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.

Daresha Kyi: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 3

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.

MAMA BEARS DARESHA KYI 2019 Eggcelerator LabDaresha Kyi writes, produces, and directs documentary and narrative film and all kinds of television in Spanish and English. A natural born storyteller, she made her first short, experimental film, Schism, at the age of 16. Currently, she is in post production on the Nest-supported feature documentary Mama Bears about how conservative, Christian mothers are transformed when they decide to accept their LGBTQ children. In 2018, she was commissioned by the ACLU to direct Trans In America: Texas Strong which garnered over 3 million views online, screened at SXSW, won two Webby Awards, and received the Emmy for Outstanding Short Documentary in 2019.

MAMA BEARS DARESHA KYI 2019 Eggcelerator Lab
Still from Mama Bears, directed by Daresha Kyi

In 2017, she co-directed Chavela, a multiple award-winning documentary about iconic singer Chavela Vargas and produced Dispatches From Cleveland. A 2019 Chicken & Egg (Egg)celerator Lab grantee, 2019 Creative Capital Awardee, and 2017-18 Firelight Documentary Lab Fellow, Daresha Kyi has also produced programming for FX, We TV, AMC, Telemundo, and Fuse, among others. She holds a degree in Film and Television from New York University and attended the directing program at the American Film Institute conservatory.

Lynn Novick: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 2

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.

Lynn Novick has been making documentaries about American history for nearly thirty years. A director and producer, she has been a principal collaborator of Ken Burns since the early 1990s. Together they have been responsible for more than 60 hours of programming and some of the most critically acclaimed and top-rated documentary films and series that have aired on PBS, such as The Vietnam War, an immersive 18-hour epic that aired on PBS in the fall of 2017.

Lynn Novick. Photo courtesy of Rahoul Ghose/PBS.

Other credits include ProhibitionThe Tenth Inning, and The War.  In 1998, Novick was director and producer (with Burns) of the two-part biographical documentary Frank Lloyd Wright, for which she received a Peabody Award. The film was shown at the Sundance, Telluride, Edinburgh, and Seattle Film Festivals.

Novick directed the Nest-supported project College Behind Bars, a documentary series four years in the making which follows a handful of ambitious and inspiring incarcerated students struggling to earn degrees in one of the most rigorous liberal arts college programs in America—the Bard Prison Initiative.

Lynn Novick College Behind Bars: The Bard Prison Initiative
Production still from College Behind Bars, directed by Lynn Novick.

In the four part miniseries, the students debate and discuss American history and mathematics, philosophy and science, Moby Dick and King Lear, DuBois and Arendt, and simultaneously navigate the difficulties and cruelties of prison life and attempt to come to terms with their pasts. College Behind Bars asks several essential questions: What is prison for? Who in America has access to educational opportunity? Can we have justice without redemption?  It aired on PBS in November of 2019 and is currently available to stream on the PBS website.

AlumNest Soaring on the Oscars Shortlist!

Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual shortlists, showcasing the films in consideration for nine categories at the 92nd Academy Awards®, including Documentary Feature and Documentary Short Subject.

We are so happy for our AlumNest filmmakers on the list. Congratulations to all and good luck!

American Factory

2016 Chicken & Egg Award
Directed by Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar
Produced by Steven Bognar, Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert, and Julia Reichert

Shortlisted for Documentary Feature; Streaming on Netflix 

Knock Down the House

Directed by Rachel Lears (AlumNest filmmaker, The Hand That Feeds)
Produced by Robin Blotnick, Rachel Lears, and Sarah Olson

Shortlisted for Documentary Feature; Streaming on Netflix 

One Child Nation

2017 (Egg)celerator Lab, 2018 Chicken & Egg Award
Directed by Nanfu Wang (2018 Chicken & Egg Award) and Jialing Zhang
Produced by Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christoph Jörg, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn

Shortlisted for Documentary Feature; Streaming on Amazon Prime 

The Great Hack

Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Jehane Noujaim (AlumNest filmmaker, The Square)  and Karim Amer
Produced by Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim, Pedro Kos, Geralyn Dreyfous, and Judy Korin

Shortlisted for Documentary Feature; Streaming on Netflix 

Walk Run Cha-Cha

Directed by Laura Nix (2018 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient); Produced by Colette Sandstedt

Shortlisted for Documentary Short  Subject; Streaming on New York Times Op-Docs 

Nominees will be revealed on Monday, January 13, 2020, and the ceremony will take place Sunday, February 9, 2020.

AlumNest Filmmakers at Sundance in 2020

The Sundance Film Festival features line-up was announced today, Wednesday December 4, and we are egg-static for the following AlumNest filmmakers, who will be premiering their films at the festival in Park City, Utah from Thursday, January 23 to Sunday, February 2, 2020.

Our AlumNest filmmakers are the 300+ talented, diverse women nonfiction directors from all around the world that we have supported throughout our almost fifteen years as an organization. The following films were not directly supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures, but the filmmakers behind them are the directors of formerly supported Nest-supported projects or have received and participated in the Chicken & Egg Award.

Production still from A Thousand Cuts, directed by Ramona Diaz: Angel Alim with her sister, Maryanne, in a jeepney. Photo by Miguel V. Fabie for CineDiaz. 

A Thousand Cuts
Directed by 2018 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Ramona Diaz (also supported through Motherland)
Nowhere is the worldwide erosion of democracy, fueled by social media disinformation campaigns, more starkly evident than in the authoritarian regime of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Journalist Maria Ressa places the tools of the free press—and her freedom—on the line in defense of truth and democracy.

