Programs

As of January 2024, our programs support women and gender-expansive documentary filmmakers at various stages in their careers. Read more about our expanded eligibility here.

We support filmmakers from diverse backgrounds who are both committed to social change and to the art and craft of filmmaking. When we choose a project, it is because we believe the film needs to be made–and that the particular filmmaker is the one to make it. Our grantees have unique access to their subjects, a collaborative spirit, and the courage to take creative risks. When choosing a project, we look for:

  • Storytelling: Original story, tone, style, and structure
  • Diversity: In all its forms
  • Innovation: Filmmakers with unique voices and projects that take risks
  • Vision: A new perspective on an issue, special access into the story, and the ability to make the universal accessible and personal
  • Craft: Inextricable links between story and production value
  • Resonance: Timely, urgent, or compelling issues at stake

Completing and launching a documentary takes grit, nerve, and creativity; it also takes money, connections, and time. We offer women and gender-expansive directors the tools to realize the full potential of their projects, both as works of art and as catalysts for change. Each of our programs represents a pivotal intervention in a filmmaker’s career; through them, we empower storytellers to direct their own careers in the field.

Please sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on programs.

(Egg)celerator Lab

We are no longer accepting applications for (Egg)celerator Lab. The application deadline was Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 12:00 pm (noon) ET. The next open call will be the following year, in Spring 2024. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be notified of when the application is scheduled to open.

For questions regarding the review and selection timeline please refer to the Application Timeline section further below on this page. All applicants will be notified of their application status by November 2023.

As of January 2024, we have expanded eligibility for our programs to include gender-expansive filmmakers. As programs open for applications, criteria and guidelines will be updated accordingly. Read more about our expanded eligibility here.

Overview

The (Egg)celerator Lab is focused on identifying and supporting nonfiction directors working on their first or second feature-length documentary. This program brings together ten projects, with a special focus on self-identifying women and gender-expansive directors.

In this year-long program, these ten projects will receive:

  • $40,000 USD in grant funding for the production of their feature-length film
  • Monthly mentorship with Chicken & Egg Pictures’ senior creative team members
  • Two creative retreats focused on career building and creative development
  • Tailored industry meetings and funder connections
  • Peer support from the (Egg)celerator Lab cohort

The Chicken & Egg Pictures (Egg)celerator Lab for first- and second-time directors is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, and through general operating support from our wonderful community of donors and grantmakers.

Guidelines & Criteria

Guidelines for the 2024 (Egg)celerator for first- and second-time directors:

Project Type, Length, and Production Status: This current open call is geared only toward nonfiction feature-length films. Projects must be currently in early production (with at least 10% of their footage shot) or up to mid-production (with no more than 60% of their footage shot) by the date of application. Projects must be aiming toward feature-length films (48 minutes or longer). Note: The program will take place from February to December 2024. If you are planning to have a rough cut by the end of 2023 or by the first quarter of 2024, your project is too advanced and not eligible to apply.

Subject Matter: In alignment with our vision of an equitable and just world shaped by the power of documentary films, priority will be given to films that address equity and social justice, defined broadly by issues ranging from the global to the personal, and exploring a variety of artistic approaches (e.g. personal story, experimental, animated, essayistic, etc). 

International Applications: International filmmakers are encouraged to apply, with some exceptions. Due to US comprehensive sanctions, filmmakers residing in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and the following regions of Ukraine (Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk) are not eligible to apply. As a US-based nonprofit organization, Chicken & Egg Pictures isn’t allowed to utilize the (Egg)celerator Lab grant to support or engage in activities with any person, or in any country/territory that is the subject of sanctions administered by the US Government, except as permitted under US law. For further information about these laws and regulations, please visit this website.

Fiscal Sponsor: Please note that if you are accepted into the program, you must arrange to be represented by a US 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor. This applies to both US-based and international filmmakers. You do not need to have a fiscal sponsor secured at the time of the application. See our FAQ below for a few examples of 501(c)(3) organizations that offer fiscal sponsorships to filmmakers.

Not accepted: 

Through the (Egg)celerator Lab, we do not support:

  • Fiction Films
  • Short Films
  • Series
  • Student Projects (produced in a graduate or undergraduate program)
  • Transmedia Projects
  • Engagement/Outreach Campaigns
  • Projects which relate to influencing, directly or indirectly, a political campaign for public office in the US and internationally

Please check our FAQ before contacting us with questions about the application process. 

Application Timeline

Wednesday, April 19, 2023: Chicken & Egg Pictures opens applications for the 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab

Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 12:00 pm (noon) ET: The 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab Application Deadline

June – October 2023: Chicken & Egg Pictures processes and reviews applications

Late October 2023: Chicken & Egg Pictures interviews finalists

November 2023: Applicants are notified of their application status

We kindly ask that you do not email to request an update on your application status. We will update applicants on the status of their application as we move through the reviewing process. The timeline may be subject to change, and we will communicate any significant delays to applicants.

Program Timeline

February 2024: Orientation Call (Zoom)

March/April 2024: Spring Retreat (5 days, in-person)

June 2024: Cohort call (Zoom)

July 2024:  Summer Retreat (5 days, in-person)

October 2024: Cohort Call (Zoom)

In addition to the group activities outlined above, the program includes monthly one-on-one calls with members of our senior creative team. Each of the ten projects will also receive individualized industry strategy consultations with International Program Consultant Tereza Simikova.  

Please note, the program timeline may be subject to change, and any changes will be communicated in November upon acceptance into the program.

Work Samples

To apply for a grant, you must submit a current work sample. Second-time directors must submit a prior work sample of the first feature-length film they directed. First-time directors can submit an optional short nonfiction film as a prior work sample or a film in which the applicant played a prominent role. Please see the FAQ for complete details about work samples, but, in summary, every application requires a:

  • Current project sample (7-20 minutes) of the project with which you’re applying. If your current sample is longer than the maximum length of 20 minutes, please provide reviewers with the time codes of a 20-minute portion of the sample that best reflects your intended style and approach and that you would like to highlight.
  • Prior work sample (no length limit) of a film that the applicant either previously directed or in which they played a prominent role. This is optional for first-time directors and mandatory for second-time directors. Please see the FAQ for details on how this requirement affects first-time directors.

All work samples must be in English or have accurate English subtitles on-screen.

Budget

Each application must upload a current budget. Our system will accept PDF and Excel formats.

Best practices: 

  • Your budget should address the following film production costs: crew salaries, equipment, travel and housing expenses, post-production, office and admin costs, music, and legal fees. We should be able to follow your budget in tandem with your narrative material.
  • Include a line item for directors’ and producers’ salaries; it is key for filmmakers to factor in their own payment in the budget.
  • Provide budget notes for any areas that may be viewed as out of the ordinary or which require further explanation.
  • If you don’t already have a budget and would like some guidance on how to create one, we recommend the revised 2019 Introduction to Documentary Budgeting article.

Fiscal Sponsorship

A fiscal sponsor is a 501(c)(3) organization that shares its tax-exempt status with individual filmmakers, meaning that you are able to accept charitable grants. In exchange for this service, they may take a percentage of the incoming funds.

Applicants do not need to have a fiscal sponsor in order to apply. However, they must have one in order to receive a grant. You do not need to have a fiscal sponsor secured at the time of the application. 

A few examples of 501(c)3 organizations that offer fiscal sponsorships to filmmakers:

FAQ

2024 (Egg)celerator Lab

WHO CAN APPLY?

Anyone can apply. Men filmmakers are encouraged to partner with a woman or non-binary co-director.

DOES CHICKEN & EGG PICTURES SUPPORT POLITICAL FILMS?

As a 501(c)(3), Chicken & Egg Pictures is not able to support films or projects relating to influencing, directly or indirectly, a political campaign for public office in the US or internationally, regardless of the timing of the release of the film.

If you are unsure about your film’s eligibility based on the above, you can email us at egglab_opencall@chickeneggpics.org with a description of your film project.

