The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, one of the most significant United States abortion cases in decades. This case has the potential to undo Roe v. Wade and is a threat to the constitutional rights of people who can become pregnant in the United States, where our organization is based. At Chicken & Egg Pictures we are deeply concerned about the possible outcomes of this case— such as preventing access to safe and legal abortions—and stand in support of reproductive rights.
We are living a defining moment for present and future generations, and we fiercely believe in the transformative power of documentary, especially in a call to action moment like this. Over the past sixteen years, Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported filmmakers who skillfully weave deeply humane storytelling to showcase the impact of reproductive restrictions. We encourage you to revisit some of the Nest-supported films that have increased visibility for reproductive rights:
A Quiet Inquisition, dirs. & prods. Alessandra Zeka and Holen Sabrina Kahn
Set in Nicaragua, A Quiet Inquisition portrays the reality of abortion prohibition where doctors have to navigate between the potential of prosecution and medical protocols that save lives.
Rent on Youtube
On The Divide, dirs. Maya Cueva & Leah Galant, prods. Melanie Miller, Diane Becker, Amanda Spain, Elizabeth Woodward
On The Divide is a film about the last abortion clinic on the US-Mexico border, where three Latinx people are connected despite their different views. As threats to the clinic and their personal safety mount, these three are forced to make decisions they never could have imagined.
Watch on POV in 2022
Vessel, dir. & prod. Diana Whitten, prod. Mitchell Block
Vessel is the story of activist Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Women on Waves, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing reproductive health services to women in countries with restrictive abortion laws. When her ship is faced with governmental, religious, and military blockade, she decides to use new technologies to train women to give themselves abortions using WHO-researched pills. This work builds an underground network of emboldened pro-choice activists who trust women to handle abortion.
Rent on Amazon Prime
The Chosen Life, dir. Dawn Porter, prod. Marilyn Ness
The Chosen Life follows the story of Dr. Yashica Robinson as she offers reproductive options for women in Huntsville, Alabama, where abortion providers face harassment, ostracism, and state-sanctioned obstacles.
Watch via The New York Times
Motherland, dir. & prod. Ramona S. Díaz, prod. Rey Cuerdo
Motherland takes us into the world’s busiest maternity hospital, which is located in one of its poorest countries: the Philippines. There, women face devastating consequences as their country struggles with reproductive health policy and the politics of conservative ideologies.
Watch on Tubi, Vudu & Peacock
Belly of the Beast, dir. Erika Cohn, prods. Nicole Docta, Christen Marquez & Angela Tucker
Belly of the Beast is a shocking story about the ongoing legacy of eugenics and reproductive injustice in the United States. When a courageous young woman and a radical lawyer discover a pattern of illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons—primarily targeting women of color, they wage a near-impossible battle against the Department of Corrections.
Host a screening
After Tiller, dirs. & prods. Martha Shane and Lana Wilson
After Tiller is a compassionate portrait of the remaining four American doctors who openly provide third-trimester abortions and have become the new number-one targets of the anti-abortion movement. They continue to risk their lives every day to do work that many believe is murder, but which they believe is profoundly important for their patients’ lives.
Watch on Tubi & Apple TV
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:
2016 (Egg)celerator Lab
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
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
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!
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
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
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 2018 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) will take place in Camden, Rockport, and Rockland, Maine from September 13 to 16. Founded in 2005, CIFF is a festival focused exclusively on documentary film, and this year, we were egg-static to see that half of the selections across every category are directed by women.
In a press release from CIFF, Senior Programmer Samara Chadwick stated, “Programming at parity celebrates the contributions of the many formidable women in the field, while also emphasizing the fact that, in a century of documentary filmmaking, we’ve largely known one dominant perspective. […] At CIFF we’re drawn to directorial approaches from outside the canon, and we value all the creative voices and cinematic languages that have been otherwise underrepresented.”
At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we applaud the push for gender parity from the Camden International Film Festival.
See a full itinerary for Nest-supported films, filmmakers, and friends at CIFF below.
Survivors, co-directed by Arthur Pratt, Banker White, Anna Fitch and Barmmy Boy, Saturday Sep. 15 at 12:30 PM at the Rockport Opera House.
