Meet Our Seven New Project: Hatched Grantees! 🐣

Project: Hatched 2021 grantees

Chicken & Egg Pictures proudly announced via Women & Hollywood seven new grantees of our 2021 Project: Hatched program. Both short- and feature-length projects will participate. Each project receives $20,000 toward film completion and impact campaigns and filmmaking teams participate in a six-month program with tailored mentorship and goal-setting.

“From water rights to reproductive health, the subjects of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ newest grantees are ones that come up constantly in our cultural and political conversations. These seven films push past the headlines to reveal intimate character studies that investigate how social issues impact everyday lives,” said Program Director Lucila Moctezuma. “For the first time in our Project: Hatched program, two short films were selected alongside features. Not only can shorts act as critical stepping stones to help emerging filmmakers build careers, but they also have strong potential to create impact and engage broader audiences.” 

Please click the granted films titles for more information on each project, and give these passionate and committed women and gender nonconforming directors a warm welcome to the Nest!

And So I Stayed

Directors & producers: Natalie Pattillo, Daniel A. Nelson (SINGAPORE/UNITED STATES)

And So I Stayed is a documentary about survivors of domestic violence who are unjustly incarcerated for killing their abusers in self-defense.

Daughter of a Lost Bird

Director & producer: Brooke Pepion Swaney (UNITED STATES) 
Producers: Jeri Rafter, Kendra Mylnechuk Potter

A Native adoptee reconnects with her birth family and her Lummi heritage—confronting her identity. Her singular story represents many affected by the Indian Child Welfare Act and Indian Adoption Project in the US.

Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

Director & producer: Ann Kaneko (UNITED STATES)
Producer: Jin Yoo-Kim 

This film poetically weaves together memories of Payahuunadü, “the land of flowing water,” where Native Americans, Japanese-Americans, and environmentalists defend land and water from Los Angeles.

I’m Free Now, You Are Free 

Director: Ash Goh Hua (SINGAPORE) 
Producer: Arielle Knight

I’m Free Now, You Are Free is a short documentary about the reunion and repair between Mike Africa Jr. and his mother Debbie Africa—a formerly incarcerated political prisoner of the MOVE 9.

On The Divide

Directors: Maya Cueva, Leah Galant (UNITED STATES) 
Producers: Melanie Miller, Diane Becker, Amanda Spain, Elizabeth Woodward

On The Divide follows the story of three Latinx people living in McAllen, Texas who, despite their views, are connected by the most unexpected of places: the last abortion clinic on the US/Mexico border. As threats to the clinic and their personal safety mount, these three are forced to make decisions they never could have imagined.

Change The Name

Director & producer: Cai Thomas (UNITED STATES) 
Producer: Donald Conley

Student activists and educators from Village Leadership Academy campaign to change the name of a park from a slaveholder to abolitionists Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.

Storm Lake 

Directors: Beth Levison, Jerry Risius (UNITED STATES) 
Producer: Beth Levison

Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Cullen and his family fight to protect their Iowan farming community through their biweekly newspaper, The Storm Lake Times—come hell or pandemic.

Read more about Project: Hatched.

Post by 2021 Communications Intern Mariana Sanson. 

Nest filmmakers and staff at the 2021 Gotham Week Conference!

The 2021 Gotham Week Conference started this Sunday, September 19 and will run through Friday, September 24, with public panels and workshops exploring storytelling through film, TV, and audio. This year’s edition will focus on how the pandemic pushed media and entertainment to reinvent itself as well as focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Their programming will feature the work of a number of filmmakers from the AlumNest: Amber Fares, Jessica Devaney, Nanfu Wang, and Beth Levison; plus 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees Jude Chehab and 2019 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Kimberly Reed are participating in theGotham Week (Virtual) Project Market.

Collaboration in convergence

Sunday, September 19 

4:00 –⁠ 5:00 pm EDT 

A conversation with the filmmaking team behind Netflix’s Convergence: Courage In A Crisis,  where they will discuss the tools and tactics they used to create a globally collaborative film. Featuring Nest-supported filmmaker Amber Fares (Speed Sisters)

Women Owned Production Companies — Creating Your Path to Career Sustainability

Monday, September 20

10:00 am –⁠ 11:00 am EDT  

A conversation between the leaders of women owned production companies discussing the difficulties they face to produce the work they want to make and build a strategic and long-lasting career. Featuring Nest-supported filmmaker and friend Jessica Devaney (Love the Sinner)

Exploring In the Same Breath

Dir. Nanfu Wang, prods. Nanfu Wang, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, Sara Rodriguez, and Jialing Zhang

Thursday, September 23 

1:00 pm –⁠ 2:00 pm EDT  

A conversation with the production team of In the Same Breath, directed by 2017 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Nanfu Wang and produced by current Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Jialing Zhang.

More than money: How film commissioners and other partnerships can help nurture your next project sponsored

Friday, September 24 

12:00 pm –⁠ 1:00 pm EDT 

Panel: learn how a film commissioner can become a meaningful partner to help build the collaborations that give a more authentic dimension to film projects. Featuring Beth Levison (producer of Made in Boise

Free access through IGTV


Gotham Week (Virtual) Project Market

Still from Q
Still from Q

Q  (2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee)

dir & prod. Jude Chehab

The Gender Project 

dir. Kimberly Reed (2020 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient) 

prods. Louise Rosen & Robin Honan


AlumNest Films

  • Boycott, directed by 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Julia Bacha, prods. Suhad Babaa & Danel Chalfen
  • HER, directed by 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Geeta Gandbhir, prods. Sonita Gale & Austyn Biggers
  • JFK8 (working title), directed by AlumNest filmmaker Brett Story, prods. Marianne Verrone & Samantha Curley
  • Coexistence, My Ass!, directed by Nest-supported filmmaker Amber Fares, prods. Rachel Leah Jones & Rabab Haj Yahya 

Meet Our Team at CIFF

Headshot Jaad Asante
Headshot Iva Dimitrova

Representing Chicken & Egg Pictures, our Program Coordinator Iva Dimitrova and Filmmaker Engagement Manager Jaad Asante will be participating in the Gotham Week (Virtual) Project Market and taking meetings with women and gender nonconforming filmmakers and producers with projects in all stages of production.


Check the 2021 Gotham Week Conference here and get your tickets here.

Post by 2021 Summer Communications Intern Mariana Sanson. 

Nest-supported Films at AFI Docs

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

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.

Jacqueline Olive Always in Season

Always In Season (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab), directed by Jacqueline Olive will screen as part of the Truth and Justice selection, with director Jacqueline Olive in attendance for both screenings.

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).