Nailah Jefferson: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 9

“The way that I would best describe my style as just, I try and be honest. I just want them to be truthful, authentic, stories. I want to give you a human connection because I think that’s what will shine through and connect people to the film each and every time.” – Nailah Jefferson, Essence

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Commuted, directed by Nailah Jefferson 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative.Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Nailah Jefferson is a filmmaker influenced greatly by her southern roots. Her first documentary, Vanishing Pearls, told the story of a little known African American oyster fishing community and their fight for justice after the BP oil spill. And her first narrative, Plaquemines, in which a father and son navigate life in a dying fishing culture in Louisiana, was chosen as an American Black Film Festival HBO Shorts finalist and is available on HBO.

Her second feature documentary Commuted is a participant of the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative.

Commuted Nailah Jefferson Chicken & Egg Pictures
Commuted, directed by Nailah Jefferson

Commuted tells the story of Danielle Metz, a 52-year-old woman trying to find her footing after spending nearly half of her life in prison. In 2016 Danielle’s was one of 568 life sentences President Obama overturned. Her life story is just one example of how the US criminal justice system impacts black families—before she was incarcerated, she had lost one boyfriend to police violence, another to a wrongful conviction, and then found herself in prison due to involvement with her husband’s drug ring. As Danielle starts to right her path, we reflect with her on a life interrupted.

Nausheen Dadabhoy: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 3

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Nausheen Dadabhoy An Act of Worship Chicken & Egg Pictures Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 unnamed-5.jpgNausheen Dadabhoy is a Pakistani-American director and DP from Southern California. She received her MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute. She is based in New York, Los Angeles and Karachi, where she has broken boundaries to become the only female cinematographer in Pakistan.

Shooting out of an open cable car in the Swiss Alps at 9000 feet; getting followed by Pakistani intelligence officials in Kashmir; smuggling a camera into the holiest Muslim site in the world; narrowly avoiding terrorists near the Afghan border; these are the many things that Nausheen Dadabhoy has done to “get the shot.”

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An Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy

Since graduating she has lensed a number of narrative and documentary films: J’adore Nawal for Lena Dunham’s HBO documentary series Lenny which premiered at Sundance, Academy Award Live Action Short nominee La femme et le TGV or The Railroad Lady, and Aaja a music video for Riz Ahmed’s hip hop group The Swet Shop Boys. Nausheen’s films have played in competition at festivals like TIFF, AFI Fest, Locarno and IDFA. Her clients include Field of Vision, HBO, A&E and MSNBC.

An Act of Worship Nausheen Dadabhoy Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 unnamed-1.jpg
An Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy

Nausheen is the director of An Act of Worship, participant of the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative, currently in production.

An Act of Worship follows young Muslim women beginning their career in activism at a time when hate crimes against Muslims have reached their highest level since 9/11. The travel ban has sent the message that Muslims are not welcome in the US. Now, a new generation has been galvanized into action to reclaim their space in the American landscape.

Sahra Mani: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 2

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

“I make films to give hope to the women of my country and to give guidance to those who want to know my country better. I make films to help build a safe society for the next generation and to record our journey to that point.” – Sahra Mani, Al Jazeera

A Thousand Girls Like Me Sahra Mani 2016 Diversity Fellows InitiativeSahra Mani is an award-winning Afghan filmmaker committed to using her skills as a filmmaker to amplify the voices of Afghan women to help bring about an understanding of their lives.

She received a BA in Digital Film Production from London Metropolitan University and an MA in Documentary Filmmaking from University of the Arts London. 

Sahra was an organizer of the Afghanistan Human Rights Film Festival in 2013.  She is the founder of Afghanistan Doc House, a production company based in Kabul, and co-founder of London based production company Anahat Vision and Films. Her documentary films have played at film festivals around the world and won numerous awards. 

A Thousand Girls Like Me 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative Sahra Mani
A Thousand Girls Like Me, directed by Sahra Mani

Her latest feature documentary and 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative grantee A Thousand Girls Like Me had its world premiere at Hot Docs this year, and went on to show at IDFA, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and Sheffield Doc/Fest. 

