Introducing Project: Hatched

Project: Hatched is Chicken & Egg Pictures’ brand-new completion fund, designed to support nonfiction directors as they prepare for the world premiere of a feature-length documentary film and develop a strategic impact and audience engagement campaign. In its inaugural year, Project: Hatched is open to AlumNest filmmakers (Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees), as well as filmmakers who receive an invitation to apply from Chicken & Egg Pictures team members at film forums and markets.

This ten-month program will provide four to five filmmakers with a $20,000 grant ($15,000 earmarked for finishing funds and $5,000 for impact strategy development), as well as mentorship from members of the Chicken & Egg Pictures team, focused on rough-cut feedback, festival premiere support, impact or distribution campaign strategy, and career sustainability.

Project: Hatched is one of three new programs from Chicken & Egg Pictures. AlumNest, our alumni program which had its inagural year in 2018, brings together a community of Nest-supported filmmakers in a meaningful way, both in-person and online; Docs by the Dozen, our shorts and series program (coming soon), will provide talented filmmakers with the opportunity to expand their portfolios and respond to critical social issues in a timely way; and Project: Hatched continues to engage with and grow alongside the Chicken & Egg Pictures community, increasing our support of women filmmakers at strategic points of their documentary career.

Please see our programs page and strategic plan visual summary for more information.

Announcing our 2019 Nest Knight Fellows!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to present the first ever slate of grantees for their Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative generously supported by Knight Foundation, which is focused on identifying and supporting women or gender non-conforming nonfiction directors from cities where Knight Foundation invests who are working on their first or second feature-length documentary.

In its pilot year, the Nest Knight Fellowship supports three projects from filmmakers based in Philadelphia, PA, with each project receiving a $15,000 grant for the production of their feature-length film and benefiting from the mentorship of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ senior creative team. 

“As a New York and San Francisco based organization that has supported many projects across the US and internationally, our team knows the importance of supporting geographically diverse filmmakers and film projects,” said Lucila Moctezuma, Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures. “With the Nest Knight Fellowship, we are putting an emphasis on learning from the perspectives of filmmakers not based in major film hubs, so we can better understand how to support them in their filmmaking goals and increase career sustainability in the documentary industry.”

Synopses of the 2019 Nest Knight Fellows’ projects are below. Click on project titles to get to know these projects and the Philadelphia-based filmmakers behind them.

Falaka Fattah and The House of Umoja, co-directed by Jos Duncan and Jason Pollard

In 1969, when gangs were forming throughout the United States as an act of resistance and protection from police brutality, Queen Mother Falaka Fattah and her husband David Fattah opened up their home to warring gangs in the Philadelphia area out of concern for the safety of her son. In the ensuing years the Fattahs worked with over 105 gangs convincing them to a sign a pledge of peace eradicating almost all of the gang violence in Philadelphia. As gun violence spurs in Philadelphia, Queen Mother Falakah Fattah urges today’s leaders to uphold the House of Umoja movement.

Frank Bey: When You Ask Me, directed by Marie Hinson

Frank Bey: When You Ask Me is a feature documentary about an aging blues singer’s return to the stage 17 years after music broke his heart. Frank Bey’s incredible journey reaches a climactic year as he overcomes the loss of his backing band to record his dream album in Nashville.

Storming, directed by Katrina Sorrentino

An intimate portrait of resolute parenthood pushed toward the brink in the face of tragedy and injustice, Storming follows the daily lives and challenges of Ken and Sue Diviney, nine years following a violent attack which left their son Ryan in a vegetative state with a severe traumatic brain injury. Dictated by their decision to continue full-time care for Ryan, Ken struggles emotionally with the idea of legacy and fatherhood lost on his son as he navigates life as a primary caretaker while Sue battles insurance and finances, holding out hope for Ryan’s unlikely recovery.

The Nest Knight Fellowship for first- and second-time filmmakers based in Philadelphia, PA is generously supported by Knight Foundation.

Nest-supported World Premieres at Hot Docs

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival is coming up —Thursday, April 25 to Sunday, May 5 in Toronto, CA—and with it comes some huge news pertaining to the Nest!

Not only will women will comprise 54% of directors at the Canadian festival; three Nest-supported films (Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, The Guardian of Memory, and Buddha In Africa) will be making their world premieres; and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Julia Reichert will receive the  2019 Outstanding Achievement Award, coupled with a curated retrospective of her work throughout the festival, including new documentary American Factory.