DOES THE (EGG)CELERATOR LAB USE THE DOCUMENTARY CORE APPLICATION?

Since 2016, Chicken & Egg Pictures has opted into the Documentary Core Application. For this application, we have updated questions in alignment with the latest v.2022 of the proposal checklist. Our hope is that your responses to these questions will result in material that may be used for other applications as you move forward with your fundraising goals. 

WHAT IF WE ARE CO-DIRECTORS AND ONE OF US IS A FIRST-TIME DIRECTOR, BUT THE OTHER HAS MADE MORE THAN TWO FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS?

Co-directing teams with one first- or second-time co-director and one more experienced co-director are allowed to apply, but priority will be given to first- and second-time filmmaking teams. Please note that the prior work sample of co-directing teams that consist of a first- or second-time director and a more experienced director must be representative of the first- or second-time director’s experience.

HOW MUCH ARE (EGG)CELERATOR LAB GRANTS?

Grants for the (Egg)celerator Lab will be $40,000 for each chosen film.

The grants will be disbursed in installments throughout the program, beginning in March/April 2024, with further installments tied to agreed-upon deliverables and deadlines.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE FIRST-TIME FILMMAKERS? HOW DO YOU DEFINE SECOND-TIME FILMMAKERS?

We define a first-time filmmaker as someone who has never completed a feature-length documentary film. An applicant still qualifies as a first-time filmmaker if they have made multiple shorts or a web series. We don’t consider anything less than 48 minutes to be a feature-length film. We consider anything over 48 minutes to be a feature-length film.

We define a second-time filmmaker as someone who has not completed more than one feature-length documentary film.

WHAT PRODUCTION STAGES ARE ELIGIBLE?

To be eligible for the (Egg)celerator Lab, applicants must be between early-production and mid-production, with no less than 10% and no more than 60% of their footage shot by the date of the application deadline. We’re only accepting projects between these stages because we want to ensure that we have the greatest opportunity possible to make an impact on the production of the project and on the development of the director’s career during the 2024 program year.

Note: The program will take place from February to December 2024. If you are planning to have a rough cut by the end of 2023 or by the first quarter of 2024, your project is too advanced and not eligible to apply.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE FEATURE-LENGTH?

We consider feature-length films to be projects over 48 minutes in length, including those that may be aiming for a PBS hour (56:40), or a classic feature length (over 72 minutes). Combined web series or any shorts that could be counted as a feature when added together do not qualify as feature-length for this Open Call.

WHAT IF I HAVE PREVIOUSLY MADE A FEATURE-LENGTH FICTION FILM, BUT THIS IS MY FIRST FEATURE-LENGTH NONFICTION FILM?

If you’ve made one or more feature-length fiction film(s) but no feature-length nonfiction film(s), you are eligible to apply as a first-time filmmaker (see our definition for first- and second-time filmmakers).

IF I APPLIED IN THE PAST BUT MY PROJECT WAS NOT SELECTED, CAN I REAPPLY?

If the director is a first- or second-time filmmaker, and if the project has still not shot more than 60% of its footage, past applicants may apply again. We urge you to consider how your project has evolved since your last submission and to clearly state how that progress is evident in both your proposal and current work sample.

Note: The program will take place from February to December 2024. If you are planning to have a rough cut by the end of 2023 or by the first quarter of 2024 your project is too advanced and not eligible to apply.

CAN I APPLY WITH MORE THAN ONE PROJECT?

Please only apply with the one project that you feel is the best fit for Chicken & Egg Pictures. Read our guidelines and look at past films we have supported through the (Egg)celerator Lab to get an idea of our interests. If you really cannot choose between two projects, you can email us at egglab_opencall@chickeneggpics.org with a short description of both films and ask for our advice (this advice will not impact your application). Always include your project title name(s) in the subject line of your email.

IF I’VE RECEIVED A GRANT FROM CHICKEN & EGG PICTURES IN THE PAST, CAN I REAPPLY?

Those who are first- or second-time filmmakers, and who are still in early or mid-production and haven’t shot more than 60% of their footage, may apply for this funding round. If you have completed a project that received a grant from Chicken & Egg Pictures but still qualify as a first- or second-time filmmaker and are beginning a new film, you are welcome to apply.

HOW MANY APPLICATIONS RECEIVE FUNDING?

The (Egg)celerator Lab will fund ten projects: a combination of first-time and second-time filmmakers.

I HAVE NOT SHOT ANYTHING YET FOR MY PROPOSED PROJECT. I HAVE A GREAT IDEA, A CHARACTER, AND ACCESS. HOW CAN I APPLY?

Projects in the early production stage are eligible. At least 10% of shot material is required. No matter what stage of the project, filmmakers are required to submit at least seven minutes of edited footage to apply. Second-time filmmakers must submit a previous work sample. 

WHAT WORK SAMPLES DO YOU REQUIRE FOR THE APPLICATION?

All work samples must be in English or have accurate English subtitles on-screen.

First-time directors: 

  1. Must submit a sample of the project with which they’re applying
  2. (OPTIONAL) Can submit a prior work sample

Second-time directors: 

  1. Must submit a sample of the project with which they’re applying
  2. Must submit a prior work sample from their first feature-length film, on which they served as director or co-director

Co-directing teams:

  1. Must submit a sample of the project with which they’re applying
  2. Must submit a prior work sample from the first- or second-time filmmaker, if your co-directing team consists of one first- or second-time filmmaker and one veteran filmmaker
  3. (OPTIONAL) May submit a prior work sample if all directors are first-time filmmakers 

Current Project Samples

Current project samples should run between 7–20 minutes and can consist of a trailer, 2–3 scene selects or excerpts, or a combination of a trailer and scene selects. 

  • Since we will be looking at your ability to construct a story, we encourage first-time filmmakers to ensure that their work samples include constructed scene selects/excerpts.
  • We encourage applicants not to spend extra resources creating a sample for each individual fund. If your current sample is longer than the maximum length of 20 minutes, you can provide timecodes to the portion of the sample that you would like reviewers to watch. 
  • Please note that in our first round of review, reviewers are required to watch up to the first 10 minutes of the project sample. In this early round, we consider that 10 minutes should be sufficient to get a sense of the project, the importance of the subject matter, and the talent of the filmmaker to move into the following round. Work samples will be viewed in full in subsequent rounds. 

Prior Work Samples 

Prior work samples have no length limit and are mandatory for second-time filmmakers and optional for first-time filmmakers. These samples should be of a film that the applicant either directed or played a prominent role in the production of.

  • The purpose of a prior work sample is to give us a sense of the director’s visual style, storytelling ability, ambition, and follow-through. 
  • Your prior work sample must be a documentary, fiction-nonfiction hybrid, or other forms of nonfiction. The sample can be a short or feature-length film, including web series, animation, or experimental. Fiction work, music videos, commercial work, and PSAs are not accepted as prior work samples. We understand the creative value of this work but, because of its nature, it does not allow us to see the author’s voice and vision as a documentary filmmaker. 

First-time filmmakers: You may submit previously directed work that is not a feature-length film but this must still be a documentary, hybrid, or other forms of nonfiction, such as web series, animation, or experimental. If none of this is available, you may submit a work sample from a separate project in which you held a prominent creative role in the production, such as Producer, A.D., cinematographer, or editor. If you are not the director, please specify your role in the creation of the completed work submitted.  Note that samples of work directed by you are strongly preferred over samples of work where you held a prominent role but did not participate as director or co-director.

Important technical notes to keep in mind when submitting your work samples:

  • All work samples must be accessible via a downloadable URL (Vimeo, YouTube, or a private hosting site). You must provide us with a link and password to review the sample.
  • Please test your links and passwords and make sure they play all the way through the samples. Please also make sure your links will stay live and be accessible through December 2023.
  • We prefer that you submit using a link and password, but if you are absolutely unable to submit online, you may email egglab_opencall@chickeneggpics.org to request permission for submitting materials via an alternative method. In the past, some filmmakers have submitted footage and written materials via an encrypted link, for example.