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.

A shortened version of A Thousand Girls Like Me is available to stream on Al Jazeera.

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

United Skates Takes Flight

Diversity Fellows Initiative grantee United Skates, directed by Tina Brown and Dyana Winkler was acquired by HBO, shortlisted for the International Documentary Association’s award for top feature of 2018, and is now going on an impressive festival run and a theatrical run in two major cities.

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we are deeply proud of this film and of Tina and Dyana’s accomplishments. See below for screenings and showtimes.

Dyana Winkler Tina Brown United Skates 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative

United Skates, directed by Tina Brown and Dyana Winkler

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.

Showtimes and festival dates below.

Los Angeles, California
In theaters at Laemmle Playhouse in Pasadena with screenings daily from Friday, November 30  to Thursday, December 6. Tickets here.

New York, NY
In theaters at Cinema Village in Greenwich Village with screenings daily from Friday, November 30 to Thursday, December 6. Tickets here.

San Francisco, California                                                                                                 Screening at SF Film’s annual Doc Stories program on Sunday, November 4 at 4:30 PM at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Co-directors Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown will be in attendance.

Dyana Winkler Tina Brown United Skates 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Screenings on Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4 at Da Bounce Urban Film Festival. Tickets here.

Denver, Colorado
Three screenings at Denver Film Festival Friday, November 2 at 4:15 PM;  Saturday, November 3 at 1:15 PM, and Tuesday, November 6 at 4:30 PM. Tickets here.
Co-producer Tiffany Fisher-Love and Associate Producer Clay Pruitt will be in attendance for the November 2 and 3 Screenings.

St. Louis, Missouri
United Skates screens at the 27th Annual St. Louis Film Festival on Saturday, November 3 at 8:00 PM, as part of the Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight, Women in Film Spotlight, and Race in America: The Black Experience programs.

Charlottesville, Virginia
Screening at the Virginia Film Festival on Sunday, Nov 4, 2018 at
11:15 AM

United Skates Tina Brown Dyana Winkler 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative

Guelph, Canada 
United Skates screens at the Gimme Some Truth Documentary Film Festival, as part of the Bell Media Hot Docs Showcase on Sunday, November 4 at 5pm, followed by Skype Q&A with the directors. Tickets here.

Wilmington, North Carolina
Screening at Station Main in Wilmington as part of the Cucalorus Festival. 10:00 PM on Saturday, November 10. Tickets here.

Honolulu & Kauai, Hawaii
United Skates screens at the Hawaii International Film Festival on Thursday, November 15 at 8:15 PM and Friday, November 16 at 3:15 PM  in Honolulu, as well as Saturday, November 17 at 4:00 PM in Kauai, followed by Q&A with co-director Dyana Winkler.

Key West, Florida
Screening at Key West Film Festival on Friday and Sunday, November 16 and 18. See tickets and showtimes here.

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.

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.

Gender Parity at the 2018 Camden International Film Festival

The 2018 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) will take place in Camden, Rockport, and Rockland, Maine from September 13 to 16. Founded in 2005, CIFF is a festival focused exclusively on documentary film, and this year, we were egg-static to see that half of the selections across every category are directed by women.

In a press release from CIFF, Senior Programmer Samara Chadwick stated, “Programming at parity celebrates the contributions of the many formidable women in the field, while also emphasizing the fact that, in a century of documentary filmmaking, we’ve largely known one dominant perspective. […] At CIFF we’re drawn to directorial approaches from outside the canon, and we value all the creative voices and cinematic languages that have been otherwise underrepresented.”

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we applaud the push for gender parity from the Camden International Film Festival.

See a full itinerary for Nest-supported films, filmmakers, and friends at CIFF below.

The In Between Robie Flores 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative
The In Between, directed by Robie Flores

Points North Pitch, Saturday Sep. 15 at 10 AM at the Camden Opera House, including a pitch from 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative grantee Robie Flores for her project The In Between.

