Penny Lane: Dozen Days of Filmmakers – Day 7

Penny Lane 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker AwardChicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Penny Lane is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film”. Penny has been making innovative nonfiction films for over a decade, including three features – The Pain of Others, NUTS! and Our Nixon – and about a dozen short films. Her most recent feature documentary, The Pain of Others, a YouTube compilation film about Morgellons, screened at BAMcinemaFest and Sheffield Doc/Fest and was featured in The New Yorker.

In September, she was honored at Open City Documentary Film Festival in London as part of their “Penny Lane: Observing Observation Itself” program, which included screenings of two of Penny’s feature films and eight of her shorts.

She received her MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her BA in American Culture and Media Studies at Vassar College. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Colgate University, where she lives in a very old house and shows movies in her barn.

Her new feature documentary, Hail Satan?, is “a look at the intersection of religion and activism, tracing the rise of The Satanic Temple: only six years old and already one of the most controversial religious movements in American history”. It was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and will have its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Penny Lane is a Chicken & Egg Pictures 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name.

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Kimi Takesue: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 6

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Kimi TakesueKimi Takesue is an award-winning filmmaker and recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships in Film. Takesue’s ten films have screened at over two hundred festivals/museums internationally including the Sundance Film Festival, the Locarno Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, SXSW, and the Museum of Modern Art and have aired on PBS, IFC, Comcast, and SundanceTV.

Takesue’s critically acclaimed Ugandan feature-length documentary Where Are You Taking Me? was commissioned by the International Film Festival Rotterdam and premiered at the festival, followed by screenings at MoMA’s Doc Fortnight and the LA Film Festival. The film was theatrically released by Icarus Films, was a Critics’ Pick by Time Out New York and LA Weekly and was described by The New York Times as, “Fascinating…an unusual, visually rich visit to the nation.”

Her recent feature documentary 95 and 6 to Go was nominated for the prestigious 2017 Doc Alliance Selection Award and screened at over twenty-five international festivals including CPH:DOX, DOK Leipzig, Doclisboa, FIDMarseille and DOC NYC.

Takesue Kimi 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award 95 and 6 To Go
95 and 6 To Go, directed by Kimi Takesue

In 95 and 6 To GoKimi Takesue captures the cadence of daily life for Grandpa Tom, a retired postal worker born to Japanese immigrants to Hawai’i in the 1910’s. Amidst the solitude of his home routines – coupon clipping, rigging an improvised barbecue, lighting firecrackers on the New Year – we glimpse an unexpectedly rich inner life. As his granddaughter queries his history of love and loss, a stalled film project becomes a collaborative inquiry into mortality and how one constructs a personal narrative with memories that span almost a century.

Shot over six years in Honolulu, this intimate meditation on absence and family expands the vernacular of the “home movie” to consider how history is accumulated in the everyday and how sparks of humor and creativity can animate an ordinary life.

Kimi Takesue is a 2018 Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient. 

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Julia Reichert: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 1

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Julia Reichert is a three-time Academy Award® nominated documentary filmmaker based in Ohio whose work focuses on class, gender, and race in the lives of Americans.

In 1971, frustrated with the lack of distribution options for films by and about women, she co-founded New Day Films, the democratically run documentary film distribution cooperative. Forty-seven years later, New Day Films is going strong, and now has over 150 active members.

Julia’s first film, Growing Up Female, was the first feature documentary of the modern Women’s Movement. It was recently selected for the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Her films Union Maids and Seeing Red were nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Feature Documentary, as was The Last Truck, a short (co-directed with Steven Bognar) which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and on HBO.  Her film A Lion in the House (an ITVS co-production, made with Bognar) premiered at Sundance, screened nationally on PBS, and won the Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking. She co-wrote and directed the feature film Emma and Elvis. Julia is also the author of Doing It Yourself, the first book on self-distribution in independent film, and was an Advisory Board member of Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP).

