Announcing our 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipients!


Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the third cohort of our Chicken & Egg Award—previously known as Breakthrough Filmmaker Award—which recognizes and elevates five experienced documentary filmmakers poised to reach new heights in their careers and become strong filmmaker advocates for critical and timely issues.

This year’s Chicken & Egg Award recipients are directors of Peabody Award- and Emmy® Award-winning films; the characters in their films—like a Yazidi human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner; a young woman in Gaza making a choice between love, family, and freedom; and a punk rocker-turned-Buddhist monk—have inspired hearts and minds; and their work has been featured at Tribeca, Sundance, Berlinale, and other international festivals.

The award comes with a $50,000 unrestricted grant that gives its recipient more financial freedom in planning her career, and year-long individualized mentorship geared towards working to achieve the professional goals each filmmaker sets for herself.

 

Julia Bacha

 

Julia Bacha is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, Guggenheim fellow, and Creative Director at Just Vision. Her directing credits include Budrus (2009), My Neighbourhood (2012), and Naila and the Uprising (2017). Her work has played at the Berlin and Tribeca Film Festivals, as well as Palestinian refugee camps and the United States Congress. Julia is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, and a TED speaker.

 

Alexandria Bombach

 

Alexandria Bombach is an award-winning director, cinematographer, and editor from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her feature-length documentary, On Her Shoulders (2018), won Best Directing in the US Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, is nominated for two Spirit Awards, and was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Her first feature-length documentary, Frame by Frame (2015) premiered at SXSW and went on to win over 25 festival awards. Alexandria is the founder of the Santa Fe Editing & Writing Residency and a 2019 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellow.

 

Stephanie Wang-Breal

 

A first-generation Chinese American from Youngstown, Ohio, Stephanie Wang-Breal uses film as a tool to subvert the narrative. She’s directed five feature length films: the award-winning Wo Ai Ni Mommy (2010), Tough Love (2014), and Blowin’ Up (2018); and directed commercials and short form content with talents and brands such as Tan Dun, Planned Parenthood, Minwax, ESPN, Tiffany & Co., Goldman Sachs, Verifone, and Apple. Stephanie’s independent work has been supported and recognized by the Sundance Institute, the Ford Foundation, and featured in the Tribeca Film Festival.

 

Lana Wilson

 

Lana Wilson is an Emmy® Award-winning and two-time Spirit Award-nominated director. Her most recent film, The Departure (2017), premiered at Tribeca, had a critically acclaimed theatrical release, and was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. Her previous film, After Tiller (2013), premiered at Sundance and went on to win an Emmy® Award for Best Documentary. It was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, four Cinema Eye Honors, and the Ridenhour Prize.

 

Malika Zouhali-Worrall

 

Malika Zouhali-Worrall is an Emmy® Award-winning director and editor. Her directing credits include Call Me Kuchu, which premiered at the 2012 Berlinale and went on to win more than 20 festival awards, and Thank You For Playing (2015), which received an Emmy® for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary. Malika’s work has been supported by Sundance, Tribeca, Firelight Media, and the United Nations. She is a San Francisco Film/Catapult Documentary Fellow and a Chaz and Roger Ebert Directing Fellow.

For additional information on Chicken & Egg Pictures and this award, please visit our Programs page.

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.

Jacqueline Olive: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 12

 

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

Jacqueline Olive Always In Season 2018 Accelerator LabJacqueline Olive is an independent filmmaker and immersive media producer with more than a decade of experience in journalism and film. She co-directed and produced the award-winning short documentary, Black To Our Roots, which broadcast on PBS World. Jacqueline has been a Sundance Documentary Edit & Story Lab Fellow, a Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellow, and Sundance Music & Sound Design Lab fellow.

Always in Season 2018 Accelerator Lab Grantee Jacqueline Olive
Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive

She also received the Emerging Filmmakers of Color Award from International Documentary Association and the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation. Jacqueline has been a immersive media fellow with the Bay Area Video Coalition Institute for New Media Technologies and Mediamaker Fellows, the Black Public Media New Media Institute, and most recently, the Open Immersion VR Lab sponsored by the Ford Foundation, National Film Board of Canada, and the Canadian Film Centre. Jacqueline has an MA from the University of Florida Documentary Institute and previously worked on the production team of the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary series, Independent Lens.