Flush Revolution Lily Zepeda 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative

Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, directed by Lily Zepeda (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative [past program]) — World Premiere

To a stranger, he’s quirky, but to those who know the famed Mr. Toilet, he’s the leader of the global sanitation revolution. He grew up in the slums of Singapore with a bucket for a toilet and knows the agonies first hand of what it’s like to go through life without having a proper loo.

2017-Accelerator-Lab_Arteaga_Guardian_of_Memory-3The Guardian of Memory, directed by Marcela Arteaga (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee) — World Premiere

The Juarez Valley, a region once known for cotton production, is now nothing more than burned down houses, empty towns, and memories. Carlos Spector, an immigration lawyer born in El Paso, TX, fights to obtain political asylum for Mexicans fleeing from violence. This is the story of Mexican men, women, and children seeking a respite from their tragedies by heading to their neighboring country, the US. It is also a story about the kindness and hope that still exists in people who have gone through hell, and about Carlos Spector’s tireless efforts to keep memory alive

Buddha in Africa Nicole Schafer

Buddha In Africa, directed by Nicole Schafer — World Premiere

In a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, the film follows Enock Alu, a Malawian boy from a rural village growing up between the contrasting worlds of his traditional African culture and the strict discipline of the Confucian, Buddhist value system of the Chinese. Once the star performer with dreams of becoming a martial arts hero like Jet Li, Enock, in his final year at school, has to make some tough decisions about his future and finds himself torn between returning to his relatives in the village or going abroad to study in China. Against the backdrop of China’s expanding global influence, the film evokes some of the tensions surrounding the growing relationship between China and Africa.

One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang

How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.

Jacqueline Olive Always in Season

Always In Season (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab), directed by Jacqueline Olive

When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.

American Factory, directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steve Bognar*

Dizzying, hilarious and devastating, this tale of two factories makes for a landmark story of workplace anxiety. Directors Reichert and Bognar have spent a decade documenting the plight of Ohio’s factory workers, and their dedication pays off when they are given astonishing access to Fuyao, a Chinese auto glass manufacturer, as it revives a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton.

In addition to American Factory, the Outstanding Achievement Retrospective of Julia Reichert’s work which will screen throughout the festival will include Growing Up Female, considered the first feature documentary of the modern women’s movement; Union Maids, in which women look back on the Depression-era trade unionist crusade; and A Lion in the House, the Emmy-winning film which follows five children battling cancer over the course of six years, as well as others.

The following films directed by Nest-supported filmmakers will also be featured at Hot Docs: Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (director of Nest-supported film The Hand That Feeds with Robin Blotnick) and Shooting the Mafia, directed by Kim Longinotto (director of Nest-supported film Dreamcatcher).

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support American Factory  but supported director Julia Reichert during her Chicken & Egg Award year.

Three Members of the Nest are Rockwood JustFilms Fellows!

We are egg-cited to announce Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Director Lucila Moctezuma is a 2019 Rockwood JustFilms Fellow, where she will join Nest-supported filmmakers Grace Lee and Assia Boundaoui and other established leaders in the film and digital storytelling sectors.

Developed with the understanding that artists and arts leaders hold a special place within social change movements, The Rockwood JustFilms Fellowship brings together twelve leaders working at the intersection of storytelling, film, and social change to learn powerful skills that will shift their capacity for leadership and collaboration.

To start the program, fellows will attend Rockwood’s Art of Leadership in smaller sub-cohorts, taking place over the next few months. The second fellowship retreat builds off the tools and experience of the Art of Leadership and will combine Rockwood leadership training with strategic conversations. To learn more about the fellowship, see here.

To learn more about the members of the Nest who are 2019 Rockwood JustFilms Fellows, see below. A special congratulations to Iyabo Boyd, formerly Program Manager at Chicken & Egg Pictures, as well as director, producer, and founder of Brown Girls Doc Mafia!

Lucila Moctezuma, Program Director

 

Lucila Moctezuma Director of ProgramsAs Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Lucila oversees the planning and implementation of the organization’s programs, such as our (Egg)celerator Lab and Chicken & Egg Award. Lucila has collaborated with New York’s independent film community since 1996. She was previously Executive Producing Director at the internationally renowned UnionDocs, Manager of the Production Assistance Program at Women Make Movies, and Director of the Media Arts Fellowships for the Rockefeller Foundation. She is Founder and was Coordinator of the Tribeca Film Institute’s Latin America Media Arts Fund. Lucila holds a degree in Philosophy at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where she taught until 1996.

