United Skates and Changing Same at the Smithsonian African American Film Festival

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture kicked off its inaugural African American Film Festival on Wednesday, October 24 and runs to Saturday, October 27 with screenings and events happening at the museum, the Freer|Sackler Gallery, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The first of its kind, #AAFest will be a multi-day cinematic experience which celebrates African American culture through both nonfiction and narrative film.  Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to have supported two films at the inaugural festival.

Changing Same Michèle Stephenson Joe Brewster Impact Innovation Initiative 2018
Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Terror Project, directed by Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster

The Changing Same, directed by Impact & Innovation Initiative grantees Michèle Stephenson (also a 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) and Joe Brewster, is screening in competition on Friday, October 26 at 12:45 PM at the Oprah Winfrey Theater in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“In the Florida Panhandle lies the provincial town of Marianna, Florida, where one native resident runs a particular marathon in hopes of lifting the veil of racial terror caused by the town’s buried history.”*

Chicken & Egg Pictures is supporting the immersive, room-scale virtual reality experience based on their short film. In Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project the participant travels through time and space to witness the connected historical experiences of racial terror in America.

United Skates Tina Brown Dyana Winkler 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative
United Skates, directed by Tina Brown and Dyana Winkler

United Skates, directed by Tina Brown and Dyana Winkler (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative) is also is screening in competition on Friday, October 26 at 4:15PM in the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater.

When America’s last standing roller rinks are threatened with closure, a community of thousands battle in a racially charged environment to save an underground subculture—one that has remained undiscovered by the mainstream for generations, yet has given rise to some of the world’s greatest musical talent.

The Juried Competition Film Awards is Saturday, October  27 at 10:30 AM. Congratulations to Michèle and Joe and Tina and Diana! See you in DC.

*Synopsis courtesy of the Smithsonian African American Film Festival wesbite.

The Nest in the Inaugural DOC NYC 40 Under 40

The DOC NYC Film Festival recently released their inaugural 40 Under 40 List, sponsored by Topic Studios, honoring documentary talents under the age of 40. Of the 40 artists selected, over half are women. Congratulations to all on this honor!

Assia Boundaoui, director of The Feeling of Being Watched (2016 Accelerator Lab and recipient of The Whickers Chicken & Egg Pictures Award)

Lyric R. Cabral, director of (T)ERROR and The Rashomon Effect (2017 Accelerator Lab)

Nausheen Dadabhoy, director of An Act of Worship (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

Jessica Devaney, co-director of Love the Sinner (2016 Impact and Innovation Initiative), and producer of the Nest-supported films Always in Season, The Feeling of Being Watched, Roll Red Roll,  and Speed Sisters.

Sabaah Folayan, director of Whose Streets? (2016 Accelerator Lab). Whose Streets? premiered on PBS on July 30.

Lana Wilson, director of The Departure and After Tiller

Farihah Zaman, co-director of Remote Area Medical

And congratulations to our other Nest friends!

Check out more DOC NYC news from the Nest.

The F Word Series Nominated for Gotham Award

The F Word Nicole Opper 2018 Impact and Innovation Initiative

The Independent Filmmaker Project announced the nominees for the 28th Annual IFP Gotham Awards.  The Gotham Awards celebrate independent films and film projects and have a record of providing early recognition ahead of the upcoming national awards season.

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we were so proud to see Nest-supported filmmaker and Impact & Innovation Initiative participant Nicole Opper nominated for the “Breakthrough Series – Short Form” Award for her series The F Word. 

Season one of The F Word: A Foster to Adoption Story revealed the story of one queer couple adopting from foster care in Oakland, CA. Season two (2018 Impact & Innovation Initiative) 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.

Chicken &  Egg Pictures also previously Nicole’s feature documentary Visitor’s Day, which recently had its broadcast premiere on World Channel on PBS.

The Gotham Awards will be held at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, November 26. In the meantime, season one of The F Word is available to stream online. Congratulations Nicole and good luck!

Dark Money and United Skates Make the IDA Shortlist

Dark Money and United Skates are two of the 31 shortlisted films for the International Documentary Association’s award for top feature of 2018.

We are so proud to have supported these films and wish the filmmakers behind them the best of luck.

