SONIA KENNEBECK: 2022 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD FINALIST DEVELOPMENT GRANT RECIPIENT
Sonia Kennebeck is an award-winning director and producer and has released three critically-acclaimed independent feature films: National Bird (Berlinale Special 2016), Enemies of the State (TIFF 2020), and United States vs. Reality Winner (SXSW 2021). She received the Adrienne Shelly Excellence in Filmmaking Award and Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize. She is a first-generation college graduate who was born in Malaysia, raised in Germany, and lives in the US.
DITSI CAROLINO: 2022 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD FINALIST DEVELOPMENT GRANT RECIPIENT
Ditsi Carolino studied filmmaking at the National Film & Television School in the UK on a Chevening Scholarship. Her past projects include Life on the Tracks, about a couple who live by the railway slums (IDFA World Premiere, BBC Storyville Broadcast); and Bunso: The Youngest, about three imprisoned boys from 11–13, which was used by child rights advocates to pass the juvenile justice law. Ditsi is a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
PHILIPPINES, MY PHILIPPINES
Amid a pandemic and an iron-fisted president, Filipinos are set to elect a new president–the son of an ousted dictator or a woman activist-lawyer.
MARGRETH OLIN: 2022 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD RECIPIENT
Margreth Olin was born in Stranda, Sunnmøre, Norway, on April 16, 1970. She was educated at Volda University College and at the University of Bergen. Margreth made her directorial debut in 1995, with the school production In the House of Love. In 1998, her first full-length documentary In the House of Angels was released theatrically in Norway. The film received multiple awards, among them The Amanda Award (Norwegian equivalent of an Oscar®) for Best Documentary. Her breakthrough came with the film My Body. The film generated multiple dialogues in media; won an Amanda Award; received and The Golden Chair and Audience Award at The Norwegian Short Film Festival in Grimstad; was nominated and given a diploma at the IDFA Awards 2002; and received other international prizes.
Her film Raw Youth was released in Norwegian cinemas and was nominated for best documentary at the European Film Award in 2005. Margreth’s feature film The Angel was selected as the Norwegian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards®. Her documentary Nowhere Home (2012), about unaccompanied minor asylum seeking children, created a vast debate in Norway and was screened at numerous international festivals and conferences. Olin is one of the six directors that participated in Wim Wenders’ Cathedrals of Culture (2013), she directed the section dedicated to the Oslo Opera House, the film premiered at Berlinale in 2014. Olin’s documentary Doing Good is one of the highest grossing documentaries ever in Norway. She produced the film Self Portrait, which participated at DOC NYC, was eligible for consideration in the Documentary Feature category for the 93rd Academy Awards®, and has won seven international awards.
Songs of Earth is a feature documentary-symphony for the big screen. Nature has its own language that we must listen to in order to survive.
BRETT STORY: 2022 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD RECIPIENT
Brett Story is an award-winning filmmaker and writer based out of Toronto. Her films have screened in festivals around the world, including CPH-DOX, the Viennale, SXSW, True/False, and Sheffield DocFest. Her 2016 feature documentary, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and was a nominee for Best Feature Length Documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards.
Brett’s most recent feature documentary, The Hottest August, was released to critical acclaim in March 2019. The film was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, where it was described as “a cinematic gift, an intellectual challenge, an emotional adventure.” The Hottest August was broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens in 2020 and was featured in over a dozen best of the year lists, including in Rolling Stone, Vulture, and Vanity Fair magazines.
Brett is the author of the book Prison Land: Mapping Carceral Power Across Neoliberal America, and she holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Toronto. She has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Sundance Institute, and MacDowell. Brett was named by Variety as one of 2019’s 10 Documentary Filmmakers to watch.”
The Tent charts the dramatic organizing trajectory of a small band of workers to accomplish the seemingly impossible: unionize an Amazon warehouse.
ANAYANSI PRADO: 2022 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD RECIPIENT
Anayansi Prado is an award-winning Latina documentary filmmaker and educator born in Panama and raised in the US from the age of 13. Her independent productions focus on issues of undocumented immigration, indigenous rights and race identity, and have aired nationally on PBS. Her feature documentary work includes Maid in America (2005), about Latina domestic workers in LA; Children in No Man’s Land (2008), about unaccompanied immigrant minors crossing the US/Mexico border; Paraíso for Sale (2011), about American developers migrating to a rural island in Panama; and The Unafraid (2018), about undocumented students in Georgia. Anayansi is a Creative Capital Artist, a Rockefeller Media Fellow and a Film Expert for the State Department’s American Film Showcase. Her work has received support from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation: Just Films, Chicken & Egg Pictures, ITVS Development Fund, The Fledgling Fund, Latino Public Broadcasting, Paul Robeson Media Grant and Pacific Pioneer Fund. As an educator, she’s taught at various educational institutions including UCLA’s Film School, Chapman University and Cal State Northridge; as well as documentary filmmaking workshops across five continents. Anayansi holds a BS degree in TV & Film Production from Boston University. She resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Based on The New York Times Best Selling book My Grandmother’s Hands, Taming The American Soul is a documentary series that explores racialized trauma and a pathway to healing.