The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, directed by Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar

Her most recent feature film with Steven BognarAmerican Factorywill have its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. American Factory tells the story of a Chinese billionaire who opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant in post-industrial Ohio, hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.*

Julia was recently awarded the Career Achievement Award at the 2018 International Documentary Awards (alongside the Chicken & Egg Pictures team for the Amicus Award) for her incredible contributions to documentary filmmaking. 

In 2019, the Museum of Modern Art and the Wexner Center for the Arts will team up to present a traveling retrospective of Julia Reichert’s films.

Julia is a 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient.

*Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival. 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

The Nest at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival

Chicken & Egg Pictures is coming to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival! In addition to seeing our filmmakers soar, we are delighted that they are contributing to a festival where 40% of selected films are directed by one or more women, and 53% percent of the directors eligible for the festival’s top prize are women. 

The following Nest-supported projects and filmmakers from our Accelerator Lab and Breakthrough Filmmaker Award programs, along with several directors from our AlumNest, will be celebrating their world premieres.

Jacqueline Olive Always in Season
Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive

Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive (2018 Accelerator Lab)

As the trauma of a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present, Always in Season follows relatives of the perpetrators and victims in communities across the country who are seeking justice and reconciliation in the midst of racial profiling and police shootings. In Bladenboro, NC, the film connects historic racial terrorism to racial violence today with the story of Claudia Lacy who grieves as she fights to get an FBI investigation opened into the death of her seventeen-year-old son, Lennon Lacy, found hanging from a swing set on August 29, 2014. Claudia, like many others, believes Lennon was lynched.

One Child Nation, 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.

Director Nanfu Wang is also a recipient of the 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award.

American Factory*, directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award)

In post-industrial Ohio, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant, hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.**

Hail Satan*, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award)

A look at the intersection of religion and activism, tracing the rise of The Satanic Temple: only six years old and already one of the most controversial religious movements in American history. The Temple is calling for a Satanic revolution to save the nation’s soul. But are they for real?**

In addition, the following films directed by Nest-supported filmmakers will be featured at the festival:

Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (director of Nest-supported film The Hand That Feeds with Robin Blotnick)

Shooting the Mafia, directed by Kim Longinotto (director of Nest-supported film Dreamcatcher)

The Great Hack, directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim (Jehane is the director of the Nest-supported film The Square)

The Sundance Film Festival will run from January 24 to February 3, 2019. Congratulations to all, and we will see you in Park City! 

 

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support American Factory and Hail Satan but supported director Julia Reichert and director Penny Lane during their Breakthrough years.

**Synopses courtesy of Sundance Film Festival.

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.

 

 

Chicken & Egg Pictures Receives IDA Amicus Award

Earlier this month, Nest-supported Dark Money and United Skates were included in the International Documentary Association (IDA) Shortlist for Top Feature and as well as nominated for the IDA Award for Best Feature of 2018.

And last week, we received more good news from the International Documentary Association. Chicken & Egg Pictures is being recognized with the prestigious Amicus Award. We’re in good company too, with past recipients including Stephen Spielberg, Norman and Lyn Lear, and our dear Nest friend and Fork Films President and CEO Abigail Disney.

The Amicus Award “honors individuals or organizations in recognition of their work supporting the essential needs of the nonfiction media landscape,” and we humbly thank IDA for this extraordinary recognition. In an environment where the need to amplify women’s voices is receiving much needed attention, this award will serve to further elevate the importance of their stories.

Julia Reichert 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker AwardWe would like to extend a special congratulations to 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient Julia Reichert for her well-earned Career Achievement Award. Thank you Julia, for your incredible contributions to documentary filmmaking. We are so happy for you and cannot wait to celebrate your achievements.

Dawn Porter 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker AwardWe also congratulate 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient Dawn Porter for her nomination for Best Limited Series for her Netflix doc series Bobby Kennedy for President. Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Bobby Kennedy for President but supported Dawn during her breakthrough year and past projects Trapped and The Chosen Life. Congratulations Dawn and good luck!

The IDA Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 8 at the Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles.  We’ll see you there!

