Welcome Deepa Donde to our Board!

Headshot of Deepa Donde.

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce our newest Board Member, Deepa Donde. Deepa is an independent film, television, and radio producer based in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared on the following outlets: NPR, Huffington Post, PBS, BBC, CBS, and NBC. In addition to her work with the Futuro Media Group, Deepa also serves on the board of The Austin Film Festival. She has in the past served on the advisory boards of Fusebox: Contemporary Multi-Disciplinary Art Festival, Youth Radio (NPR’s premier provider for youth-oriented content), Girls Impact The World Film Festival, as well as on the board of Ballet Austin.

Deepa received her Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in Medieval History from Brown University. She is close to completing her first independent narrative feature film, PERIPHERY, and developing a documentary feature.

Deepa says of joining our Board, “Documentary filmmaking is one of the most powerful forms of truth-telling. Chicken and Egg Pictures transforms our world with creativity, freedom, and the unique expression of storytelling. I love how this incredible organization champions both emerging and veteran filmmakers from all over the world. I am honored and delighted to join this Board, which so strongly supports women and now gender-expansive voices to be global catalysts for change. Let’s celebrate the next generation of storytellers like Maite Alberdi whose film, The Eternal Memory, a beautiful love story, captures the power of optimism, courage, and hope.”

Welcome to the Chicken & Egg Pictures Board, Deepa! 

Announcing Nekisa Cooper as our Board President!

Chicken & Egg Pictures announced today via Realscreen that Nekisa Cooper will succeed Julie Parker Benello as President of its Board of Directors. Nekisa, who joined the Board of Directors in 2021 and has served as Vice President since January 2023, will assume the new role as of January 1, 2024.

Julie co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures with Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand in 2005. She served as the first Board President, a role she has held since the Board of Directors was established in 2016, and will continue as a member of the Board. 

Nekisa is a creative producer and content executive who has dedicated her career to elevating under-recognized voices. Her producing credits include two Chicken & Egg Pictures supported films, the feature film Pariah, which is part of the Criterion Collection and the American National Film Registry, and the Sundance Channel documentary Eventual Salvation. She was most recently Vice President of Content at MasterClass, the number one e-learning brand. Under her leadership, the industry-disrupting library was built from a concept to over 175 MasterClasses featuring diverse figures as Hillary Clinton, Mira Nair, Spike Lee, Roxane Gay, Massimo Bottura, Stephen Curry, and Shonda Rhimes. 

In addition to co-founding Chicken & Egg Pictures, Julie is the founder of Secret Sauce Media. She produced Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s Academy Award® winning feature documentary American Factory and Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s Emmy® Award winning Athlete A. Most recently, she produced longtime collaborator Judith Helfand’s Love & Stuff as well as Sarah Jones’ feature debut Sell Buy Date.

Jenni Wolfson, CEO of Chicken & Egg Pictures said:

“We are thrilled to welcome Nekisa Cooper as the new President of the Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Board of Directors. And we are immensely grateful to Julie Parker Benello–a force in the documentary field and a champion of women and non-binary filmmakers–for her exemplary leadership serving as Board President. Julie’s generosity and commitment to the organization is evidenced by her continuing role as Board Director.”

She continued:

“Nekisa has a long relationship with the organization. First as a grantee, then, the first-ever recipient of the Chicken & Egg Pictures Creative Producing Award in 2012, and as a board member over the past two years. Her expertise in storytelling, producing, documentary film, management, and strategic thinking will be tremendously valuable to the organization. I am honored to be expanding our collaboration with Nekisa in this next chapter of the organization.”

Nekisa Cooper said: 

“I’m honored to deepen my service to the Chicken & Egg Pictures mission, staff, board, and our filmmakers. Meeting Julie, Judith, and Wendy during my early career was critical because it was incredibly challenging for an outsider, particularly a lesbian woman of color, to create impactful work and build a sustainable career. Being a board member over the past two years has brought my journey full circle and given me the valuable opportunity to witness their transformational outcomes and radically thoughtful ways of working. I’m thrilled to build upon Julie’s leadership and to support Chicken & Egg in fostering a more gender-inclusive industry.” 

Julie Parker Benello said: 

“I’m delighted to pass the baton as Board President of Chicken & Egg Pictures to Nekisa, whom I have long admired as a creative producer with her business background and acumen, strategic mind, and depth of character. I am excited to see where the organization goes next under Nekisa’s board leadership, particularly as we broaden our work to serve greater numbers of filmmakers. Nekisa is the right person for the job at this juncture in Chicken & Egg’s history. I look forward to continuing to serve alongside her and my fellow board members of the organization I co-founded and love dearly.”

Welcome Félix Endara to our Board!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce our newest Board Member: Félix Endara. Félix is a bilingual creative professional splitting his time between his native Ecuador and New York City. He has worked in filmmaking, philanthropy, and arts administration, collaborating with organizations such as the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New Orleans Film Festival, and the Open Society Foundations. His films have screened at prestigious film festivals including Berlinale, DOC NYC, and Mill Valley. Félix is Chair of the Board of Working Films, an organization that convenes documentary filmmakers and grassroots activists to advance social justice. He is also the Co-Chair of the Trans/Intersex Task Force within the Global Philanthropy Project, which gathers funders whose goal is to expand philanthropic support to LGBTQI communities. An alum of the “Art of Leadership” at the Rockwood Leadership Institute, Félix has served on selection committees for Art for Justice, BlackStar Film Festival, Creative Capital, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, Tribeca Film Festival, among many others. He currently serves as Senior Program Associate for the Mesoamerica program at the Foundation for a Just Society, a private foundation that supports feminist movements around the world.

Félix says of joining our Board, “I am honored to join the Board of Directors of Chicken & Egg Pictures, an organization passionately dedicated to championing women and non-binary documentary filmmakers. I am eager to collaborate with my fellow Board members, and learn from the remarkable Chicken & Egg Pictures AlumNest filmmakers who are making an indelible mark on the world of documentary cinema. Here’s to a future where documentary film continues to act as a catalyst for empowerment and change.”

Welcome to the Chicken & Egg Pictures Board, Félix! 

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. 

Announcing the Newest Members of Our Board of Directors

Chicken & Egg Pictures Board members (left to right): Brenda Robinson and Patty Quillin

Our Nest is growing. Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce two new additions to our Board of Directors: Brenda Robinson and Patty Quillin. Members of our Board of Directors serve an official role for Chicken & Egg Pictures, offering constructive feedback, guidance, and independent oversight of our work.

Chicken & Egg Pictures Board member Brenda Robinson.Brenda Robinson is an entertainment attorney and Chicago native who currently serves as Director of Business Development for the Los Angeles law firm Greenberg Glusker LLP. Brenda’s prior law practice focused on intellectual property and entertainment matters on behalf of clients in the music, film, and television industries. Throughout her career, Brenda has provided counsel to numerous recording artists, musicians and composers, actors and actresses, production companies, authors, arts organizations, athletes, entertainers, and social media influencers.

Chicken & Egg Pictures Board member Patty Quillin.

Patty Quillin is the Director of Meadow Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Patty strongly believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive in healthy, just, and sustainable communities. This vision has guided her philanthropic work for the past 25 years in a broad range of fields, from the environment and sustainable food systems to criminal justice reform and empowering women and girls. Patty is inspired by the passion of filmmakers in their mission to educate audiences and galvanize change. She is a patron of Sundance Institute and Chicken & Egg Pictures, and is a member of Impact Partners.  

Welcome Brenda and Patty! To find out more about them and the rest of our Board, see here.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.