Announcing 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees!

Announced via Women & Hollywood today, we are proud to present the ten grantees of the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab for emerging documentary filmmakers, set to receive a total of $400,000 toward their first or second feature-length documentaries.

This year, participants hail from eight different countries including Brazil, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Spain, and include filmmakers such as Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund recipient Snow (Hnin Ei Hlaing), PitchBLACK winner Nailah Jefferson, and Emmy-winning producer Violet Du Feng. Several films in this cohort explore similar themes through vastly different subjects: A Photographic Memory, Black Mothers, and Machtat tell stories of motherhood through art and memory, racial injustice, and marriage in the context of patriarchy. Commuted and Polaris are both stories of women’s lives after incarceration, one taking place in New Orleans and the other between France and the Arctic.

Please click the granted film’s titles for more information on each project and give these women filmmakers a warm welcome to the Nest.

Hidden Letters
Directors: Violet Du Feng, Zhao Qing (CHINA)
Two young Chinese Millennials in rural and metropolitan China look toward the wisdom of an ancient, secret woman-only script in order to navigate their lives in a world still dominated by men.

Eskape
Director: Neary Adeline Hay (CAMBODIA/FRANCE)
The survival story of a mother and her daughter, the filmmaker, through the desperate flight from a crumbling Cambodia after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Midwives
Director: Snow (Hnin Ei Hlaing) (MYANMAR)
Two midwives work side by side in a makeshift medical clinic.

Commuted
Director: Nailah Jefferson (US)
Commuted is an intimate look at the life of Danielle Metz and the familial impacts of long-term incarceration.     

Stories from the Debris
Director: Jennifer Rainsford (SWEDEN/UK)
With the Japanese Tsunami of 2011 as a backdrop, Stories from the Debris assembles a collection of poetic stories about how humans and nature rebuild after trauma.

The Boy and the Suit of Lights
Director: Inma de Reyes (SPAIN/SCOTLAND)
Hoping to rescue his family from poverty, young Borja is torn between tradition and progress as he trains to fulfil his family’s dream of him becoming a bullfighter.

Black Mothers
Director: Débora Souza Silva (BRAZIL)
Violence. Outrage. Impunity. Repeat. Black Mothers follows the journey of two women working to disrupt the cycle of racist police violence within our country’s judicial system.

A Photographic Memory
Director: Rachel Elizabeth Seed (US)
A photographer attempts to piece together a portrait of her mother, Sheila Turner-Seed, a daring journalist and a woman she never knew. Uncovering the vast archive Turner-Seed produced, including lost interviews with iconic photographers, the film explores memory, legacy, and stories left untold.                                                                            

Machtat
Director: Sonia Ben Slama (FRANCE/TUNISIA)
Machtat chronicles the daily life of Fatma and her daughters Najeh and Waffeh, wedding musicians in a small town in Tunisia.           

Polaris
Director: Ainara Vera (SPAIN)
Polaris tells the story of two French sisters with opposite lives that reconnect with one another to support the life of a newborn baby.

Note: The parentheses next to the directors’ names indicate the directors’ country or countries of origin.

A Full Nest at Tribeca Film Festival

The 2020 Tribeca line-up for feature films is out! And there’s plenty to see from the Nest. Making their world premieres at Tribeca Film Festival this year are three films (Enemies of the State, Pray Away, and Through the Night) from our (Egg)celerator Lab program in 2018 and 2019, one film supported through our Chicken & Egg Award (Stateless), and one film supported through a grant in 2018 (Simple As Water).

AlumNest filmmakers screening at Tribeca include directors such as Chicken & Egg Award recipients Dawn Porter (premiering John Lewis: Good Trouble) and Yoruba Richen (premiering The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show).

Here is your Nest guide to the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival, from Wednesday, April 15 to Sunday, April 26: 

Nest-supported films

Enemies of the State, directed by Sonia Kennebeck
2018 (Egg)celerator Lab

An average American family becomes entangled in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son is targeted by the US government.

