Kristine Stolakis: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 11

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

PRAY AWAY Kristine StolakisKristine Stolakis is a BAFTA nominated documentary director whose films explore American systems of power and the people in them.

Her debut feature Pray Away chronicles the history and continuation of the “pray the gay away” movement and is a co-production of Multitude Films. Her directorial debut The Typist  (Hot Docs 2015) was released by KQED and is a Vimeo Staff Pick. Her documentary  Where We Stand (DOC NYC 2015) was released by The Atlantic and nominated for a BAFTA.

PRAY AWAY Kristine Stolakis
Pray Away, directed by Kristine Stolakis

She also produced ATTLA (Independent Lens), a co-production of ITVS and Vision Maker Media. Her films have received supported from the Catapult Film Fund, Tribeca Film Institute, SFFilm, Hartley Film Foundation, as well as the Chicken & Egg Pictures’ (Egg)celerator Lab for Pray Away.

She holds an MFA in Documentary from Stanford University, where she currently lectures, and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from New York University. She proudly hails from North Carolina and central New York.

Eunice Lau: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 10

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

The Youth The Youth Eunice Lau Accelerator Lab 2018Eunice Lau is an independent filmmaker and former journalist with a propensity toward stories concerning social justice. After years of reporting on Cambodia, she wrote and produced The Trouble with Waiting, which won the Grand Jury award at Busan Asian Short Film Festival 2008. Eunice has an MFA from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where her short documentary Through the Fire was nominated for the Student Academy Awards 2012. Between filming, she teaches documentary film at Baruch College.

The Youth The Youth Eunice Lau Arthur Nazaryan Accelerator Lab 2018
Accept the Call, directed by Eunice Lau

Her feature documentary Accept The Call, which participated in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab, is an unflinching look at the forces that drive one to adopt an extreme ideology. Through the eyes of a father who seeks to understand how his son is radicalized by the propaganda of the Islamic State Army, Accept the Call reveals how a Muslim American family is affected by the geopolitics and polemics that fuel the resurgence of reactionary and right-wing political movements. Through this intimate lens on the Somali community in Minnesota, Accept the Call explores the racism and prejudices against immigrants, the rise of radical Islam, and what it means to be Muslim in contemporary America.

The film had its world premiere at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York City and then screened at Woodstock Film Festival. Read a write-up from Variety about the film’s screenings at the Singapore Film Festival here.

Milisuthando Bongela: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 9

 

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Milisuthando (Working Title) Milisuthando BongelaMilisuthando Bongela is an award-winning writer, editor, and cultural worker with experience in the media, publishing, fashion, art, and film industries in South Africa. Over the last 12 years, her written and cultural work has explored the post-apartheid condition, concerned with the intimate manifestations of race and racism in the everyday and shared intimate spaces. She is currently directing her first feature length documentary on race, love and growing up in the new South Africa—Milisuthando (working title).

Milisuthando (working title), directed by Milisuthando Bongela

It’s 1992 and Milisuthando is enjoying her sheltered childhood in “The Republic of the Transkei”, a dodgy ethnic homeland where, even though apartheid is raging 100 km away, she has no idea of the impending racial calamity beyond her hometown. When Transkei is suddenly dissolved at the end of apartheid, 8-year-old Milisuthando becomes a member of the first generation of black kids to attend “Whites Only” schools in South Africa. Through her probing, often naive journey with a cast of contrary characters, we revisit the old interiors of the “New South Africa”, exploring how racial prejudice and interracial bonding played out in the everyday. And why today, South Africa seems to be making a U-turn towards its ugly racial past.

Milisuthando’s project participated in the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab and received the 2019 The Whickers/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award.

Jasmin Mara López: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 8

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara LópezJasmin Mara López is a journalist, audio producer, and filmmaker based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Born in the US with familial roots in México, her childhood was affected by issues experienced on both sides of the US-México border. This instilled in her a strong passion for immigrant rights, youth empowerment, and social change. In 2007, Jasmin founded Project Luz, which taught Mexican youth to document stories from within their communities. She was then recruited by the USC Annenberg Civic Engagement and Journalism Initiative to coordinate a program that trained immigrant youth in journalistic ethics and practice. In 2015, she received the Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism Award for her audio documentary Deadly Divide: Migrant Death on the Border.