Dark Money Kimberly Reed Accelerator Lab 2018

Dark Money, directed by Kimberly Reed

A century ago, corrupt money swamped Montana’s legislature, but Montanans rose up to prohibit corporate campaign contributions. Today, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision —which allows unlimited, anonymous money to pour into elections nationwide—Montana is once again fighting to preserve open and honest elections. Following an investigative reporter through a political thriller, Dark Money exposes one of the greatest threats to American democracy.

Dark Money screened at the AFI Docs Film Festival last summer, had its broadcast premiere on POV on PBS, and recently received a  Doc Society / Threshold Impact Funding grant.

United Skates Tina Brown Dyana Winkler 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative

United Skates, directed by Tina Brown and Dyana Winkler (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

When America’s last standing roller rinks are threatened with closure, a community of thousands battle in a racially charged environment to save an underground subculture—one that has remained undiscovered by the mainstream for generations, yet has given rise to some of the world’s greatest musical talent.

United Skates won the 2018 Tribeca Audience Award in April, was recently acquired by HBO, and will screen at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival on October 26.

The 34th annual IDA Awards will take place Saturday, December 8 at the Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles.

Nest-supported Filmmakers on the DOC NYC Short List

DOC NYC, the largest nonfiction film festival in the US, announced their Short Lists for contenders for the documentary short category and contenders for feature documentary category. Their Short Lists are influential for their steady track record of anticipating Academy Award nominees and winners.

DOC NYC also noted that this year seven of the Short List feature selections are directed or co-directed by women, marking a new high. At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we were proud to see two of our supported filmmakers make the cut.

Alexandria Bombach

On Her Shoulders , directed by Alexandria  Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient), was listed as a top award contender for the documentary feature category.

 

Kristin Jacobson

Take Back The Harbor, directed by Kristi Jacobson (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) and Roger Ross Williams, was listed as a top award contender for the documentary short category.

 

Both filmmakers will have their films screened during the DOC NYC festival in programs to be announced in mid-October. Congratulations to Alexandria and Kristi and good luck!

Chicken & Egg Pictures-Supported Filmmakers Win at CIFF

The 2018 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) hosted its annual awards ceremony on Sunday, September 16, and we are excited to announce that two Nest-supported filmmakers took home the top prizes at the awards!

On Her Shoulders Alexandria Bombach
On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach

The 2018 Harrell Award for Best Documentary Feature went to On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient) *

This empowering documentary presents 23-year-old Nadia Murad, a Yazidi genocide survivor determined to tell the world her story. Determined advocate and reluctant celebrity, she becomes the voice of her people and their best hope to spur the world to action.

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

The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui (participant of the 2016 Accelerator Lab and recipient of The Whickers Chicken & Egg Pictures Award) received the Audience Award.

In the Arab-American neighborhood outside of Chicago where director 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.

Congratulations Alexandria and Assia!

For more about the other Nest-supported projects at the 2018 Camden International Film Festival, see our previous blog post.

* Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support On Her Shoulders but supported director Julia Alexandria Bombach through the SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award.

Nest-supported Nominees for The Grierson Awards

The Grierson Trust commemorates the pioneering Scottish documentary maker John Grierson. Each year, the trust celebrates documentary filmmaking from the UK and around the world with the British Documentary Awards, more fondly known as The Griersons.

We are honored to announce that  Chicken & Egg-supported projects Kingdom of Us and Strong Island were nominated this year.

Kingdom of Us, directed by Lucy Cohen

Kingdom of Us, directed by Lucy Cohen, was nominated for Best Single Documentary – Domestic and Best Cinema Documentary.

Kingdom of Us is a film about memory, identity, and growing up told through the eyes of seven siblings and their mother. Five of the children are on the autistic spectrum and as they move through adolescence, an event of the past keeps drawing them back. Combining observational footage with a rich archive of home movies and songs, the film is both a detective story and coming-of-age tale, exploring universal themes of memory, family, and love.

Strong Island Yance Ford
Strong Island, directed by Yance Ford

Strong Island, directed by Yance Ford, was nominated for Best Single Documentary – International.

