Announcing our 2022 Chicken & Egg Award Recipients!

a series of headshots of six women looking at the camera

Announced via Women & Hollywood today, Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to introduce the seventh cohort of our Chicken & Egg Award, which supports six advanced-career women and gender nonconforming filmmakers with unrestricted funding. The directors will receive a $50,000 grant, and for the first time ever two directors will receive a $15,000 finalist grant.

“The Chicken & Egg Award makes bold investments in the personal and professional wellbeing of visionary women and gender nonconforming documentary makers. Over the past seven years, we have given unrestricted cash grants totaling $1.9 million US dollars to 38 change-making directors,” said Program Director Lucila Moctezuma. “Because filmmakers—especially those affected by roadblocks tied to their gender, race, class, and location—deserve financial freedom while they create new projects.”

Please click on the Recipients’ names for more information on each filmmaker and give these visionary directors a warm welcome to the Nest!

2022 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD RECIPIENTS

Director Petra Costa’s headshot in black and whitePetra Costa is a Brazilian documentary filmmaker whose work lives on the borderlines of the personal and political. She directed The Edge of Democracy (2019), which was nominated for the Academy Award® for Documentary Feature in 2020; Undertow Eyes (2009); Elena (2012); and Olmo and the Seagull (2015). Petra is associate producer of Barbara Paz’s Babenco (2019), producer of Moara Passoni’s Ecstasy (2020), and EP of Rebeca Huntt’s BEBA (2021).   

Black & White medium image of Dr Bev in an Afro hairstyle, wearing a black tux and black tie, looking directly at camera.

Dr. Bev Palesa Ditsie (Hon) is a radical gender nonconforming lesbian activist and 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 the world. She is also a reality TV director whose credits include Big Brother Africa, Survivor South Africa, and Project Runway South Africa. Among her film credits are Simon & I, A Family Affair, and The Commission. Lesbians Free Everyone (2020), their latest work filmed during lockdown, takes the viewer along their journey as the first African Lesbian to address the UN at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing 1995.

A woman with dark skin, long, wavy black hair and black eyes sits on a bright red/orange sofa, her hands resting on the sofa's arm rest. She's smiling while looking into straight into the camera. She is wearing a long sleeve black dress with a V-neck,has on a turquoise necklace and matching earrings.Anayansi Prado is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has focused on issues of undocumented immigration, indigenous rights, and race identity. Her feature films have aired nationally on PBS including The Unafraid (2018), Paraiso for Sale (2010), and Maid in America (2005). Anayansi is a Rockefeller Media Fellow and a Creative Capital Artist; her work has been supported by the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Chicken & Egg Pictures, amongst others.

This is a headshot of Brett Story, a white woman with freckles and long brown hair and bangs. She is sitting at a table against a white wall, wearing a black turtleneck and jeans.Brett Story is an award-winning filmmaker and writer based out of Toronto. She is the director of the critically acclaimed feature documentaries The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016) and The Hottest August (2019), both of which have screened around the world. Brett has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and Sundance Institute, and she was named one of Variety’s 10 Documentary Filmmakers to Watch 2019.

Director Margreth Olin in a coat, background winter landscape in OsloMargreth Olin is a director and producer with a large cinema audience in Norway. She has made 13 films, which have received critical acclaim, participated at numerous festivals abroad, and won several Norwegian and international awards. Margreth has managed to catalyze important dialogues with the topics her films shed light on. She has personally received 26 honorary awards for her commitment and focus on human rights. Her credits include My Body (Tribeca 2002), EFA-nominated Raw Youth (2004), The Angel (TIFF 2010), Nowhere Home (IDFA 2012), Cathedrals of Culture (Berlinale 2013), Self Portrait (DOC NYC 2020).

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 US. She won an NAACP Image Award for Motion Picture Directing for Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, which premiered at TIFF and made its television debut on American Masters. She is presently developing Survival Floating, a hybrid documentary investigating African-descended peoples’ relationships with swimming.


2022 CHICKEN & EGG AWARD FINALIST DEVELOPMENT GRANT RECIPIENTS

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.   

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.  

Read the Women & Hollywood article about the 2022 Chicken & Egg Award.

And She Could Be Next Two Night Premiere on PBS on June 29 & 30

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 stationsAnd 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.

Nest-supported Projects Receive Sundance Documentary Fund Grants

Wonderful news from Sundance Institute! Thirty-three recipients of the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Stories of Change Grant were announced recently, and 81% of the supported projects have at least one woman producer or director.

Projects are supported through grants in the development, production, post-production and audience engagement stages, and include custom grants from The Kendeda Fund, MacArthur Foundation, and The Skoll Foundation. 

We were egg-static to see the following Nest-supported projects and filmmakers from our Diversity Fellows Initiative, Accelerator Lab, and Breakthrough Filmmaker Award programs on the list.

Through the Night Loira Limbal 2018 Accelerator Lab
Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal

Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal (2018 Accelerator Lab) 

To make ends meet, Americans are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of nonstop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers. Through the Night is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider, whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY.

Through the Night received a production grant from the Sundance Documentary Fund.

Nanfu Wang Lynn Zhang Born In China 2017 Accelerator Lab
Born in China, directed by Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang

Born in China, directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang (2017 Accelerator Lab)

How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.

Born in China received a grant for post-production from the Sundance Documentary Fund.

The Letter, directed by Maia von Lekow & Chris King

The Letter, directed by Maia von Lekow and Chris King (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

Along the coast of Kenya, a frenzied mix of consumerism and Christianity is turning hundreds of families against their elders, branding them as witches as a means to steal their land. Ninety-two-

year-old Margaret Kamango stands accused by her sons, while her strong-willed daughters try to protect her. This dangerous dispute is seen through the eyes of Margaret’s grandson, Karisa, who returns home from the city to investigate and is ultimately forced to choose which side he is on.

