Welcome to the Nest, Kat Zhao! 

Meet the newest member of our team: Development Assistant Kat Zhao 

Kat Zhao looks directly at the camera and smiles. Portrait in color.As Development Assistant, Kat supports the Development team in their ongoing fundraising efforts. Prior to joining Chicken & Egg Pictures, Kat worked and volunteered with several nonprofits and museums, many with a focus on the creative arts. During her time at New York University, she explored film courses and grew largely interested in diversity in the media. After getting her BA in Psychology, Kat worked with a world-renowned visual artist, then worked in programming at iCouldBe, an e-mentoring nonprofit where she helped design a unique network tool for high schoolers. Through these collective experiences, her passion to learn more about diversity and inclusivity, and to elevate underrepresented voices in the arts continues to grow. 

I am thrilled to be part of an incredibly innovative organization and a team that works toward enabling and elevating diverse and important voices in film.”

We are excited to welcome an egg-stra special new team member in our Nest. To learn more about her, visit our team page.

Chicken & Egg Pictures Executive Director Jenni Wolfson Joins BAFTA

We are proud to announce that our Executive Director Jenni Wolfson has become a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).  

Jenni looks directly at the camera and smiles. Portrait in black and white.

Jenni has joined a leading global arts charity that amplifies and celebrates excellence across the screen industries and drives positive change through the power of film, games, and television. Her membership will play an integral role in upholding BAFTA’s commitment to supporting the growth of creative talent by fostering an inclusive and accessible industry for all, as BAFTA’s activities continue to expand across North America. 

Congratulations, Jenni!

Welcome to the Nest, Allison Villegas Roman!

Meet the newest member of our team: Development Manager Allison Villegas Roman.

Allison Villegas looks directly at the camera and gently smiles. She wears a flower-patterned blouse.
As Development Manager at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Allison supports the organization’s ongoing fundraising efforts. Prior to joining, Allison worked across multiple academic research centers, government agencies, and nonprofits with the goal of centering and leveraging the impact of mission-driven work. She joins us from Acumen, where she focused on creating collaborative processes to analyze in-house data to gather insights and to further drive Acumen’s larger strategic initiatives. Allison holds a BA in Anthropology, Environmental Studies, and Human Rights from Hunter College and an MA in Climate and Society from Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Science. 

“I am honored to join an organization that not only elevates such catalytic stories that might have gone untold but fosters a space in which filmmakers are able to transcend what they thought was even possible.” 

We are excited to welcome an egg-stra special new team member in our Nest.

Welcome to the Nest, Nina Rodgers!

Meet the newest member of our team: Associate Director of Communications Nina Rodgers. 

Nina Rodgers looks directly at the camera and smiles. She wears a green sleeveless blouse. The sun shines on her face. 
As Associate Director of Communications, Nina shapes the voice of Chicken & Egg Pictures. She leads the communications team through strategic communications planning, brand-building, and public relations. She increases the visibility of the organization to advance its mission. 

Prior to joining Chicken & Egg, Nina was the Assistant Director of Communications at The New York Women’s Foundation, where she worked on impact campaigns for the film The Assistant and produced original content with a focus on gender and racial justice. She has worked on communications strategy for documentary films including Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool and Vick. 

Nina believes in the power of storytelling for social impact. Her live journalism experience includes moderating events with thought leaders such as Wade Davis, Taraji P. Henson, Sybrina Fulton, Lesley MsSpadden, Benjamin Crump, and Mara Brock Akil. She has a BA in Broadcast & Digital Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and a MA in Communication Education from Columbia University. 

I’ve been an admirer of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ work for many years, so it feels like a full circle moment being part of the team now,” Nina reflects. “We support women and nonbinary filmmakers whose stories have the power to change the world–and I believe our story as an organization can also catalyze change. I’m excited to tackle new projects that will advance gender equity in the film industry, and introduce more people to the powerhouse that is Chicken & Egg Pictures.”

We are excited to welcome an egg-stra special new team member in our Nest.