Witchin’ is a cultural documentary series that explores and honors Africana and Indigenous religious practices.
BEVERLEY PALESA DITSIE: 2022 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD RECIPIENT
Dr. Bev Palesa Ditsie (Hon) is a radical gender nonconforming lesbian activist and an award winning filmmaker, disruptor and change agent who was instrumental in bringing LGBTIQA+ rights into focus in the late 80’s and 90’s in South Africa and in the world. They are a founding member of the first multi racial LGBTI organization in South Africa, Gay and Lesbian Organization of Witwatersrand (GLOW), which hosted the first Pride March in Africa.
Beverley is first of many things, but is best known for being the first African lesbian to address the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995—the subject of their latest documentary, Lesbians Free Everyone, filmed entirely during the Global lockdown of 2020. They have also directed some of the biggest reality TV shows in South Africa including: Big Brother Africa, Survivor South Africa, All You Need Is Love; The Voice South Africa and Project Runway South Africa.
Independently, Beverley has also written, directed, produced and consulted over 20 socio political and human rights documentaries, and screened nationally and Internationally. Their first film, Simon & I, won best documentary at the Oxfam/Vues ‘d’Afrique in Montreal, Canada, (2004). Bev was bestowed an honorary doctorate by Claremont Graduate University in California in 2019.
Eaglette, a former 1970’s superstar, has never heard her own voice–except through monitors during live performances. This mother of two sacrificed her marriage, her family and her reputation for a dream that almost destroyed her. Now, almost forty years later, with the help of her filmmaker daughter, she embarks on a journey to find and to hear her own voice.
This story of love, heartbreak, tragedy and hope, proves that it is never too late to fulfill a lifelong dream. All it takes is one song.
PETRA COSTA: 2022 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD RECIPIENT
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.
TRACY HEATHER STRAIN: 2022 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD RECIPIENT
Tracy Heather Strain, a two-time Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmaker, explores stories about the ways diverse peoples have experienced life in the U.S. In 2019 she won an NAACP Image Award for Motion Picture Directing for Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and aired on American Masters.
Her directing debut, Bright Like a Sun and The Dream Keepers, in Blackside’s series I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African American Arts, “leaps off the screen” noted The New York Times, and The Hollywood Reporter praised her first film for American Experience, Building the Alaska Highway, as “dynamic” and “truly great storytelling.” Other credits include Race: The Power of an Illusion and Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
Tracy’s work has been supported by fellowships from the Brother Thomas Fund at The Boston Foundation, Mass Cultural Council, LEF Foundation, CPB/PBS Producers Academy, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Black Public Media, Ford Foundation, ITVS, and Color of Film Collaborative.
She also teaches documentary filmmaking at Wesleyan University.
Sparked from the director’s childhood witness of a near-drowning experience at a northern Black suburban swimming pool, Survival Floating is an essay film that weaves historical and contemporary African Americans’ relationships to swimming as a metaphor of the centuries of Black struggle for survival.
CRISTINA IBARRA: 2021 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD RECIPIENT
The Infiltrators is a docu-thriller about undocumented activists who go undercover inside a detention center to help set free those inside. Currently being distributed by Oscilloscope, the film won the NEXT Audience and Innovator Awards at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019, among other notable festival awards.
The New York Times calls her previous award-winning documentary Las Marthas, about wealthy South Texas border debutantes who honor George Washington in Laredo, Texas “a striking alternative portrait of border life.” It premiered on Independent Lens in 2014 and is distributed by Women Make Movies.
The Last Conquistador, a documentary about the racially conflicted construction of a monument to a conquistador in El Paso, Texas was broadcast on POV in 2008. USA Today describes it as “heroic.”
Her award-winning directorial debut, Dirty Laundry: A Homemade Telenovela, was broadcast on PBS in 2001. Cristina is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including from Open Society Foundations’ Soros Arts Fellowship, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), CPB/PBS Producers Academy, NALIP, Firelight Media, Sundance Institute’s Women’s Initiative, and Creative Capital.
JIALING ZHANG: 2021 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD RECIPIENT
Jialing Zhang is an independent Chinese filmmaker based in Massachusetts, US. She produced In the Same Breath (Sundance Film Festival, 2021), co-directed and produced One Child Nation (Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, 2019) and Complicit (Human Rights Watch Film Festival, 2017). In 2019, Jialing was nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary, a Producers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures, a Gotham Independent Film Award, and a Peabody Award. Most recently, she won a Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize (US) and a Catholic Media Prize (Germany).
Before becoming a filmmaker, Jialing worked in journalism in Beijing for six years. She holds a master’s degree from NYU’s School of Journalism. Her films have been grounded in thorough investigation and compassionate storytelling with a focus on human rights. Jialing looks forward to further exploring the potential of the medium, which she believes can inform our understanding of the human condition and lead to social change.