Announcing our 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipients!


Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the fourth cohort of our Chicken & Egg Award—previously known as Breakthrough Filmmaker Award—which recognizes and elevates five experienced documentary filmmakers poised to reach new heights in their careers and become strong filmmaker advocates for critical and timely issues.

This year’s Chicken & Egg Award recipients are directors of Peabody Award- and Emmy® Award-winning films; the characters in their films—like a Yazidi human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner; a young woman in Gaza making a choice between love, family, and freedom; and a punk rocker-turned-Buddhist monk—have inspired hearts and minds; and their work has been featured at Tribeca, Sundance, Berlinale, and other international festivals.

The award comes with a $50,000 unrestricted grant that gives its recipient more financial freedom in planning her career, and year-long individualized mentorship geared towards working to achieve the professional goals each filmmaker sets for herself.

 

Julia Bacha

 

Julia Bacha is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, Guggenheim fellow, and Creative Director at Just Vision. Her directing credits include Budrus (2009), My Neighbourhood (2012), and Naila and the Uprising (2017). Her work has played at the Berlin and Tribeca Film Festivals, as well as Palestinian refugee camps and the United States Congress. Julia is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, and a TED speaker.

 

Alexandria Bombach

 

Alexandria Bombach is an award-winning director, cinematographer, and editor from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her feature-length documentary, On Her Shoulders (2018), won Best Directing in the US Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, is nominated for two Spirit Awards, and was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Her first feature-length documentary, Frame by Frame (2015) premiered at SXSW and went on to win over 25 festival awards. Alexandria is the founder of the Santa Fe Editing & Writing Residency and a 2019 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellow.

 

Stephanie Wang-Breal

 

A first-generation Chinese American from Youngstown, Ohio, Stephanie Wang-Breal uses film as a tool to subvert the narrative. She’s directed five feature length films: the award-winning Wo Ai Ni Mommy (2010), Tough Love (2014), and Blowin’ Up (2018); and directed commercials and short form content with talents and brands such as Tan Dun, Planned Parenthood, Minwax, ESPN, Tiffany & Co., Goldman Sachs, Verifone, and Apple. Stephanie’s independent work has been supported and recognized by the Sundance Institute, the Ford Foundation, and featured in the Tribeca Film Festival.

 

Lana Wilson

 

Lana Wilson is an Emmy® Award-winning and two-time Spirit Award-nominated director. Her most recent film, The Departure (2017), premiered at Tribeca, had a critically acclaimed theatrical release, and was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. Her previous film, After Tiller (2013), premiered at Sundance and went on to win an Emmy® Award for Best Documentary. It was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, four Cinema Eye Honors, and the Ridenhour Prize.

 

Malika Zouhali-Worrall

 

Malika Zouhali-Worrall is an Emmy® Award-winning director and editor. Her directing credits include Call Me Kuchu, which premiered at the 2012 Berlinale and went on to win more than 20 festival awards, and Thank You For Playing (2015), which received an Emmy® for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary. Malika’s work has been supported by Sundance, Tribeca, Firelight Media, and the United Nations. She is a San Francisco Film/Catapult Documentary Fellow and a Chaz and Roger Ebert Directing Fellow.

For additional information on Chicken & Egg Pictures and this award, please visit our Programs page.

Gender Parity at the 2018 Camden International Film Festival

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.

The In Between Robie Flores 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative
The In Between, directed by Robie Flores

Points North Pitch, Saturday Sep. 15 at 10 AM at the Camden Opera House, including a pitch from 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative grantee Robie Flores for her project The In Between.

Skywards, directed by Eva Weber (Black Out, 2007), Saturday Sep. 15 at 10 AM at The Strand Theatre in Rockland.

Survivors Anna Fitch, Banker White, and Arthur Pratt
Survivors, directed by Arthur Pratt, Anna Fitch, Banker White, Barmmy Boy

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.

A Cure for Fear (Series), directed by Lana Wilson (The Departure and After Tiller), Saturday Sep. 15 at 3:30 PM at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland*

The Feeling of Being Watched Assia Boundaoui 2016 Accelerator Lab surveillance.jpg
The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui

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.*

Stephanie Wang Breal Blowin Up Blowin-Up_Wang-Breal_JudgeSeritaBackofhead20.png
Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal

Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal, Sunday Sep. 16 at 5:30 PM at the Rockport Opera House.

And our very own Eggspert advisor Cara Mertes will be moderating The Public Sphere panel, Saturday Sep. 15 at 1:30 PM at High Mountain Hall.

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support SkywardsA Cure for Fear, or On Her Shoulders but did support their directors in past projects.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

Nest-Supported Projects at IFP Week

2018 IFP Week FilmsThe 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, directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

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.

The In Between, directed by Robie Flores (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

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.

People’s Hospital, directed by Siyi Chen (2018 Accelerator Lab)

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.

Women in Blue, directed by Deirdre Fishel (Care, 2014) and executive produced by Gini Reticker (The Trials of Spring, 2014)

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. 

Nest Co-Founders, Filmmakers, and Friends Join the Academy

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. 

Chicken & Egg Pictures announces support of LAST CALL and SURVIVORS

Two projects have been awarded Chicken & Egg Pictures production grants: Last Call, directed by Lana Wilson, and Survivors, directed by Anna Fitch, Arthur Pratt, and Banker White.

Last Call, directed by Lana Wilson
Last Call, directed by Lana Wilson

Lana Wilson’s last film, After Tiller, was also supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures and was part of our Reel Reproductive Justice cohort, a group of films exploring reproductive justice from various angles.

LAST CALL
Director: Lana Wilson
A remarkable Japanese Buddhist priest uses a range of unorthodox methods to help desperate men and women re-discover the will to live. But when a health crisis puts him at serious risk, can he live by the same advice he gives out?

SURVIVORS
Directors: Anna Fitch, Arthur Pratt, and Banker White
Through the eyes of Sierra Leonean filmmakers, Survivors presents a portrait of their country during the Ebola outbreak, exposing the complexity of the epidemic and the socio-political turmoil that lies in its wake. The film chronicles the remarkable stories of Sierra Leonean heroes during what is now widely regarded as the most acute public health crisis of the modern era.

Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees receive Emmy nominations

Five Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees have received nominations for Emmy Awards.

Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus (HBO), directed by Madeleine Sackler, was nominated for Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming.

Dangerous Acts Starring The Unstable Elements of Belarus
Dangerous Acts Starring The Unstable Elements of Belarus

 

After Tiller (POV), directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, was nominated for Best Documentary and Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story- Long Form. After Tiller is one of eight independent documentaries that make up Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Reel Reproductive Justice cohort.

After Tiller, directed by Martha Shane & Lana Wilson
After Tiller, directed by Martha Shane & Lana Wilson

Private Violence (HBO), directed by Cynthia Hill, received a nod for Outstanding Informational Programming- Long Form. Chicken & Egg Pictures executive produced Private Violence.

Hot Girls Wanted, directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, and The Great Invisible, directed by Margaret Brown, were both recognized with Emmy nominations for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking.

The Great Invisible, directed by Margaret Brown
The Great Invisible, directed by Margaret Brown

The 67th Primetime Emmy Awards will air on Sunday, September 20. The 36th News & Documentary Emmy Awards will follow on Monday, September 28th.