Pray Away, directed by Kristine Stolakis
2019 (Egg)celerator Lab

Former leaders of the “pray away the gay” movement contend with the aftermath unleashed by their actions, while a survivor seeks healing and acceptance from more than a decade of trauma

Simple As Water, directed by Megan Mylan
2018 Grant

Megan Mylan’s closely observed fragments of lives cut between Turkey, Greece, Germany, and the US. Each unfolding scene portrays the elemental bonds holding together Syrian families pulled apart by war, searching for a new life.

Stateless (Apátrida), directed by Michèle Stephenson
2016 Chicken & Egg Award

Through the grassroots campaign of electoral hopeful Rosa Iris, director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary reveals the depths of racial hatred and institutionalized oppression that divide Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

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

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.

AlumNest films

John Lewis: Good Trouble, directed by Dawn Porter (2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)

The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show, directed by Yoruba Richen

Picture a Scientist, directed by Ian Cheney and Sharon Shattuck (From This Day Forward)

Women in Blue, directed by Deirdre Fishel (Care)

Also premiering at Tribeca is Athlete A, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, which is produced by our Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello, along with Serin Marshall and Jen Sey.

Congratulations to these filmmakers on their premieres!

Special Shoutout to Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Sabine Fayoux Cantillo for her Promotion!

Congratulations to Chicken & Egg Pictures team member Sabine Fayoux Cantillo on her new role of Program Manager. As Program Manager, Sabine plays a key role in the planning and implementation of several programs including the Chicken & Egg Award for advanced-career filmmakers; Next Gen Egg, a one-day event that brings together supported filmmakers, funders, and industry representatives; and AlumNest, which includes over 300 filmmakers to date. Prior to 2020, she coordinated and led all logistics for Chicken & Egg Pictures’ flagship programs including open calls, creative retreats, and direct support to filmmakers; launched an online platform for the AlumNest program; and oversaw the Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative for Philadelphia-based filmmakers supported by Knight Foundation. She has also been instrumental in the (Egg)celerator Lab program for first- and second-time filmmakers. 

Before joining Chicken & Egg Pictures, Sabine gained diverse experience in the nonfiction field: from Production Assistant and Field Researcher at Loki Films to Box Office Manager at the Margaret Mead Film Festival to working with the programming staff at America ReFramed. She has been a screener for the Margaret Mead Film Festival, America ReFramed and POV. In 2019, Sabine was selected to be a participant in Film at Lincoln Center’s 4th annual Industry Academy and participated in Creative Capital’s Taller, a career development program for Spanish-speaking Latinx artists in New York City. Sabine is an emerging filmmaker currently working on a film about emotional inheritance and is passionate about analog photography. She is Colombian and French, and holds a BA in Sociology from the Université Paris-Diderot, as well as a MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Barcelona.

Thanks for all you do for the Nest, Sabine! 

Announcing Project: Hatched 2020 Participants!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the first-ever participants of our newest program Project: Hatched, a completion fund which provides a $20,000 grant to selected directors in the lead up to their film premiere. $15,000 of the grant is for finishing funds and $5,000 is earmarked for impact strategy development. Participants also receive ten hours of mentorship focusing on festival premiere support, impact and distribution strategy, and professional development.

We also partnered with our friends at The Fledgling Fund for the
Chicken & Egg Pictures/Fledgling Fund Impact Grant, which provides an additional $20,000 to a Project: Hatched film whose campaign strategy has the ability to shape national and international conversations around the world’s most pressing issues. Congratulations to Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya, for being the first recipient of the Chicken & Egg Pictures/Fledgling Fund Impact Grant! 