The Nest in the Inaugural DOC NYC 40 Under 40

The DOC NYC Film Festival recently released their inaugural 40 Under 40 List, sponsored by Topic Studios, honoring documentary talents under the age of 40. Of the 40 artists selected, over half are women. Congratulations to all on this honor!

Assia Boundaoui, director of The Feeling of Being Watched (2016 Accelerator Lab and recipient of The Whickers Chicken & Egg Pictures Award)

Lyric R. Cabral, director of (T)ERROR and The Rashomon Effect (2017 Accelerator Lab)

Nausheen Dadabhoy, director of An Act of Worship (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

Jessica Devaney, co-director of Love the Sinner (2016 Impact and Innovation Initiative), and producer of the Nest-supported films Always in Season, The Feeling of Being Watched, Roll Red Roll,  and Speed Sisters.

Sabaah Folayan, director of Whose Streets? (2016 Accelerator Lab). Whose Streets? premiered on PBS on July 30.

Lana Wilson, director of The Departure and After Tiller

Farihah Zaman, co-director of Remote Area Medical

And congratulations to our other Nest friends!

Check out more DOC NYC news from the Nest.

Taking Flight at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Nest-supported filmmakers are taking flight at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, the oldest all-documentary festival in North America. Its 27th year will kick off on Friday, October 19 and run to Saturday, October 27 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Here are the Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films, filmmakers, and friends to see in Hot Springs.

Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal

Monday, October 22 at  10:00AM, Cinema One.

Blowin’ Up looks at sex work, prostitution, and human trafficking through the lens of New York State’s criminal justice system. The film captures the growing pains of our nation’s first human trafficking intervention court in Queens, New York, and how we define trafficking and prostitution from many different perspectives: the criminal justice system, the social welfare system, and, most importantly, the women and girls who are at the center of it all.

The Devil We Know, directed by Stephanie Soechtig

Wednesday, October 24 at 10:00 AM, Cinema Two.

Unraveling one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time, a group of citizens in West Virginia take on a powerful corporation after they discover it has knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical—now found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans—into the drinking water supply.

Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman

Saturday, October 20 at 2:30 PM, Cinema Two.

In small-town Ohio, at a pre-season football party, a horrible incident took place. What transpired would garner national attention and result in the sentencing of two key offenders. As amateur crime blogger Alex Goddard uncovers disturbing evidence on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, documenting the assault of a teenage girl by members of the beloved high school football team, questions linger around the collusion of teen and adult bystanders. Roll Red Roll explores the complex motivations of both perpetrators and bystanders in this story, to unearth the attitudes at the core of their behavior.

United Skates, directed by Dyana Winkler & Tina Brown  (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

Friday, October 26 at 7:00 PM, Cinema One.

When America’s last standing roller rinks are threatened with closure, a community of thousands battle in a racially charged environment to save an underground subculture–-one that has remained undiscovered by the mainstream for generations, yet has given rise to some of the world’s greatest musical talent.

The Changing Same, directed by 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster*

Monday, October 22 at 5:00 PM, Cinema One.

“On October 26, 1934, Claude Neal was brutally lynched by a group of white men who stormed the county jail in Brewton Alabama where Neal was being held after being accused of the murder of a 20 year-old white woman, Lola Cannady. Every October 26, Lamar Wilson, a native of Marianna, Florida who now teaches English at the University of Alabama Birmingham, comes home to run a very particular marathon to commemorate the lynching of Claude Neal. Lamar retraces the route Claude Neal took on that fateful night where he ended up hanged on the courthouse grounds.”**

This Is Home, directed by Chicken & Egg Board of Directors member Alexandra Shiva

Tuesday, October 23 at 1:00 PM, Cinema One.

“A stirring, empathetic documentary chronicling the travails of four Syrian refugee families as they arrive in Baltimore with just eight months’ time allowed to find jobs, learn English, and adapt to life in the U.S. when the sudden 2017 travel ban imposed by the Trump administration further complicates their situation.”***

*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support The Changing Same directly but supported director Michèle Stephenson during her Breakthrough year, as well as Michèle and Joe’s VR project Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project, currently in production.