Skywards, directed by Eva Weber (Black Out, 2007), Saturday Sep. 15 at 10 AM at The Strand Theatre in Rockland.

Survivors Anna Fitch, Banker White, and Arthur Pratt
Survivors, directed by Arthur Pratt, Anna Fitch, Banker White, Barmmy Boy

Survivors, co-directed by Arthur Pratt, Banker White, Anna Fitch and Barmmy Boy, Saturday Sep. 15 at 12:30 PM at the Rockport Opera House.

A Cure for Fear (Series), directed by Lana Wilson (The Departure and After Tiller), Saturday Sep. 15 at 3:30 PM at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland*

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The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui

The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui (2016 Accelerator Lab grantee and The Whickers award winner), Sunday Sep. 16 at 12:30 PM. Assia will also be speaking on the Documentary as Co-Creation panel at 3:30 PM on Saturday Sep. 15 at High Mountain Hall in Camden.

On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient), Sunday Sep. 16 at 5 PM at The Strand Theatre in Rockland.*

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Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal

Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal, Sunday Sep. 16 at 5:30 PM at the Rockport Opera House.

And our very own Eggspert advisor Cara Mertes will be moderating The Public Sphere panel, Saturday Sep. 15 at 1:30 PM at High Mountain Hall.

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support SkywardsA Cure for Fear, or On Her Shoulders but did support their directors in past projects.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

Nest-Supported Projects at IFP Week

2018 IFP Week FilmsThe Independent Filmmaker Project announced its 40th annual IFP Project Forum slate highlighting films, series, digital, and audio projects from around the world. We are honored to announce that four Chicken & Egg-supported projects from our 2018 programs year were included.

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

An Act of Worship follows young Muslim women activists at a time when hate crimes against Muslims have reached their highest level since 9/11. The travel ban has sent the message that Muslims are not welcome in the US. Now, a new generation has been galvanized into action to reclaim their space in the American landscape.

The In Between, directed by Robie Flores (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

At the intersection of the northern Mexico desert and the plains of southwest Texas exists a symbiotic community. Here, people’s lives are spread across two countries, connected by a bridge that everyone must travel. For some, crossing to the other side means getting to work or school. For others, life straddling the border is the only way to keep their family together. Through a collection of interweaving vignettes, The In Between is a poetic ode to a greater reality of the border than the one portrayed on the news, offering a nuanced and intimate portrait of a place and its people at the heart of Mexican-American identity.

Made in Boise, directed by Beth Aala (2018 Discretionary Grant)

A surprising—and booming—industry has emerged in Boise, Idaho. In this idyllic, all-American city, nurses, nail technicians, and stay-at-home mothers are having babies for strangers—in record numbers. Boise’s own St. Luke’s Medical Center founded and runs the first and best surrogacy program of its kind, in all the US. But everything is not as it appears, surrogacy is not without its health risks, and the practice is not without its emotional complications. Character-driven and stylized in its approach, Made In Boise introduces audiences to the unique world of surrogacy in the most unexpected of places.

People’s Hospital, directed by Siyi Chen (2018 Accelerator Lab)

As the Chinese society criticizes dysfunctional hospitals, a doctor’s daughter revisits the small-town hospital where she grew up — this time with a camera, in the middle of a chaotic ER.

And a special congratulations to filmmakers who were previously supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures.

Women in Blue, directed by Deirdre Fishel (Care, 2014) and executive produced by Gini Reticker (The Trials of Spring, 2014)

A female police chief and a determined band of women officers work to redefine “protect and serve,” when a tragic shooting upends their progress.*

Narrowsburg, directed by Martha Shane (After Tiller co-director)

Narrowsburg tells the story of a French producer and a mafioso-turned-actor who attempted to turn a small Catskills town into the “Sundance of the East.”*

*Synopses from the IFP website.