Coded Bias (Chicken & Egg Pictures/Fledgling Fund Impact Grant recipient), directed by Shalini Kantayya, explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her subsequent journey to push for the first-ever US legislation to govern against bias in artificial intelligence.*

The Fight
, co-directed by Elyse SteinbergJosh Kriegman, and
Eli Despres, documents a team of scrappy ACLU lawyers battling Trump’s historic assault on civil liberties.*

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela, directed by Anabel Rodríguez, follows residents of a small fishing village as they prepare for parliamentary election. Once the village of Congo Mirador was prosperous. Now it is decaying and disintegrating—a prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself.*

*Premiering at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.   

Announcing our 2020 Chicken & Egg Award Recipients!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the fifth cohort of our Chicken & Egg Award, which recognizes and elevates five experienced documentary makers. This is the first year the Award has been opened to internationally-based filmmakers, and the six recipients hail from Canada, Chile, India, Serbia, Norway, and the US and have explored such diverse subjects as aging, artificial intelligence, and Indigenous rights.

In addition to a $50,000 unrestricted cash award and a year-long mentorship program, recipients also receive dedicated support from the Chicken & Egg Pictures creative team geared toward the development of new documentary projects.

Maite Alberdi is a Chilean director whose particular style is characterized by an intimate portrait of small worlds. She is one of the most important voices in Latin American documentaries. Her films include The Lifeguard (2011), Tea Time (2014), I Am Not From Here (2016), The Grown-Ups (2016), and The Mole Agent (2020).   

Tonje Hessen Schei is an award-winning Norwegian filmmaker and director of iHuman (2019), Drone (2014), Play Again (2010), and Independent Intervention (2005)—films that have received awards like The Golden Nymph Award and Norway’s national film awards, the Amanda and Gullruten awards for best documentary. 

Nishtha Jain is a multi-award-winning filmmaker best known for her films Saboot (2019), Gulabi Gang (2012), Lakshmi and Me (2007) and City of Photos (2004); her films are self-reflexive and explore the political in the personal, a recurring theme in her films being work or travail. She is a 2019 Fulbright Scholar and Film Independent Global Media Make. 

Michelle Latimer is a Métis/Algonquin filmmaker, actor, and producer; her goal is to use film and new media as a tool for social change. Her recent projects include Rise (Viceland, Sundance 2017) and Nuuca (TIFF, Berlinale, Sundance 2017). Her Indigenous heritage informs her filmmaking perspective.

Kimberly Reed is the director of Dark Money and Prodigal Sons, the first documentary by a transgender filmmaker to be theatrically released, which won 14 international awards. She is one of Filmmaker’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Mila Turajlić is an award-winning director and archive scholar born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Her films include The Other Side of Everything and Cinema KomunistoIn 2018, she was commissioned by MoMA to create archive-based video installations for their landmark exhibition on Yugoslav modernist architecture.

Laura Nix and Julia Reichert Nominated for 92nd Academy Awards

Egg-citing news! Announced today, filmmakers Laura Nix and Julia Reichert received Oscar nominations for their nonfiction films Walk Run Cha-Cha and American Factory, respectively.

Walk Run Cha-Cha
Directed by Laura Nix (2018 Chicken & Egg Award);
Produced by Colette Sandstedt
Nominated for Documentary Short

American Factory
Directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award) and Steve Bognar; Produced by Julia Reichert, Steve Bognar, Jeff Reichert, and Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello
Nominated for Documentary Feature

We are so proud to have supported Laura and Julia through our Chicken & Egg Award program and wish them the best of luck! You can stream American Factory on Netflix and Walk Run Cha-Cha on New York Times Op-Docs.

The 92nd Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 9, 2020. A full list the full list of nominees can be seen here.

American Factory Soars at Cinema Eye Honors!

Congratulations to the American Factory team, including co-director and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Julia Reichert and Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello, on the accolades they received at the thirteenth annual Cinema Eye Honors at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York on January 6.

American Factory was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking and Outstanding Achievement in Direction. 

American Factory is directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert and produced by Steve Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello. 