Important notes on trailers, character strands, scene selects, and raw footage:

  • Trailers: Trailers can often be slick, fast, and energetic, and may not give us an accurate sense of your film’s tone, character development, or story structure. If you’re submitting a trailer, we encourage you to also attach a couple of additional scenes. This will give us a better chance to experience your style and get a feel for your characters, access, relationship to the material, and narrative arc.
  • Character strands: If you’ve been following a character over time and want to show their evolution or development, you might want to string together scenes that show the character’s progression. A character strand doesn’t require formal transitions or the scenes to be interwoven with others, but it should demonstrate a character’s story arc, what makes them unique, and your depth of access to them. Please do this only if the character is your lead and a major part of the story.
  • Selected Scenes/Excerpts: If you are a bit further along, you can send us a selection of edited scenes or an excerpt of an early assembly of the film. These can be edited together consecutively to tell us a part of your story (with transitions), or they can be intercut with black in between (no transitions), to show us the range of your story. Scene selects or excerpts should provide us with a feel for how your story will play out in real time; they should also offer a sense of your tone, pacing, and cinematic language.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD LOGLINE?

A logline is a concise, story-driven description that explains the heart of your project in one or two sentences. Because nearly every film festival, producer, distributor, or other industry professional will want to see one, you should spend time developing a strong logline for your project. A good logline introduces your central character, their world, their goals, and the forces standing in their way. It should be in concert with your title and tagline, and offer a bit of double meaning and mystery that compels the reader to want more.

A few examples from projects funded by Chicken & Egg Pictures:

  • Hidden Letters: Spanning past and present Hidden Letters follows two millennial Chinese women, connected by their fascination with the secret language of sisterhood and their desire to protect it.
  • A Photographic Memory: A young photographer attempts to piece together a portrait of her mother, Sheila Turner-Seed, a daring journalist and a woman she never knew. Uncovering the vast audio-visual archive Turner-Seed produced, including lost interviews with iconic photographers, the film explores memory, legacy and stories left untold.
  • Testament: A powerful African woman leads a struggle for historical, narrative, and economic justice in Kenya. Wanjugu Kimathi is searching for her father’s remains. She soon learns of a buried history of British colonial atrocities, including the massive theft of land that left hundreds of thousands of Kenyans destitute. Her personal mission expands, and she transforms into a leading advocate for exposing colonial brutality while building a nationwide grassroots movement for land resettlement.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SYNOPSIS?

A strong synopsis, like a strong logline, will focus on the heart of the story that drives your project. It will be longer than a logline, but still keep it concise—we recommend sticking to 1 to 2 pages. Your synopsis should give your story a beginning, middle, and end, mentioning key moments where your character or characters encounter particular challenges. It should also mention briefly the broader implications of the personal struggles at stake.

IF I AM SELECTED FOR THE (EGG)CELERATOR LAB, WOULD CHICKEN & EGG PICTURES REQUEST A CREDIT ON MY FILM?

The standard credit we’ll request from grantees in the (Egg)celerator Lab will be “In Association with Chicken & Egg Pictures.”

DO YOU PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON APPLICATIONS TO WHICH YOU DO NOT AWARD GRANTS?

We are a small staff with limited capacity, and cannot provide one-on-one feedback to all applicants. We do provide some feedback for those whose projects are shortlisted. Chicken & Egg Pictures believes wholeheartedly in the importance of feedback, and is constantly searching for ways to offer more support to all our applicants.

PAST COHORTS

2022

2021

2020

2019

  • Milisuthando
    Milisuthando Bongela
    More info >
    <p>Milisuthando Bongela</p>

    Milisuthando

  • An Act of Worship
    Nausheen Dadabhoy
    More info >
    <p>Nausheen Dadabhoy</p>

    An Act of Worship

  • #Mickey
    Betzabé García
    More info >
    <p>Betzabé García </p>

    #Mickey

  • Between Fire and Water
    Viviana Gómez Echeverry
    More info >
    <p>Viviana Gómez Echeverry</p>

    Between Fire and Water

  • We Are Inside
    Farah Kassem
    More info >
    <p>Farah Kassem </p>

    We Are Inside

  • Untitled PRC Project
    Jessica Kingdon
    More info >
    <p>Jessica Kingdon</p>

    Untitled PRC Project

  • Mama Bears
    Daresha Kyi
    More info >
    <p>Daresha Kyi</p>

    Mama Bears

  • Silent Beauty
    Jasmin López
    More info >
    <p>Jasmin López</p>

    Silent Beauty

  • Pray Away
    Kristine Stolakis
    More info >
    <p>Kristine Stolakis</p>

    Pray Away

  • Cutting Through Rocks
    Sara Khaki and Mohammad Reza Eyni
    More info >
    <p>Sara Khaki and Mohammad Reza Eyni</p>

    Cutting Through Rocks

2018

  • A Cops and Robbers Story
    Ilinca Calugareanu
    More info >
    <p>Ilinca Calugareanu</p>

    A Cops and Robbers Story

  • People’s Hospital
    Siyi Chen
    More info >
    <p>Siyi Chen</p>

    People’s Hospital

  • Enemies of the State
    Sonia Kennebeck
    More info >
    <p>Sonia Kennebeck</p>

    Enemies of the State

  • Accept the Call
    Eunice Lau
    More info >
    <p>Eunice Lau</p>

    Accept the Call

  • Number 387
    Madeleine Leroyer
    More info >
    <p>Madeleine Leroyer</p>

    Number 387

  • Electric Malady
    Marie Lidén
    More info >
    <p>Marie Lidén</p>

    Electric Malady

  • Through The Night
    Loira Limbal
    More info >
    <p>Loira Limbal</p>

    Through The Night

  • Always in Season
    Jacqueline Olive
    More info >
    <p>Jacqueline Olive</p>

    Always in Season

  • Reentry (working title)
    Jennifer Redfearn
    More info >
    <p>Jennifer Redfearn</p>

    Reentry (working title)

  • Writing With Fire
    Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh
    More info >
    <p>Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh</p>

    Writing With Fire

2017

  • Bangla Surf Girls
    Elizabeth D. Costa
    More info >
    <p>Elizabeth D. Costa</p>

    Bangla Surf Girls

  • The Guardian of Memory
    Marcela Arteaga
    More info >
    <p>Marcela Arteaga</p>

    The Guardian of Memory

  • Kids Can Spit
    Chelsi Bullard
    More info >
    <p>Chelsi Bullard</p>

    Kids Can Spit

  • Lights Camera Uganda
    Cathryne Czubek, Hugo Perez
    More info >
    <p>Cathryne Czubek, Hugo Perez</p>

    Lights Camera Uganda

  • One Child Nation
    Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang
    More info >
    <p>Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang</p>

    One Child Nation

  • People I Know
    Zofia Pregowska
    More info >
    <p>Zofia Pregowska</p>

    People I Know

  • Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope
    Hana Mire
    More info >
    <p>Hana Mire</p>

    Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope

  • The Rashomon Effect
    Lyric R. Cabral
    More info >
    <p>Lyric R. Cabral</p>

    The Rashomon Effect

  • The Surrender of Waymond Hall
    Jane Greenberg
    More info >
    <p>Jane Greenberg</p>

    The Surrender of Waymond Hall

  • Unaccompanied Children
    Alexandra Codina
    More info >
    <p>Alexandra Codina</p>

    Unaccompanied Children

2016

  • 32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide
    Hope Litoff
    More info >
    <p>Hope Litoff</p>

    32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide

  • Kingdom of Us
    Lucy Cohen
    More info >
    <p>Lucy Cohen</p>

    Kingdom of Us

  • MUHI – Generally Temporary
    Rina Castelnuovo, Tamir Elterman
    More info >
    <p>Rina Castelnuovo, Tamir Elterman</p>

    MUHI – Generally Temporary

  • Of Love & Law
    Hikaru Toda
    More info >
    <p>Hikaru Toda</p>

    Of Love & Law

  • The Age of Water
    Isabel Alcántara
    More info >
    <p>Isabel Alcántara</p>

    The Age of Water

  • The Feeling of Being Watched
    Assia Boundaoui
    More info >
    <p>Assia Boundaoui</p>

    The Feeling of Being Watched

  • Tre Maison Dasan
    Denali Tiller
    More info >
    <p>Denali Tiller </p>

    Tre Maison Dasan

  • Whose Streets?
    Sabaah Folayan
    More info >
    <p>Sabaah Folayan</p>

    Whose Streets?