Her debut feature documentary and 2018 Accelerator Lab grantee,  Always In Season, will premiere in competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Always in Season 2018 Accelerator Lab Jacqueline Olive
Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive

Always In Season explores the lingering impact of more than a century of lynching African Americans and connects this form of historic racial terrorism to racial violence today. The film centers on the case of Lennon Lacy, an African American teen who was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, North Carolina, on August 29, 2014. Despite inconsistencies in the case, local officials quickly ruled Lennon’s death a suicide, but his mother, Claudia, believes Lennon was lynched. Claudia moves from paralyzing grief to leading the fight for justice for her son. 

Jacqueline is currently producing a VR companion to Always In Season that uses 360° video and computer-generated imagery (CGI) to explore themes of dehumanization and violence, offering strategies for moving confidently through the racialized public spaces that black women navigate daily.

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Denali Tiller: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 11

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

Denali Tiller Tre Maison DasanDenali Tiller is an artist and filmmaker named one of 110 “Filmmakers To Watch” by Variety Magazine in 2015 for her short film Sons and Daughters of the Incarcerated — which grew into her feature documentary, Tre Maison Dasan.

She has worked with the US Agency for International Development, and is currently adjunct faculty at Rhode Island School of Design. Through her work, Denali is interested in empowering artists in systemic thinking, social justice, and activism. She is most passionate about children and youth advocacy, and how we raise boys in America.

Tre Maison Dasan Denali Tiller 2015 Accelerator Lab
Tre Maison Dasan, directed by Denali Tiller

Tre Maison Dasan is a story that explores parental incarceration through the eyes of three boys—Tre, Maison, and Dasan. Following their interweaving trajectories through boyhood marked by the criminal justice system, and told directly through the child’s perspective, the film unveils the challenges of growing up and what it means to become a man in America.

“We so often we tell stories about children from a top down perspective, informed by what we (adults) “know” about their experiences and psychology, and consequently how their lives will unfold. As Tre, Maison and Dasan taught me about their worlds, I recognized that there was a desperate need for a film that allows children to speak for themselves – particularly children of color – to capture the power in their own emotional intelligence, and elevate their voices in a way that fully represents their lives as they experience them.”—Denali Tiller, Director’s Statement

Tre Maison Dasan participated in the 2016 Accelerator Lab.

 

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Sonia Kennebeck: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 10

“Films, especially documentaries, are recording and preserving current events for future generations. It is important that our female and diverse voices, stories and perspectives are part of this collection of visual history, and that includes films about major political issues, war and national security.” – Sonia Kennebeck, Indiewire

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

Enemies of the State Sonia Kennebeck 2018 Accelerator LabSonia Kennebeck is an independent documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist with more than 15 years of directing and producing experience. She has directed eight television documentaries and more than 50 investigative reports. Foreign Policy recognized Kennebeck as one of “100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016,” and Filmmaker Magazine selected her as one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

National Bird, her first feature documentary, 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.  National Bird premiered at Berlinale, was selected for Tribeca Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, and IDFA, and was nominated for the News and Documentary Emmy® Award for Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary. 

Enemies of the State Sonia Kennebeck 2018 Accelerator Lab
Enemies of the State, directed by Sonia Kennebeck

Her second feature, Enemies of the State, is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab.

Enemies of the State is the story of an average American family who become entangled in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son is targeted by the US government.

 

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

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.

Loira Limbal: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 8

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

Through the Night Loira Limbal 2018 Accelerator LabLoira Limbal is an Afro-Latina filmmaker, activist, and DJ interested in the creation of art that affirms women of color and builds solidarity across communities. Her first film, Estilo Hip Hop, aired on PBS in 2009.

Limbal is currently directing Through the Night, 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.

Through the Night Loira Limbal 2018 Accelerator Lab
Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal

For the past decade, Limbal has dedicated herself to fusing arts and activism. She has worked at various community-based organizations in New York City including The Point Community Development Corporation, The Dominican Women’s Development Center, and Sista II Sista. In 2006, she founded The Reel X Project, a social justice and creative filmmaking space for young women of color in the Southwest Bronx.

Limbal received a B.A. in History from Brown University and is a graduate of the Third World Newsreel’s Film and Video Production Training Program. She has received awards from the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the Lisa Sullivan Fund.

Limbal is the Vice President and Documentary Lab Director at Firelight Media. She lives in the Bronx with her two children.

Through the Night is a participant of the 2018 Accelerator Lab.