Plus a special shoutout to AlumNest filmmaker Jehane Noujaim and The Great Hack team for their win in the Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation category. 

Jasmin Mara López: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 8

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara LópezJasmin Mara López is a journalist, audio producer, and filmmaker based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Born in the US with familial roots in México, her childhood was affected by issues experienced on both sides of the US-México border. This instilled in her a strong passion for immigrant rights, youth empowerment, and social change. In 2007, Jasmin founded Project Luz, which taught Mexican youth to document stories from within their communities. She was then recruited by the USC Annenberg Civic Engagement and Journalism Initiative to coordinate a program that trained immigrant youth in journalistic ethics and practice. In 2015, she received the Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism Award for her audio documentary Deadly Divide: Migrant Death on the Border.

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara López
Silent Beauty, directed by Jasmin Mara López

She was awarded the 2017 New Orleans Film Society Emerging Voices Mentorship, 2018 Southern Documentary Fund Production Grant, 2019 Jacquie Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund via Black Public Media, and 2019 TFI Pond5 Grant. She participated in the 2018 UnionDocs Summer Documentary Lab, 2017 Third Coast Radio Residency at Ragdale, 2019 Ragdale Artist Residency, 2019 TFI Network, 2019 Firelight Media Documentary Lab, as well as the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab for her feature documentary Silent Beautya personal documentary about confronting and accepting difficult truths while finding beauty in the process. Read more about Silent Beauty on the film’s webpage.

Marie Hinson: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 6

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Marie Hinson is an artist and cinematographer who specializes in feature documentaries and commercials and creates site-specific performances and experimental films. As an artist, Marie’s performances, installations, and experimental films have shown in festivals and several group shows. In 2019, she debuted new site-specific performance work, “Stop on the object / move on the image” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She is currently working on a writing, performance, and film project about growing up in rural Appalachia as a trans and queer person.

Recently, Marie was a cinematographer and associate producer on Queer Genius which features visionary queer artists Eileen Myles, Barbara Hammer, Black Quantum Futurism and Jibz Cameron. She was also a cinematographer on Alysa Nahmias’ forthcoming documentary about artist Jesse Krimes. She also shot a two year long webseries for Comcast about a massive commissioned art project for their new headquarters which included a Steven Speilberg directed immersive cinematic installation.

Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me, directed by Marie Hinson

Marie’s directorial debut participated in the 2019 Nest Knight Fellowship, with generous support from Knight Foundation. Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me is 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.

Nico Opper: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 4

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Visitor's Day Nico OpperNico Opper is an Emmy®-nominated filmmaker who directed and produced the feature documentary Off and Running, an Audience Favorite at Tribeca and winner of ten international awards including Best Documentary at Outfest and Best Documentary Screenplay at Silverdocs. The film was broadcast nationally on POV, and they received a Fulbright Fellowship to direct Visitor’s Day, which was supported by New York State Council on the Arts, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and The Independent Television Service. Visitor’s Day nationally broadcast on PBS and WORLD Channel. 

The F Word Nico Opper 2018 Impact and Innovation Initiative
The F Word, directed by Nico Opper

Recently, they directed and produced the short form docuseries The F Word: A Foster-to-Adopt Story, funded by ITVS for IndieLens Storycast and currently streaming on Soul Pancake in partnership with Participant Media. Season one of The F Word revealed the story of one queer couple adopting from foster care in Oakland, CA and was nominated for a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series. The second season of The F Word 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 and is supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Impact & Innovation Initiative (past program).

Nico has produced films and television for The Discovery Channel and Here TV, and have been featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s annual “25 New Faces of Independent Film”,  Indiewire’s 25 LGBT Filmmakers on the Rise, and most recently DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40”. They have taught filmmaking at Stanford University and San Francisco State University, and is currently an assistant professor at Santa Clara University. In addition to teaching and making films, Nico is the Creative Director of the BAVC MediaMaker Fellowship.