Two Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported Films Win at Sundance!

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival Awards were announced Tuesday, February 3. We were egg-static to see two Nest-supported films receive major awards from the Park City festival, which was held online from January 28 to Wednesday, February 3. 


Users, directed by Natalia Almada

Natalia Almada received the “Directing Award: U.S. Documentary” for Users.

Natalia Almada worked on Users during her 2018 Chicken & Egg Award year and the project participated in NEXT GEN EGG. Check out the film’s Sundance page here.


Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab

Writing With Fire received the “Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary” and “World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change.”

Writing With Fire participated in our 2018 (Egg)elerator Lab and NEXT GEN EGG. Check out the film’s Sundance page here.


A special congratulations to AlumNest filmmaker Camilla Nielsson (Democrats) on her “World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Vérité Filmmaking” for President!

Nest-supported Films at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival

We’re soaring (digitally) into the 2021 Sundance Film Festival this month, taking place from Thursday, January 28 to Wednesday, February 3. Tickets are now on sale to see the following Nest-supported filmmakers and films from anywhere in the United States: 

Users, directed by Natalia Almada

“A mother wonders, will my children love their perfect machines more than they love me, their imperfect mother? She switches on a smart-crib lulling her crying baby to sleep. This perfect mother is everywhere. She watches over us, takes care of us. We listen to her. We trust her.”
Natalia Almada worked on Users during her 2018 Chicken & Egg Award year and the project participated in NEXT GEN EGG. Check out the film’s Sundance page here.


Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab

In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.
Writing With Fire participated in our 2018 (Egg)elerator Lab and NEXT GEN EGG. Check out the film’s Sundance page here.


The Changing Same — Lead Artists: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster, and Yasmin Elayat

Changing Same Michèle Stephenson Joe Brewster Impact Innovation Initiative 2018

“This immersive, episodic experience uses time travel and magical realism to pilgrimage through the evolution of racial violence in the U.S., making vital connections between the past and present. Episode 1 introduces the time travel portal—the Cracker House—and begins with a police altercation in a quiet suburb of modern-day New Jersey. The police altercation leads to mass incarceration and a slave warehouse, while hurtling toward a glimpse of a radiant post-racial utopia.”
The Changing Same received a 2017 Impact and Innovation Grant, a past Chicken & Egg Pictures program. You need a Desktop-tethered VR Headset to participate; learn more about the project here.


AlumNest Filmmakers

Our AlumNest is the 325+ women and gender nonconforming filmmakers we have supported in our sixteen years as an organization. Check out these projects by supported filmmakers at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival:

Bring Your Own Brigade, directed by Lucy Walker (The Lion’s Mouth Opens)

Prison X – Chapter 1 : The Devil and The Sun — Lead Artists: Violeta Ayala (Cocaine Prison), Alap Parikh, Maria Corvera Vargas, Roly Elias

Try Harder! directed by Debbie Lum (Seeking Asian Female)

President, directed by Camilla Nielsson (Democrats)

In The Same Breath, directed by Nanfu Wang (2018 Chicken & Egg Award, One Child Nation)

Nishtha Jain: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 12

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.


Nishtha Jain is a multi-award-winning filmmaker based in Mumbai. She’s best known for her films Gulabi Gang (2012), Lakshmi and Me (2007), and City of Photos (2004). She’s been exploring the human condition in its myriad states. Politics of image making and self-representation, complexities of social hierarchies, women’s movements, and workers’ struggles have been some of the themes that her films have dealt with. She’s a graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and A.J.K. Mass Communication Research Centre, New Delhi. She’s a Fulbright Scholar (2019), Global Media Maker (2019) at Film Independent, Los Angeles, and Chicken & Egg Award Recipient (2020). 

