Egg-cellent news from Sundance Institute today, as they announced the Fellows and Advisors for the five-day 2019 Creative Producing Labs, as well as the three-day Creative Producing Summit which immediately follows.
We are proud to announce that three out of the five projects participating in the 2019 Sundance Documentary Film Program of the Labs and Summit are also participants of the Chicken & Egg Pictures (Egg)celerator Lab. Thank you, Sundance Institute, for your unwavering recognition of women nonfiction filmmakers.
“We recognize the importance of a space for meaningful dialogue and discovery between producers and forward-thinking industry. Creating a sustainable future where independent producers can continue to develop bold storytelling and take risks is a key priority for the Lab and Summit.” — Anne Lai, Director, Creative Producing and Artist Support and Kristin Feeley, Director, Labs & Artist Support, Creative Producing at Sundance Institute
Find the rest of the Fellows on the Sundance Institute blog, and read about the Nest-supported projects participating below.
An Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dhadabhoy (2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee, 2018 Diversity Fellows Iniative grantee [past program])
Produced by 2019 Creative Producing Summit Fellow Sofian Khan
An Act of Worship follows a new generation of young Muslim-American female activists at a time when anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States are sharply on the rise.
Pray Away tells the story of the history and continuation of the “pray the gay away” or ex-gay movement.
To make ends meet, Americans are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of non-stop 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 Marisol Valencia, Shanona Tate and Delores “Nunu” Hogan – two working mothers and a childcare provider – whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Saturday, April 27 at 5:45 PM — Scotiabank Theatre 3
- Sunday, April 28 1:00 PM — Isabel Bader Theatre
- Saturday, May 4 8:30 PM — Fox Theatre
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
- Sunday, April 28 at 8:15 PM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
- Tuesday, April 30 at 12:45 PM — Scotiabank Theatre 8
- Saturday, May 4 at 1:00 PM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
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.
- Saturday, April 27 at 6:00 PM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
- Monday, April 29 at 1:00 PM — Scotiabank Theatre 8
- Sunday, May 5 at 10:15 AM — Scotiabank Theatre
How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.
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.
- Sunday, April 28 at 6:15 PM — Hart House Theatre
- Tuesday, April 30 at 12:45 PM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
- Saturday, May 4 at 6:30 PM — Hart House Theatre
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.
- Tuesday, April 30 at 6:00 PM — Isabel Bader Theatre
- Thursday, May 2 at 10:30 AM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
- Saturday, May 4 at 6:00 PM — Isabel Bader Theatre
- Sunday, May 5 at 4:15 PM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
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.
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
As 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.