The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui (2016 Accelerator Lab grantee and The Whickers award winner), Sunday Sep. 16 at 12:30 PM. Assia will also be speaking on the Documentary as Co-Creation panel at 3:30 PM on Saturday Sep. 15 at High Mountain Hall in Camden.
On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient), Sunday Sep. 16 at 5 PM at The Strand Theatre in Rockland.*
Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal, Sunday Sep. 16 at 5:30 PM at the Rockport Opera House.
*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Skywards, A Cure for Fear, or On Her Shoulders but did support their directors in past projects.
Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.
The Independent Filmmaker Project announced its 40th annual IFP Project Forum slate highlighting films, series, digital, and audio projects from around the world. We are honored to announce that four Chicken & Egg-supported projects from our 2018 programs year were included.
An Act of Worship follows young Muslim women activists at a time when hate crimes against Muslims have reached their highest level since 9/11. The travel ban has sent the message that Muslims are not welcome in the US. Now, a new generation has been galvanized into action to reclaim their space in the American landscape.
At the intersection of the northern Mexico desert and the plains of southwest Texas exists a symbiotic community. Here, people’s lives are spread across two countries, connected by a bridge that everyone must travel. For some, crossing to the other side means getting to work or school. For others, life straddling the border is the only way to keep their family together. Through a collection of interweaving vignettes, The In Between is a poetic ode to a greater reality of the border than the one portrayed on the news, offering a nuanced and intimate portrait of a place and its people at the heart of Mexican-American identity.
Made in Boise, directed by Beth Aala (2018 Discretionary Grant)
A surprising—and booming—industry has emerged in Boise, Idaho. In this idyllic, all-American city, nurses, nail technicians, and stay-at-home mothers are having babies for strangers—in record numbers. Boise’s own St. Luke’s Medical Center founded and runs the first and best surrogacy program of its kind, in all the US. But everything is not as it appears, surrogacy is not without its health risks, and the practice is not without its emotional complications. Character-driven and stylized in its approach, Made In Boise introduces audiences to the unique world of surrogacy in the most unexpected of places.
As the Chinese society criticizes dysfunctional hospitals, a doctor’s daughter revisits the small-town hospital where she grew up — this time with a camera, in the middle of a chaotic ER.
And a special congratulations to filmmakers who were previously supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures.
A female police chief and a determined band of women officers work to redefine “protect and serve,” when a tragic shooting upends their progress.*
Narrowsburg, directed by Martha Shane (After Tiller co-director)
Narrowsburg tells the story of a French producer and a mafioso-turned-actor who attempted to turn a small Catskills town into the “Sundance of the East.”*
*Synopses from the IFP website.
Filmmakers will attend the IFP Project Forum during the 40th anniversary of IFP Week happening September 15 – 20 in Brooklyn.
Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.
We’re proud to announce that Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founders and Board members Julie Parker Benello and Wendy Ettinger are now members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences!
The Academy announced a record-setting 928 invited members, 49 percent of whom are women and 38 percent people of color. Nine branches, including the Producers, Film Editors, and Documentary branches invited more women than men. At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we applaud the Academy’s efforts to double the number of women and diverse members, a goal announced in 2016 and hoped to be completed by 2020.
This announcement marked a huge step in diversifying one of the most prestigious institutions in the field, bringing the overall Academy membership to 31% women. We couldn’t be more thrilled. You might have even caught Wendy talk about it on live TV, on BBC News when the announcement was made public. Julie and Wendy will join fellow Co-Founder (and Senior Creative Consultant) Judith Helfand, with all three Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founders now members of the Academy!
This year, Chicken & Egg-supported filmmakers invited to the Academy include Yance Ford (Oscar®-nominee Strong Island), Catherine Gund (Born to Fly), Sari Gilman (Kings Point, editor on Trapped), Lana Wilson (The Departure and After Tiller), Laura Nix (2018 Breakthrough Award Recipient), and Nanfu Wang (2018 Breakthrough Award Recipient, 2017 Accelerator Lab Grantee for Born In China).
New members also include Paco de Onís, editor of Nest-supported Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, as well as Toby Shimin, editor of Nest-supported 32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide. Congratulations to all!
Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.