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara López
Silent Beauty, directed by Jasmin Mara López

She was awarded the 2017 New Orleans Film Society Emerging Voices Mentorship, 2018 Southern Documentary Fund Production Grant, 2019 Jacquie Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund via Black Public Media, and 2019 TFI Pond5 Grant. She participated in the 2018 UnionDocs Summer Documentary Lab, 2017 Third Coast Radio Residency at Ragdale, 2019 Ragdale Artist Residency, 2019 TFI Network, 2019 Firelight Media Documentary Lab, as well as the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab for her feature documentary Silent Beautya personal documentary about confronting and accepting difficult truths while finding beauty in the process. Read more about Silent Beauty on the film’s webpage.

Jialing Zhang: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 7

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Lynn Zhang 2017 Accelerator Lab Born In ChinaJialing Zhang is an independent filmmaker based in Beijing. She is co-director and editor of Complicit, which follows the intimate journey of a benzene-poisoned Chinese migrant worker who takes on the global electronic manufacturing industry. Lynn also freelances as a local producer for various media including VICE on HBO, Fusion TV, the New York Times, and independent feature documentary projects. She holds a Master’s degree from New York University in documentary filmmaking.

One Child Nation, co-directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang

Recently, she co-directed 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee One Child Nation with Nanfu Wang. One Child Nation premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Grand Jury Prize in the US Documentary Competition. The film exposes the devastating consequences of China’s One-Child Policy through the stories of those who lived through it.

Daresha Kyi: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 3

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

MAMA BEARS DARESHA KYI 2019 Eggcelerator LabDaresha Kyi writes, produces, and directs documentary and narrative film and all kinds of television in Spanish and English. A natural born storyteller, she made her first short, experimental film, Schism, at the age of 16. Currently, she is in post production on the Nest-supported feature documentary Mama Bears about how conservative, Christian mothers are transformed when they decide to accept their LGBTQ children. In 2018, she was commissioned by the ACLU to direct Trans In America: Texas Strong which garnered over 3 million views online, screened at SXSW, won two Webby Awards, and received the Emmy for Outstanding Short Documentary in 2019.

MAMA BEARS DARESHA KYI 2019 Eggcelerator Lab
Still from Mama Bears, directed by Daresha Kyi

In 2017, she co-directed Chavela, a multiple award-winning documentary about iconic singer Chavela Vargas and produced Dispatches From Cleveland. A 2019 Chicken & Egg (Egg)celerator Lab grantee, 2019 Creative Capital Awardee, and 2017-18 Firelight Documentary Lab Fellow, Daresha Kyi has also produced programming for FX, We TV, AMC, Telemundo, and Fuse, among others. She holds a degree in Film and Television from New York University and attended the directing program at the American Film Institute conservatory.

Nest Screenings at DOC NYC

This year’s DOC NYC runs Wednesday, November 6 to Friday, November 15 at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village and Chelsea’s SVA Theatre and Cinépolis Chelsea. The 10th edition of the all-documentary film festival brings the New York premiere of (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Mr Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, screenings of two other Nest-supported films (One Child Nation, American Factory), plus five films AlumNest filmmakers screening throughout the fest.

Read more about these women-helmed films and get your tickets below:

Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man 

2016 (Egg)celerator Lab

Flush Revolution Lily Zepeda 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative

Jack Sim wants to talk to you about your toilet. When the charismatic Singaporean millionaire learned that nearly a third of the world doesn’t have access to proper sanitation, he set out to make a difference through his World Toilet Foundation. Cleverly using humor to get attention for his cause, Sim highlights the need for investment in this basic public health issue. Now he’s ready to plunge into his biggest challenge—securing six million toilets as part of India’s sanitation initiative.