Celebrating Maite Alberdi’s Trail of Success

Photo courtesy of Maite Alberdi

At Chicken & Egg Pictures we are sending egg-stra special congratulations to 2020 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Maite Alberdi. The trail of success for her 2020 Academy® nominated film The Mole Agent, prods. Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibanez, continued through this fall. 

The film received an award for Best Iberoamerican Film by the Mexican Academy of Arts and Motion Pictures (Academia Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas), one of the most important film awards in Latin America and better known as “the Ariel.”  The Mole Agent also received two Platino Awards (Premios Platino) for Best Iberoamerican Documentary, and the Film in Education and Values award. During her acceptance speech, Maite made powerful remarks about the documentary field, “Documentaries are movies, just like all of them, only we work with reality as raw material. The Mole Agent seems like a fictional film thanks to a team capable of exploring new cinematographic forms.” 

In October, Micromundo Producciones, founded and directed by Maite, celebrated the ten year anniversary of their first film The Lifeguard with a brand new website, which includes a video on demand channel with all of her films available worldwide.  

Congratulations, Maite!
We cannot wait to see the new windows to different worlds that you will show us.

Post by Communications Intern Mariana Sanson

The Nest is back at DOC NYC PRO FALL 2021!

The line-up for DOC NYC PRO FALL 2021 was recently announced with in-person panels during thematic days taking place from Thursday, November 11 through Thursday, November 18 at Cinépolis Chelsea. Here at Chicken & Egg Pictures, we are proud to see current grantees and AlumNest filmmakers sharing their expertise throughout the week.

Funding Day

Thursday, Nov. 11

The Nuts and Bolts of Equity Investing
Featuring Chicken & Egg Pictures Board member Susan Margolin

Building Budget and Community on Kickstarter
Featuring Nest friend and Brown Girls Doc Mafia Founder Iyabo Boyd

Producing Day

Friday, Nov. 12

Still from Storm Lake
Still from Storm Lake

Impact Producing: Case Studies
Featuring Storm Lake director and producer Beth Levison (Project: Hatched 2021) and Impact Producers Alice Quinlan and Hoda Hawa. 

Cinematography Day

Saturday. Nov. 13

Introducing the Documentary Cinematographers Alliance 
Featuring An Act of Worship director Nausheen Dadabhoy (2019 (Egg)celerator Lab) and Made in Boise cinematographer Jenni Morello. 

Editing Day

Sunday, Nov. 14

Ade Launches Guidelines and BIPOC Editors Initiative
Moderated by 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Geeta Gandbhir

Case Study: The Rescue
Featuring Co-Founder Senior Creative Consultant Judith Helfand 

Finding and Shaping Your Main Character
Moderated by Co-Founder Senior Creative Consultant Judith Helfand

Doc Series Day

Tuesday, Nov. 16

Power Dynamics in Documentary and Journalism
Featuring 2017 Chicken and Egg Award recipient Dawn Porter 

Proximity, Access, and Journalistic Distance
Featuring Enemies of the State director Sonnia Kennebeck (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab).

Audience Engagement and Distribution Day

Wednesday. Nov. 17

Still from And So I Stayed

How to Build Your Audience from Scratch
Featuring And So I Stayed directors Natalie Pattillo and Daniel Nelson (Project: Hatched 2021)

Success? 
Featuring Nest friend and Brown Girls Doc Mafia Founder Iyabo Boyd.

Legal for Docs Day

Thursday, Nov. 18

New Trends in Ethics and Documentaries
Featuring the attorneys Nicole Page and Michelle Lamardo our partner Reavis Page Jump LLP Featuring Nest-supported filmmaker and Pray Away (2019 (Egg)celerator Lab) producer Jessica Devaney. 

Post by Communications Intern Mariana Sanson.

Meet Our Seven New Project: Hatched Grantees! 🐣

Project: Hatched 2021 grantees

Chicken & Egg Pictures proudly announced via Women & Hollywood seven new grantees of our 2021 Project: Hatched program. Both short- and feature-length projects will participate. Each project receives $20,000 toward film completion and impact campaigns and filmmaking teams participate in a six-month program with tailored mentorship and goal-setting.