Grace Lee, 2017 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient

 

Grace Lee 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker AwardGrace Lee is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker whose work explores questions of history, race, politics, and community. A 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient, she also directed the Nest-supported documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, which won six festival audience awards and aired on the POV documentary series. Other directing credits include The Grace Lee Project, Janeane From Des Moines, the Emmy-nominated Makers: Women and Politics, and Off the Menu: Asian America. Lee’s work has also been supported by Ford Foundation, Center for Asian American Media, Film Independent, and the Sundance Institute, where she was a Women at Sundance Fellow. She co-founded the Asian American Documentary Network and is

Assia Boundaoui, Director of The Feeling of Being Watched (2016 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee)

 

Assia Boundaoui The Feeling of Being Watched 2016 Accelerator LabAssia is an Algerian-American filmmaker and journalist. She has reported for PRI, BBC, AlJazeera, VICE, and CNN, among others. Her debut short film about hijabi hair salons for HBO Documentary Films premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Her award-winning directorial debut The Feeling Of being Watched, a documentary investigating a decade of FBI surveillance in Assia’s Muslim-American community, had its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Assia was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s 2018 “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” and is currently a New America National Fellow and a fellow with the Co-Creation Studio at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she is iterating the machine-learning fueled sequel to her film The Inverse Surveillance Project. She has an MA in journalism from New York University and is an Algiers-born, Arabic-speaking, Chicago-native, currently based in southern California.

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.

Nest-supported Films on POV’s 32nd Season

Egg-cellent news from POV, television’s longest-running showcase for independent nonfiction films, as they announced yesterday the slate for their Season 32 broadcast. Nine out of POV’s sixteen feature films this season are helmed by women directors, and six of those films are Nest-supported projects or by Nest-supported directors.

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we are so proud to support women filmmakers whose voices are changing the world, one television broadcast at a time. Make sure to set your DVR or stream on pov.org or amdoc.org in order to catch these powerful documentaries:

Roll Red Roll Nancy Schwartzman
Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman

Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman will be the opening film for the new season, broadcasting June 17 on all PBS stations and across its platforms and pov.org and amdoc.org.

In small-town Ohio, at a pre-season football party, a horrible incident took place. What transpired would garner national attention and result in the sentencing of two key offenders. As amateur crime blogger Alex Goddard uncovers disturbing evidence on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, documenting the assault of a teenage girl by members of the beloved high school football team, questions linger around the collusion of teen and adult bystanders. Roll Red Roll explores the complex motivations of both perpetrators and bystanders in this story, unearthing the attitudes at the core of their behavior. The Steubenville story acts as a cautionary tale of what can happen when adults look the other way and deny that rape culture exists. With unprecedented access to police documents, exhibits and evidence, the documentary feature unflinchingly asks: “why didn’t anyone stop it?”

On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach

On Her Shoulders, directed by 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient) will broadcast July 22.

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.

Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix
Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix

Inventing Tomorrow, directed by 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Laura Nix will broadcast on July 29.

Meet passionate teenage innovators from around the globe who are creating cutting edge solutions to confront the world’s environmental threats – found right in their own backyards – while navigating the doubts and insecurities that mark adolescence. Take a journey with these inspiring teens as they prepare their projects for the largest convening of high school scientists in the world, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

Mudflow Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander
Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander

Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander, will broadcast on September 9.

Grit is the story of a huge, toxic mudflow in Indonesia widely believed to be caused by shoddy drilling practices. The mud volcano has been erupting violently for the past eight years, burying 17 villages and permanently displacing 60,000 people. Grit follows ordinary Indonesians seeking justice for this disaster during a national election in which one presidential candidate has promised restitution—and the other has not.

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 (2016 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee) will broadcast on October 14.

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. While investigating their experiences, Assia uncovers hundreds of pages of declassified FBI documents that prove her hometown was the subject of one of the largest counterterrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11—code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” 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.

Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal

Blowin’ Updirected by 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Stephanie Wang-Breal will broadcast on October 21.

Blowin’ Up looks at sex work, prostitution, and human trafficking through the lens of New York State’s criminal justice system. The film captures the growing pains of our nation’s first human trafficking intervention court in Queens, New York, and how we define trafficking and prostitution from many different perspectives: the criminal justice system, the social welfare system, and, most importantly, the women and girls who are at the center of it all.

Changing Same Michèle Stephenson Joe Brewster Impact Innovation Initiative 2018
Changing Same, directed by Michèle Stephenson Joe Brewster

Changing Same, directed by Impact & Innovation Initiative grantees Michèle Stephenson (also a 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Joe Brewster, is on the second season of POV’s Shorts program, following On Her Shoulders.

Chicken & Egg Pictures is supporting the immersive, room-scale virtual reality experience based on the short film, Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project.

Check your local listings for broadcast times and more information.