Directed by Lily Zepeda; Produced by Tchavdar Georgiev, Lily Zepeda, and Eugene Efuni
Thursday, November 14 at 7:30 pm | tickets here

One Child Nation

2017 (Egg)celerator Lab

China’s one-child policy ended in 2015, but it has had a haunting impact on several generations of Chinese families. After the birth of her own child, filmmaker Nanfu Wang returns to her village, where she begins an investigation into the controversial population control program. Posing difficult questions to family members, local party officials, journalists and activists, she and co-director Jialing Zhang uncover troubling secrets that have long been kept hidden. 

Directed by Nanfu Wang (2018 Chicken & Egg Award) and Jialing Zhang; Produced by Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christoph Jörg, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn
Friday, Nov. 8 at 11:00am and Thursday, Nov 15 at 6:55pm |  tickets here

American Factory

2016 Chicken & Egg Award

When Dayton, Ohio’s General Motors plant closed in 2008, thousands of blue-collar workers lost their livelihood in a community hard hit by the recession. Eight years later, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory on the same site, bringing back jobs and inspiring newfound hope—until Chinese labor practices clash with the expectations of a formerly unionized American workforce.

Directed by Julia Reichert, Steve Bognar; Produced by Steven Bognar, Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert, and Julia Reichert
Saturday, Nov. 9 at 6:15pm & Monday Nov. 11 at 3:45pm | tickets here

Plus directors Julia and Steve will be receiving the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence, which honors a mid-career filmmaking team that excels in observational filmmaking!

AlumNest Films

Hungry to Learn
Directed by Geeta Gandbhir (2016 Chicken & Egg Award); Produced by Rose Arce and Soledad O’Brien
Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2:15 pm and Sunday, Nov. 10 at 12:40 pm | tickets and more information here

Shoofting the Mafia
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Kim Longinotto (Dreamcatcher); Produced by Niamh Fagan
Saturday, Nov. 9 at 5:15 pm | tickets and more information here

Narrowsburg
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Martha Shane (After Tiller); Produced by Beck Kitsis and Martha Shane
Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4:20 pm | tickets and more information here

Knock Down the House
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Rachel Lears (The Hand That Feeds); Produced by Robin Blotnick, Rachel Lears, and Sarah Olson
Thursday, Nov. 7 at 2:45pm & Monday, Nov. 11 at 8:50 pm | tickets and more information here

The Great Hack
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Jehane Noujaim (The Square) and Karim Amer; Produced by Karim Amer, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Judy Korin, and Pedro Kos
Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6:15pm & Thursday, Nov. 14 at 11:00am | tickets and more information here

Desert One
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Barbara Kopple (A Murder in Mansfield); Produced by Barbara Kopple, David Cassidy, and Eric Forman
Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 at 8:35 pm & Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 2:25 pm | tickets and more information here

See you at DOC NYC, and look out for our supported filmmakers and team members at the DOC NYC PRO conference!

The Nest at the Margaret Mead Film Festival

The American Museum of Natural History’s Margaret Mead Film Festival will run from Thursday, October 17 to Sunday, October 20 in New York City. The festival, which is inspired by anthropologist Margaret Mead, celebrates documentary media that increases our understanding of the complexity and diversity of peoples’ cultures around the world, and you can catch three Nest-supported films there:

Freedom Fields, directed by Naziha Arebi
New York Premiere | Filmmaker in Attendance
Thursday, October 17 at 7:00 PM 

Encouraged by the utopian hopes of the Arab Spring, the members of a women’s soccer club in Libya heroically fight for their right to play. Their community refuses to support the team, forcing them to disband. Some women move on, becoming mothers and professionals, while others hold on to their soccer dreams.

The Guardian of Memory, directed by Marcela Arteaga (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee)
New York Premiere | ­­Filmmaker in Attendance
Friday, October 18 at 4:00 PM

Stunning, quiet landscapes from Mexico’s Juarez Valley are juxtaposed with horrifying, intimate tales of mass murder. In 2008, the Mexican government sent an army to the rugged border region, ostensibly to fight drug trafficking. As locals from Juarez and Chihuahua tearfully recount the stories of their murdered or disappeared children, parents, and siblings, a Texas-based lawyer argues asylum seekers from the area are victims of a genocide.

