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:
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 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 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).
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, 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 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, 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.
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, 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, 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 drugs—one of hope.
Heroin(e) is available on Netflix.
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, 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 website. What 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.
The Trials of Spring, directed 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.
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 & 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.
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, 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.
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 (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 America, Three Amigos, Blues Brothers 2000, Beverly Hills Cop III, Susan’s Plan, The Stupids, Oscar, Spies 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 (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.
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 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.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce that we were named an Official Charity Partner of the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half by New York Road Runners (NYRR). The race will take place on Sunday, March 17, 2019.
In 2018, NYRR is celebrating 60 years of helping and inspiring people through running. NYRR has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. At the most recent United Airlines NYC Half in 2018, over 2,900 runners and 140 Official Charity Partners raised approximately $5 million for charity.
“We are excited to be a part of this year’s Official Charity Partner program at this year’s United Airlines NYC Half, which helps Chicken & Egg Pictures continue our support for women nonfiction filmmakers,” said Executive Director Jenni Wolfson. “We look forward to having a dedicated team of runners take on the United Airlines NYC Half on behalf of our organization—training, preparing, and ultimately completing the 13.1-mile race and helping us push toward gender parity in the documentary filmmaking world.”
We can’t wait to turn this half marathon into a chicken run. See you at the race!
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.
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.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Screenings on Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4 at Da Bounce Urban Film Festival. Tickets here.
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.
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 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)
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.
Farihah Zaman, co-director of Remote Area Medical
And congratulations to our other Nest friends!
- Erin Casper, editor of Roll Red Roll (dir. Nancy Schwartzman)
- Mariam Dwedar, camera operator for On Her Shoulders (dir. Alexandria Bombach, 2018 SXSW LUNA/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient)
- Danielle Vega, co-producer of Cameraperson (dir. Kirsten Johnson, 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award)
Check out more DOC NYC news from the Nest.
The Independent Filmmaker Project announced the nominees for the 28th Annual IFP Gotham Awards. The Gotham Awards celebrate independent films and film projects and have a record of providing early recognition ahead of the upcoming national awards season.
At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we were so proud to see Nest-supported filmmaker and Impact & Innovation Initiative participant Nicole Opper nominated for the “Breakthrough Series – Short Form” Award for her series The F Word.
Season one of The F Word: A Foster to Adoption Story revealed the story of one queer couple adopting from foster care in Oakland, CA. Season two (2018 Impact & Innovation Initiative) continues their story while amplifying other voices in the foster care world: birth families, foster youth, adoptees, adoptive parents of color, and social entrepreneurs working to repair a broken system.
Chicken & Egg Pictures also previously Nicole’s feature documentary Visitor’s Day, which recently had its broadcast premiere on World Channel on PBS.
The Gotham Awards will be held at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, November 26. In the meantime, season one of The F Word is available to stream online. Congratulations Nicole and good luck!