Nest-supported Films in The Gotham Week Project Market

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to see two Nest-supported and eight AlumNest films in The Gotham Week Project Market. This year’s lineup includes 60 documentary features that will be presented in-person at Brooklyn Navy Yard, and virtually. The Gotham Week will take place from Saturday, September 17 through Friday, September 23.

The Gotham Week Project Market hosts one-on-one industry meetings dedicated to elevating the work of independent artists and facilitating relationships with distributors, financiers, production companies, festival programmers, sales/talent agents, and other potential collaborators.

Take a look at the Nest-supported projects below:

Life + Life

dir & prod. Contessa Gayles

prods. Richie Reseda, David Felix Sutcliffe

Close up of a pair of feet jumping in a bed
Still from Life + Life

An incarcerated musician struggles for healing and peace as he comes of age in this documentary-musical odyssey composed behind bars.

Life + Life is a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee.


Storming

dir. Katrina Sorrentino

prod. Tiffany Fisher-Love

Still from Storming

A family hangs in limbo, caring for their comatose son. Hope and denial blur as seasons circle in this meditation on love and letting go. 

Storming
was a participant of the 2019 Nest Knight Fellowship.


From the AlumNest


The Gotham Week Conference


Meet Our Team

Headshots of Program Coordinator Iva Dimitrova and Executive Director Jenni Wolfson. Two women smiling at the camera.
Left to right: Program Coordinator Iva Dimitrova and Executive Director Jenni Wolfson

Our Executive Director Jenni Wolfson and Program Coordinator Iva Dimitrova will be taking meetings at The Gotham Week.


Check out the full list of projects participating with this link.

The Nest at Tribeca Film Festival

We are proud to see three Nest-supported films and five AlumNest films at The Tribeca Film Festival. The festival will run in-person and online from Wednesday, June 8 to Sunday, June 19, in New York City. 
If you happen to be around the NYC area don’t miss these screenings:  

World Premiere

An Act of Worship

dir. Nausheen Dadabhoy

prods. Sofian Khan, Kristi Jacobson, Heba Elorbany

An Act of Worship Nausheen Dadabhoy Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 Accelerator Lab 2019
Still from An Act of Worship

An Act of Worship is an exploration of the last 30 years of Muslim life in America, weaving together observational footage of three activist women who came of age after 9/11 with news archival footage, community-sourced home videos, and audio interviews along with evocative recollections of individuals impacted by Islamophobic policy. From the perspective of Muslim Americans, he film revisits pivotal moments in US history that have shaped their lives, such as the first Gulf War, 9/11, the Boston Marathon Bombing, and Trump’s travel ban, creating a prismatic counter-narrative and opening a window into their world through collective memory. This is what it means to be a Muslim in America. 

An Act of Worship participated in the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative (past program) and is a 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee.

Get your tickets with this link


World Premiere

Hidden Letters

dir. & prod. Violet Feng

prods. Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas, Jean Tsien, Su Kim

Still from Hidden Letters

Our story began hundreds of years ago in a secluded village in China where women’s lives were completely controlled by men. They created a secret written language called Nushu that men didn’t understand. They wrote poems and songs to give each other strength and dignity, and vowed to be lifetime sisters in this prose. At the brink of extinction, Nushu is now being commodified in the context of capitalism. Hidden Letters is a film about two young women trying to reclaim the power of Nushu, despite the new threats in a world of revived patriarchy.

Hidden Letters a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee.

Get your tickets with this link.  

And see Violet Feng speak at TRIBECA TALKS: Speaking in Codes: Storytelling that Codifies Gender Equitable Systems in China and the U.S.  

Women filmmakers and artists around the world face a parallel challenge in navigating industries that are codified by male decision-makers and storytelling customs. This panel will explore how women and marginalized genders work to support one another to re-codify a more equitable system through investment in storytelling.* Panelists include director Violet Feng, Gloria Steinem, and Robin Morgan. Panel hosted by InMaat, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and Independent Lens. 

Get your tickets with this link.


BEBA

dir. & prod. Rebeca Huntt

prod. Sofia Geld

Low angle shot of Beba, placing her arm behind her head and wearing a black top
Still from BEBA

A stunning self-portrait, tough, raw, stubborn, and powerful. Beba stares down the curses of her ancestry, probing the psychic wounds she has inherited, while simultaneously embracing the vastness of her multitudes, occupying many spaces, and demanding to be seen in all of them. 

BEBA is a Project: Hatched 2022 grantee. 

Get your tickets with this link.


