We were honored to see five Nest-supported filmmakers on the recently announced nominations list for the 52nd annual NAACP Image Awards, which are known for “celebrating outstanding achievement in the areas of film, TV, music and literature—from an African American perspective.”*
Coded Bias — Outstanding Documentary (Film)
Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya, explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her subsequent journey to push for the first-ever US legislation to govern against bias in artificial intelligence. The documentary aims to shine a light on the threat artificial intelligence poses to civil rights and democracy. The film participated in Project: Hatched 2020.
Through the Night — Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture)
Loira Limbal and her work on Through the Night are nominated for Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture). Through the Night is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider, whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY. The film participated in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.
AlumNest filmmakers nominated include Chicken & Egg Award Recipients Yoruba Richen, Dawn Porter, and Grace Lee:
The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show by Yoruba Richen — Outstanding Directing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture) and Outstanding Writing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture)
And She Could Be Next by Grace Lee and Chicken & Egg Pictures Board Member Marjan Safinia — Outstanding Documentary (Television)
John Lewis: Good Trouble by Dawn Porter — Outstanding Documentary (Film)
Congratulations to all the nominees! We will be watching the awards ceremony from our Nest on Saturday, March 27th at 8 pm ET.
*Language courtesy of NAACP Image Awards.
A special congratulations to the following Nest-supported filmmakers who were selected for DOC NYC’s famous Short Lists for contenders for the documentary short category and contenders for feature documentary category. DOC NYC Film Festival is the largest nonfiction film festival in the US and runs from Wednesday, November 11 to Thursday, November 19.
DOC NYC’s Short Lists are influential for their steady track record of anticipating Academy Award nominees and winners. Check out the Nest-supported films screening at the festival here; the films are available to watch across the US.
DOC NYC Short List: Features
Nowhere is the worldwide erosion of democracy, fueled by social media disinformation campaigns, more starkly evident than in the authoritarian regime of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Journalist Maria Ressa places the tools of the free press—and her freedom—on the line in defense of truth and democracy.
With this inventive portrait, a cameraperson seeks a way to keep her 86-year-old father alive forever. Utilizing moviemaking magic and her family’s dark humor, she celebrates Dr. Dick Johnson’s last years by staging fantasies of death and beyond. Together, dad and daughter confront the great inevitability awaiting us all.
The Fight documents a team of scrappy ACLU lawyers battling Trump’s historic assault on civil liberties.
Congratulations to AlumNest filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, whose new film On the Record made the DOC NYC Short List: Features and will screen at the fest. Kirby and Amy were supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures for their project The Invisible War.
DOC NYC Short List: Shorts
Congratulations to the following AlumNest filmmakers on their shortlisted short films: Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Geeta Gandbhir for Call Center Blues, Tiffany Hsiung for Sing Me A Lullaby, Alison Klayman for Flower Punk, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for A Life Too Short.
*These projects were supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures during the filmmakers’ Chicken & Egg Award year.
Egg-citing news! Announced today, filmmakers Laura Nix and Julia Reichert received Oscar nominations for their nonfiction films Walk Run Cha-Cha and American Factory, respectively.
Directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award) and Steve Bognar; Produced by Julia Reichert, Steve Bognar, Jeff Reichert, and Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello
Nominated for Documentary Feature
We are so proud to have supported Laura and Julia through our Chicken & Egg Award program and wish them the best of luck! You can stream American Factory on Netflix and Walk Run Cha-Cha on New York Times Op-Docs.
The 92nd Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 9, 2020. A full list the full list of nominees can be seen here.
Congratulations to the American Factory team, including co-director and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Julia Reichert and Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello, on the accolades they received at the thirteenth annual Cinema Eye Honors at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York on January 6.
American Factory was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking and Outstanding Achievement in Direction.
American Factory is directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert and produced by Steve Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello.
Plus a special shoutout to AlumNest filmmaker Jehane Noujaim and The Great Hack team for their win in the Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation category.
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:
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
Roll Red Roll
Directed by Nancy Schwartzman
Produced by Nancy Schwartzman, Steven Lake, and 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 Netflix, The Feeling of Being Watched on POV, One Child Nation on Amazon Prime, Hail Satan? on Hulu, and American Factory on Netflix.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
A huge congratulations to Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films and filmmakers who won big at Sundance this year:
Always in Season
Dir. Jacqueline Olive
Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency – US Documentary Competition
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:
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
‘American Factory’: Sundance Review – Screen Daily
Sundance: Netflix Nabs ‘American Factory’ Doc for $3 Million – The Hollywood Reporter
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced their shortlist for documentary features in consideration for the 91st Oscars® and two Nest-supported films are on the list: Dark Money, directed by Kimberly Reed and On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach. We were egg-static to see these projects included, and that eight out of the fifteen films listed are women-directed docs.
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 was also featured on the International Documentary Association’s shortlist for top feature of 2018 as well.
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.
On Her Shoulders is the 2018 SXSW LUNA/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient. On Her Shoulders was also listed as a top award contender for the documentary feature category on the DOC NYC shortlist and received the 2018 Harrell Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2018 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF).
In addition to being included with the top documentaries of the year, Dark Money and On Her Shoulders will be featured in the OSCARS Spotlight: Documentary Feature Shortlist theatrical release, an opportunity to see all the Academy’s nominations shortlist.
The films will screen theatrically in 13 cities across the United States through Monday, January 21. See here to find a screening.
Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced Tuesday, January 22, and the Oscars will be held Sunday, February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, televised live by ABC.
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.
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.
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.