Celebrating Women This March at Chicken & Egg Pictures

Jennifer Redfearn Accelerator Lab 2018 Reentry

Today is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is balance—promoting the need for equality and a gender-balanced world.

Chicken & Egg Pictures is honoring women’s voices today by looking back on the many Nest-supported films about women and girls and looking forward at some powerful films to come. Through the lenses of empathy, intimacy, and dignity, these films represent the diverse complexities of what it means to be a woman or girl in our world today. We hope these Nest-supported filmmakers and their work lead to a more balanced film industry.

Get your International Women’s Day inspiration by streaming these egg-cellent women-directed and women-centered films:

After Tiller Martha Shane Lana Wilson

After Tiller, co-directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson (also a Chicken & Egg Award recipient), paints a complex, compassionate portrait of the four American doctors left who openly provide third-trimester abortions.  Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas in May 2009, these physicians have become the new number-one targets of the anti-abortion movement, yet continue to risk their lives every day to do work that many believe is murder, but which they believe is profoundly important for their patients’ lives.

After Tiller is available on Amazon Prime.

The Apology Tiffany Hsiung

The Apology, directed by Tiffany Hsiung, is a film 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.

The Apology is available on Amazon Prime.

Heroin(e)directed by 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Elaine McMillion Sheldon, follows three women—a fire chief, a judge and a missionary—who are battling America’s modern opioid epidemic in Huntington, West Virginia, once a bustling industrial town, now a place with an overdose rate 10 times the national average. This flood of heroin now threatens this Appalachian city with a cycle of generational addiction, lawlessness, and poverty. But within this distressed landscape, Elaine McMillion Sheldon shows a different side of the fight against drugsone of hope.

Heroin(e) is available on Netflix.

Grace Lee American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

American Revolutionary: The Evolution Of Grace Lee Boggs, directed by Grace Lee (also a Chicken & Egg Award recipient) tells the story of Grace Lee Boggs, a 98-year-old Chinese American woman whose vision of revolution will surprise you. A writer, activist, and philosopher rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement, she has devoted her life to an evolving revolution that encompasses the contradictions of America’s past and its potentially radical future.

American Revolutionary: The Evolution Of Grace Lee Boggs is available on Netflix.

Pashtana’s Lesson Beth Murphy

Pashtana’s Lesson, directed by Beth Murphy, follows the story of a young girl living in the rural Afghan village of Deh’Subz, on the outskirts of Kabul Province, as she resists an arranged marriage so that she may attend Zabuli Education Center, the first girls’ school in the area.

In 2016, Pashtana’s Lesson debuted as a New York Times Op-Doc. To watch, visit the New York Times Op-Docs websiteWhat Tomorrow Brings, the feature-length documentary on which Pashtana’s Lesson is based, aired on PBS’s POV series and is available on Amazon Prime.

Moving on to the rest of March, Women’s History Month: In a year when women are mobilizing and running for office in unprecedented numbers, tune into PBS for Women, War, and Peace II, the acclaimed documentary series which presents four women-directed films exploring the pivotal role women are playing in dramatic conflicts and peace settlements across the globe. This season, three out of four films featured are Nest-supported projects. Check your local listings for exact times and dates.

https://chickeneggpics.org/grantee/the-trials-of-spring/

The Trials of Springdirected by Gini Reticker debuts Monday, March 25. The film follows the journeys of three Egyptian women from the early days of the 2011 Arab Spring until today: Hend, from a rural military family, awaiting a harsh prison sentence for protesting against military rule; Miriam, an activist fighting to end sexual assault; and Mama Khadiga, a formerly veiled widow who became a caretaker of the revolutionaries. Their intersecting stories reveal the vital and underreported role women play in shaping the region’s future.

https://chickeneggpics.org/grantee/the-trials-of-spring/

Naila and the Uprising, directed by Julia Bacha debuts Tuesday, March 26. Weaving together interviews, news footage, and expressive animation, award-winning documentarian Julia Bacha (also a Chicken & Egg Award recipient) 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.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, co-directed by Geeta Gandbhir (also a Chicken & Egg Award recipient), Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (also on our Eggsperts advisory board), and Perri Peltz, debuts Tuesday, March 26. The film follows an all-female, Bangladeshi unit of UN peacekeepers as they leave their friends, families and all familiarity for deployment abroad in Haiti. The  film examines how this journey forever alters their lives while illuminating the unique role that women play in restoring peace in the world’s most volatile regions.

