Chicken & Egg Pictures at the Hot Docs Forum

Congratulations to Farming the Revolution for taking home the Best International Documentary Feature award at the 31st edition of Hot Docs in Toronto. The film was supported through Nishtha Jain’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award. The festival also featured six supported films and five films from supported filmmakers in the lineup, multiple of which were premieres, and a spotlight on 2022 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Brett Story.

Our Senior Program Manager Elaisha Stokes and Program Assistant Will Tamura were in attendance at the festival and the Hot Docs Forum. This year’s Forum had “20 projects—represented by 22 filmmakers, 11 of whom are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) and 16 of whom are women—representing 18 countries” (Business Doc Europe) presenting to key funders, decisionmakers, filmmakers, producers, and observers. There were a total of 58 projects being pitched across the industry events. Among the projects were 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees Anatomy of a Life, Jaripeo, War on Women, Holder of the Sky, and Matininó. There were also films from the following supported filmmakers: Leah Galant, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Mila Turajlić, Chelsi Bullard, Geeta Gandbhir, Mars Veronne, Yvonne Welbon, Carine Chichkowsky, Ina Fichman, Valérie Montmartin, Lorena Luciano, Filippo Piscopo, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Kenya Jade Pinto, Brit Fryer, and Sona Jo.

We are extremely proud of 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Anatomy of a Life on being awarded the Cuban Hat Award. This award, given to the best pitch as decided by Forum attendees, offers funding for powerful and unique projects. The award also includes numerous other gifts, including a feedback call with our very own Elaisha Stokes. 

Learn more about the selected projects here.

Chicken & Egg Pictures at Cannes Marché Du Film

We are excited to announce that we will be attending the Marché du Film at Cannes for the first time to participate in Cannes Docs’ Doc Talks, joined by Chicken & Egg Award recipients filmmakers Ilinca Calugareanu (2023), Alisa Kovalenko (2024), and 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab recipient Two Mountains Weighing Down My Chest director Viv Li. Viv will also premier her short film Across the Waters in the Competition section.

2022 (Egg)celerator Lab recipient The Wife Of director Volia Chajkouskaya and 2022 Critical Issues Fund recipient Intercepted are also part of the Cannes Docs programming.

The event will take place from Thursday, May 16 through Wednesday, May 22. More details below.  

Saturday, May 18

Doc Talk > Filmmakers Collectives Rising up in Eastern Europe ⁠
2:00 PM GMT+2
Volia Chajkouskaya, Irina Gelashvili, Lyuba Knorozok, Marta Krzeptowska
Moderated by Selin Murat

East and Central European countries have experienced severe upheavals in the last 10 years, from right-wing governments and active aggressive wars to external political meddling. However, documentary cinema is bursting with creativity and captivating audiences across the world. Filmmakers in the region however find themselves in double-roles, both as artists pushing boundaries of documentary filmmaking and activists on the picket lines fighting for what is theirs or in the case of Ukraine, on the frontlines of war. A conversation with these ambitious and courageous filmmakers about how their filmmakers’ collectives support their everyday struggles and successes.

Sunday, May 19

Stil with headshots of Ilinca Calugareanu, Alisa Kovalenko, Jenni Wolfson

Doc Talk > Redefining Success on Our Own Terms
2:00 PM GMT+2
Ilinca Calugareanu, Alisa Kovalenko
Moderated by Jenni Wolfson

The Chicken & Egg Award provides unrestricted funding and mentorship to help women and gender-expansive filmmakers advance their creative and business goals at a critical juncture in their careers. Filmmakers Ilinca Calugareanu and Alisa Kovalenko, in conversation with Chicken & Egg Pictures CEO Jenni Wolfson, reflect on their award year and share their values, their breakthroughs, and what is at stake as they redefine success for themselves.