Set in the suburbs of the black middle class, Strong Island seeks to uncover how—in the year of the Rodney King trial and the Los Angeles riots—the murder of the filmmaker’s older brother went unpunished. The film is an unflinching look at homicide, racial injustice, and the corrosive impact of grief over time.

The Griersons will take place on the evening of Monday, November 5 at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. In the meantime, both Kingdom of Us and Strong Island are available to stream on Netflix.

Congratulations Yance and Lucy and good luck!

The Whickers Announces 2018 Award Recipient

The Whickers recently announced the recipient of the 2018 The Whickers/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award: congratulations to Ilinca Calugareanu and the A Cops and Robbers Story team!

Ilinca Calugareanu A Cops and Robbers Story Accelerator Lab 2018
A Cops and Robbers Story, directed by Ilinca Calugareanu

Named for pioneering British broadcaster Alan Whicker, The Whickers is dedicated to supporting emerging voices in the field of documentary. The award, focused on Accelerator Lab participants, was conceived to ensure that more women enter the nonfiction filmmaking pipeline. Previous recipients include The Feeling of Being Watched by Assia Boundaoui and The Surrender of Waymond Hall by Jane Greenberg.

A Cops and Robbers Story follows Corey Pegues, one of the highest ranking black executives in the NYPD, who revealed a few months after retirement that before joining the NYPD he worked the streets dealing crack cocaine for one of the most notorious drug gangs in the US, the Supreme Team. The project was recently featured as a docustory in The Guardian. Said director Ilinca Calugareanu, “It is such an honour to be this year’s recipient of The Whickers/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award. Thank you for believing in us and in the importance of Corey Pegues’s story. Your support means so much!”

Ilinca’s debut documentary feature, Chuck Norris vs. Communism, is currently available for streaming on Netflix.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

Chicken & Egg Pictures at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards®

Nominees for the 39th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards® were announced today. Here are the Nest-supported films and filmmakers included. Congratulations to all and good luck!

Solitary Kristi Jacobson 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award
Solitary, directed by Kristi Jacobson

Solitary, directed by Kristi Jacobson (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) for Outstanding Investigative Documentary  and Outstanding Editing – Documentary

Solitary investigates an invisible part of the American justice system: the use of isolation and segregation in US prisons, commonly known as solitary confinement. With unprecedented access inside a prison tackling the issue head on, the film explores this divisive issue through the experiences of those on both sides of the bars.

Heroin(e), directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient)* for Outstanding Short Documentary

“Once a bustling industrial town, Huntington, West Virginia has become the epicenter of America’s modern opioid epidemic, 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, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon (Hollow) shows a different side of the fight against drugsone of hope.”**

National Bird, directed by Sonia Kennebeck for Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary

“National Bird follows the dramatic journey of three whistleblowers who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret US drone war. At the center of the film are three US military veterans. Plagued by guilt over participating in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, they decide to speak out publicly, despite the possible consequences.”*

Sonia’s second film Enemies of the State is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab.

See the rest of the nominees here. The 39th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards® will be presented Monday, October 1.

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Heroin(e), but supported Elaine during her Breakthrough year. Check out Elaine’s newest film on the subject, Recovery Boys (on Netflix streaming).

**Synopsis from the Heroin(e) webpage.

***Synopsis from the National Bird webpage.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

Breakthrough Award Recipient Laura Nix wins at SIFF

Laura Nix
2018 Breakthrough FIlmmaker Award recipient Laura Nix

Congratulations to Laura Nix (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) for her big win at the Seattle International Film Festival. Laura’s film Inventing Tomorrow received the 2018 SIFF Grand Jury Prize in the Documentary Competition.

SIFF 2018 Jury Statement: “For it’s compelling cast of young visionaries from around the globe who are engaged and looking for solutions to the world’s environmental problems, Inventing Tomorrow offers us a sense of optimism and the certainty that science matters.”

Laura Nix Inventing Tomorrow
Inventing Tomorrow by Laura Nix (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient).

If you missed it the first time around, a  fourth additional screening of Inventing Tomorrow will be held at the Best of SIFF showcase on Saturday, June 16 at 1:30 PM.

* Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Inventing Tomorrow but supports director Laura through our 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.