Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Judith Helfand’s World Premiere at DOC NYC!

In addition to the Nest-supported projects and filmmakers at DOC NYC, we are egg-static to announce our Co-Founder and Senior Creative Consultant Judith Helfand’s Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, will have its world premiere at the festival.

Judith Helfand Senior Creative Consultant Chicken & Egg Pictures

In addition to co-founding the Nest, Judith has directed several award-winning films including the The Uprising of ’34 (co-directed with esteemed veteran George Stoney), her groundbreaking personal film A Healthy Baby Girl, its Sundance award-winning sequel Blue Vinyl, followed by Everything’s Cool (both co-directed with Daniel B. Gold)She has taught the art of documentary film at New York University, New School, and was the Filmmaker-in-Residence at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in 2007 and 2009. As much an educator and field-builder as she is a filmmaker, Judith co-founded Working Films and sits on the boards of Great Small Works and The Lower East Side Girls Club.

Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, directed by Judith A. Helfand

Sunday, November 11 at 1:30 p.m. at SVA Theater

Wednesday, November 14 at 2:45 p.m. at IFC Center

In July 1995, Chicago was hit by a record heat wave that claimed the lives of 739 residents, primarily among the elderly, African Americans and those living in poverty. Using this tragedy as a jumping-off point, but referencing other extreme weather catastrophes like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Cooked provocatively reframes the politics of disaster to encompass extreme inequity, arguing that economically disadvantaged communities should be preventatively treated as disasters taking place in slow motion.*

* Synopsis courtesy of DOC NYC

Congratulations, Judith, and see you at DOC NYC!

 

 

Chicken & Egg Pictures-Supported Filmmakers Win at CIFF

The 2018 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) hosted its annual awards ceremony on Sunday, September 16, and we are excited to announce that two Nest-supported filmmakers took home the top prizes at the awards!

On Her Shoulders Alexandria Bombach
On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach

The 2018 Harrell Award for Best Documentary Feature went to On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient) *

This empowering documentary presents 23-year-old Nadia Murad, a Yazidi genocide survivor determined to tell the world her story. Determined advocate and reluctant celebrity, she becomes the voice of her people and their best hope to spur the world to action.

The Feeling of Being Watched Assia Boundaoui 2016 Accelerator Lab
The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui

The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui (participant of the 2016 Accelerator Lab and recipient of The Whickers Chicken & Egg Pictures Award) received the Audience Award.

In the Arab-American neighborhood outside of Chicago where director Assia Boundaoui grew up, most of her neighbors think they have been under surveillance for over a decade. With unprecedented access, The Feeling of Being Watched weaves the personal and the political as it follows the filmmaker’s examination of why her community fell under blanket government surveillance.

Congratulations Alexandria and Assia!

For more about the other Nest-supported projects at the 2018 Camden International Film Festival, see our previous blog post.

* Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support On Her Shoulders but supported director Julia Alexandria Bombach through the SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award.

We’re hiring! Program & Partnerships Manager

Chicken & Egg Pictures is seeking a Program & Partnerships Manager.

The Program & Partnerships Manager will have an integral role in several of our soon-to-be-launched programs in support of our goal to provide creative, professional, and financial support to filmmakers at strategic junctures in their careers.

Come join a creative team that is truly passionate about advancing our mission of supporting women nonfiction filmmakers globally.

Applications will be processed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. For more information, see the full job posting on Idealist or download the PDF.

Nest-supported Nominees for The Grierson Awards

The Grierson Trust commemorates the pioneering Scottish documentary maker John Grierson. Each year, the trust celebrates documentary filmmaking from the UK and around the world with the British Documentary Awards, more fondly known as The Griersons.

We are honored to announce that  Chicken & Egg-supported projects Kingdom of Us and Strong Island were nominated this year.

Kingdom of Us, directed by Lucy Cohen

Kingdom of Us, directed by Lucy Cohen, was nominated for Best Single Documentary – Domestic and Best Cinema Documentary.

Kingdom of Us is a film about memory, identity, and growing up told through the eyes of seven siblings and their mother. Five of the children are on the autistic spectrum and as they move through adolescence, an event of the past keeps drawing them back. Combining observational footage with a rich archive of home movies and songs, the film is both a detective story and coming-of-age tale, exploring universal themes of memory, family, and love.

Strong Island Yance Ford
Strong Island, directed by Yance Ford

Strong Island, directed by Yance Ford, was nominated for Best Single Documentary – International.

Set in the suburbs of the black middle class, Strong Island seeks to uncover how—in the year of the Rodney King trial and the Los Angeles riots—the murder of the filmmaker’s older brother went unpunished. The film is an unflinching look at homicide, racial injustice, and the corrosive impact of grief over time.

