2024 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient



Medium close up of Nailah, a Black woman whose hair is worn in braids. She stands against a brick wall.

Nailah Jefferson (she/her) is a New Orleans born filmmaker intrigued and inspired by the enduring human spirit. Her most recent film, Commuted, premiered at the 2023 New Orleans Film Festival where it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary and Best Louisiana Documentary. Commuted tells the story of Danielle Metz, a woman whose triple life drug sentence was commuted by President Obama after serving 23 years. The film will be available on PBS in 2024.

In 2023, Nailah’s acclaimed HBO Original documentary, Donyale Luna: Supermodel, about the first Black supermodel to grace the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, but whose legacy was lost to history, made its debut. Donyale Luna: Supermodel was an official selection of the American Black Film Festival and Sheffield DocFest. The Huffington Post named it one of the best films of 2023. 

In 2021, Nailah released the short documentary Descended From The Promised Land: The Legacy of Black Wall Street. It shed light on surviving families still coping with the injustices their ancestors endured during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The film was screened at DOC NYC, Martha’s Vineyard Black Film Festival and is currently streaming on Black Public Media’s AfroPop Youtube channel.