  • Mr. Toilet: The World's #2 Man
    Lily Zepeda
    More info >
    <p>Lily Zepeda</p>

    Mr. Toilet: The World's #2 Man

  • A Guangzhou Love Story
    Kathy Huang
    More info >
    <p>Kathy Huang</p>

    A Guangzhou Love Story

Chicken & Egg Award

Created in 2016, the Chicken & Egg Award recognizes and elevates self-identified women and gender-expansive directors at advanced stages of their career with unique voices who are poised to reach new heights in their creative trajectory and solidify their position as filmmaker-advocates for urgent issues. The program supported US-based filmmakers for its first four years. Since 2020 we have expanded our reach to support filmmakers globally.

This program responds to the reality that, despite progress by talented women and gender-expansive filmmakers across the globe, especially in the documentary field, there are still numerous roadblocks that stand in the way of those filmmakers truly breaking through in the industry. These roadblocks are often tied to gender, race, class, disability, and geography. Only a few women and gender-expansive nonfiction directors in the US and abroad are able to work full time as independent storytellers, and few are folks of color, from working-class backgrounds, or from under-represented countries in the nonfiction industry. There are, however, a growing number of diverse women and gender-expansive directors who are getting close. Each has made several films, and each is an influential leader for the issues they explore on screen — if they can keep making independent work while simultaneously diversifying their portfolio.

The Chicken & Egg Award consists of a $75,000 USD and a year-long mentorship program for eight individual eligible documentary directors at advanced stages of their careers. Of the total cash award, $50,000 is an unrestricted cash award that allows filmmakers to decide how they will use the funding to support their individual creative and business practices, and $25,000 is a grant for the project(s) that the filmmaker will work on during their Award year.

Through this Award, Chicken & Egg Pictures is making a bold investment in women and gender-expansive artists, and an equally bold statement about representation and gender equity. We view this as inextricably connected to elevating the critical social justice, environmental, and human rights issues of the day, ensuring that a greater diversity of voices are participating in the storytelling that drives change.

Recipients of the Chicken & Egg Award are chosen through a confidential nomination process. Unsolicited applications are not accepted. Scroll down to view current and past cohorts of the Chicken & Egg Award.

The Chicken & Egg Award is generously supported through general operating support from our wonderful community of donors and grantmakers.

2024 COHORT

For a list of past cohorts, please see here.

Format

In addition to financial support, the Chicken & Egg Award grantees will participate in a year-long mentorship program that will focus on strengthening their professional infrastructure, increasing their public and industry visibility, and fulfilling their specific personal and creative goals.

This intimate, in-depth mentorship program will address each grantee’s needs and aspirations using a tailored, multi-layered approach. Grantees will:

  • Work with Chicken & Egg Pictures to define their goals for their year;
  • Brainstorm the best strategy to move them forward in their Award year;
  • Develop specific goals and tactics to accomplish those aspirations, which they will execute during the program year with our support;
  • Have access to a strategic planning coach and an industry support network to build out those tactics and achieve those goals;
  • Participate in group retreats where they will have the opportunity to make connections with veteran filmmakers, industry decision-makers, and fellow Chicken & Egg Awardees; and
  • Contribute to an ecosystem of filmmakers supporting one another by mentoring one filmmaker from the roster of active Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees.

PAST COHORTS

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

Project: Hatched

We are currently accepting applications for Project: Hatched 2024. The application deadline is Monday, April 1, 2024, at 3:00 pm ET.

You can watch the recording of the informational webinar and Q&A that we hosted on  February 1, 2024, here.

Please carefully read this page for complete guidelines, criteria, and answers to frequently asked questions. When you are ready to begin, go to the Application section. If you have questions about the review and selection timeline, please refer to the Timeline section. All applicants will be notified of final decisions by August 2024.

As of January 2024, we have expanded eligibility for our programs to include gender-expansive filmmakers. Our working definition of gender-expansive is that it is an umbrella term that includes any person whose gender identity (including but not limited to non-binary, trans, third gender/two spirit, agender) or gender expression does not comply with the socially defined gender norms and roles of their culture. Read more about our expanded eligibility.

Important: Please note that late applications will not be accepted for any reason. You must submit your application via the platform by the deadline. Otherwise, you will have to wait until the next application process to apply.

OVERVIEW 

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we believe that all nonfiction films, from the overtly political to films that are abstract or personal, have the power to impact their viewers, their communities, and beyond. We define impact as the transformative effect that films can have in creating personal, cultural, and/or social change, particularly for the individuals most affected by the issues addressed in the documentary. Through this program, we aim to support filmmakers who have a strategic vision for the impact they want to achieve, while also embracing diverse interpretations of what “impact” and “engagement” mean, and how that can manifest throughout the lifespan of their film.

Project: Hatched will provide grants of $30,000 USD each to 10 directing teams from around the world, who have plans to strategize, build, and launch an impact campaign for their film. 

The film must have been completed and premiered (see criteria for what constitutes a premiere in the Eligibility section) between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024. You can start an application anytime during the open call period, but please only submit an application if your premiere occurs within that time frame. If you don’t have a confirmed premiere yet, please refrain from submitting an application.

We designed this program with flexibility in mind. Out of the $30,000 USD grant, a minimum of $15,000 USD must be allocated towards an impact campaign, and up to $15,000 USD can be used for post-production/completion expenses (including already incurred expenses) or distribution expenses (such as marketing, festival fees, sales agent fees, etc). In addition to funding, grantees will become part of our AlumNest community, which provides peer support and deeper connections in the documentary film industry. 

Project: Hatched is supported in part by the New York Community Trust.

ELIGIBILITY

*New eligibility updates for 2024*

In addition to the eligibility criteria listed below this section, the following additions have been made: 

  • Films previously supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures are now eligible to apply.
  • Community screening premieres are now eligible to apply. Eligible screenings are considered to be at venues with a minimum seating capacity of approximately 50 or more people.

Please continue reading below for the full eligibility criteria.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for this grant, filmmakers must meet the following criteria:

  • Must identify as a woman (cis or trans) or gender-expansive director.
    • Our working definition of gender-expansive is that it is an umbrella term that includes any person whose gender identity (including but not limited to non-binary, trans, third gender/two spirit, agender) or gender expression does not comply with the socially defined gender norms and roles of their culture. 
    • If you are unsure of whether you are gender-expansive, please refer to the gender expansion page on our website for more information.
  • Must be committed to implementing an impact campaign for the film.
  • Can be based anywhere in the world, except for the countries which are under comprehensive US sanctions, which include: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the following regions of Ukraine: Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk. Further information on why filmmakers based in these countries/regions are ineligible to apply can be found here
    • If you are originally from these countries/regions but are based outside of them, you are still eligible to apply. 
    • Please note: If you are making a film that takes place in one of these countries/regions, you may apply, but you will not be able to spend the grant in such countries/regions.

Note: Filmmakers who have previously received support from Chicken & Egg Pictures are eligible to apply to Project: Hatched 2024, whether they are applying with a film that has already received support or a completely new film. 

