always in Season

Always in Season (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Jacqueline Olive
When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.
Friday, April 5 — 7:20 pm at Cinema Three

One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang
How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.
Friday, April 5 — 7:00 pm at Cinema One

Mudflow Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander

Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander
Grit is the story of a huge, toxic mudflow in Indonesia widely believed to be caused by shoddy drilling practices. The mud volcano has been erupting violently for the past eight years, burying 17 villages and permanently displacing 60,000 people. Grit follows ordinary Indonesians seeking justice for this disaster during a national election where one presidential candidate has promised restitution — and the other has not.
Thursday, April 4 — 10:00 am at Cinema One

A Thousand Girls Like Me 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative Sahra Mani

A Thousand Girls Like Me, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative — past program)
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.
Thursday, April 4 — 4:20 pm at Cinema Four 


Knock Down the House
, directed by Rachel Lears (former Nest grantee for The Hand That Feeds)
In the run up to the 2018 U.S. midterms, four political newcomers challenge their Democratic incumbents in the primary elections that lead ultimately to a seat in Congress. Fearless and determined, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean Swearengin, Cori Bush, and Amy Vilela introduce their grassroots platforms to the communities in which they are deeply ingrained.*
Friday, April 5 — 7:20 pm at Fletcher

*Synopses courtesy of Full Frame.

The Apology Wins a Peabody Award

Congratulations to director Tiffany Hsiung on her Nest-supported film The Apology, which received one of eight documentary Peabody Awards for documentary.

The Apology is about memory, told through the current relationships three women have with the people closest to them and how these relationships indelibly shape the last years of their lives. The three women – Gil Won-Ok in South Korea, Grandma Cao in China, and Lola Adela in the Philippines – are all former “comfort women” who were among the 200,000 girls and young women forced into military sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

We were honored to be support this powerful film and congratulate director Tiffany Hsiung, the entire The Apology team, and their broadcast partners POV for this huge win.

The Nest-supported nominees for the 2019 Peabody Awards: The Apology, Whose Streets?, and Survivors

For the third year in a row, Chicken & Egg Pictures was proud to have supported three of the films nominated in the documentary category: The Apology, Whose Streets?, and Survivors.

Survivors, co-directed by Anna Fitch, Banker White, and Arthur Pratt
WeOwnTV, American Documentary | POV, ITVS (PBS)

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.

Whose Streets?, directed by Sabaah Folayan
Whose Streets? LLC, American Documentary | POV (PBS)

A firsthand look at how the murder of one teenage boy became the last straw for a community under siege, Whose Streets? is a story of love, loss, conflict, and ambition. Set in Ferguson, MO, the film follows the journey of everyday people whose lives are intertwined with a burgeoning national movement for black liberation. Whose Streets? participated in the 2016 (Egg)celerator Lab.

And a special congratulations to The Rape of Recy Taylor, directed by Nest-friend Nancy Buirski, which is also nominated.

Celebrating Women This March at Chicken & Egg Pictures

Jennifer Redfearn Accelerator Lab 2018 Reentry

Today is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is balance—promoting the need for equality and a gender-balanced world.

Chicken & Egg Pictures is honoring women’s voices today by looking back on the many Nest-supported films about women and girls and looking forward at some powerful films to come. Through the lenses of empathy, intimacy, and dignity, these films represent the diverse complexities of what it means to be a woman or girl in our world today. We hope these Nest-supported filmmakers and their work lead to a more balanced film industry.

Get your International Women’s Day inspiration by streaming these egg-cellent women-directed and women-centered films:

After Tiller Martha Shane Lana Wilson

After Tiller, co-directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson (also a Chicken & Egg Award recipient), paints a complex, compassionate portrait of the four American doctors left who openly provide third-trimester abortions.  Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas in May 2009, these physicians have become the new number-one targets of the anti-abortion movement, yet continue to risk their lives every day to do work that many believe is murder, but which they believe is profoundly important for their patients’ lives.

After Tiller is available on Amazon Prime.

The Apology Tiffany Hsiung

The Apology, directed by Tiffany Hsiung, is a film about memory, told through the current relationships three women have with the people closest to them and how these relationships indelibly shape the last years of their lives. The three women – Gil Won-Ok in South Korea, Grandma Cao in China, and Lola Adela in the Philippines – are all former “comfort women” who were among the 200,000 girls and young women forced into military sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

The Apology is available on Amazon Prime.

Heroin(e)directed by 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Elaine McMillion Sheldon, follows three women—a fire chief, a judge and a missionary—who are battling America’s modern opioid epidemic in Huntington, West Virginia, once a bustling industrial town, now a place with an overdose rate 10 times the national average. This flood of heroin now threatens this Appalachian city with a cycle of generational addiction, lawlessness, and poverty. But within this distressed landscape, Elaine McMillion Sheldon shows a different side of the fight against drugsone of hope.

Heroin(e) is available on Netflix.

Grace Lee American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

American Revolutionary: The Evolution Of Grace Lee Boggs, directed by Grace Lee (also a Chicken & Egg Award recipient) tells the story of Grace Lee Boggs, a 98-year-old Chinese American woman whose vision of revolution will surprise you. A writer, activist, and philosopher rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement, she has devoted her life to an evolving revolution that encompasses the contradictions of America’s past and its potentially radical future.