Nest-supported films about women and girls to look out for in the future: 

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab

Writing With Firedirected by Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab), tells the story of a newspaper run entirely by rural women in one of the most socially oppressive and patriarchal states of India. Meera, its popular reporter, decides to magnify the paper’s impact with an audacious move—to transform from print to a digital news agency. Working in media dark villages, mocked and discouraged, this is the story of a visionary woman’s feisty spirit in building what will probably be the world’s first digital news agency run entirely by rural women.

Writing With Fire is currently in production.

Jennifer Redfearn Accelerator Lab 2018 Reentry

Reentry (Working Title), directed by Jennifer Redfearn (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab), is an immersive, character-driven film follows three women—who are part of a new reentry program in Cleveland, Ohio—as they prepare to leave prison, reunite with their children, and find jobs after serving time for drug-related charges.

Reentry is currently in post production.

Rajada Dalka Nation's Hope Hana Mire

Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope, directed by Hana Mire
(2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative; 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab),  follows the Somali National Women’s basketball team in their first season since the civil war, as veteran coach Suad Galow shepherds her team of fearless young women and helps them to overcome the violent threats against them from members of the Al-Shabab militia and reclaim their place on the international stage.

Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope is currently in post production.

Meet our Newest Nest Board Members: Leslie Belzberg and Marjan Safinia

Chicken & Egg Pictures proudly announces two new members to our Board of Directors: Leslie Belzberg and Marjan Safinia. Members of our Board of Directors serve an official role for Chicken & Egg Pictures, offering constructive feedback, guidance, and independent oversight of our work.

Leslie Belzberg

Leslie Belzberg (pictured left) currently oversees all television and theatrical productions for Gaumont USA as Senior Vice President, Production. Prior to Gaumont, Leslie was a consultant for Blumhouse Television and head of production at Miramax and Endemol-Shine North America.

Before moving into high-level executive roles at major studios, Belzberg was an independent producer, most well-known for her storied collaboration with director John Landis. Together, they co-created St. Clare Entertainment, a TV production company. She also produced many of his films including Coming to AmericaThree AmigosBlues Brothers 2000Beverly Hills Cop IIISusan’s PlanThe StupidsOscarSpies Like Us, and Into the Night. Belzberg has also produced Academy Award winning films such as Crazy Heart, which earned Jeff Bridges a Best Actor win, and the documentary Genocide, also produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, now the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

Leslie earned an MBA from Fordham University in New York and a BA in English Literature and Contemporary Drama from York University in Toronto.

Marjan Safinia

Marjan Safinia (pictured right) is an Iranian documentary filmmaker whose films examine identity, community, and social justice. Her current project And She Could Be Next (in production) is about women of color running for political office to claim political power for a rising new American majority. Marjan’s feature documentary Seeds tells the story of ten brave teenagers from the world’s most troubled conflict zones living side-by-side for one life-changing summer. Her first film But You Speak Such Good English is a half hour documentary which explores the first-generation immigrant experience from an insider perspective.

Collectively, Marjan’s films have played at over 100 international film festivals and broadcast in North America, Europe, and across the Arab world. She has produced and directed work for Co-Founder of Google Sergey Brin, the Barack Obama administration, and Next Generation in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. Her work has been supported by the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund and Sundance Institute. She is also a Sundance Catalyst Fellow.

Until 2018, Marjan was the longest-serving President of the Board of Directors of the International Documentary Association (IDA), also the only woman of color to hold the position since the IDA was founded in 1982. She also co-hosts The D-Word, the preeminent online community for documentary professionals. Marjan is a regular juror, programmer, speaker and connector of all things documentary.

Welcome Leslie and Marjan! To learn more about the rest of our Board, see here.

Announcing our 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipients!


Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the fourth 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.

Join our growing Nest with three new job openings

We are delighted to announce that we are growing our staff with a few newly created positions! If you or someone you know might be interested in joining a creative team that is truly passionate about advancing our mission of supporting women nonfiction filmmakers globally, consider the following full-time staff positions: 

Also meet our newest member of the team, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Program & Partnerships Manager!

Kelly Duane De La Vega

Kelly is a director, producer, writer, and impact campaign strategist. Her feature documentaries have screened at film festivals worldwide, opened theatrically and broadcast nationally on POV/PBS and the Documentary Channel.Her most recent film, a Peabody Award Finalist, The Return, won the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary, screened on Capitol Hill and in prisons across the country. She has produced short-format work for The New York Times, Mother Jones, IFC, and Discovery, among others.

As Program & Partnerships Manager, Kelly has an integral role in several of our soon-to-be-launched programs in support of our goal to provide creative, professional, and financial support to filmmakers at strategic junctures in their careers.

To learn more about her, visit our team page