Chicken & Egg Pictures on the 90th Academy Awards® shortlist!

The Oscars® shortlist is here, and we are ecstatic to announce that two Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films have advanced to the next stage of the voting process for the 90th Academy Awards® in the Documentary Features category!

Congratulations to first-time filmmakers Jennifer Brea (Unrest) and Yance Ford (Strong Island), whose films have made it to the top 15 out of 170 submitted documentaries!

Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea

Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea

Jennifer, a Harvard PhD student, was signing a check at a restaurant when she found she could not write her own name. Months before her wedding, she became progressively more ill, losing the ability even to sit in a wheelchair. When doctors insisted that her condition was psychosomatic, she picked up her camera to document her own story and the stories of four other patients struggling with the world’s most prevalent orphaned disease.

Strong Island, directed by Yance Ford

Strong Island, directed by Yance Ford

Set in the suburbs of the black middle class, Strong Island seeks to uncover how—in the year of the Rodney King trial and the Los Angeles riots—the murder of the filmmaker’s older brother went unpunished. The film is an unflinching look at homicide, racial injustice, and the corrosive impact of grief over time.

Check out the rest of the documentary features that have advanced in the voting process here.

Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards® will be announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Best of luck to Jen and Yance!

Catapult Film Fund announces its latest grantees!

We are thrilled to learn that Catapult Film Fund has recognized several of our supported filmmakers with grants this year. Catapult focuses on supporting “powerful and moving storytelling, by filmmakers with a strong voice across a broad spectrum of subject matter,” and providing funding that will enable filmmakers to move forward to the next stage of production.*  Congratulations to Jessica, Kelly, Lyric, Michèle, and Penny!

Check out more information about these films, and others, here.

The Rashomon Effect
Directed by Lyric R. Cabral (Accelerator Lab 2017) and produced by Jessica Devaney (Impact & Innovation Initiative, 2016)
What happened when unarmed Black teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by White police officer Darren Wilson?**

Mississippi Red
Directed by Kelly Duane de la Vega (Application Cycle 2013)
Mississippi Red looks at American feminism through the lens of race, religion and the political establishment as a pair of bipartisan allies fight to pass an equal pay bill in one of the most conservative states in the union.**

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni film
Directed by Michèle Stephenson (Breakthrough Filmmaker Awards, 2016) and Joe Brewster
Through intimate vérité, archival footage, and visually innovative treatments of her poetry, Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni film pushes the boundaries of biographical documentary film to reveal the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators.**

Untitled Satanic Temple Documentary
Directed by Penny Lane (Breakthrough Filmmaker Awards, 2017)
A wildly entertaining, surprising and highly controversial look at the state of religious freedom in America today.**

 

*  = From Catapult Film Fund About Us page.

** = From Catapult Film Fund Films page.

Chicken & Egg Pictures at DOC NYC 2017!

The 2017 DOC NYC Film Festival features three films that Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported directly. Running November 9-16, 2017 in Manhattan, the DOC NYC Film Festival is America’s largest documentary film festival.

Check out the full lineup of films, shorts, panels, and showcases here!

Lovesick (World Premiere)
Directed by Priya Desai and Ann Kim

In India, a culture obsessed with marriage but where AIDS is an unspeakable disease, can you find love and companionship if you’re HIV+? Ancient tradition and the new reality of HIV collide. Lovesick is the modern love story that results. Tickets and showtimes available here.

From Lovesick by Priya Desai and Ann Kim.

32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide (NYC Premiere)
Directed by Hope Litoff

A reflection on the life and suicide of Ruth Litoff, a successful artist, a pathological liar, and the filmmaker’s sister. By looking back on Ruth’s incredible highs and lows, bursts of creative genius, depression, secrets, and lies, a vivid portrait will emerge of the brilliant woman the filmmaker is not sure she ever really knew. This is her attempt to understand what happened. Tickets and showtimes available here.

From 32 PIlls: My Sister’s Suicide by Hope Litoff.

Strong Island
Directed by Yance Ford

Set in the suburbs of the black middle class, Strong Island seeks to uncover how—in the year of the Rodney King trial and the Los Angeles riots—the murder of the filmmaker’s older brother went unpunished. The film is an unflinching look at homicide, racial injustice, and the corrosive impact of grief over time. Tickets and showtimes available here.

From Strong Island by Yance Ford.

