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.

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.

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

Dark Money and On Her Shoulders on the 91st Oscars® Documentary Shortlist

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.

Dark Money Kimberly Reed Chicken & Egg Pictures
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 was also featured on the International Documentary Association’s shortlist for top feature of 2018 as well.

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

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 recipientOn 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.

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.