American Revolutionary: The Evolution Of Grace Lee Boggs is available on Netflix.

Pashtana’s Lesson Beth Murphy

Pashtana’s Lesson, directed by Beth Murphy, follows the story of a young girl living in the rural Afghan village of Deh’Subz, on the outskirts of Kabul Province, as she resists an arranged marriage so that she may attend Zabuli Education Center, the first girls’ school in the area.

In 2016, Pashtana’s Lesson debuted as a New York Times Op-Doc. To watch, visit the New York Times Op-Docs websiteWhat Tomorrow Brings, the feature-length documentary on which Pashtana’s Lesson is based, aired on PBS’s POV series and is available on Amazon Prime.

Moving on to the rest of March, Women’s History Month: In a year when women are mobilizing and running for office in unprecedented numbers, tune into PBS for Women, War, and Peace II, the acclaimed documentary series which presents four women-directed films exploring the pivotal role women are playing in dramatic conflicts and peace settlements across the globe. This season, three out of four films featured are Nest-supported projects. Check your local listings for exact times and dates.

https://chickeneggpics.org/grantee/the-trials-of-spring/

The Trials of Springdirected by Gini Reticker debuts Monday, March 25. The film follows the journeys of three Egyptian women from the early days of the 2011 Arab Spring until today: Hend, from a rural military family, awaiting a harsh prison sentence for protesting against military rule; Miriam, an activist fighting to end sexual assault; and Mama Khadiga, a formerly veiled widow who became a caretaker of the revolutionaries. Their intersecting stories reveal the vital and underreported role women play in shaping the region’s future.

https://chickeneggpics.org/grantee/the-trials-of-spring/

Naila and the Uprising, directed by Julia Bacha debuts Tuesday, March 26. Weaving together interviews, news footage, and expressive animation, award-winning documentarian Julia Bacha (also a Chicken & Egg Award recipient) inventively chronicles the remarkable journey of Naila Ayesh, who in the late 1980s joined a clandestine movement of Palestinian women who played a pivotal role in the nonviolent uprising known as the First Intifada.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, co-directed by Geeta Gandbhir (also a Chicken & Egg Award recipient), Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (also on our Eggsperts advisory board), and Perri Peltz, debuts Tuesday, March 26. The film follows an all-female, Bangladeshi unit of UN peacekeepers as they leave their friends, families and all familiarity for deployment abroad in Haiti. The  film examines how this journey forever alters their lives while illuminating the unique role that women play in restoring peace in the world’s most volatile regions.

Nest-supported films about women and girls to look out for in the future: 

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab

Writing With Firedirected by Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab), tells the story of a newspaper run entirely by rural women in one of the most socially oppressive and patriarchal states of India. Meera, its popular reporter, decides to magnify the paper’s impact with an audacious move—to transform from print to a digital news agency. Working in media dark villages, mocked and discouraged, this is the story of a visionary woman’s feisty spirit in building what will probably be the world’s first digital news agency run entirely by rural women.

Writing With Fire is currently in production.

Jennifer Redfearn Accelerator Lab 2018 Reentry

Reentry (Working Title), directed by Jennifer Redfearn (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab), is an immersive, character-driven film follows three women—who are part of a new reentry program in Cleveland, Ohio—as they prepare to leave prison, reunite with their children, and find jobs after serving time for drug-related charges.

Reentry is currently in post production.

Rajada Dalka Nation's Hope Hana Mire

Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope, directed by Hana Mire
(2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative; 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab),  follows the Somali National Women’s basketball team in their first season since the civil war, as veteran coach Suad Galow shepherds her team of fearless young women and helps them to overcome the violent threats against them from members of the Al-Shabab militia and reclaim their place on the international stage.

Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope is currently in post production.

2019 Sundance Festival Winners

A huge congratulations to Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films and filmmakers who won big at Sundance this year:

One Child Nation
Dirs. Nanfu Wang & Jialing Zhang
Grand Jury Prize – US Documentary Competition

Always in Season
Dir. Jacqueline Olive
Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency – US Documentary Competition

American Factory
Dir. Julia Reichert & Steven Bognar
Directing – US Documentary Competition

It was a big weekend for these incredible filmmakers in more ways than one, with Amazon acquiring One Child Nation and Netflix acquiring American Factory. And a special congratulations to former Nest grantees Rachel Lears (dir. of Knock Down the House – US Documentary Competition Audience Award), Alma Har’el (dir. of Honey Boy – US Dramatic CompetitionSpecial Jury Award for Vision and Craft); and Laura Nix (executive producer of Sea of Shadows – World Cinema Documentary Audience Award).

We couldn’t be prouder of our Nest friends. Learn more about American Factory, Always in Season, and One Child Nation—and the amazing women that made them—through these reads:

‘One Child Nation’: How Nanfu Wang Defied China to Expose Its Dark Side – Indiewire

Sundance 2019 Women Directors: Meet Nanfu Wang – “One Child Nation”– Women and Hollywood

Sundance 2019 Women Directors: Meet Jacqueline Olive – “Always in Season”– Women and Hollywood

Sundance 2019: Always in Season an exceptional documentary on communities of memory, history of lynchings – The Utah Review

‘American Factory’: Sundance Review – Screen Daily

Sundance: Netflix Nabs ‘American Factory’ Doc for $3 Million – The Hollywood Reporter