Filmmakers will attend the IFP Project Forum during the 40th anniversary of IFP Week happening September 15 – 20 in Brooklyn.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

Our Newest 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative Grantee

We are very excited to welcome director Nausheen Dadabhoy and her second feature-length documentary An Act of Worship to the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative.

An Act of Worship follows young Muslim women beginning their career in activism at a time when hate crimes against Muslims have reached their highest level since 9/11. The travel ban has sent the message that Muslims are not welcome in the US. Now, a new generation has been galvanized into action to reclaim their space in the American landscape.

An Act of Worship Nausheen Dadabhoy Chicken & Egg Pictures
An Act of Worship, by Nausheen Dadabhoy

Nausheen Dadabhoy is a Muslim American director and DP who has always moved seamlessly between the narrative and documentary world. Her latest documentary J’adore Nawal premiered at Sundance, while her last narrative film La Femme et le TGV (The Railroad Lady) was a live action short Oscar nominee. Her directorial debut, The Ground Beneath Their Feet premiered at IDFA. Nausheen has been a Film Independent Project:Involve Fellow, a Berlin Talents participant, and is a current Firelight Fellow. 

The 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative cohort is soon to embark on a week-long storytelling retreat in upstate New York aimed to help develop and strengthen their film’s narratives. As part of the retreat, the grantees will be participating in skill-sharing workshops where they will learn from one another’s unique perspectives and artistic practices.

Other participants of the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative include:

The In Between, directed by Robie Flores; Commuted, directed by Nailah Jefferson; A Prince From Outer Space: Zeki Müren, directed by Beyza Boyacioglu; and The Letter, directed by Maia von Lekow & Chris King.

The Diversity Fellows Initiative is made possible with the generous support of The Harnisch Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Time Warner Foundation.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

The Nest at 2018 Human Rights Watch Film Festival

The 2018 Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF) in New York City will feature four Chicken & Egg-supported films and filmmakers! Make sure to catch a screening of the following films if you happen to be in the New York City area between June 14-21!

You can look at the full list of the documentaries featured here.

A Thousand Girls Like Me*, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellow Initiative)A Thousand Girls Like Me*, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellow Initiative) Naila and the Uprising directed by Julia Bacha at 2018 Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

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.

Screening(s):

June 19, 9 pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center

June 20, 7 pm at the IFC Center

Get your tickets here.

*A Thousand Girls Like Me will have its US premiere at the 2018 HRWFF.

Naila and the Uprising*, directed by Julia Bacha
Naila and the Uprising directed by Julia Bacha at 2018 Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Weaving together interviews, news footage, and expressive animation, award-winning documentarian Julia Bacha 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.

Screening(s):

June 16, 7 pm at IFC Center

Get your tickets here.

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support Naila and the Uprising but supported director Julia Bacha’s film, Budrus.

On Her Shoulders*, directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient)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.

Screening(s):

June 14, 7 pm at the Film Society of Lincoln center’s Walter reade theatre

Get your tickets here.

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

The Unafraid*, directed by Heather Courtney and Anayansi Prado (2017 Chicken & Egg Pictures mentee)The Unafraid*, directed by Heather Courtney and Anayansi Prado (2017 Chicken & Egg Pictures mentee)

High School seniors Alejandro, Silvia, and Aldo, like most of their friends, are eager to go to college and pursue their education. However, their home state of Georgia not only bans them from attending the top five public universities, but also deems them ineligible for in-state tuition at public colleges due to their immigration status as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. In response, these three ambitious and dream-filled students divert their passions towards the fight for education in the undocumented community. As President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric against immigrants gains momentum, and amid constant threat of losing their DACA status and being deported, The Unafraid follows these inspirational members of the generation of “undocumented, unapologetic and unafraid” young people who are determined to overcome and dismantle oppressive policies and mindsets.

Screening(s):

June 21, 7 pm at IFC Center

You can buy tickets to the Human Rights Watch Film Festival here.

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support The Unafraid but supported director Anayansi Prado’s film, Children in No Man’s Land.