Directed by Catherine Gund (AlumNest filmmaker for Born to Fly, Dispatches from Cleveland, and What’s on Your Plate?)
An exploration of the nexus of art, race, and justice through the story of art collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund who sold Roy Lichtenstein’s painting “Masterpiece” in 2017 for $165 million to start the Art for Justice Fund to end mass incarceration.

Dick Johnson Is Dead
Directed by 2017 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Kirsten Johnson (also supported through Cameraperson)
With this inventive portrait, a cameraperson seeks a way to keep her 86-year-old father alive forever. Utilizing moviemaking magic and her family’s dark humor, she celebrates Dr. Dick Johnson’s last years by staging fantasies of death and beyond. Together, dad and daughter confront the great inevitability awaiting us all.

Code for Bias
Directed by Shalini Kantayya (AlumNest filmmaker for Catching the Sun and a DROP of LIFE)
Exploring the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation in the U.S. to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all.

The Last Thing He Wanted
Directed by Dee Rees (AlumNest filmmaker for Eventual Salvation)
A veteran D.C. journalist loses the thread of her own narrative when a guilt-propelled errand for her father thrusts her from byline to unwitting subject in the very story she’s trying to break. Adapted from the Joan Didion novel of the same title.

Still from Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, directed by 2019 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Lana Wilson. Image courtesy of Sundance Film Festival.

Taylor Swift: Miss Americana
Directed by 2019 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Lana Wilson (also supported through The Departure and After Tiller)
A raw and emotionally revealing look at one of the most iconic artists of our time during a transformational period in her life as she learns to embrace her role not only as a songwriter and performer, but as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice.

Congratulations to these incredible women filmmakers on their Sundance Premieres. We’ll see you in Park City!

AlumNest Filmmakers are DOC NYC PRO’s

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara López
Behind the scenes still from Silent Beauty, directed by Jasmin López. The (Egg)celerator Lab grantee is participating in the DOC NYC “Only in New York” initiative during DOC NYC PRO.

The line-up for the 2019 DOC NYC PRO conference was recently released, and the eight day industry conference will feature documentary panels, master classes, and an expanded initiative to support works-in-progress called “Only in New York”, co-presented by SHOWTIME® Documentary Films. This year features a record number of AlumNest filmmakers and Nest industry friends sharing their insight and expertise at the conference from Thursday, November 7 to Friday, November 15.

Check out the Nest-full DOC NYC PRO line-up below:

DOC NYC PRO: First-Time Filmmaker 
Thursday, Nov. 7 from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Panels such as “Developing Your Story” and “Funding an Independent Documentary” feature Malika Zouhali-Worrall (2019 Chicken & Egg Award), Chelsi Bullard (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee for Kids Can Spit), and former Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Intern Netsanet Negussie (now Creative Development & Production Associate at Catalyst Films, helmed by 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Kristi Jacobson).

DOC NYC PRO: The Short List: Features
Friday, Nov. 8 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | IFC Center

2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Nanfu Wang will discuss politics in One Child Nation, with directors of The Edge of DemocracyThe Kingmaker and For Sama. Plus AlumNest filmmakers Steve Bognar (co-director of American Factory) and Rachel Lears (Knock Down the House) discuss the art of observation in documentary.

DOC NYC PRO: Editing
Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM Cinepolis Chelsea

Hear from AlumNest filmmaker (The Hand That Feeds) and Knock Down the House director Rachel Lears and the film’s editor Robin Blotnick on the “Anatomy of a Scene: Knock Down the House” panel.

DOC NYC PRO: Cinematography 
Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea

AlumNest filmmaker Alison Klayman, whose subjects span Ai Weiwei and Steve Bannon will discuss the art of observation in intimate settings on the “Building Rapport” panel. An Act of Worship director Nausheen Dadabhoy (2019 (Egg)celerator Lab) will share her insights on building a career on cinematography, and Nanfu Wang will speak on her experience as a director and cinematographer in the “In-depth with Nanfu Wang” panel.

DOC NYC PRO: Distribution and Audience Impact
Sunday, Nov. 10 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Join Nancy Schwartzman (Roll Red Roll) at “Impact Case Studies: Eating Animals and Roll Red Roll.”

DOC NYC PRO: Pitch Perfect
Monday, Nov. 11 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Eight filmmakers with works-in-progress selected from DOC NYC’s Only in New York, including Silent Beauty director Jasmin Lopez (2019 Egg)celerator Lab), will pitch to industry professionals from A&E IndieFilms, ESPN Films, Impact Partners, NEON, and TIME Studios. The session will be moderated by our Co-Founder and Senior Creative Consultant Judith Helfand and will include our Program Director Lucila Moctezuma.

DOC NYC PRO: Producing
Tuesday, Nov. 12 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Beth Levison, producer of Made in Boise, will participate in the “Creative Producing Panel”, plus Julie Goldman (producer on One Child Nation) and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Kristi Jacobson discuss career-building.

DOC NYC PRO: Funding a Documentary
Wednesday, Nov. 13 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Chicken & Egg Pictures Executive Director Jenni Wolfson is on the Funder + Filmmaker Relationships panel  from 10:00 – 11:10 AM.

DOC NYC PRO: Legal for Docs
Thursday, Nov. 14 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Nicole Page of Reavis Page Jump LLP, our legal team at Chicken & Egg Pictures, will educate audience members on topics like defamation and privacy claims, relating to true crime documentary films.