Still from Gulabi Gang, directed by Nishtha Jain

A recipient of two Indian National Film Awards and over 23 international awards, her films have been extensively shown in international film festivals and art-house cinemas and broadcast on international TV networks. She has served as a juror at several international festivals including IDFA and Zurich Film Festival. In 2020, Nishtha joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

She has given master classes and/or made artist presentations at universities including Stanford, NYU, Wellesley, Cambridge, St. Andrews, University of London, Heidelberg, Concordia, Danish Film School, and Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. When she’s not making films, she’s teaching, writing, and actively participating in social and political movements in India.

Yoruba Richen: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 10

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.


The New Black Yoruba RichenYoruba Richen is a 2016 Chicken & Egg Award filmmaker whose work explores issues of race, space, and power. She has directed films in the US and abroad, including The New Black, Promised Land, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom, and most recently The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show. Yoruba received the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access, was a Sundance Producers Fellow, is a featured TED Speaker and a Guggenheim Fellow. She is director of the documentary program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. 

Her last film, The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show was selected for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and is a Peacock Original. Her previous film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom was broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel to record audiences and was awarded the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking.

Yoruba is currently working on How It Feels To Be Free, a two-part documentary chronicling how black entertainers like Lena Horne and Cicely Tyson navigated the industry and took control of their own images, all while fighting for civil rights through their art and actions.

The New Black Yoruba Richen
Still from The New Black, directed by Yoruba Richen

Kimberly Reed: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 2

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

2020 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Kimberly Reed’s most recent film, Dark Money, tells the story of a Montana fighting to preserve open and honest elections. The film was an award-winning selection at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and promptly named one of Vogue’s “66 Best Documentaries of All Time,” nominated for Best Feature at the IDA Awards, and nominated for four Critics’ Choice Awards. The Nest-supported film was also on the 2019 Oscar shortlist. Dark Money is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video with PBS Documentaries. 

Dark Money Kimberly Reed Chicken & Egg Pictures
Still from Dark Money, directed by Kimberly Reed

Kim also directed and produced the Cinema Eye Honors-winning Prodigal Sons, the the first documentary by a transgender filmmaker to be theatrically released; produced, edited, and wrote Paul Goodman Changed My Life; and produced The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (Netflix). She was one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” and her work in broader artistic fields has also been acclaimed: she was published in The New York Times for “The Moth: 50 True Stories,” and has co-authored four operas, including As One, the most frequently produced American opera in the 21st century. Her film projections for opera have been called “worthy of Fellini or Bergman” (SF Classical Voice).

During the 2020 Chicken & Egg Award, Kimberly is working on The Gender Project, which uses bold cinematic language to confront the dichotomy of gender, exploding binary myths with scientific, historical, and cultural revelations.

Nest News: July 13–19

Nest-supported documentary Paper Children Launches Impact Campaign:

Alexandra Codina Unaccompanied Children 2017 Accelerator Lab
Paper Children, directed by Alexandra Codina

“As we face one of the most challenging times in modern history, with much collective grief and loss, we have the opportunity to honor and uphold our strength and legacy as a country of immigrants.”

Director Alexandra Codina launched the impact campaign for her Nest-supported film Paper Children (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab), including an op-ed published in The Miami Herald and a co-authored post with other activists in asylum and immigrant rights on Medium, both are calls to action to help protect asylum seekers and to speak out against proposed asylum regulations in the US. Read more here: 

The Miami Herald: This is the worst time yet to gut asylum protections for those fleeing persecutionAlexandra Codina

Medium: Asylum is a humanitarian issue. It has been corrupted by politics. — Alexandra Codina, Americans for Immigrant Justice, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and others 

Paper Children is available to stream on Youtube


Firelight Media’s “Beyond Resilience” Series Continues This Week

Loira Limbal, Senior Vice President for Programs at Firelight Media and 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee for Through the Night, will be featured on another Beyond Resilience panel Friday, July 17 at 2 pm ET. 

Beyond Resilience: The Black Gaze — Join Firelight Media for a conversation with Black filmmakers on how they are navigating the ubiquitous images of Black trauma in this moment, documenting Black life, and forging new cinematic languages, practices, and formal approaches.

