2022 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient



Director Petra Costa’s headshot in black and white

In Petra Costa’s work the personal and the political are inextricably linked. Her films The Edge of Democracy, Undertow Eyes, and Elena are part of a trilogy where she investigates her family story. The Edge of Democracy was nominated for an Academy Award® for Documentary Feature in 2020 and was included in the list of Best Movies of 2019 by The New York Times. The film recounts with intimacy a citizen’s trauma of being a witness of rising authoritarianism and a crumbling democracy. Elena is a mixture of documentary, diary, and fever dream. It tells the story of two sisters, as one searches for the other, their identities begin to blur. The New York Times named the film “a cinematic dream”, and was the most-watched documentary in Brazil in 2013. Petra also directed Olmo and the Seagull, which premiered at Locarno Film Festival in 2016. 

She is the Associate Producer of Barbara Paz’s Babenco (2019), Producer of Moara Passoni’s Ecstasy (2020) and Executive Producer of Rebeca Huntt’s BEBA (2021). Petra worked in theater in Brazil and then studied Anthropology at Barnard College of Columbia University. She completed her master’s in Social Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.