“From water rights to reproductive health, the subjects of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ newest grantees are ones that come up constantly in our cultural and political conversations. These seven films push past the headlines to reveal intimate character studies that investigate how social issues impact everyday lives,” said Program Director Lucila Moctezuma. “For the first time in our Project: Hatched program, two short films were selected alongside features. Not only can shorts act as critical stepping stones to help emerging filmmakers build careers, but they also have strong potential to create impact and engage broader audiences.” 

Please click the granted films titles for more information on each project, and give these passionate and committed women and gender nonconforming directors a warm welcome to the Nest!

And So I Stayed

Directors & producers: Natalie Pattillo, Daniel A. Nelson (SINGAPORE/UNITED STATES)

And So I Stayed is a documentary about survivors of domestic violence who are unjustly incarcerated for killing their abusers in self-defense.

Daughter of a Lost Bird

Director & producer: Brooke Pepion Swaney (UNITED STATES) 
Producers: Jeri Rafter, Kendra Mylnechuk Potter

A Native adoptee reconnects with her birth family and her Lummi heritage—confronting her identity. Her singular story represents many affected by the Indian Child Welfare Act and Indian Adoption Project in the US.

Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

Director & producer: Ann Kaneko (UNITED STATES)
Producer: Jin Yoo-Kim 

This film poetically weaves together memories of Payahuunadü, “the land of flowing water,” where Native Americans, Japanese-Americans, and environmentalists defend land and water from Los Angeles.

I’m Free Now, You Are Free 

Director: Ash Goh Hua (SINGAPORE) 
Producer: Arielle Knight

I’m Free Now, You Are Free is a short documentary about the reunion and repair between Mike Africa Jr. and his mother Debbie Africa—a formerly incarcerated political prisoner of the MOVE 9.

On The Divide

Directors: Maya Cueva, Leah Galant (UNITED STATES) 
Producers: Melanie Miller, Diane Becker, Amanda Spain, Elizabeth Woodward

On The Divide follows the story of three Latinx people living in McAllen, Texas who, despite their views, are connected by the most unexpected of places: the last abortion clinic on the US/Mexico border. As threats to the clinic and their personal safety mount, these three are forced to make decisions they never could have imagined.

Change The Name

Director & producer: Cai Thomas (UNITED STATES) 
Producer: Donald Conley

Student activists and educators from Village Leadership Academy campaign to change the name of a park from a slaveholder to abolitionists Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.

Storm Lake 

Directors: Beth Levison, Jerry Risius (UNITED STATES) 
Producer: Beth Levison

Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Cullen and his family fight to protect their Iowan farming community through their biweekly newspaper, The Storm Lake Times—come hell or pandemic.

Read more about Project: Hatched.

Post by 2021 Communications Intern Mariana Sanson. 

Nest filmmakers and staff at the 2021 Gotham Week Conference!

The 2021 Gotham Week Conference started this Sunday, September 19 and will run through Friday, September 24, with public panels and workshops exploring storytelling through film, TV, and audio. This year’s edition will focus on how the pandemic pushed media and entertainment to reinvent itself as well as focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Their programming will feature the work of a number of filmmakers from the AlumNest: Amber Fares, Jessica Devaney, Nanfu Wang, and Beth Levison; plus 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees Jude Chehab and 2019 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Kimberly Reed are participating in theGotham Week (Virtual) Project Market.

Collaboration in convergence

Sunday, September 19 

4:00 –⁠ 5:00 pm EDT 

A conversation with the filmmaking team behind Netflix’s Convergence: Courage In A Crisis,  where they will discuss the tools and tactics they used to create a globally collaborative film. Featuring Nest-supported filmmaker Amber Fares (Speed Sisters)

Women Owned Production Companies — Creating Your Path to Career Sustainability

Monday, September 20

10:00 am –⁠ 11:00 am EDT  

A conversation between the leaders of women owned production companies discussing the difficulties they face to produce the work they want to make and build a strategic and long-lasting career. Featuring Nest-supported filmmaker and friend Jessica Devaney (Love the Sinner)

Exploring In the Same Breath

Dir. Nanfu Wang, prods. Nanfu Wang, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, Sara Rodriguez, and Jialing Zhang

Thursday, September 23 

1:00 pm –⁠ 2:00 pm EDT  

A conversation with the production team of In the Same Breath, directed by 2017 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Nanfu Wang and produced by current Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Jialing Zhang.