The Beyond Resilience series is available on Firelight Media’s Youtube channel if you cannot make the live webinar. 


Ramona Diaz Premieres Trailer for A Thousand Cuts Announces Theatrical Run:

Production still from A Thousand Cuts, directed by Ramona Diaz

2018 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Ramona Diaz premiered the trailer for A Thousand Cuts and announced a virtual theatrical run nationwide, via Deadline.

As the United States goes through its own journey of civic unrest and social change, the Philippines is going through its own journey that is having a substantial political impact on the Asian archipelago and as seen in Ramona S. Diaz’s Sundance documentary A Thousand Cuts, which is set to open in theaters and in virtual theaters nationwide on August 7, the reverberations may have global consequences.

Deadline: ‘A Thousand Cuts’ Trailer: Ramona S. Diaz’s Docu About Journalist Maria Ressa And Press Freedom In Duterte’s Philippines Sets Theatrical Run Dino-Ray Ramos

The trailer for A Thousand Cuts is available to watch on Youtube.


Nest Screenings at DOC NYC

This year’s DOC NYC runs Wednesday, November 6 to Friday, November 15 at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village and Chelsea’s SVA Theatre and Cinépolis Chelsea. The 10th edition of the all-documentary film festival brings the New York premiere of (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Mr Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, screenings of two other Nest-supported films (One Child Nation, American Factory), plus five films AlumNest filmmakers screening throughout the fest.

Read more about these women-helmed films and get your tickets below:

Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man 

2016 (Egg)celerator Lab

Flush Revolution Lily Zepeda 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative

Jack Sim wants to talk to you about your toilet. When the charismatic Singaporean millionaire learned that nearly a third of the world doesn’t have access to proper sanitation, he set out to make a difference through his World Toilet Foundation. Cleverly using humor to get attention for his cause, Sim highlights the need for investment in this basic public health issue. Now he’s ready to plunge into his biggest challenge—securing six million toilets as part of India’s sanitation initiative.

Directed by Lily Zepeda; Produced by Tchavdar Georgiev, Lily Zepeda, and Eugene Efuni
Thursday, November 14 at 7:30 pm | tickets here

One Child Nation

2017 (Egg)celerator Lab

China’s one-child policy ended in 2015, but it has had a haunting impact on several generations of Chinese families. After the birth of her own child, filmmaker Nanfu Wang returns to her village, where she begins an investigation into the controversial population control program. Posing difficult questions to family members, local party officials, journalists and activists, she and co-director Jialing Zhang uncover troubling secrets that have long been kept hidden. 

Directed by Nanfu Wang (2018 Chicken & Egg Award) and Jialing Zhang; Produced by Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christoph Jörg, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn
Friday, Nov. 8 at 11:00am and Thursday, Nov 15 at 6:55pm |  tickets here

American Factory

2016 Chicken & Egg Award

When Dayton, Ohio’s General Motors plant closed in 2008, thousands of blue-collar workers lost their livelihood in a community hard hit by the recession. Eight years later, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory on the same site, bringing back jobs and inspiring newfound hope—until Chinese labor practices clash with the expectations of a formerly unionized American workforce.

Directed by Julia Reichert, Steve Bognar; Produced by Steven Bognar, Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert, and Julia Reichert
Saturday, Nov. 9 at 6:15pm & Monday Nov. 11 at 3:45pm | tickets here

Plus directors Julia and Steve will be receiving the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence, which honors a mid-career filmmaking team that excels in observational filmmaking!