A big congratulations, also, to these Nest-supported filmmakers whose films are also screening at DOC NYC:

Katherine Fairfax Wright, Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall
Mohammed Naqvi, Insha’allah Democracy 
Geeta Gandbhir, Armed With Faith
Julia Bacha, Naila and the Uprising
Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman, Nobody Loves Me
Lucy Walker, Oh, What a Beautiful City (A City Symphony)
Laura Poitras, Risk

We’re Finalists for the 2017 Nonprofit Excellence Awards!

We are excited to announce that Chicken & Egg Pictures is a finalist in this year’s New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards Program. Six nonprofit organizations from across the city have been chosen as finalists.

The other organizations are Brooklyn Community Services, Children’s Aid, Food Bank For New York City, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and Girl Be Heard.

“Strong nonprofits help our communities thrive every day. These six finalists serve as models and provide innovative and replicable practices for all nonprofits,” said Sharon Stapel, President and Executive Director of NPCC. Thanks, Sharon!

The winning organizations, who will receive cash prizes as well as scholarships to Columbia Business School programs, will be announced during the Best Practices Workshop & Awards Presentation on Friday, December 1, 2017. We can’t wait!

Learn more about the award and the other finalists here.

Chicken & Egg Pictures Emmy Awards® Winners!

Winners of the 38th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards® were announced this past week, and we are ecstatic to congratulate two of our wonderful supported filmmakers and a friend of our Nest on their wins!

Thank You For Playing, directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit

Thank You For Playing, directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit (PBS ‘POV’) won for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary.

When one-year-old Joel is diagnosed with terminal cancer, his father Ryan begins working on an unusual and poetic video game to honor Joel’s life. Following Ryan’s family through the creation of the game and the day-to-day realities of Joel’s treatment, Thank You For Playing is a thought-provoking testimony to the empathetic power of art, examining how we process grief through technology in the twenty-first century, and the implications of documenting profound human experiences in a new artistic medium: the video game.

(T)ERROR, dir. by Lyric Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe

(T)ERROR, directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe (PBS ‘Independent Lens’) won for Outstanding Investigative Documentary.

(T)ERROR is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. Through the perspective of “Shariff,”a 63-year-old Black revolutionary turned informant, viewers get an unfettered glimpse of the government’s counterterrorism tactics and the murky justifications behind them. Taut, stark and controversial, (T)ERROR illuminates the fragile relationships between individual and surveillance state in modern America, and asks who is watching the watchers.

And The Armor of Light, (PBS ‘Independent Lens’), directed by our Nest-friend and supporter Abigail Disney, won for Outstanding Social Issue DocumentaryThe Armor of Light follows the journey of an Evangelical minister trying to find the moral strength to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America.

Many congratulations to all!

Read more about this year’s awards here.

Sundance 2017 Wins for Chicken & Egg Pictures

Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea

This weekend marked the beginning of the Year of the Fire Rooster  and things are definitely heating up here at the Nest.

At the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, four Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported documentary films and one VR project made their world premieres and walked away with three awards.

Strong Island, directed by Yance Ford


The message of these films couldn’t be more crucial in these times, whether they examine failings of the American justice system, the stigma associated with a misunderstood illness, document one of the most critical moments in modern US racial history, expose the dire implications of a lack of a reproductive healthcare policy, or promote environmentalism through an inventive mix of empathy and technology.

Check out these links to get to know a bit about our Sundance filmmakers and their projects:

WATCH: Sundance’s Meet the Artist for Jennifer Brea, director of Unrest (Sundance winner: U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing)

Motherland, directed by Ramona Diaz

WATCH: The New York Times Op-Docs short by Ramona Diaz, based on her film Motherland (Sundance winner: World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Commanding Vision)

READ: A beautiful synopsis from the New Yorker‘s Culture Desk of Yance Ford’s Strong Island (Sundance winner: U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Storytelling)

READ: The Guardian‘s five-star review of Whose Streets?, directed by Sabaah Folayan and co-directed by Damon Davis

READ: The Indiewire interview with Tree (VR) co-creator, Milica Zec

Congratulations also to Joslyn Barnes, Chicken & Egg Pictures Eggspert who received The Sundance Institute/Amazon Studios Producer Award for Strong Island.

Here’s to amplifying fiery women’s voices in this Year of the Fire Rooster!!

Five Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees set for World Premieres at Sundance 2017

We’re beaming with pride for our grantees who will be presenting the world premieres of their projects at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival this January. Congratulations to Jennifer Brea, Ramona Diaz, Yance Ford, Sabaah Jordan with Damon Davis, and Milica Zec with Winslow Porter!