FILM ELIGIBILITY

Applicants to this grant must submit a film for consideration that meets the following criteria:

  • Must be a documentary or nonfiction film (including hybrid docs).
  • Can be of any length, whether short, medium, or feature.
  • Must have been completed and premiered between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024. Eligible premieres include:
    • Festival premiere: Any festival is eligible as long as the film has world premiere status). You must submit a screenshot or link to a public page of the festival showing the premiere date and premiere status.
    • Community screening: We consider eligible community screenings that take place at verifiable venues with a minimum seating capacity of approximately 50+ people. To qualify for the community screening premiere, you will need to: 
        1. Verify the venue and the community screening event. Please provide one of the following: 
          • A link or a screenshot to the venue listing the event 
          • A link to a social media listing or website with information about the venue and event details. 
        2. Confirm the venue’s seating capacity. Please provide a link or screenshot to the venue’s seating capacity, often listed on the venue’s rental/logistics webpage.
  • Must be planning for a continued release or distribution, whether that is theatrical, educational or broadcast.
  • Must have clear impact goals and objectives.

The film is not eligible if:

  • It does not meet the eligibility requirements listed above.
  • It is a series.
  • It is a VR or interactive project.
  • Its plans are solely limited to a marketing strategy.

For more details, please review the full list of FAQs at the end of this page. If you have any questions regarding our open call that are not addressed in the FAQs, you can contact us at ph_opencall@chickeneggpics.org.

TIMELINE 

January 16, 2024: Project: Hatched application opens.
April 1, 2024, at 3:00 PM ET:  Project: Hatched application deadline.
April-July 2024: Chicken & Egg Pictures processes and reviews applications in a two-round process.
August 2024: All applicants are notified of final decisions.
August – September 2024: Grants disbursed and introductory calls are conducted with grantees.
December 2024: 4-month check-in: written status update
April 2025: 8-month check-in: written status update and final calls with grantees.

RESOURCES 

Before you begin your application, you can review the following resources:

  • The Impact Field Guide published by Doc Society, in collaboration with partners in the documentary field, provides a comprehensive overview of planning and executing a film impact campaign. 
  • The Impact Glossary published by Peace is Loud offers definitions for key terms related to the components of an impact campaign. It also explains the difference between marketing, publicity/promotion, and impact, etc.
  • Working Films is an organization that brings together the worlds of documentary filmmaking and social justice. You can refer to the types of film impact campaigns they have supported.
  • The Global Impact Producers Alliance (GIPA) website includes a directory of impact consultants/producers based in the US and internationally, along with other valuable resources.

APPLICATION

  1. Review application checklist: Project: Hatched 2024 – Application Checklist
  2. Confirm your eligibility: You must first fill out the pre-application form to confirm you are eligible for the grant. If eligible, you will receive an email with your account login information and the link to the application platform.
  3. Submit application: You must submit your application via the platform no later than Monday, April 1, 2024, at 3:00 PM ET. Important: late applications will not be accepted for any reason. You must submit your application via the platform by the deadline, otherwise you must wait until the next application process. 

Accessibility Request: If you require technical assistance to navigate the application platform due to a disability, please contact ph_opencall@chickeneggpics.org. We kindly ask that you make your request for assistance as soon as possible, and no later than Monday, March 25, 2024 to allow adequate time for staff to support you before the deadline.

EVALUATION CRITERIA 

In alignment with our vision of an equitable and just world shaped by the power of documentary films, we will prioritize impact campaigns that are timely and address social, political, or cultural issues. These issues can span from the global to the personal, and can be explored through a variety of artistic approaches such as personal stories, experimental, animation, essayistic, etc). 

We will consider impact campaigns of different scales, ranging from local to international, and that are covering a wide range of themes and issues. When evaluating an application, we will assess the strength of the story, the filmmaking, and the impact campaign.

The impact campaign will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Impact Potential: Does the impact campaign have a clearly articulated vision for impact, goals, activities, and target audiences? Is the scale/scope of the campaign aligned with the identified impact goals? Is the campaign poised to be able to achieve the desired change?
  • Relevance: Is the campaign addressing an important, timely, or pressing issue? 
  • Accountability: Is the impact campaign informed by input from stakeholders and community partners?

FAQ

Project: Hatched 2024 FAQs

Why does my film need to have had its premiere between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024?

The goal of the Project: Hatched 2024 grant is to provide support to films that either have an ongoing impact campaign or are preparing to launch one, and are ready to utilize the grant funds for this strategy. If your film premieres after March 31, 2024, you will have the opportunity to apply for our next Project: Hatched Open Call.

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The deadline to apply for the Project: Hatched 2024 grant is approaching, and I haven’t yet received confirmation of a premiere for my film. Can I still submit?

You can start an application at anytime during the open call period, but you can only submit an application for consideration if you have a confirmed premiere that has taken place/will take place between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024.

Please refrain from submitting an application if your film premiere has not taken place within the specified timeframe. By the application deadline of April 1, 2024, applicants should be aware of whether their film premiere already took place.

If your film premiered before April 1, 2023, you are not eligible to apply to the current Project: Hatched cycle.

If your film is scheduled to premiere after March 31, 2024, you will be eligible to apply to the next Project: Hatched cycle.

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Does the premiere have to be in the US?

No, the premiere does not have to be in the US. We welcome films with international premieres. As long as the film has premiered or will premiere between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024, there are no restrictions on the geographic location. However, confirmation that the premiere took place via a public webpage is required.

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How many projects will be selected?

Ten (10) projects will be selected to receive a Project: Hatched 2024 grant.

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Do shorts, medium-length, and feature-length documentaries receive the same grant amount through Project: Hatched?

Yes. All selected projects will receive a $30,000 USD grant, with at least $15,000 USD allocated for an impact campaign. While shorts typically have smaller production budgets than feature-length films, the cost of strategizing, building, and launching an impact campaign can be similar.

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Who is eligible to apply to Project: Hatched 2024?

Project: Hatched 2024 supports women (cis and trans) and gender-expansive directors who are implementing an impact campaign for their completed film. Co-directing teams, where one director is a woman or gender-expansive filmmaker are eligible. In this case, please note that the primary contact of the application should be the woman or gender expansive director.

Cis (or cisgender) refers to people whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were given at birth. 

Trans (or transgender) is a term used broadly as an umbrella term to describe anyone whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex. It can also be used more narrowly as a gender identity that reflects a binary gender identity that is “opposite” or “across from” the sex they were assigned at birth. 

Our working definition of gender-expansive is that it is an umbrella term that includes any person whose gender identity (including but not limited to non-binary, trans, third gender/two spirit, agender) or gender expression does not comply with the socially defined gender norms and roles of their culture. 

If you are unsure about if you are eligible, please refer to additional information on the gender expansion page of our website.

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Can I apply again if I applied to previous versions of Project: Hatched?

No. There is no overlap in film premiere timeframe between last year’s Project: Hatched application and this current application. This means that if you were eligible to apply last year, you are not eligible to apply this year. If there were any changes or delays to your premiere date from what you had submitted in a prior cycle, you can contact us at ph_opencall@chickeneggpics.org for additional consideration.

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If I received support from Chicken & Egg Pictures in the past (either for this film or for another film), am I eligible to apply to Project: Hatched 2024?

Previously-supported AlumNest filmmakers are eligible to apply to Project: Hatched 2024, whether they are applying with a film that has already received support or a completely new film.

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Can I, as the impact producer of the project, apply?

In order to be eligible, the project must be directed or co-directed by a woman or gender-expansive filmmaker. Additional team members,such as producers and impact producers, who are key to the successful development of a project, may collaborate with the director to submit their application. Please note that the primary contact of the application should be the director(s).

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Does Chicken & Egg Pictures support political films?

As a 501(c)(3), Chicken & Egg Pictures does not support films or projects related to influencing, directly or indirectly, a political campaign for public office in the US or internationally, regardless of the timing of the film’s release.