AlumNest Films

Hungry to Learn
Directed by Geeta Gandbhir (2016 Chicken & Egg Award); Produced by Rose Arce and Soledad O’Brien
Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2:15 pm and Sunday, Nov. 10 at 12:40 pm | tickets and more information here

Shoofting the Mafia
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Kim Longinotto (Dreamcatcher); Produced by Niamh Fagan
Saturday, Nov. 9 at 5:15 pm | tickets and more information here

Narrowsburg
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Martha Shane (After Tiller); Produced by Beck Kitsis and Martha Shane
Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4:20 pm | tickets and more information here

Knock Down the House
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Rachel Lears (The Hand That Feeds); Produced by Robin Blotnick, Rachel Lears, and Sarah Olson
Thursday, Nov. 7 at 2:45pm & Monday, Nov. 11 at 8:50 pm | tickets and more information here

The Great Hack
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Jehane Noujaim (The Square) and Karim Amer; Produced by Karim Amer, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Judy Korin, and Pedro Kos
Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6:15pm & Thursday, Nov. 14 at 11:00am | tickets and more information here

Desert One
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Barbara Kopple (A Murder in Mansfield); Produced by Barbara Kopple, David Cassidy, and Eric Forman
Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 at 8:35 pm & Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 2:25 pm | tickets and more information here

See you at DOC NYC, and look out for our supported filmmakers and team members at the DOC NYC PRO conference!

Four Nest-supported Emmy® Winners

Jennifer Brea Unrest
Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea

We’d like to thank The (Television) Academy! These Nest-supported films and filmmakers received awards at the 40th Annual News & Documentary Emmy®s: 

I Am Evidence
Directed by Geeta Gandbhir
Best Documentary 

Armed With Faith
Co-directed by Asad Faruqi, Geeta Gandbhir
Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary

Trans in America: Texas Strong
Directed by Daresha Kyi (Mama Bears)
Outstanding Short Documentary

It Will Be Chaos
Directed by Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo
Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary

And congratulations to Survivors and Unrest for their nominations:

Survivors
Directed by Arthur Pratt, Barmmy Boy, Anna Fitch, Banker White
Outstanding Social Issue Documentary

Unrest
Directed by Jennifer Brea and edited by Emiliano Battista, Kim Roberts
Outstanding Editing: Documentary

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support I Am Evidence or Armed with Faith, but supports director Geeta Gandbhir as a 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient; and did not support the short documentary Trans in America: Texas Strong, but is a supporter of the feature-length documentary Mama Bears, directed by Daresha Kyi, which is a participant of the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab

Don’t miss the (Egg)celerator Lab Pitch at Sheffield Doc/Fest!

Sheffield Doc/Fest kicks off today, Thursday, June 6 and continues into Tuesday, June 11. The world-leading festival celebrates the art of documentary with over 180 screenings of nonfiction films, as well as the business of the film industry, with a packed slate of pitches, funding opportunities, and meetings as part of the Sheffield Doc/Fest Marketplace and MeetMarket

This year, Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to present our third annual (Egg)celerator Lab pitch, in which filmmaking teams from all ten 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees give quick pitches to a live audience of documentary industry folks and receive feedback from international decision makers and buyers.

This year’s pitch session is moderated by award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand, Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Co-Founder and Senior Creative Consultant, and will include a panel of:

  • José Rodriguez of Tribeca Film Institute,
  • Alexandra Hannibal of CNN Films,
  • Jo Lapping of BBC Storyville,
  • Jess Gormley of The Guardian, and
  • Christine Kecher of A&E Networks.

The 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees are:

Anyone with a Sheffield Doc/Fest pass is welcome to sit in on the sessions, learn about the incredible film projects these emerging filmmakers are working on, and hear feedback from panelists. The Chicken & Egg Pictures (Egg)celerator Lab Pitch will take place Sunday, June 9 at 11:00 AM at ITV Town Hall Reception Room B. More information here.

And if you’re at Sheffield Doc/Fest, don’t miss screenings of these Nest-supported films:

One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang

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

One Child Nation is in the running for the The Tim Hetherington Award, supported by Dogwoof. Tickets and screening times are available here.

American Factory, directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steve Bognar*

Dizzying, hilarious and devastating, this tale of two factories makes for a landmark story of workplace anxiety. Directors Reichert and Bognar have spent a decade documenting the plight of Ohio’s factory workers, and their dedication pays off when they are given astonishing access to Fuyao, a Chinese auto glass manufacturer, as it revives a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton.

