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

Nest-supported Projects Receive Sundance Documentary Fund Grants

Wonderful news from Sundance Institute! Thirty-three recipients of the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Stories of Change Grant were announced recently, and 81% of the supported projects have at least one woman producer or director.

Projects are supported through grants in the development, production, post-production and audience engagement stages, and include custom grants from The Kendeda Fund, MacArthur Foundation, and The Skoll Foundation. 

We were egg-static to see the following Nest-supported projects and filmmakers from our Diversity Fellows Initiative, Accelerator Lab, and Breakthrough Filmmaker Award programs on the list.

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

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

To make ends meet, Americans are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of nonstop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers. Through the Night is 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 received a production grant from the Sundance Documentary Fund.

Nanfu Wang Lynn Zhang Born In China 2017 Accelerator Lab
Born in China, directed by Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang

Born in China, directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang (2017 Accelerator Lab)

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

Born in China received a grant for post-production from the Sundance Documentary Fund.

The Letter, directed by Maia von Lekow & Chris King

The Letter, directed by Maia von Lekow and Chris King (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

Along the coast of Kenya, a frenzied mix of consumerism and Christianity is turning hundreds of families against their elders, branding them as witches as a means to steal their land. Ninety-two-

year-old Margaret Kamango stands accused by her sons, while her strong-willed daughters try to protect her. This dangerous dispute is seen through the eyes of Margaret’s grandson, Karisa, who returns home from the city to investigate and is ultimately forced to choose which side he is on.

The Letter received a grant for post-production from the Sundance Documentary Fund.

Ursula Liang 2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative
Untitled Race & Criminal Justice Project, directed by Ursula Liang

Untitled Race & Criminal Justice Project, directed by Ursula Liang (2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative) 

A nuanced look at how two communities of color navigate an uneven criminal justice system, anchored by one polarizing New York City case.

United Race & Criminal Justice Project received support for production from the Macarthur Foundation. This grant provides support for journalistic projects, prioritizing diverse, Native and Indigenous voices.

Chicken & Egg Pictures would also like to congratulate the following filmmakers whose work we have supported in the past or who we have individually support through the Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program—

Malika Zouhali-Worrall (director of Nest-supported projects Thank You For PlayingCall Me Kuchu, and Games You Can’t Win) recieved a development grant for her new project Untitled Dystopia Film.

Malika’s co-director in Thank You For Playing and Games You Can’t Win, David Osit also received a development grant for his  project Mayor. Congratulations Malika and David!

Laura Nix Inventing Tomorrow 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award
Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix

2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Recipient Laura Nix received a grant for audience engagement for her film Inventing Tomorrow from The Kendeda Fund.

Meet the passionate teen innovators from around the globe who dedicate their blood, sweat, and Bunsen burners to craft cutting-edge solutions to the world’s environmental threats and present their findings at the world’s largest high school science competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Inventing Tomorrow, but supported Laura Nix through our Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program in 2016.

And She Could Be Next received a production grant from the Sundance Documentary Fund and is made by a team of women filmmakers of color, including four Nest-supported filmmakers. And She Could Be Next is directed by Grace Lee (2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient and director of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs), Yoruba Richen (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient), Deborah S. Esquenazi (Southwest of Salem) , and Geeta Gandbhir (director of A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, producer of Love the Sinner,  and 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) as well as Anayansi Prado, Ramona Emerson, Amber Fares, and Marjan Safinia.

Another special congratulations to Anna Fitch for her grant for production on her new project Heaven Through the Backdoor, which she is co-directing with Banker White. Anna Fitch previously received support on her work in Survivors from Chicken & Egg Pictures, also co-directed with Banker White.

Congratulations also to Violeta Ayala (director of Nest-supported Cocaine Prisonon receiving production support for her new feature documentary, The Fight.

What an incredible group of women-directed projects! Congratulations to all.

 

 

The First Ever Chicken Run at the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon!

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!

 

 

 

 

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.

The F Word Series Nominated for Gotham Award

The F Word Nicole Opper 2018 Impact and Innovation Initiative

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!

Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Judith Helfand’s World Premiere at DOC NYC!

In addition to the Nest-supported projects and filmmakers at DOC NYC, we are egg-static to announce our Co-Founder and Senior Creative Consultant Judith Helfand’s Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, will have its world premiere at the festival.

Judith Helfand Senior Creative Consultant Chicken & Egg Pictures

In addition to co-founding the Nest, Judith has directed several award-winning films including the The Uprising of ’34 (co-directed with esteemed veteran George Stoney), her groundbreaking personal film A Healthy Baby Girl, its Sundance award-winning sequel Blue Vinyl, followed by Everything’s Cool (both co-directed with Daniel B. Gold)She has taught the art of documentary film at New York University, New School, and was the Filmmaker-in-Residence at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in 2007 and 2009. As much an educator and field-builder as she is a filmmaker, Judith co-founded Working Films and sits on the boards of Great Small Works and The Lower East Side Girls Club.

Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, directed by Judith A. Helfand

Sunday, November 11 at 1:30 p.m. at SVA Theater

Wednesday, November 14 at 2:45 p.m. at IFC Center

In July 1995, Chicago was hit by a record heat wave that claimed the lives of 739 residents, primarily among the elderly, African Americans and those living in poverty. Using this tragedy as a jumping-off point, but referencing other extreme weather catastrophes like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Cooked provocatively reframes the politics of disaster to encompass extreme inequity, arguing that economically disadvantaged communities should be preventatively treated as disasters taking place in slow motion.*

* Synopsis courtesy of DOC NYC

Congratulations, Judith, and see you at DOC NYC!

Nest-supported Films to See at DOC NYC

The DOC NYC Film Festival recently released their full 2018 line-up, schedule, and some exciting news: of the sixteen features screening in competition, women directed or co-directed eight of them. We’re egg-static to see DOC NYC follow in the footsteps of a number of film festivals which have recently pledged gender parity in programming, like Camden International Film Festival which achieved gender parity in selections across every category just last month.

DOC NYC runs from Thursday, November 8 to Thursday, November 15 at the IFC Center, SVA Theatre, and Cinépolis Chelsea, with three Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films and one supported filmmaker on the line-up.

On Her Shoulders Alexandria Bombach

On Her Shoulders (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient), directed by Alexandria Bombach. Saturday, November 10 at 10:00 AM and Sunday, November 11 at 9:55 PM at the Cinépolis Chelsea.

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 was also listed as a top award contender for the documentary feature category on the DOC NYC shortlist.

Mudflow Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander

Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander. Sunday, November 11 at 5:15 PM at the Cinépolis Chelsea and Thursday, November 15 at 12:45 PM at IFC Center.

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 where one presidential candidate has promised restitution — and the other has not.

Tre Maison Dasan Denali Tiller 2015 Accelerator Lab

Tre Maison Dasan (2016 Accelerator Lab Grantee), directed by Denali Tiller. Sunday, November 11 at 7:45 PM and Monday, November 12 at 2:30 PM at the Cinépolis Chelsea.

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.

Kristin Jacobson

Take Back The Harbor, directed by Kristi Jacobson  (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) and Roger Ross Williams. Sunday, November 11 at 10:00 AM  at the SVA Theatre.

“On Governor’s Island, an ambitious program works to restore once-bountiful oysters and the environmental benefits they bring to New York Harbor. Take Back the Harbor highlights students at a remarkable public high school where environmental stewardship is part of the curriculum.”*

Take Back The Harbor was also listed as a top award contender for the documentary short category on the DOC NYC shortlist.

*Synopsis courtesy of Discovery/Motto Pictures. Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Take Back The Harbor but supported director Kristi Jacobson through the Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program.

And don’t forget to see Nest-supported filmmakers at the DOC NYC PRO conference occurring in conjunction with screenings. See you at DOC NYC!

Taking Flight at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Nest-supported filmmakers are taking flight at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, the oldest all-documentary festival in North America. Its 27th year will kick off on Friday, October 19 and run to Saturday, October 27 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Here are the Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films, filmmakers, and friends to see in Hot Springs.

Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal

Monday, October 22 at  10:00AM, Cinema One.

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.

The Devil We Know, directed by Stephanie Soechtig

Wednesday, October 24 at 10:00 AM, Cinema Two.

Unraveling one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time, a group of citizens in West Virginia take on a powerful corporation after they discover it has knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical—now found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans—into the drinking water supply.

Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman

Saturday, October 20 at 2:30 PM, Cinema Two.

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, to unearth the attitudes at the core of their behavior.

United Skates, directed by Dyana Winkler & Tina Brown  (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

Friday, October 26 at 7:00 PM, Cinema One.

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.

The Changing Same, directed by 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster*

Monday, October 22 at 5:00 PM, Cinema One.

“On October 26, 1934, Claude Neal was brutally lynched by a group of white men who stormed the county jail in Brewton Alabama where Neal was being held after being accused of the murder of a 20 year-old white woman, Lola Cannady. Every October 26, Lamar Wilson, a native of Marianna, Florida who now teaches English at the University of Alabama Birmingham, comes home to run a very particular marathon to commemorate the lynching of Claude Neal. Lamar retraces the route Claude Neal took on that fateful night where he ended up hanged on the courthouse grounds.”**

This Is Home, directed by Chicken & Egg Board of Directors member Alexandra Shiva

Tuesday, October 23 at 1:00 PM, Cinema One.

“A stirring, empathetic documentary chronicling the travails of four Syrian refugee families as they arrive in Baltimore with just eight months’ time allowed to find jobs, learn English, and adapt to life in the U.S. when the sudden 2017 travel ban imposed by the Trump administration further complicates their situation.”***

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support The Changing Same directly but supported director Michèle Stephenson during her Breakthrough year, as well as Michèle and Joe’s VR project Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project, currently in production.

**Synopsis courtesy of Rada Film Group.

***Synopsis courtesy of Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.

Congratulations to all and see you in Arkansas!