**Synopsis courtesy of Rada Film Group.

***Synopsis courtesy of Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.

Congratulations to all and see you in Arkansas!

Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported Filmmakers are DOC NYC Pros

DOC NYC, the largest nonfiction film festival in the US, is just around the corner, and they released the line-up for their eight-day DOC NYC PRO conference  which will take place in conjunction with film screenings and from November 8-15.  Each day includes a keynote address, followed by panels with filmmakers and industry professionals on a selection of themes . Here’s a line-up of Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported filmmakers and Nest-friends to hear from at DOC NYC PRO.

Thursday, November 8 

Morning Manifesto: Dawn Porter (2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient) gives the opening speech of the DOC NYC PRO conference, discussing her “thoughts on the current state of documentary filmmaking.”

Nanfu Wang Born In China 2017 Accelerator LabWho Owns The Story: Nanfu Wang (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) speaks on a panel exploring “the issues of complicated filmmaker/subject relationships and storytelling ownership”.

 

Dig Deep: Doc Storytelling: Nancy  Schwartzman (Roll Red Roll) speaks on “providing specific, in-depth and enlightening studies for emerging documentary filmmakers”.

 

Friday, November 9 

Alexandria BombachGetting Personal: Alexandria Bombach, 2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient and director of DOC NYC Short Listed film On Her Shoulders,  discusses films “that rely on a strong bond between director and subject with filmmakers”.

Dawn Porter 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award

 

Case Study: Bobby Kennedy For PresidentNest-supported Dawn Porter speaks on her acclaimed Netflix doc series.

 

Saturday, November 10

Morning Manifesto: Our Nest-friend and President and CEO of Fork Films  Abigail Disney speaks on “what stories are the most important to tell”.

Storytelling in a Post-Truth World: Rabab Haj Yahya, editor of 2018 Accelerator Lab grantee The Feeling of Being Watched shares her thoughts about ensuring a story is truthful.

Grab Your Audience’s Attention: Editor of 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative grantee United Skates, Katharine Garrison speaks on a panel about ” bringing an audience into your film’s world”.

Sunday, November 11

Tight Spots, Dynamic Shots: Erik Shirai, cinematographer of Nest-supported Blowin’ Up speaks on a panel about cinematography in docs.

Monday, November 12

Case Study With Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster: Directors of the Impact & Innovation Initiative project Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson (also a 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) discuss crafting exemplary short films.

Tuesday, November 13

 

Access is Everything: Kimberly Reed (Dark Money) and others discuss building trust with documentary subjects.

 

Wednesday, November 14

Dissecting Development With Impact Partners: Our friends at Impact Partners present a panel about establishing development funding for documentaries.

Penny Lane 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award

Way More Than B-Roll: 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient Penny Lane discusses how archival footage creates a deeper meaning in documentaries.

 

Thursday, November 15

The New Black Yoruba Richen

Morning Manifesto: Yoruba Richen (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) and director of The New Black shares her thoughts on getting films made.

Synopses of panels courtesy of the DOC NYC website.

See you at the DOC NYC PRO conference!

Nest-supported Filmmakers on the DOC NYC Short List

DOC NYC, the largest nonfiction film festival in the US, announced their Short Lists for contenders for the documentary short category and contenders for feature documentary category. Their Short Lists are influential for their steady track record of anticipating Academy Award nominees and winners.

DOC NYC also noted that this year seven of the Short List feature selections are directed or co-directed by women, marking a new high. At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we were proud to see two of our supported filmmakers make the cut.

Alexandria Bombach

On Her Shoulders , directed by Alexandria  Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient), was listed as a top award contender for the documentary feature category.

 

Kristin Jacobson

Take Back The Harbor, directed by Kristi Jacobson (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) and Roger Ross Williams, was listed as a top award contender for the documentary short category.

 

Both filmmakers will have their films screened during the DOC NYC festival in programs to be announced in mid-October. Congratulations to Alexandria and Kristi and good luck!