Today we are announcing three new short films produced as part of Docs by the Dozen, in partnership with LUNA®.
These three short films by AlumNest filmmakers explore a variety of perspectives on women’s equality and self empowerment—sharing new perspectives and lighting a fire in the industry. Watch the films as part of LUNAFEST®’s 2021 season.
The Scientists Versus Dartmouth by Sharon Shattuck
A group of young women scientists at Dartmouth speak up about sexual harassment and become advocates for women in science everywhere.
Overexposed: Filmming an Arctic Odyssey by Holly Morris
A behind-the-scenes look at the film team that captured the daring story of the Women’s Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition.
Until She is Free by Maria Finitzo
Until She is Free documents mixed-media artist Sophia Wallace as she imagines a culturally cliterate world, where all people are equal and able to live with rich possibility and purpose.
In 2001, LUNA® started LUNAFEST®—a traveling film festival celebrating, showcasing and championing women in film. Since then, LUNAFEST® has been flipping the script, creating opportunities for women in film. Learn more here.
Mark your calendars for June 29 and 30! The Chicken & Egg Pictures team will be viewing And She Could Be Next this Sunday, June 29 and Monday, June 30 on our local PBS stations. And She Could Be Next, directed by Chicken & Egg Award recipient Grace Lee and Chicken & Egg Pictures Board Member Marjan Safinia, tells the story of a defiant movement of women of color, transforming politics from the ground up.
And She Could Be Next was also field directed by Chicken & Egg Award recipients Yoruba Richen and Geeta Gandbhir and AlumNest filmmakers Amber Fares (Speed Sisters), Deborah S. Esquenazi (Southwest of Salem), and Anayansi Prado (Children in No Man’s Land). The series follows candidates and organizers across the country, asking whether democracy itself can be preserved—and made stronger—by those most marginalized, featuring history-makers including Rashida Tlaib, Stacey Abrams, Lucy McBath, Bushra Amiwala, Maria Elena Durazo, Veronica Escobar, Nse Ufot and more.
Monday, June 29
Episode One: Building The Movement opens with the powerful reminder that “women of color have been the backbone of our communities forever.” An energetic montage of modern American civil rights movements–from women’s suffrage to Stonewall, Black Lives Matter to Standing Rock–brings us to the 2018 midterm elections where a new generation of women of color is ready to take the lead. The documentary goes behind-the-scenes at local rallies, war rooms and church basements, where candidates and organizers embark on the campaign trail. We also witness the unique challenges they face, from well-resourced incumbents to systemic barriers that disproportionately affect black, brown and immigrant communities. As we get to know these women, we see how they do not live “single issue lives” but are each a product of a larger movement–one that is coalition-based, intergenerational and interfaith.
Tuesday, June 30
Episode Two: Claiming Power takes us to the weeks leading up to election day and focuses on how organizers combat voter suppression in their own communities. At the heart of the episode is a growing multi-ethnic coalition in Georgia, a state with a rich history of civil rights organizing and poised to be a “majority minority” state as early as 2025. In addition to the New Georgia Project, groups like Mijente and Asians for Abrams put boots on the ground to address language barriers, poll purges and “exact match” laws that impact thousands of voters across the state. As results roll in, there is celebration for some and disappointment for others–but for these community organizers, the work does not stop when the polls close. Through it all, these women present a collective vision of political power that is rooted in care, dignity and joy, and remind us that there is an organizer in all of us.
Learn more about And She Could Be Next here.
AFI Docs, the all-documentary film festival from American Film Institute, is just around the corner, taking place Wednesday, June 19 to Sunday, June 23 in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, Maryland.
68% of their slate of films are produced by women and almost half have a woman director or co-director. The lineup features 72 documentaries from 17 countries, including six world premieres—one of them being Nest-supported film Made In Boise.
Made In Boise, directed by Beth Aala (2018 Discretionary Grant) unveils a surprising—and booming—industry which 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.
The film will have its world premiere with director, producer Beth Aala and producer Beth Levison in attendance, as part of the Spectrum selection of AFI Docs for “filmmakers pushing the boundaries of storytelling and exploring more unconventional subject matter.”
Three other Nest-supported films are also on the list:
American Factory, directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steve Bognar will screen as the AFI Docs Centerpiece screening, with a conversation with co-directors Steven and Julia and NBC Meet The Press’s Chuck Todd to follow.
One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang will also screen as part of the Truth and Justice selection, with co-director Jialing Zhang in attendance.
And don’t miss these films by former Nest grantees: Picture Character, directed by Ian Cheney and Martha Shane (co-director of Nest-supported After Tiller) and The Great Hack, directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim (Nest-supported The Square).