If you are unsure about your film’s eligibility, you can email us at ph_opencall@chickeneggpics.org with a description of your film project.

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Does my application have to be written in English?

Yes, we require that all submitted materials be in English. This ensures that our reviewers can fully understand and evaluate the application. If any parts of the application are not in English, it may prevent a reviewer from comprehending it in their evaluation of the overall application.

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If my premiere is at a film festival, does the premiere have to be at specific film festivals?

No, any festival premiere is accepted but it must be a curated film festival and open to the public.

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My film does not have a festival premiere and is instead premiering through a community screening. Is the film eligible?

Yes, starting this year, a film that premieres through a community screening is eligible to apply. Please review the additional criteria and refer to the following FAQ questions to understand how we define what qualifies as an eligible community screening premiere.

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What are community screenings, and how do you define what constitutes an eligible community screening premiere for the purpose of this application?

A community screening refers to a public screening that is often self-organized with the intention of reaching a specific audience that you are wanting to impact through the film. Community screenings can take place in various locations such as public libraries, religious buildings, community centers, or private venues. Filmmaker-organizers often utilize community screenings as a tool or method to create impact. While community screenings come in all shapes and sizes for our application, we will only consider community screenings that are held in verifiable venues with a minimum seating capacity of approximately 50 or more people. 

To ensure eligibility for your community screening premiere, you will be required to:

  1. Verify the venue and provide evidence of the community screening event. You can do this by providing one of the following: 
    • -A link or a screenshot to the venue listing the event. 
    • -A link to a social media listing or website that contains information about the venue and event details. 
  2. Confirm the seating capacity of the venue. Please provide a link or a screenshot that shows the venue’s seating capacity. This information is often available on the venue’s rental or logistics webpage.

Note: In case the reviewing committee has additional questions about your community screening event, you may be asked to provide a list of attendees.

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Do community screenings need to be a free event in order to be eligible?

No. While many community screenings are free of charge, a community screening license allows for the option to charge a small fee for the event with the intent to generate profit from the film screening. Both free and fee-based community screenings are eligible to apply.

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I have completed and premiered my film, but I still have post-production expenses to pay. Can I use the grant to cover expenses that have already incurred?

Yes. $15,000 USD of the grant must be allocated for your film’s impact campaign. The other $15,000 USD can be used to cover post-production expenses that have already been incurred, including but not limited to compensation for you or your team’s time during the completion stage.

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Can I allocate more than $15,000 USD to my impact campaign?

Yes. If you have covered all of your completion expenses, you can use the full $30,000 USD for your impact campaign.

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I have additional questions. How can I contact you?

If you have questions about our open call that are not addressed in the FAQ, please reach out to us at ph_opencall@chickeneggpics.org.

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2023 GRANTEES

  • Bad Press
    Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler
    More info >
    <p>Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler</p>

    Bad Press

  • Big Fight in Little Chinatown
    Karen Cho
    More info >
    <p>Karen Cho</p>

    Big Fight in Little Chinatown

  • Freedom Hill
    Resita Cox
    More info >
    <p>Resita Cox</p>

    Freedom Hill

  • From the Shadows #missingirls
    Miriam Chandy Menacherry
    More info >
    <p>Miriam Chandy Menacherry</p>

    From the Shadows #missingirls

  • Liquor Store Dreams
    So Yun Um
    More info >
    <p>So Yun Um</p>

    Liquor Store Dreams

  • Now That We Are Together
    Patricia Balderas Castro
    More info >
    <p>Patricia Balderas Castro</p>

    Now That We Are Together

  • PAY OR DIE
    Rachael Dyer, Scott Alexander Ruderman
    More info >
    <p>Rachael Dyer, Scott Alexander Ruderman</p>

    PAY OR DIE

  • Suddenly TV
    Roopa Gogineni
    More info >
    <p>Roopa Gogineni</p>

    Suddenly TV

  • The Mind Game
    Eefje Blankevoort, Els van Driel, Sajid Khan Nasiri
    More info >
    <p>Eefje Blankevoort, Els van Driel, Sajid Khan Nasiri </p>

    The Mind Game

  • Twice Colonized
    Lin Alluna
    More info >
    <p>Lin Alluna</p>

    Twice Colonized

2022 GRANTEES

  • A Woman on the Outside
    Lisa Riordan Seville & Zara Katz
    More info >
    <p>Lisa Riordan Seville &#038; Zara Katz</p>

    A Woman on the Outside

  • Any Given Day
    Margaret Byrne
    More info >
    <p>Margaret Byrne</p>

    Any Given Day

  • BEBA
    Rebeca Huntt
    More info >
    <p>Rebeca Huntt</p>

    BEBA

  • Crossings
    Deann Borshay Liem
    More info >
    <p>Deann Borshay Liem</p>

    Crossings

  • Mama Has a Mustache
    Sally Rubin
    More info >
    <p>Sally Rubin</p>

    Mama Has a Mustache

  • Takeover
    Emma Francis-Snyder
    More info >
    <p>Emma Francis-Snyder</p>

    Takeover

2021 GRANTEES

  • Dope is Death
    Mia Donovan
    More info >
    <p>Mia Donovan </p>

    Dope is Death

  • Down a Dark Stairwell
    Ursula Liang
    More info >
    <p>Ursula Liang </p>

    Down a Dark Stairwell

  • Fruits of Labor
    Emily Cohen Ibañez
    More info >
    <p>Emily Cohen Ibañez</p>

    Fruits of Labor

  • Since I Been Down
    Gilda Sheppard
    More info >
    <p>Gilda Sheppard</p>

    Since I Been Down

  • Unapologetic
    Ashley O’Shay
    More info >
    <p>Ashley O&#8217;Shay</p>

    Unapologetic

  • Daughter of a Lost Bird
    Brooke Pepion Swaney
    More info >
    <p>Brooke Pepion Swaney</p>

    Daughter of a Lost Bird

  • And So I Stayed
    Natalie Pattillo & Daniel A. Nelson
    More info >
    <p>Natalie Pattillo &#038; Daniel A. Nelson</p>

    And So I Stayed

  • Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust
    Ann Kaneko
    More info >
    <p>Ann Kaneko</p>

    Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

  • I’m Free Now, You Are Free
    Ash Goh Hua
    More info >
    <p>Ash Goh Hua</p>

    I’m Free Now, You Are Free

  • On The Divide
    Maya Cueva & Leah Galant
    More info >
    <p>Maya Cueva &#038; Leah Galant</p>

    On The Divide

  • Change The Name
    Cai Thomas
    More info >
    <p>Cai Thomas </p>

    Change The Name

  • Storm Lake
    Beth Levison & Jerry Risius
    More info >
    <p>Beth Levison &#038; Jerry Risius</p>

    Storm Lake

2020 GRANTEES

Research & Development Grant

We are currently accepting applications for The Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant. The application deadline is Monday, March 4, 2024, at 3:00 pm ET.

You can watch the recording of the informational webinar and Q&A that we hosted on January 29, 2024, here.

Please carefully read this page for complete guidelines, criteria, and answers to frequently asked questions. You can also find definitions and examples of core activities related to the research and development stages, which will assist you in determining the appropriate grant to apply for. We have separated the Research Grant from the Development Grant to allow early-stage projects to receive support without the need to submit all the deliverables required for projects in the development phase. 

As of January 2024, we have expanded eligibility for our programs to include gender-expansive filmmakers. Our working definition of gender-expansive is that it is an umbrella term that includes any person whose gender identity (including but not limited to, non-binary, trans, third gender/two spirit, agender) or gender expression does not comply with the socially defined gender norms and roles of their culture. Read more about our expanded eligibility.

When you are ready to begin, go to the Application section. If you have questions about the review and selection timeline, please refer to the Timeline section. All applicants will be notified of final decisions by mid-June 2024.

Important: Please note that late applications will not be accepted for any reason. You must submit your application via the platform by the deadline. Otherwise, you will have to wait until the 2025 application process to apply. 