 

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Penny Lane: Dozen Days of Filmmakers – Day 7

Penny Lane 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker AwardChicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Penny Lane is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film”. Penny has been making innovative nonfiction films for over a decade, including three features – The Pain of Others, NUTS! and Our Nixon – and about a dozen short films. Her most recent feature documentary, The Pain of Others, a YouTube compilation film about Morgellons, screened at BAMcinemaFest and Sheffield Doc/Fest and was featured in The New Yorker.

In September, she was honored at Open City Documentary Film Festival in London as part of their “Penny Lane: Observing Observation Itself” program, which included screenings of two of Penny’s feature films and eight of her shorts.

She received her MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her BA in American Culture and Media Studies at Vassar College. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Colgate University, where she lives in a very old house and shows movies in her barn.

Her new feature documentary, Hail Satan?, is “a look at the intersection of religion and activism, tracing the rise of The Satanic Temple: only six years old and already one of the most controversial religious movements in American history”. It was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and will have its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Penny Lane is a Chicken & Egg Pictures 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name.

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Kimi Takesue: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 6

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

Kimi TakesueKimi Takesue is an award-winning filmmaker and recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships in Film. Takesue’s ten films have screened at over two hundred festivals/museums internationally including the Sundance Film Festival, the Locarno Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, SXSW, and the Museum of Modern Art and have aired on PBS, IFC, Comcast, and SundanceTV.

Takesue’s critically acclaimed Ugandan feature-length documentary Where Are You Taking Me? was commissioned by the International Film Festival Rotterdam and premiered at the festival, followed by screenings at MoMA’s Doc Fortnight and the LA Film Festival. The film was theatrically released by Icarus Films, was a Critics’ Pick by Time Out New York and LA Weekly and was described by The New York Times as, “Fascinating…an unusual, visually rich visit to the nation.”

Her recent feature documentary 95 and 6 to Go was nominated for the prestigious 2017 Doc Alliance Selection Award and screened at over twenty-five international festivals including CPH:DOX, DOK Leipzig, Doclisboa, FIDMarseille and DOC NYC.

Takesue Kimi 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award 95 and 6 To Go
95 and 6 To Go, directed by Kimi Takesue

In 95 and 6 To GoKimi Takesue captures the cadence of daily life for Grandpa Tom, a retired postal worker born to Japanese immigrants to Hawai’i in the 1910’s. Amidst the solitude of his home routines – coupon clipping, rigging an improvised barbecue, lighting firecrackers on the New Year – we glimpse an unexpectedly rich inner life. As his granddaughter queries his history of love and loss, a stalled film project becomes a collaborative inquiry into mortality and how one constructs a personal narrative with memories that span almost a century.

Shot over six years in Honolulu, this intimate meditation on absence and family expands the vernacular of the “home movie” to consider how history is accumulated in the everyday and how sparks of humor and creativity can animate an ordinary life.

Kimi Takesue is a 2018 Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient. 

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Kristi Jacobson: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 4

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

“Central to my approach is to not have an agenda, and to not think I know the story and not try and only film the pieces that will tell that story, but to just be really open and curious.” – Kristi Jacobson, No Film School

Kristin JacobsonKristi Jacobson is a New York based filmmaker whose films capture nuanced, intimate, and provocative portrayals of individuals and communities. Her feature documentary, A Place at the Table, called “one of the most important…and gripping non-fiction films to debut in some time” by Indiewire, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival before its theatrical release in over 35 US cities. Previous films include the critically acclaimed Toots, winner of the National Board of Review’s 2007 Top Documentary Award, and HBO documentary American Standoff, produced by two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple. Jacobson is a member of the Director’s Guild of America, NYWIFT, and a two-time Sundance Creative Producing Fellow.

Her latest feature film, Chicken & Egg Pictures grantee Solitary, provides an immersive and unprecedented look inside the world of solitary confinement in the US. It premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and received the Outstanding Investigative Documentary award at the 39th Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards.

Solitary Kristi Jacobson
Solitary, directed by Kristi Jacobson

Her new short film Take Back the Harbor, co-directed with Roger Ross Williams, premiered at the 2018 DOC NYC Film Festival and was featured in their Short List for Short Films. It tells the story of an ambitious program working to restore once-bountiful oysters and the environmental benefits they bring to New York Harbor.

Take Back the Harbor will have its broadcast debut Tuesday, December 18 at 8pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel.

Kristi Jacobson is a Chicken & Egg Pictures 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient.

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.