The Griersons will take place on the evening of Monday, November 5 at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. In the meantime, both Kingdom of Us and Strong Island are available to stream on Netflix.

Congratulations Yance and Lucy and good luck!

The Whickers Announces 2018 Award Recipient

The Whickers recently announced the recipient of the 2018 The Whickers/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award: congratulations to Ilinca Calugareanu and the A Cops and Robbers Story team!

Ilinca Calugareanu A Cops and Robbers Story Accelerator Lab 2018
A Cops and Robbers Story, directed by Ilinca Calugareanu

Named for pioneering British broadcaster Alan Whicker, The Whickers is dedicated to supporting emerging voices in the field of documentary. The award, focused on Accelerator Lab participants, was conceived to ensure that more women enter the nonfiction filmmaking pipeline. Previous recipients include The Feeling of Being Watched by Assia Boundaoui and The Surrender of Waymond Hall by Jane Greenberg.

A Cops and Robbers Story follows Corey Pegues, one of the highest ranking black executives in the NYPD, who revealed a few months after retirement that before joining the NYPD he worked the streets dealing crack cocaine for one of the most notorious drug gangs in the US, the Supreme Team. The project was recently featured as a docustory in The Guardian. Said director Ilinca Calugareanu, “It is such an honour to be this year’s recipient of The Whickers/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award. Thank you for believing in us and in the importance of Corey Pegues’s story. Your support means so much!”

Ilinca’s debut documentary feature, Chuck Norris vs. Communism, is currently available for streaming on Netflix.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

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. 

Breakthrough Award Recipient Laura Nix wins at SIFF

Laura Nix
2018 Breakthrough FIlmmaker Award recipient Laura Nix

Congratulations to Laura Nix (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) for her big win at the Seattle International Film Festival. Laura’s film Inventing Tomorrow received the 2018 SIFF Grand Jury Prize in the Documentary Competition.

SIFF 2018 Jury Statement: “For it’s compelling cast of young visionaries from around the globe who are engaged and looking for solutions to the world’s environmental problems, Inventing Tomorrow offers us a sense of optimism and the certainty that science matters.”

Laura Nix Inventing Tomorrow
Inventing Tomorrow by Laura Nix (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient).

If you missed it the first time around, a  fourth additional screening of Inventing Tomorrow will be held at the Best of SIFF showcase on Saturday, June 16 at 1:30 PM.

* Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Inventing Tomorrow but supports director Laura through our 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

Chicken & Egg Pictures at Sheffield Doc/Fest

Sheffield Doc/Fest is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and Chicken & Egg Pictures will be there with the 2018 Accelerator Lab cohort of first- and second-time female filmmakers, as well as four Nest-supported films for Sheffield goers to look out for! 

A Thousand Girls Like Me directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative) at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

A Thousand Girls Like Me directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

In Afghanistan where systematic abuses of girls rarely come to light, and seeking justice can be deadly, one young woman says “Enough.” Khatera was brutally raped by her father since the age of nine and today she raises two precious and precocious children whom he sired. Against her family’s and many Afghanis’ wishes, Khatera forces her father to stand trial. This is her incredible story of love, hope, bravery, forgiveness, and truth. Showtimes are Friday, June 8 at 3:45 PM and Sunday, June 10 at 6:30 PM. 

The Pain of Others, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Breakthrough Award Recipient)

The Pain of Others is a found footage documentary about Morgellons, a mysterious illness whose sufferers say they have parasites under the skin, long colored fibers emerging from lesions, and a host of other bizarre symptoms which could be borrowed from a horror film. The Pain of Others is composed entirely of videos shared by a group of “Morgies” who have turned to YouTube for community and to prove they’re not crazy.  Unsettling, funny and intimate, The Pain of Others is at once a body-horror documentary and a radical act of empathy.  Showtimes are Sunday, June 12 at 9:00 AM and Tuesday, June 12 at 6:00 PM. 

On Her Shoulders directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient)

This empowering documentary presents 23-year-old Nadia Murad, a Yazidi genocide survivor determined to tell the world her story. Determined advocate and reluctant celebrity, she becomes the voice of her people and their best hope to spur the world to action. Showtimes are Sunday, June 10 at 3:00 PM and Monday, June 11 at 9:30 AM.

Skywards directed by Eva Weber (director of Nest-supported film Black Out, 2007)

A poetic and evocative visual study, Skywards takes the viewer on a journey into the world of pigeon flying, high above the bustling and crowded streets of Old Delhi. Showtimes are Sunday, June 10 at 5:45 PM and Tuesday,  June 12 at 9:00 AM. 