More than money: How film commissioners and other partnerships can help nurture your next project sponsored

Friday, September 24 

12:00 pm –⁠ 1:00 pm EDT 

Panel: learn how a film commissioner can become a meaningful partner to help build the collaborations that give a more authentic dimension to film projects. Featuring Beth Levison (producer of Made in Boise

Free access through IGTV


Gotham Week (Virtual) Project Market

Still from Q
Still from Q

Q  (2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee)

dir & prod. Jude Chehab

The Gender Project 

dir. Kimberly Reed (2020 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient) 

prods. Louise Rosen & Robin Honan


AlumNest Films

  • Boycott, directed by 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Julia Bacha, prods. Suhad Babaa & Danel Chalfen
  • HER, directed by 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Geeta Gandbhir, prods. Sonita Gale & Austyn Biggers
  • JFK8 (working title), directed by AlumNest filmmaker Brett Story, prods. Marianne Verrone & Samantha Curley
  • Coexistence, My Ass!, directed by Nest-supported filmmaker Amber Fares, prods. Rachel Leah Jones & Rabab Haj Yahya 

Meet Our Team at CIFF

Headshot Jaad Asante
Headshot Iva Dimitrova

Representing Chicken & Egg Pictures, our Program Coordinator Iva Dimitrova and Filmmaker Engagement Manager Jaad Asante will be participating in the Gotham Week (Virtual) Project Market and taking meetings with women and gender nonconforming filmmakers and producers with projects in all stages of production.


Check the 2021 Gotham Week Conference here and get your tickets here.

Post by 2021 Summer Communications Intern Mariana Sanson. 

The Nest at CIFF

Camden International Film Festival will take place in person in Maine this Thursday, September 16 through Sunday, September 19, and online from September 19 to Sunday, September 26. Here at Chicken & Egg Pictures, we are egg-cited to participate and to see (Egg)celerator Lab film Ascension and AlumNest film Listening to Kenny G.

Special congratulations to the CIFF team who have been diligently working to bring us an immersive in-person festival experience “to share cinema as it was intended, on the big screen and surrounded by community.”

Ascension

Still from film Ascension
Still from Ascension

dir. Jessica Kingdon  
prods. Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy & Nathan Truesdell
Available for in-person screening on Friday, September 17 at 3:00 pm ET | Tickets here 


From the AlumNest

Penny Lane 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award

Listening to Kenny G, directed by 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Penny Lane, and produced by Gabriel Sedgwick, will be available for in-person (including Drive-in🙌) and virtual screenings | Tickets here


Meet Our Team at CIFF

Representing Chicken & Egg Pictures, our External Engagement Manager will be taking in-person filmmaker meetings with projects from CIFF programming including Points North Fellowship, North Star Fellowship, 4th World Media Lab, and American Stories Doc Fund (sponsored by CNN Films). 



Our Co-Founder Wendy Ettinger will also be at CIFF, taking virtual meetings. Take a look at Camden International Film Festival full programming here




Post by 2021 Summer Communications Intern Mariana Sanson

Welcome to the Nest, Sarah Lee!

Meet the newest member of our team: Operations Coordinator Sarah Lee.

Operations Coordinator Sarah LeeAs Operations Coordinator, Sarah Lee manages Chicken & Egg Pictures’ financial, office, operational, and human resource functions. She researches innovations for operational effectiveness, seeking out insightful approaches, solutions, and tools to strengthen internal systems.

Before joining the Chicken & Egg Pictures Operations team, Sarah worked as an actuary seeking to examine and improve the current healthcare landscape. Her interest in housing and food insecurity, led her to organize with Hotels Not Hospitals, a community based housing model rising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Emeryville Citizens Assistance Program, a local food bank serving the Emeryville and surrounding Bay Area communities.

We are excited to welcome an egg-stra special new team member in our Nest. To learn more about her, visit our team page.


Post by 2021 Summer Communications Intern Mariana Sanson.