From the AlumNest

  • Angola Do You Hear Us? Voices From a Plantation Prison
    prod. Catherine Gund
    dir. Cinque Northern

  • Body Parts (World Premiere)
    dir. Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
    prod. Helen Hood Scheer 

  • Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power (World Premiere)
    dirs. Geeta Gandbhir, Sam Pollard
    prods. Jessica Devaney, Anya Rous, Dema Paxton Fofang

  • To The End
    dir. Rachel Lears
    prod. Sabrina Schmidt Gordon

  • Unfinished Business (World Premiere)
    dir. & prod. Alison Klayman
    prods. Julie Goldman, Carolyn Hepburn, Christopher Clements, Nicholas Ma, Mishka Brown
     
  • The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (World Premiere)
    dirs. Yoruba Richen, Johanna Hamilton
    prod. Christalyn Hampton

Check out the full line-up with this link.
*Text courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

The Nest at 2022 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

We are egg-static to see eight supported films, and seven AlumNest films in the 29th Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival line-up. This edition will take place in-cinemas in Toronto and will stream across Canada from Thursday, April 28 to Sunday, May 8.  

The festival stated that 49% of the official selections were directed by women, maintaining its commitment to a roughly 50-50 gender split.

World Premiere

Silent Beauty

dir. & prod. Jasmin Lopez

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara López
Still from Silent Beauty

A personal documentary that follows Director Jasmin López as she works to heal from child sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her grandfather, Gilberto, a Baptist minister, almost thirty years ago. In the process of sharing her own trauma with her large family, she learns that generations of children in her family were victims of the same abuse. Told from the director’s perspective, Silent Beauty is a film about confronting and accepting difficult truths while finding beauty in the process. 

Silent Beauty is a 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is having its World Premiere in the Persister section. 

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Alis

dirs.& prods.  Clare Weiskopf, Nicolas van Hemelryck

prods. Radu Stancu, Alexandra Galvis

A young woman is on her knees, with her hands on top of them, her eyes are closed and behind here there are shelfs
Still from Alis

In a Colombian shelter for teenage girls, filmmakers ask a group of young women to close their eyes and imagine the life story of a fictional classmate named Alis. As reality prevails and fiction fades, the innocent game becomes a descent into hell, where their luminous faces guide the audience to the depths of the dark world they once inhabited, only to emerge with new skin. How to imagine a different life, break the cycle of violence, and embrace a brighter future? 

Alis
is a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab finalist and is part of Made In Chile: A spotlight on docs from Chile

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars

(previously titled Stories From Debris)

dir. Jennifer Rainsford

prods. Mirjam Gelhorn, David Herdies, Michael Krotkiewski

Still from All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars

The 2011 Japan tsunami triggers this staggering essay about loss that connects human and environmental trauma using astonishing juxtapositions. Humans breathe out and the oceans breathe in, so that we are constantly breathing together and becoming our planet. If we admit that our human experiences of pain and the Earth’s are just different versions of the same destruction, will recovery come, be it in ripples or waves?* 

All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the World Showcase section.

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Boycott

dir & prod. Julia Bacha

prod. Suhad Babaa, Daniel J. Chalfen

Still from Boycott

When a news publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona and a speech therapist in Texas are told to choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, they launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech in 33 states in America.

Boycott was supported through Julia Bacha’s 2019 Chicken & Egg Award, and is a Hot Docs Special Presentation.  

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Eskape

dir. Neary Adeline Hay

prods. Jasmin Basic

Still from Eskape

The survival story of a mother and her daughter, the filmmaker, through the desperate flight from a crumbling Cambodia after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime. Faced with the silence brought by trauma and time, the longing to understand her mother today resonates in an abysmal echo, while reviving the memories as a political refugee in Europe.

Eskape is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is having its North American premiere in the Hidden Stories section. 

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Midwives

dir. & prod. Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing

prods. Bob Moore, Ulla Lehmann, Mila Aung-Thwin

Still from Midwives

A tale of the complicated relationship between Rohingya and Buddhists in Myanmar, told over five years through the eyes of two midwives from either side of the divide. 

Midwives is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is having its Canadian premiere as a HotDocs Special Presentation

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Mija

dir. & prod. Isabel Castro

prod. Tabs Breese, Yesenia Tlahuel

Close up to the face of Doris singing
Still from Mija

With Doris’ voice as our guide, Mija uses VHS archive, verité footage, and camcorder vlogging to tell the story of two young women’s coming-of-age journeys as they look for success and belonging. The film is an immensely emotional and intimate portrait honoring the resilience of immigrants and their children. 

Mija is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Artscapes section. 