Monday, May 20

Still from Intercepted film

Special Screening: Intercepted
9:30 AM GMT+2
dir. Oksana Karpovych
prods. Giacomo Nudi, Rocío B. Fuentes

Still with headshots of Viv Li, Kiyoko McCrae

Doc Talk > Towards a Universal Values System in Documentary: Dismantling Borders for Greater Equity 
2:00 PM GMT+2
Viv Li, Kiyoko McCrae, Alemberg Ang, Opal H. Bennett, Adam Piron
Moderated by Devika Girish

The Golden Age of Documentary, as the last 5 years have been labeled, may not have stabilized finances for the industry at large, but it has undeniably garnered more press and audience attention to documentaries. Our films play and win awards in the main competitions of A-List Festivals including Cannes, and are featured on the front page of major news outlets all over the world, making us more interconnected internationally than ever before. Under such scrutiny and when real life is involved, how can we work together to create a set of ethical or values-based guidelines to ensure equity, fairness, and safety? As our world currently feels turned upside down, let’s explore how our values are changing and if common ones can be agreed upon.

Lourdes Portillo (1944-2024)

Black and white headshot of Lourdes Portillo

We mourn the loss of our cherished Nest-supported and Eggspert filmmaker, Lourdes Portillo, who passed away this weekend in San Francisco at the age of 80.

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles, Lourdes was a passionate and pioneering filmmaker. Known for her unique hybrid style as a visual artist, investigative journalist, and activist, she created award-winning films about Latin American, Mexican, and Chicano/a experiences and social justice for over 30 years.

Since her first film in 1979, After the Earthquake/Despues del Terremoto, she produced and directed over a dozen works. These include the Academy®️ Award and Emmy®️ Award-nominated Las Madres: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, La Ofrenda: The Days of the Dead, Columbus on Trial, The Devil Never Sleeps, Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena, My McQueen, Al Más Allá, Señorita Extraviada, and State of Grace.

Throughout her career, Lourdes tirelessly advocated for equity, diversity, and inclusion in the film industry. Her legacy will continue to thrive through her extensive work, the many individuals she mentored and supported, and those who will follow the path she paved.

Rest in power.

Three Guggenheim Fellows

We are sending a heartfelt congratulatory message to the Chicken & Egg-supported filmmakers selected for the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. In its 99th year, The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation selected 188 Artists, Scholars, Photographers, Novelists, Essayists, Poets, Historians, Choreographers, Environmentalists, and Data Scientists. In the Film-Video field, 2021 (Egg)celerator grantee Jude Chehab, 2021 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Loira Limbal, and 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Jennifer Redfearn have been awarded this honor. 

Congratulations all!

Supported Filmmakers at CPH:DOX 2024!

The 21st edition of CPH:DOX took place from Wednesday, March 13 to Sunday, March 24 in Copenhagen, Denmark. We are proud to see that 4 supported films and 13 supported filmmakers were part of the lineup and that many of our supported filmmakers also participated in the CPH:CONFERENCE and CPH: FORUM. Some of our team was also there to participate in person to support our filmmakers. See below for more details.

Stills from Wilfred Buck and Intercepted (Credit: Christopher Nunn)
  • 2023 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Lisa Jackson’s Wilfred Buck | World Premiere | Dox:Award & BIPOC sections | dir. & prod. Lisa Jackson | prod. Alicia Smith, Lauren Grant
  • 2022 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Brett Story’s Union | International Premiere | F:act Award & Nine to Five sections | dirs. Brett Story, Stephen Maing | prods. Samantha Curley, Mars Verrone
  • 2019 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Lana Wilson’s  Look Into My Eyes | International Premiere | Special Premieres & Stranger Than Fiction sections | dir. Lana Wilson | prod. Kyle Martin
  • 2022 Critical Issues Fund Grantee Intercepted | Urgent Matters & Battlefields sections | dir. Oksana Karpovych | prods. Rocío B. Fuentes, Giacomo Nudi

From the AlumNest


CPH: FORUM

At CPH:FORUM, top producers and highly acknowledged directors from all over the world take the stage to pitch 30 carefully selected projects of documentary features and series in the intersection of nonfiction, fiction, visual art, journalism, and science. Seven films from our community of filmmakers were presented.