You cannot apply with the same project for both the Research & Development Grant and the (Egg)celerator Lab (which is for production) in the same year.  We will disqualify your (Egg)celerator Lab application without review if you have also applied for the R&D grant with the same project in the same year. These opportunities fund different stages of a project. 

If your project has already received support from another Chicken & Egg Pictures program, such as the 2023 Research & Development Grant, Chicken & Egg Award, or Critical Issues Fund, you are not eligible to apply for this grant. You are welcome to apply with a new project.

OVERVIEW

 

Now in its second year, The Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant supports filmmakers from around the world who have directed at least one feature-length documentary and are in the research & development stage of their next feature-length film. (Note: in the pilot year, the grant eligibility was limited to filmmakers who had already directed two or more feature-length documentaries.)

With support for the second consecutive year by Netflix, the Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant supports directors to ideate and plan for their next feature-length film. Many filmmakers invest their personal resources into their films and face funding challenges when entering into the research & development stages of new projects. It is hard to secure funding for a new project without significant sample material, yet producing material without external funding can be almost impossible. To address this challenge, The Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant provides financial support to directors during a filmmaking stage that is too often unpaid and unsupported. 

A total of $450,000 USD will be awarded in the following grant amounts:

  • $10,000 USD grants for Research
  • $20,000 USD grants for Development

The final number of Research Grants vs. Development Grants disbursed will be determined during the selection process, based on the characteristics and strength of the applicant pool for each category.

The purpose of the Research & Development Grant is to support projects at the early stages of their lifecycle. If you have already raised a significant amount of capital (over 35% of your film’s total budget) and have shot and/or edited a substantial amount of footage, you may not be competitive for this grant, unless you can demonstrate very specific needs for the project (such as previously overlooked research activity). 

We recognize that each documentary is unique and that processes for research and development, fundraising, and production can vary widely. The information provided here is not intended as strict eligibility criteria, but rather as general guidelines to help applicants understand the stage at which we aim to provide support for projects. 

The 2024 Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant is generously supported by the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

 

  • Trust: This grant initiative is driven by our trust in filmmakers with an established track record. We look forward to working with them on new projects at a stage that is especially hard to fundraise for. We trust that applicants will make the best determination about which stage to apply to based on the information presented below.
  • Simplicity: We aim to keep The Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant application as simple as possible so that filmmakers are not burdened by the process. Some important things to note about the application:
    • The applications for the Research Grant vs. the Development Grant are not the same. Most of the questions are shared across both applications, but some questions are specific to each application.
    • Most questions are based on the Nonfiction Core Application 2.0
    • The application also includes some supplemental questions to help us gather the necessary information for organizational purposes.
  • Deep listening: This grant initiative was born through deeply listening to a wide range of stakeholders including filmmakers and field representatives who were interviewed during our 2023-2025 Strategic Planning process. Filmmakers shared that they need to be fully trusted with funding early on. We heard the need to be financially supported to have the time and space to think, research, and develop new ideas.

PROJECT STAGE: RESEARCH VS. DEVELOPMENT

 

It is important to acknowledge that the differences between the research and development stages are often nuanced, and the activities listed in each stage may overlap. It can be challenging to precisely determine where the research stage concludes and where the development stage commences. For this grant application, we have provided the following definitions and core activities associated with each stage to assist applicants in determining the appropriate grant to apply for.

RESEARCH

The research stage is a period of sowing and ideation.

Core activities associated with the research stage: 

  • Identifying secondary sources such as literature, art, and cultural materials
  • Familiarizing with other (film) projects
  • Identifying primary sources and collaborators
  • Locating visual assets and archives
  • Identifying and tracking potential or multiple storylines
  • Finding a narrative framework that can support the film
  • Building foundational relationships with the community and collaborators at the center of the story

DEVELOPMENT

The development stage is a nuanced period of exploration and discovery.

Core activities associated with the development stage: 

  • Gaining and securing access to core participants and collaborators, and starting shooting
  • Developing the story
  • Plotting the film’s multiple and intersecting timelines
  • Fine-tuning the development budget and creating a fundraising strategy
  • Creating fundraising materials such as a pitch deck, trailer, teaser, etc.
  • Testing pitch materials for resonance at pitch venues with potential funders 
  • Engaging possible partners

The Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Research & Development Grant is designed to be used flexibly and holistically by each filmmaking team. In addition to expenses related to the core activities mentioned above, the grant may also cover reasonable expenses for the filmmaking team’s fees and salaries, as well as caregiving costs to enable filmmakers who are caregivers to take the time they need to fulfill these activities. While the type of expenses can vary, grantees will be required to submit a narrative report to help us evaluate the scope and impact of the grant (more information in the Reporting & Deliverables section).

ELIGIBILITY

 

Important: You may only submit one application per cycle. If you have more than one eligible project, select which project you will submit for consideration. You may apply for either the Research Grant OR Development Grant, but not both categories.

Please review the following eligibility criteria for The 2024 Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for this grant, filmmakers must meet the following criteria:

  • Must identify as a woman (cis or trans) or gender-expansive director.
    • Our working definition of gender-expansive is that it is an umbrella term that includes any person whose gender identity or gender expression does not comply with the socially defined gender norms and roles of their culture. This includes, but is not limited to, non-binary, trans, third gender/two-spirit, and agender individuals).
    • If you are unsure whether you are gender-expansive, please refer to our please refer to the gender expansion page on our website for more information. 
  • Must have directed at least one (1) completed feature-length documentary film. 
    • The film must have a duration of 48 minutes or longer.
    • Films must be completed to be considered for this requirement. If you are currently directing your first feature-length film, you would not be eligible to apply until that film is completed and has premiered or is completed and actively seeking an upcoming premiere (e.g. within next 3-4 months).
    • The film must be independently produced. However, commissioned documentaries and television documentaries, including those produced for news/journalism outlets, are eligible to be considered as prior work if the director had directorial control.
    • Feature-length narrative work is not eligible to be considered as prior work for this application.
  • Can be based anywhere in the world, except for the countries which are under comprehensive US sanctions. These countries include Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the following regions of Ukraine: Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk. Further information on why filmmakers based in these countries/regions are ineligible to apply can be found here.
    • If you are originally from these countries/regions but are based outside of them, you are still eligible to apply. 
    • Please note: If you are making a film that takes place in one of these countries/regions, you may apply for the grant, but you will not be able to spend the grant within those countries/regions.

 

PROJECT ELIGIBILITY

Applicants for this grant must submit a project for consideration that meets the following criteria:

  • Must be a documentary or nonfiction film (including hybrid docs). VR, interactive, branded content, or fiction films are not eligible.
  • Must be feature-length (48 minutes or more). Short / medium-length films or series are not eligible
  • Must be in the Research or Development stage. Please refer to the section Project Stage: Research vs. Development for more information on what we consider each stage to be.
  • Must be independently produced. Works-for-hire are not eligible, and student films produced in an undergraduate or graduate program are also not eligible.

You do not need a fiscal sponsor to apply for the Research & Development Grant. However, if you are awarded, you must have a US fiscal sponsor, or be a 501(c)(3), to receive the funds. 

For more details about eligibility, please review the full list of FAQs at the end of this page. If you have any questions regarding our open call that are not addressed in the FAQs, you can contact us at research-development@chickeneggpics.org.

TIMELINE

 

  • January 16, 2024: Research & Development Grant application opens.
  • March 4, 2024, at 3:00 PM EST: Research & Development Grant application deadline.
  • March-May 2024: Chicken & Egg Pictures processes and reviews applications in a two-round process.
  • Mid-June 2024: All applicants are notified of final decisions.
  • July-August 2024: Grants disbursed.
  • January 2025: 6-month check-in with grantees regarding the status of their projects.

APPLICATION

 

The applications for the Research Grant vs. Development Grant are not the same. While most of the questions are shared across both applications,  some questions are specific to each grant.