Additionally, join us for our second annual Accelerator Lab Pitch at Sheffield! The 2018 Accelerator Lab participants will pitch their projects to a live audience and will receive feedback from international decision makers and buyers. This will be an opportunity for all pass holders to hear from and meet filmmaking talent for future collaborations. The live pitch will take place Sunday, June 10 at 10:00 am.

Post by Morgan Hulquist, Summer 2018 Chicken & Egg Pictures Communications Intern.

Announcing our 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative Grantees

From left to right: A Prince From Outer Space: Zeki Müren; The In Between; The Letter; Omnipresence; and Commuted.

Congratulations to our 2018 Diversity Fellows: Beyza Boyacioglu; Robie Flores; Nadia Hallgren; Nailah Jefferson; and Maia von Lekow, with co-director Chris King; hailing from Istanbul, Turkey; Eagle Pass, TX; New Orleans, LA; The Bronx, NY; and Nairobi, Kenya, respectively.

In addition to a $5,000 grant and a seven-month mentorship program, the Fellows will come together in upstate New York for a multiday storytelling retreat aimed to help develop and strengthen their film’s narratives. “This year we’ll be doing a deep dive into storytelling,” says Lucila Moctezuma, Director of Programs at Chicken & Egg Pictures. “The five-day retreat will allow our Diversity Fellows to have complete focus on their art and provide them with the space to learn from one another’s diverse perspectives and artistic practices. We are so thrilled to be working with these exceptional group of women filmmakers who have such important stories to tell and such special ways of telling them.”  

The Diversity Fellows Initiative is made possible with the generous support of The Harnisch Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Time Warner Foundation.

For additional information, please visit our Programs page. Participants of the Diversity Fellows Initiative are chosen through the Accelerator Lab Open Call process. The 2019 Accelerator Lab Open Call will launch on May 3.

2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative Grantees

 

A Prince From Outer Space: Zeki Müren, directed by Beyza Boyacioglu

This experimental, multilayered film uses Zeki Müren, Turkey’s most celebrated singer and modern day queer icon, as a prism to explore the country’s internal contradictions, from its founding as a modern, secular nation to the current crisis. Zeki, “Turkey’s Liberace,” was a chameleon-like figure. He expertly used his celebrity to navigate societyallowing audiences to see in him only what they wanted to see. The film deconstructs how myths are made and consumed, as it provides a window onto Turkey, a nation existing between the worlds of the east and of the west while belonging to neither.

Beyza Boyacioglu is a filmmaker and artist from Istanbul, currently based in New York. Her work has been exhibited in MoMA Documentary Fortnight, IDFA, RIDM, Anthology Film Archives, Morelia International Film Festival, Brooklyn Museum, Maysles Cinema, and !f Istanbul, among others. She was a part of MIT Open Documentary Lab between 2014–2017. She’s been a fellow at UnionDocs, Flaherty Seminar, and Greenhouse. She holds an MASc in Comparative Media Studies from MIT and an MFA in Computer Art from SVA.

 

The In Between, directed by Robie Flores

At the intersection of the northern Mexico desert and the plains of southwest Texas exists a symbiotic community. Here, people’s lives are spread across two countries, connected by a bridge that everyone must travel. For some, crossing to the other side means getting to work or school. For others, life straddling the border is the only way to keep their family together. Through a collection of interweaving vignettes, The In Between is a poetic ode to a greater reality of the border than the one portrayed on the news, offering a nuanced and intimate portrait of a place and its people at the heart of Mexican-American identity.

Robie Flores grew up on the US/Mexico border. She is an independent filmmaker and video editor based in New York City. She previously worked with Loki Films as an assistant on Detropia, The Education of Mohammed Hussein, and ESPN’s Nine for IX documentary, Branded. Her work has appeared on CNN and Bloomberg and has been featured by Teen Vogue, Fusion, Allure, and i-D Vice. The In Between is her first feature film. 

Omnipresence, directed by Nadia Hallgren

A look at the complexities of a South Bronx housing project over the course of a summer.

Nadia Hallgren is an award-winning filmmaker and director of photography from The Bronx, New York. With a focus on vérité storytelling, her cinematography credits include the Sundance award-winner Motherland (2017), Academy Award-nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner Trouble the Water (2008), and Sundance award-winner Trapped (2016). She has directed short films and series for Field of Vision, Topic, and PBS; and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a 2018 Concordia Studio Artist in Residence, and an alum of International Center of Photography. Most recently, Nadia won the special jury prize at SXSW 2018 for an independent episodic series she directed about women running for office in response to Trump being elected.