2023 Research & Development Grant recipient Cinderella Unbound, UK/RO
dir. & prod Ilinca Calugareanu | prod. Anamaria Antoci

Freedom (WT), DK
dir. Camilla Nielsson | prod. Signe Byrge Sørensen

In Praise of Invasive Species, CA
dir. Mila Aung-Thwin | prod. Bob Moore

Powwow People, US
dir. Sky Hopinka (2018 Art of Nonfiction fellow) | prod. John Cardellino

The Dirty Dream, IN
dirs. & prods. Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh

The Listeners, UK/US/FR
dir. & prod. Lindsey Dryden | prod. Samantha Steele

Victor, US
dir. Stephani Victor | prods. Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Matt Radecki


CPH: CONFERENCE

A 4-day industry event offering a range of inspiring talks with visionary thinkers, investigating current themes in documentary filmmaking, and creating an interactive and hands-on platform for exchange with other professionals of our documentary community. The theme this year was Re:Building Narratives – Accessibility And Equity In Documentary. Our filmmakers were well represented across the different activities from Tuesday, March 19 to Friday, March 22.

SOCIETY: STORIES OF OUR LIFETIMES

Tuesday, March 19

With Lizzie Gillett and Sigrid Dyekjær, producers of supported film Merkel, as keynote speakers for the Viva Independent Feature Docs section. Clara Vuillermoz, producer of 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab Grantee Polaris was a speaker in the A Conflict of Interest or an Interest in Conflict? section. Lindsey Dryden, supported through the QUEER FUTURES program, also participated in the LGBTQIA panel. Curated by 2023 Development grant recipient Derren Lawford

FILM:MAKERS IN DIALOGUE

Wednesday, March 20

With 2022 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Brett Story, Stephen Maing, producer of supported film Union, and Yance Ford, director of supported film Strong Island.

SCIENCE: WAYS OF KNOWING AND SEEING

Thursday, March 21

With 2023 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Lisa Jackson as a keynote speaker in the Stars: Indigenous Ways of Knowing section, and Mila Aung-Thwin, producer of 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab participant Midwives, as a speaker in the Action: Legacies of science, cinematic justice section.

2022 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Margreth Olin is also considered an expert at the conference.


Meet our Team at CPH:DOX

Our Senior Program Manager Elaisha Stokes and Program Director Kiyoko McCrae attended and took 1:1 meetings with filmmakers.

We are proud to congratulate a longtime collaborator and advisor in our labs, Carla Gutierrez, for the international premiere of her new documentary, Frida.


Post written by Communications Assistant Tess Caldwell

Six Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films and filmmakers at True/False Fest!

We were extremely proud to see two (Egg)celerator Lab premieres in the lineup of this years’ True/False festival. The lineup also included two films supported through the Chicken & Egg Award and two shorts by supported filmmakers featuring in the lineup of this years’ True/False festival! The festival took place between February 29 and March 3, in Colombia, Missouri. Congratulations to all of the films featured!

A Photographic Memory

dir. & prod. Rachel Elizabeth Seed

Still from A Photographic Memory

A Photographic Memory was a participant of the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab and had its World Premiere at True/False Fest.

graphic of a film reel

Look Into My Eyes

dir. & prod. Lana Wilson

prod. Kyle Martin

Still from Look Into My Eyes
Still from Look Into My Eyes

Look Into My Eyes was supported through Lana Wilson’s 2019 Chicken & Egg Award.

graphic of a film reel

There Was, There Was Not

dir. Emily Mkrtichian

prod. Mara Adina

Four women stand on a mountain at sunrise gathering flowers
Still from There Was, There Was Not

There Was, There Was Not was a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab finalist and had its World Premiere at True/False Fest.

graphic of a film reel

Union

dirs. Brett Story, Stephen Maing

prods. Samantha Curley, Mars Verrone

Still from Union. A group of people wearing red walk in front of the camera. It is night time. Some of them wear facemasks.

Still from Union

Union was supported through Brett Story’s 2022 Chicken & Egg Award.


From the AlumNest


Post written by Communications Assistant Tess Caldwell

Welcome Deepa Donde to our Board!

Headshot of Deepa Donde.

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

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

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

Welcome to the Chicken & Egg Pictures Board, Deepa! 

Supported films at the SXSW Film Festival

We are extremely grateful to have three (Egg)celerator Lab grantees premieres and an Alumni film at this year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival! The festival will take place between March 8-16, 2024. Congratulations all! 

7 Beats Per Minute

dir. Yuqi Kang 

prods. Ina Fichman, Anita Lee

Long shot of a diver clenching her knees under water
Still from 7 Beats Per Minute

7 Beats Per Minute is a participant of the 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab and will have its World Premiere in the Documentary Spotlight.

graphic of a film reel

The In Between

dir. Robie Flores

prod. Alejandro J. Flores, Kellen Quinn

Still from The In Between

The In Between is a participant of the 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab, took part in the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative (past program), and will have its premiere in the Documentary Competition.

graphic of a film reel

Songs from the Hole

dir. & prod. Contessa Gayles

prods. Richie Reseda, David Felix Sutcliffe

Close up of a pair of feet jumping in a bed.
Still from Songs from the Hole

Songs from the Hole is a participant of the 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab and will premiere in the Visions Program.


From the AlumNest


Post written by Communications Assistant Tess Caldwell

Welcome to the Nest, Elliot Zayas!

Meet the newest member of our team: Operations Assistant Elliot Zayas

 

Elliot Zayas headshot in black and white.

As Operations Assistant, Elliot supports the Chicken & Egg Pictures team with various financial, operational, and human resources activities, while fostering a positive, supportive environment for all team members. Elliot has prior experience in a variety of roles, including excavation at an archaeological World Heritage Site and working as a research assistant on a groundbreaking gender archaeology project. While earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Columbia University, Elliot was an active participant in the undergraduate arts community. He continues to pursue his creative interests in the experimental music scene. 

“I’m so excited to be joining Chicken & Egg Pictures at such a critical moment in the organization’s history as they expand their program eligibility to include trans men like myself. It’s an honor to provide support to my team and the filmmakers creating such inspiring work!” 

Supported Filmmakers Win Awards at Cinema Eye Honors

We are extremely proud to have three supported films, and three supported filmmakers, take home wins at the 17th edition of the Cinema Eye Honors Awards. The awards ceremony took place on Friday, January 12 at the New York Academy of Medicine in East Harlem. Congratulations!

The Eternal Memory

dir. & prod. Maite Alberdi

prod. Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Rocío Jadue

Still from the Eternal Memory
Still from The Eternal Memory

The Eternal Memory was supported through Maite Alberdi’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award and won awards for Outstanding Achievement in Direction and in the 2024 Unforgettables Honorees section.

graphic of a film reel

Twice Colonized

dir. Lin Alluna

prods. Emile Hertling Péronard, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Stacey Aglok, Bob Moore

The main character of Twice Colonized, Aaju Peter, in a close-up shot holding her hands in front of her face so her traditional tattoos on her hands and her chin are visible.
Still from Twice Colonized

Twice Colonized is a Project: Hatched 2023 grantee and was named a 2024 Unforgettables Honoree.

graphic of a film reel

Q

dir. & prod. Jude Chehab

Still from Q
Still from Q

Q is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab Grantee that won the Spotlight Award


From the AlumNest

  • Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games | Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking
    dirs. & prods. Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster 
  • Confessions of a Good Samaritan | 2024 Unforgettables Honorees
    dir. Penny Lane
    prod. Gabriel Sedgwick
  • Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project  | Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design, 2024 Unforgettable Honorees
    dirs. & prods. Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster
  • Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields | Outstanding Achievement in Broadcast Editing 
    dir. Lana Wilson
    prods. Jack Turner, Christine O’Malley

Post written by Communications Assistant Tess Caldwell