Tickets and screening times are available here.

Hail Satan?, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)
With humor and searing insight, director Penny Lane debunks misrepresentations about the Satanic Temple. Drawing on extensive access to the organization’s participants, this unflinching examination reveals the controversial religious movement’s aim to shine a light on the hypocrisy around America’s separation of church and state.*

Tickets and screening times are available here.

And a special shoutout to these members of our AlumNest of previously-supported filmmakers:  Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (former Nest grantee for The Hand That Feeds) and The Great Hack, directed by  Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim (former Nest grantee for The Square).

Nest-supported World Premieres at Hot Docs

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival is coming up —Thursday, April 25 to Sunday, May 5 in Toronto, CA—and with it comes some huge news pertaining to the Nest!

Not only will women will comprise 54% of directors at the Canadian festival; three Nest-supported films (Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, The Guardian of Memory, and Buddha In Africa) will be making their world premieres; and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Julia Reichert will receive the  2019 Outstanding Achievement Award, coupled with a curated retrospective of her work throughout the festival, including new documentary American Factory.

Flush Revolution Lily Zepeda 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative

Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, directed by Lily Zepeda (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative [past program]) — World Premiere

To a stranger, he’s quirky, but to those who know the famed Mr. Toilet, he’s the leader of the global sanitation revolution. He grew up in the slums of Singapore with a bucket for a toilet and knows the agonies first hand of what it’s like to go through life without having a proper loo.

2017-Accelerator-Lab_Arteaga_Guardian_of_Memory-3The Guardian of Memory, directed by Marcela Arteaga (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee) — World Premiere

The Juarez Valley, a region once known for cotton production, is now nothing more than burned down houses, empty towns, and memories. Carlos Spector, an immigration lawyer born in El Paso, TX, fights to obtain political asylum for Mexicans fleeing from violence. This is the story of Mexican men, women, and children seeking a respite from their tragedies by heading to their neighboring country, the US. It is also a story about the kindness and hope that still exists in people who have gone through hell, and about Carlos Spector’s tireless efforts to keep memory alive

Buddha in Africa Nicole Schafer

Buddha In Africa, directed by Nicole Schafer — World Premiere

In a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, the film follows Enock Alu, a Malawian boy from a rural village growing up between the contrasting worlds of his traditional African culture and the strict discipline of the Confucian, Buddhist value system of the Chinese. Once the star performer with dreams of becoming a martial arts hero like Jet Li, Enock, in his final year at school, has to make some tough decisions about his future and finds himself torn between returning to his relatives in the village or going abroad to study in China. Against the backdrop of China’s expanding global influence, the film evokes some of the tensions surrounding the growing relationship between China and Africa.

One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang

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

Jacqueline Olive Always in Season

Always In Season (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab), directed by Jacqueline Olive

When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.

American Factory, directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steve Bognar*

Dizzying, hilarious and devastating, this tale of two factories makes for a landmark story of workplace anxiety. Directors Reichert and Bognar have spent a decade documenting the plight of Ohio’s factory workers, and their dedication pays off when they are given astonishing access to Fuyao, a Chinese auto glass manufacturer, as it revives a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton.

In addition to American Factory, the Outstanding Achievement Retrospective of Julia Reichert’s work which will screen throughout the festival will include Growing Up Female, considered the first feature documentary of the modern women’s movement; Union Maids, in which women look back on the Depression-era trade unionist crusade; and A Lion in the House, the Emmy-winning film which follows five children battling cancer over the course of six years, as well as others.

The following films directed by Nest-supported filmmakers will also be featured at Hot Docs: Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (director of Nest-supported film The Hand That Feeds with Robin Blotnick) and Shooting the Mafia, directed by Kim Longinotto (director of Nest-supported film Dreamcatcher).

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support American Factory  but supported director Julia Reichert during her Chicken & Egg Award year.