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Once Upon a Time in Uganda

dir. Cathryne Czubek, co-dir. Hugo Perez

prods. Gigi Dement, Cathryne Czubek, Matt Porwoll, Hugo Perez, Kyaligamba Ark Martin

2017 Accelerator Lab Cathryne Czubek Hugo Perez Lights Camera Uganda
Still from Once Upon a Time in Uganda

Against all odds, former bricklayer and teacher Isaac Nabwana has turned his small home in the slums of Uganda’s capital city into the Wakaliwood action movie studio. After 10 years and 40+ films, Wakaliwood has become an overnight international media sensation, inspiring others around the world to follow in his footsteps. When New York film nerd Alan Hofmanis shows up on his doorstep one day, everything is bound to change. 

Once Upon a Time in Uganda is a 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Nightvision section. 

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


From the AlumNest

 


Check out the full line-up with this link.  

*Language courtesy of Hot Docs.

A Full Nest at Sundance at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival features line-up was announced today, Wednesday December 4, and we are egg-static for the following women filmmakers, who will be premiering their films at the festival in Park City, Utah from Thursday, January 23 to Sunday, February 2, 2020.

Production still from A Thousand Cuts, directed by Ramona Diaz: Angel Alim with her sister, Maryanne, in a jeepney. Photo by Miguel V. Fabie for CineDiaz.

Coded Bias
Directed by Shalini Kantayya (Project: Hatched 2020)

Exploring the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation in the US to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all.

Once Upon a Time in Venezuela 
Directed by Anabel Rodríguez (Project: Hatched 2020)

Once, the village of Congo Mirador was prosperous. Now it is decaying and disintegrating—a prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself.

The Fight
Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, Eli Despres (Project: Hatched 2020)

Inside the ACLU, a team of scrappy lawyers battle Trump’s historic assault on civil liberties.

A Thousand Cuts
Directed by Ramona Diaz (2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)*

Nowhere is the worldwide erosion of democracy, fueled by social media disinformation campaigns, more starkly evident than in the authoritarian regime of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Journalist Maria Ressa places the tools of the free press—and her freedom—on the line in defense of truth and democracy.

Dick Johnson Is Dead
Directed by Recipient Kirsten Johnson (2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)*

With this inventive portrait, a cameraperson seeks a way to keep her 86-year-old father alive forever. Utilizing moviemaking magic and her family’s dark humor, she celebrates Dr. Dick Johnson’s last years by staging fantasies of death and beyond. Together, dad and daughter confront the great inevitability awaiting us all.

*These films were in development during the filmmaker’s Chicken & Egg Award year.

In addition to these directly supported films, our AlumNest filmmakers (the 300+ talented, diverse women nonfiction directors that we have supported throughout our fifteen years as an organization) are also premiering their films at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival:

Aggie
Directed by Catherine Gund (Born to Fly, Dispatches from Cleveland, and What’s on Your Plate?)

The Last Thing He Wanted
Directed by Dee Rees (Eventual Salvation)

Taylor Swift: Miss Americana
Directed by Lana Wilson (2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)

Untitled Kirby Dick/Amy Ziering Film
Directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War)

The Mole Agent
Directed by Maite Alberdi (2020 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) 

Congratulations to these incredible women filmmakers on their Sundance-bound films. We’ll see you in Park City!

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. 

Three Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees recognized with Emmy nominations

We were thrilled to see that three Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees have been recognized with News & Documentary Emmy nominations:

Born to Fly
Directed by Catherine Gund
Nominated for Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming
Elizabeth Streb and the STREB Extreme Action Company form a motley troupe of flyers and crashers. Propelled by Streb’s edict that “anything too safe is not action,” these daredevils challenge the assumptions of art, aging, injury, gender, and human possibility. Revealing the passions behindthe dancers’ bruises and broken noses, Born to Fly offers a breathtaking tale about the necessity of art, inspiring audiences hungry for a more tactile and fierce existence.

Still from Born to Fly, directed by Catherine Gund
Still from Born to Fly, directed by Catherine Gund

The Homestretch
Directed by Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly
Nominated for Outstanding Business & Economic Reporting: Long Form
The Homestretch follows three homeless teens as they fight to stay in school, graduate, and build a future. Each of these smart, ambitious teenagers will surprise, inspire, and challenge audiences to rethink stereotypes of homelessness as they work to complete their education while facing the trauma of being alone and abandoned at an early age. Haunting images, intimate scenes, and first-person narratives take us on their journeys of struggle and triumph.

Still from The Homestretch, directed by Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly
Still from The Homestretch, directed by Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directed by Lucy Walker
Nominated for Outstanding Short Documentary
A courageous young woman, Marianna, takes the boldest step imaginable to confront her risk of having inherited the fatal, incurable Huntington’s Disease.

Still from The Lion's Mouth Opens, directed by Lucy Walker
Still from The Lion’s Mouth Opens, directed by Lucy Walker

We’ll be watching and wishing them all luck when the ceremony airs on September 21.