The Letter received a grant for post-production from the Sundance Documentary Fund.

Ursula Liang 2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative
Untitled Race & Criminal Justice Project, directed by Ursula Liang

Untitled Race & Criminal Justice Project, directed by Ursula Liang (2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative) 

A nuanced look at how two communities of color navigate an uneven criminal justice system, anchored by one polarizing New York City case.

United Race & Criminal Justice Project received support for production from the Macarthur Foundation. This grant provides support for journalistic projects, prioritizing diverse, Native and Indigenous voices.

Chicken & Egg Pictures would also like to congratulate the following filmmakers whose work we have supported in the past or who we have individually support through the Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program—

Malika Zouhali-Worrall (director of Nest-supported projects Thank You For PlayingCall Me Kuchu, and Games You Can’t Win) recieved a development grant for her new project Untitled Dystopia Film.

Malika’s co-director in Thank You For Playing and Games You Can’t Win, David Osit also received a development grant for his  project Mayor. Congratulations Malika and David!

Laura Nix Inventing Tomorrow 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award
Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix

2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Recipient Laura Nix received a grant for audience engagement for her film Inventing Tomorrow from The Kendeda Fund.

Meet the passionate teen innovators from around the globe who dedicate their blood, sweat, and Bunsen burners to craft cutting-edge solutions to the world’s environmental threats and present their findings at the world’s largest high school science competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Inventing Tomorrow, but supported Laura Nix through our Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program in 2016.

And She Could Be Next received a production grant from the Sundance Documentary Fund and is made by a team of women filmmakers of color, including four Nest-supported filmmakers. And She Could Be Next is directed by Grace Lee (2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient and director of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs), Yoruba Richen (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient), Deborah S. Esquenazi (Southwest of Salem) , and Geeta Gandbhir (director of A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, producer of Love the Sinner,  and 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) as well as Anayansi Prado, Ramona Emerson, Amber Fares, and Marjan Safinia.

Another special congratulations to Anna Fitch for her grant for production on her new project Heaven Through the Backdoor, which she is co-directing with Banker White. Anna Fitch previously received support on her work in Survivors from Chicken & Egg Pictures, also co-directed with Banker White.

Congratulations also to Violeta Ayala (director of Nest-supported Cocaine Prisonon receiving production support for her new feature documentary, The Fight.

What an incredible group of women-directed projects! Congratulations to all.

 

 

The Nest at 2018 Human Rights Watch Film Festival

The 2018 Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF) in New York City will feature four Chicken & Egg-supported films and filmmakers! Make sure to catch a screening of the following films if you happen to be in the New York City area between June 14-21!

You can look at the full list of the documentaries featured here.

A Thousand Girls Like Me*, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellow Initiative)A Thousand Girls Like Me*, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellow Initiative) Naila and the Uprising directed by Julia Bacha at 2018 Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

In Afghanistan where systematic abuses of girls rarely come to light, and seeking justice can be deadly, one young woman says “Enough.” Khatera was brutally raped by her father since the age of nine and today she raises two precious and precocious children whom he sired. Against her family’s and many Afghanis’ wishes, Khatera forces her father to stand trial. This is her incredible story of love, hope, bravery, forgiveness, and truth.

Screening(s):

June 19, 9 pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center

June 20, 7 pm at the IFC Center

Get your tickets here.

*A Thousand Girls Like Me will have its US premiere at the 2018 HRWFF.

Naila and the Uprising*, directed by Julia Bacha
Naila and the Uprising directed by Julia Bacha at 2018 Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Weaving together interviews, news footage, and expressive animation, award-winning documentarian Julia Bacha inventively chronicles the remarkable journey of Naila Ayesh, who in the late 1980s joined a clandestine movement of Palestinian women who played a pivotal role in the nonviolent uprising known as the First Intifada.

Screening(s):

June 16, 7 pm at IFC Center

Get your tickets here.

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support Naila and the Uprising but supported director Julia Bacha’s film, Budrus.

On Her Shoulders*, directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient)On Her Shoulders*, directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient)

This empowering documentary presents 23-year-old Nadia Murad, a Yazidi genocide survivor determined to tell the world her story. Determined advocate and reluctant celebrity, she becomes the voice of her people and their best hope to spur the world to action.

Screening(s):

June 14, 7 pm at the Film Society of Lincoln center’s Walter reade theatre

Get your tickets here.

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support On Her Shoulders but supported director Julia Alexandria Bombach through the SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award.

The Unafraid*, directed by Heather Courtney and Anayansi Prado (2017 Chicken & Egg Pictures mentee)The Unafraid*, directed by Heather Courtney and Anayansi Prado (2017 Chicken & Egg Pictures mentee)

High School seniors Alejandro, Silvia, and Aldo, like most of their friends, are eager to go to college and pursue their education. However, their home state of Georgia not only bans them from attending the top five public universities, but also deems them ineligible for in-state tuition at public colleges due to their immigration status as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. In response, these three ambitious and dream-filled students divert their passions towards the fight for education in the undocumented community. As President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric against immigrants gains momentum, and amid constant threat of losing their DACA status and being deported, The Unafraid follows these inspirational members of the generation of “undocumented, unapologetic and unafraid” young people who are determined to overcome and dismantle oppressive policies and mindsets.

Screening(s):

June 21, 7 pm at IFC Center

You can buy tickets to the Human Rights Watch Film Festival here.

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support The Unafraid but supported director Anayansi Prado’s film, Children in No Man’s Land.