Commuted, directed by Nailah Jefferson

Commuted tells the story of Danielle Metz, a 52-year-old woman trying to find her footing after spending nearly half of her life in prison. In 2016 Danielle’s was one of 568 life sentences President Obama overturned. Her life story is just one example of how the US criminal justice system impacts black families—before she was incarcerated, she had lost one boyfriend to police violence, another to a wrongful conviction, and then found herself in prison due to involvement with her husband’s drug ring. As Danielle starts to right her path, we reflect with her on a life interrupted.

Nailah Jefferson’s first film, Vanishing Pearls, told the story of a little known African American oyster fishing community and their fight for justice after the BP oil spill. After acquisition by ARRAY/AFFRM, Vanishing Pearls streams on The Urban Movie Channel. Nailah was nominated for a 2017 National Magazine Ellie award for Essence Magazine’s Black Girl Magic Episode 4. Nailah’s first narrative, Plaquemines, was chosen as an American Black Film Festival HBO Shorts finalist and is available on HBO, HBO GO, and HBO On Demand.

The Letter, directed by Maia von Lekow & Chris King

This story happens in rural coastal Kenya. When Karisa, a young artist living in the coastal city of Mombasa, reads a Facebook post accusing his Grandma of being a witch, he decides to return to his rural home to confront the accusations against her. The accusers, Karisa’s uncles, demand that Grandma repent and be exorcised in a Pentecostal ceremony. The story evolves into a family confrontation between those trying to protect Grandma and those condemning her. At the end, love and care triumph against superstition and economic interest.

In today’s post-colonial Kenya, the disturbing trend of witchcraft accusations, often resulting in the murder of an elder, is being used to cover up hundreds of family disputes over land, inheritance, and money. The Letter is a story through the lens of a single family highlighting the universal issues of elderly abuse and greed.

Maia von Lekow is a Kenyan musician and filmmaker. Fusing her music with a healthy fascination of people and culture, Maia has worked as director, producer, and sound recordist on several music videos and corporate films. She was named a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR on World Refugee Day 2013, and has received an African Movie Academy Award for her song “Uko Wapi.” A performing artist in her own right, Maia has appeared on several Kenyan broadcasts and maintains strong links with producers and presenters in the region.

The Letter is Maia’s first feature documentary. Maia will compose original music for the film.

Chris King is an award-winning filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. Born in Australia, Chris studied at The School of Creative Arts at the University of Melbourne with honors in Visual Media. Chris has lived in Kenya full-time since 2007, working as a cinematographer, editor, animator, director, and producer in both factual and non-factual shorts, features, and music videos. In 2009, Chris co-founded Circle and Square Productions with his wife Maia and, in the same year, received an African Movie Academy Award in Editing for his work on the Kenyan feature film, From a Whisper.

Ten Nest-supported films at Hot Docs 2018!

Showcasing over 200 films and hosting over 200 thousand people each year, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America’s largest documentary film festival. Chicken & Egg Pictures is excited to announce that ten Nest-supported films will be gracing this year’s line-up!

The 2018 Hot Docs festival will run April 26-May 6 in Toronto. You can view the schedule here and purchase festival passes and packages here.

Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal
Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman
Recovery Boys, directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon (2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient)
The Devil We Know, directed by Stephanie Soechtig and Jeremy Seifert (co-director)
The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui (2015-16 Accelerator Lab)
A Thousand Girls Like Me, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellow Initiative)
United Skates, directed by Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown (2016 Diversity Fellow Initiative)
Tree, directed by Milica Zec and Winslow Turner Porter
Warrior Women, directed by Christina King and Elizabeth Castle (2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative)
On Her Shoulders directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient)

***

In addition to the Nest-supported films that will be screening at the 2018 Hot Docs Festival, keep an eye out for the following films by directors whose work Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported and recognized in the past.

Grit directed by Cynthia Wade (Freeheld, 2007 and 2008) and Sasha Friedlander (Mudflow, 2013)
Inventing Tomorrow directed by Laura Nix (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient)
Skywards directed by Eva Weber (Black Out, 2007)

And a special shout out to Barbara Kopple (2011 Chicken & Egg Pictures Celebration Award) who has a few films playing at Hot Docs!

Chicken & Egg Pictures wants to wish these Nest-supported films and filmmakers luck with their participation in the Hot Docs Forum on May 1st and 2nd of the festival.

Born In China directed by Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang
The Rashomon Effect directed by Lyric Cabral
Nobody Loves Me, directed by Farihah Zaman and Jeff Reichert, co-directores of the Nest-supported documentary Remote Area Medical.

Congratulations everyone!

Post by 2018 Spring Programs Intern Dinayuri Rodriguez.