The majority of the questions are based on the Nonfiction Core Application 2.0, with a few additional questions included. It is important to note that the Development Grant Application asks an additional set of questions to collect more detailed information about the project.

Asked in both applications Additional questions for Development Grant Application
Non-fiction Core Application 2.0:

  • Logline
  • Topic summary
  • Connection and Access
  • Creative Control
  • Key Creative Personnel
  • Funding received
  • Estimated Film budget
  • Grant Impact
  • Prior work 

Supplemental:

  • List of Completed vs. Planned Activities
  • Resume with Filmography
  • Additional support needed beyond funding
  • Change and Impact Statement
Non-fiction Core Application 2.0:

  • Story or Concept Summary
  • Artistic Approach
  • Project Stage and Timeline
  • Fundraising Strategy

Supplemental:

  • Development Budget Breakdown
  • Current sample (optional)
  • Upload supplemental materials (optional)

 

APPLICATION PROCESS:

  • Review application checklist: The 2024 Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant – Application Checklist.
  • Confirm your eligibility: You must first fill out the pre-application form to confirm you are eligible for the grant. If eligible, you will receive an email with your account login information and the link to the application platform.
  • Submit application: You must submit your application via the platform no later than Monday, March 4, 2023, at 3:00 pm ET. Important: late applications will not be accepted for any reason. You must submit your application via the platform by the deadline, otherwise you must wait until the 2025 application process.

Accessibility Request: If you require technical assistance to navigate the application platform due to a disability, please contact research-development@chickeneggpics.org. We kindly ask that you make your request for assistance as soon as possible, and no later than Monday, February 26, 2024, to allow adequate time for staff to support you before the deadline.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

 

  • Idea: The proposal is clear, focused, and compelling.
  • Directorial Vision: The director’s prior work shows a clear creative voice.
  • Positionality: The director clearly articulates their connection to the story.
  • Ability to Execute: The project idea and planned activities are feasible in terms of scope and timeline, and the grant will have an impact on advancing the project.

In alignment with our vision of an equitable and just world shaped by the power of documentary films, priority will be given to films committed to creating social change and/or uplifting underrepresented stories that challenge mainstream narratives. We support a broad range of issues from the personal to the political that explore a variety of artistic approaches, such as personal, experimental, animated, essayistic, archival, and more.

REPORTING & DELIVERABLES

 

We hope that during the grant period running from July 2024 until December 2025, each grantee will have the resources to make significant progress and/or take their project to the next stage, enabling them to seek and secure additional funding for their project. In January 2025, at the end of the grant period, Chicken & Egg Pictures will schedule a 6-month check-in with grantees to discuss the status of their projects.

  • Grantees who receive a Research Grant will be required to deliver:
    • A narrative report detailing how the funds were utilized and the impact they had on the project and the filmmaker’s career. Grantees will also be asked to report back on the status of the Planned Activities outlined in their application. No expense receipts will be required.
    • A completed Nonfiction Core Application (v.2) 
  • Grantees who receive a Development Grant will be required to deliver:
    • A narrative report detailing how the funds were utilized and the impact they had on the project and the filmmaker’s career. Grantees will also be asked to report back on the status of the Planned Activities outlined in their application. No expense receipts will be required.
    • An updated Nonfiction Core Application (v.2) 
    • A teaser and/or trailer

FAQs

 

R&D 2024

How many projects do you select?

A total of $450,000 will be disbursed in grants. $10,000 grants will be awarded for Research, and $20,000 grants will be awarded for Development. The final number of Research Grants vs. Development Grants awarded will be determined during the selection process, based on the characteristics and strength of the applicant pool for each category.

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Who is eligible to apply for The Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant?

Women (cis and trans) and gender-expansive directors who are in the Research & Development stage of a new project are eligible to apply. They must have directed at least one completed feature-length film (48 minutes or longer). Co-directing teams, where one director is a woman or gender-expansive filmmaker are also eligible. In this case, please note that the primary contact of the application should be the woman or gender expansive director.

Cis (or cisgender) refers to people whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were given at birth. 

Trans (or transgender) is a term used broadly as an umbrella term to describe anyone whose gender identity differs from their assigned sex. It can also be used more narrowly as a gender identity that reflects a binary gender identity that is “opposite” or “across from” the sex they were assigned at birth. 

Our working definition of gender-expansive is that it is an umbrella term that includes any person whose gender identity (including but not limited to non-binary, trans, third gender/two spirit, agender) or gender expression does not comply with the socially defined gender norms and roles of their culture.

If you are unsure about if you are eligible, please refer to the gender expansion page on our website for additional information.

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Can I apply with a short or medium-length documentary?

No. This grant is for those who intend to direct a feature-length documentary (48 minutes or more).

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Why are you separating the research & development stages?

The line between the research & development stage is often open to interpretation and can be challenging to clearly define. To assist applicants in determining which grant to apply for, we have provided definitions and core activities as outlined above. By separating the Research Grant from the Development Grant, we aim to support projects in the earliest stages without requiring submitting all the deliverables that are necessary for projects in the development phase.

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Does Chicken & Egg Pictures support political films?

As a 501(c)(3), Chicken & Egg Pictures does not support films or projects related to influencing, directly or indirectly, a political campaign for public office in the US or internationally, regardless of the timing of the film’s release. If you are unsure about your film’s eligibility, you can email us at research-development@chickeneggpics.org with a description of your film project.

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Does my application have to be written in English? Do my project materials (written/visual) have to be in English?

Yes, we require that all submitted materials be in English. This ensures that our reviewers can fully understand and evaluate the application. If any parts of the application are not in English, it may prevent a reviewer from comprehending it in their evaluation of the overall application.

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I have received support from Chicken & Egg Pictures in the past. Am I eligible for The 2024 Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant?

  • I have received support for a previous project, not this specific film.

    Chicken & Egg Pictures supported filmmakers who have been previously supported are eligible to apply to the R&D grant with a new project, as long as they meet the other eligibility requirements.
     
  • I received R&D support for this project through another grant/program (such as a prior R&D grant, Chicken & Egg Award, Critical Issues Fund).
    If your project has already received prior research & development support from another C&E program, including a prior R&D grant, you are not eligible to apply for this grant. However, you are welcome to apply with a new project.

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Can I apply for Development support if I already received Research support?

No, you cannot receive both Research and Development grants for the same project.

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Can I apply as the project producer?

To be eligible, the project must be directed or co-directed by a woman (cis or trans) or gender-expansive filmmaker. Additional team members, such as producers, who are key to the successful development of a project, may collaborate with the director to submit their application. Please note that the primary contact of the application should be the director(s).

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How can I contact you if I have more questions?

If you have questions about our open call that are not addressed in the FAQ, please contact us at research-development@chickeneggpics.org.

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AlumNest

Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported 500+ women and gender-expansive nonfiction directors from all around the world, and that number continues to grow each year.

Through the years, filmmakers who have participated in our programs have often articulated that the community of filmmakers they have built during their program year has been one of the most important and meaningful aspects of their time with us. The AlumNest extends this sense of community far beyond a single program year, providing both online and in-person spaces for filmmakers to connect with and learn from one another; develop relationships with other industry professionals; and take advantage of our funding, mentorship, and consultation opportunities intentionally designed for them. 

AlumNest members have: 

  • Access to a robust online community for sharing advice, opportunities, articles related to nonfiction art and industry, and for and discussing timely topics; 
  • The chance to attend meaningful in-person community-building events and filmmaker gatherings; 
  • The opportunity to apply to our most recent programs Project: Hatched and Docs By the Dozen; and 
  • Additional access to new offerings for alumni.

ABOUT OUR GRANTEES

For a list of Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported grantees sorted by director or recipient name, see here.

JOIN THE ALUMNEST

If you are a Chicken & Egg Pictures grantee, request access to the private group here

 

FILMMAKER NAME

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