Made In Boise, directed by Beth Aala
New York Premiere | Filmmakers in Attendance | Protagonists in Attendance
Saturday, October 19 at 5:30 PM 

While the ethical questions that surround the commercial surrogacy industry remain unresolved, hundreds of women are choosing to be paid surrogates in Boise, Idaho. Follow four surrogates as they navigate relationships with their families and the future parents while experiencing the emotional and physical hurdles of being pregnant with someone else’s baby.

We will see you at the Mead!

The Nest at the 41st Annual IFP Week

IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) recently announced the 2019 IFP Project Forum slate, which includes 143 feature-length and series projects in both development and production. And we were egg-cited to see the following Nest-supported projects and filmmakers will be participating in the upcoming edition of IFP Week, September 15 – 19 in Brooklyn, New York.

Commuted Nailah Jefferson Chicken & Egg Pictures
Commuted (working title)

Commuted (working title), directed by Nailah Jefferson, tells the story of Danielle Metz, a 52-year-old woman trying to find her footing after spending nearly half of her life in prison. In 2016, Danielle’s was one of 568 life sentences President Obama overturned. Commuted participated in the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative (past program).

Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me

Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me, directed by Marie Hinson, is a feature documentary about an aging blues singer’s return to the stage 17 years after music broke his heart. Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me is a participant of the 2019 Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative generously supported by Knight Foundation for filmmakers from Philadelphia, PA.

Milisuthando (working title)

Milisuthando (working title), directed by Milisuthando Bongela, is a coming-of-age story, in which Milisuthando—a black South African unaware of apartheid until it ended—explores how blacks and whites first lived together after 342 years of racial segregation. Milisuthando (working title) is a participant of the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab.

Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon

Also participating in the upcoming IFP week is a project directed by Chicken & Egg Pictures Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon, The Spies Who Loved Me,  a thrilling exposé on citizen-surveillance and the impact of fake news. Along with being a member of the Chicken & Egg Pictures team, Yvonne is an award-winning independent filmmaker, producer, educator, entrepreneur, and consultant. She has successfully produced and distributed over 20 films including Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @100 (winner of ten best documentary awards) and Sisters in Cinema, a documentary on the history of black women feature film directors.

Ilinca Calugareanu A Cops and Robbers Story Accelerator Lab 2018
AlumNest filmmaker Ilinca Calugareanu

Celluloid Dreams, directed by Ilinca Calugareanu, a documentary series that tells five staggering stories of courage and wonder and shows us how movies can change us, and sometimes, the world. Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support Celluloid Dreams, but did support Illinca’s project A Cops and Robbers Story, which was a participant in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.

Other AlumNest filmmakers participating in IFP include Rebecca Haimowitz (Made in India) for Next Generation Sex,  David Osit (co-director of Thank You For Playing and Games You Can’t Win) for MayorSharon Shattuck (From This Day Forward) for The Eyes to See, Amber Fares (Speed Sisters) for Dearborn.

Four Nest-supported Emmy® Winners

Jennifer Brea Unrest
Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea

We’d like to thank The (Television) Academy! These Nest-supported films and filmmakers received awards at the 40th Annual News & Documentary Emmy®s: 

I Am Evidence
Directed by Geeta Gandbhir
Best Documentary 

Armed With Faith
Co-directed by Asad Faruqi, Geeta Gandbhir
Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary

Trans in America: Texas Strong
Directed by Daresha Kyi (Mama Bears)
Outstanding Short Documentary

It Will Be Chaos
Directed by Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo
Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary

And congratulations to Survivors and Unrest for their nominations:

Survivors
Directed by Arthur Pratt, Barmmy Boy, Anna Fitch, Banker White
Outstanding Social Issue Documentary

Unrest
Directed by Jennifer Brea and edited by Emiliano Battista, Kim Roberts
Outstanding Editing: Documentary

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support I Am Evidence or Armed with Faith, but supports director Geeta Gandbhir as a 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient; and did not support the short documentary Trans in America: Texas Strong, but is a supporter of the feature-length documentary Mama Bears, directed by Daresha Kyi, which is a participant of the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab