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.

Announcing our 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees!

A collage of photos with stills of the ten projects supported by the 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab

Announced via Variety today, we are proud to present the ten grantees selected for the 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab, who will each receive $40,000 towards the production of their documentary. Additionally, for the first time ever, ten projects have been selected to receive Egg)celerator Lab Finalist Grants of $15,000 each. The 20 projects, directed by emerging filmmakers, will collectively receive a total of $550,000 in grants, marking the largest sum that Chicken & Egg Pictures has ever directed towards the support of an (Egg)celerator Lab cohort and finalists of emerging filmmakers in a single year.

This year, the cohort includes directors hailing from countries such as the US, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Romania, and Belarus. Filmmaker grantees include Volia Chajkouskaya, the founder of the Northern Lights Nordic-Baltic Film Festival, Lina Vdovîi and Radu Ciorniciuc, award-winning independent reporters, Contessa Gayles, an Emmy nominated producer. The films center women reclaiming their stories, and explore similar themes through vastly different subjects: In Matryoshka and TATA, filmmakers illustrate portraits of their parents that connect with their own personal narratives. Here, the Silence is Heard and Joonam explore intimate intergenerational memories in the context of complex political histories, and the search for an identity. 

Click on the film’s titles for more information on each project. We are thrilled to give these filmmakers a warm welcome to the Nest.

The 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab Grantees are:

7 Beats Per Minute
Director: Yuqi Kang (CANADA / CHINA / INNER MONGOLIA)
Producers: Ina Fichman, Anita Lee
7 Beats Per Minute is an intimate and unyielding journey with female freediving champion, Jessea Lu, as she faces her biggest fear and attempts to dive over 100 meters in one single breath.

Here, the Silence is Heard
Director: Gabriela Pena (CHILE / SPAIN)
Co-director: Picho García (CHILE) 
Producers: Gabriela Pena, Picho García
After arriving in Chile at the old house that my family abandoned in exile, ghosts of an unstoppable family spell begin to appear at night.

Joonam
Director: Sierra Urich (US)
Producer: Keith Wilson
A filmmaker uncovers her family’s lost Iranian past, and with it the complex relationships between mother and daughter, Iran and America, and displacement and identity.

Life + Life
Director: Contessa Gayles (US)
Producer: Contessa Gayles
An incarcerated musician struggles for healing and peace as he comes of age in this documentary-musical odyssey composed behind bars.

Matryoshka
Director: Maricarmen Merino Mora (COSTA RICA) 
Producers: Karla Bukantz, Paulina Villegas
Matryoshka is an intimate portrait of a mother through her daughter’s eyes, following the complex journey of a woman finding her own voice.

Olimpia
Director: Indira Cato (MEXICO)
Producer: Jessica Rito
After being a victim of sexual virtual violence, Olimpia Coral Melo sought the enactment of a groundbreaking law to protect women against cyberviolence, but now she’s still looking for a way to heal her internal wounds.

Our Daughters (working title)
Director: Chithra Jeyaram (US / INDIA)
Producers: Chithra Jeyaram, Jonna McKone
For the sake of their twin daughters, an Indian adoptive mother and a white birth mother venture into uncharted territory with an open adoption, crossing racial and cultural lines.

TATA
Co-directors: Lina Vdovîi and Radu Ciorniciuc (MOLDOVA / ROMANIA)
Producer: Monica Lazurean Gorgan
A journalist estranged from her violent father discovers that he’s become a victim of exploitation at work. When she agrees to help him expose the injustice, it reopens the wounds of their past.

The Wife Of
Director: Volia Chajkouskaya (BELARUS / ESTONIA)
Producers: Volia Chajkouskaya, Ivo Felt, Christian Popp, and Marius Markevicius
Undisclosed project.

Undisclosed Project
Details to be announced later this year.


The 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab Finalists are:

Alis 
Directors: Clare Weiskopf, Nicolas van Hemelryck (COLOMBIA)
Producers: Clare Weiskopf, Nicolas van Hemelryck, Radu Stancu, Alexandra Galvis
Teenage girls, who lived on the streets of Bogota, dream up a fictional classmate. Their soulful narrative reveals their perseverance to break the cycle of violence and embrace a brighter future.

Eat Bitter 
Directors: Pascale Appora-Gnekindy, Ningyi Sun (CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC / CHINA)
Producer: Mathieu Faure
Eat Bitter is a character-driven vérité film set in the Central African Republic, one of the poorest countries in the world. During the civil war, a Chinese immigrant construction manager and a local African laborer work on opposite ends of the spectrum to construct a sparkling new bank. As deadlines loom, they don’t hesitate to strip the earth and destroy their family lives for a seat at the table of prosperity.

How to Build a Library 
Co-directors: Maia Lekow, Christopher King (KENYA / AUSTRALIA) 
Producers: Maia Lekow, Christopher King
Two tenacious Kenyan women are transforming a dilapidated, junk-filled library in downtown Nairobi into a hub for the city’s population and creatives. But first they must wrangle with the local government, raise several million dollars for the reconstruction, and confront the ghosts of a problematic colonial history still trapped within the library walls.

Hummingbirds 
Directors: Silvia Castaños, Estefanía Contreras (US / MEXICO)
Producers: Leslie Benavides, Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Ana Rodriguez-Falco, Jillian Schlesinger
Co-directors: Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Diane Ng, Ana Rodriguez-Falco, Jillian Schlesinger
Best friends Silvia and Estefanía emerge at night to escape the cruel heat of summer in their Texas border town, wandering empty streets in search of inspiration, adventure, and a sense of belonging. When forces threaten their shared dreams, they take a stand and hold onto what they can—the moment and each other.

Light of the Setting Sun 
Director: Vicky Du (US)
Producer: Danielle Varga
A Taiwanese-American filmmaker confronts her family’s silence around the cycles of violence that have persisted since the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949.

River of Grass 
Director: Sasha Wortzel (US)
Producer: Danielle Varga 
Co-producer: Houston Cypress
River of Grass unfolds as a voyage through the past, present, and precarious future of the iconic and imperiled Florida Everglades; told through the writings of the late environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and those who today call the region home.

There Was, There Was Not 
Director: Emily Mkrtichian (US / ARMENIA) 
Producer: Mara Adina
There Was, There Was Not tells the collective myth of a homeland nearly lost to war and four women’s resistance to that loss.

We Are Volcanoes 
Co-directors: Sharon Yeung, Natalie A. Chao (HONG KONG)
Producer: Sharon Yeung
Undisclosed project.

When They Were Here 
Director: Ivy MacDonald (US / BLACKFEET TRIBE)
Co-director: Ivan MacDonald (US / BLACKFEET TRIBE)
Producer: Jessica Jane Hart
Told through the memory and lives of those left behind–families, When They Were Here examines the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis and its legacy on the Blackfeet Reservation in Northern Montana. 

Untitled Project 
Directors: Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya (INDIA) 
Producers: Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya
Undisclosed project.

Note: The parentheses next to the directors’ names indicate the directors’ country or countries of origin.