Canary in a Coal Mine
Unrest

Unrest (Jennifer Brea)

Jennifer, a Harvard Ph.D. student, was signing a check at a restaurant when she found she could not write her own name. Months before her wedding, she became progressively more ill, losing the ability even to sit in a wheelchair. When doctors insisted that her condition was psychosomatic, she picked up her camera to document her own story and the stories of four other patients struggling with the world’s most prevalent orphaned disease.

 

Strong Island

Strong Island (Yance Ford)

Set in the suburbs of the black middle class, Strong Island seeks to uncover how—in the year of the Rodney King trial and the Los Angeles riots—the murder of the filmmaker’s older brother went unpunished. The film is an unflinching look at homicide, racial injustice, and the corrosive impact of grief over time.

 

whose-streets
Whose Streets?

Whose Streets? (Sabaah Jordan and Damon Davis)

A firsthand look at how the murder of a 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.

 

thebill_maternityward2
Motherland

Motherland (Ramona Diaz)

One of the world’s poorest and most populous countries, the Philippines, struggles with reproductive health policy—both in the legislature where laws are in debate, and in a hospital with the busiest maternity ward on the planet.

 

tree-02-final
 Tree

Tree (Milica Zec and Winslow Porter)

A virtual experience that transforms you into a rainforest tree. With your arms as branches and body as the trunk, you experience the tree’s growth from a seedling into its fullest form and witness its fate firsthand.

 

This year’s Sundance Film Festival is January 19–29, 2017. For the full program and schedule for the upcoming festival, visit the Sundance website.

Eight Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees to screen at the 2015 DOC NYC film festival

Eight Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films will be screening at this year’s edition of DOC NYC, of which Chicken & Egg Pictures is a proud supporter. The festival will run November 12-19 in New York City; a full festival lineup and schedule is available here.

As a creative partner of DOC NYC, you can also catch Chicken & Egg Pictures co-presenting, moderating, and participating on numerous panels throughout the festival, including:

Insiders Conference: Show Me the Money: Executive Director Jenni Wolfson moderates a panel on the Anatomy of Funding, joined by producer Patricia Benabe (The Hand That Feeds) and filmmakers Dawn Porter (Gideon’s Army), and Jen Brea (Canary In A Coal Mine). Monday, November 16 at 10:30am at Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea. Full schedule here.

Insiders Conference: Breaking In, New Roadmaps: Chicken & Egg Pictures is excited to co-present the second day of the four-day Insiders Conference, which will cover new ways to break into filmmaking as a career, to make meaningful change through film, to fund social impact campaigns, and more. Co-presented by Chicken & Egg Pictures and The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment. Thursday, November 19. Full schedule here.

The Babushkas of Chernobyl (Anne Bogart & Holly Morris)
Wednesday, 11/18 at 9:15PM (IFC Center)
Thursday, 11/19 at 3:15PM (IFC Center)

Dreamcatcher (Kim Longinotto)
Friday, 11/13 at 7PM (IFC Center)
Thursday, 11/19 at 5PM (Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea)

Dreamcatcher, directed by Kim Longinotto
Dreamcatcher, directed by Kim Longinotto

From This Day Forward (Sharon Shattuck)
Saturday, 11/14 at 9PM (Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea)

Gayby Baby (Maya Newell)
Wednesday, 11/18 at 7:15PM (IFC Center)

A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers (Geeta Gandbhir & Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy)
Saturday, 11/14 at 4:30PM (Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea)
Monday, 11/16 at 5:15PM (Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea)

No Más Bebés (Renee Tajima-Peña)
Saturday, 11/14 at 4:30PM (IFC Center)

Speed Sisters (Amber Fares)
Saturday, 11/14 at 2PM (SVA Theatre)

Tocando la Luz (Jennifer Redfearn)
Sunday, 11/15 at 4:45PM (Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea)
Wednesday, 11/18 at 10:15AM (IFC Center)

Tocando la Luz, directed by Jennifer Redfearn
Tocando la Luz, directed by Jennifer Redfearn

Chicken & Egg Pictures co-founder Wendy Ettinger honored by Re:Gender

On Monday, March 9, co-founder Wendy Ettinger was honored by Re:Gender for her work elevating women in film. Wendy was honored alongside filmmaker Amy Ziering, the Honorable Shirley Frankling, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, and Mary Thurmond at Re:Gender’s 2015 Annual Benefit.

At the 2015 Re:Gender 2015 Annual Benefit (from left): Amy Ziering, Wendy Ettinger, The Honorable Shirley Franklin, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Re:Gender President Áine Duggan, Mary Baryon, and Adaora Udoji

 

Photo courtesy Re:Gender.