Celebrating Pride Month at Chicken & Egg Pictures

June marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the beginning of the modern LGBTQ liberation movement and Pride month in the US and other participating countries. At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we are proud to support  filmmakers who use intimate storytelling to showcase diverse queer stories and characters and support filmmakers who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.

Their films are powerful tools for catalyzing social change and helping to end discrimination; their stories have been and will continue to be an important part of Chicken & Egg Pictures. And this June, we encourage you to revisit these Nest-supported films that have premiered over the past fourteen years—films that increased visibility for queer issues (The F Word: A Foster-to-Adoption Story, From This Day Forward), changed hearts and minds about important human rights topics (Southwest of Salem, Love the Sinner), and helped to build momentum in LGBTQ movements around the world (Freeheld, Call Me Kuchu). 

The F Word: A Foster-to-Adopt Story, directed by Nicole Opper

Season two of The F Word: A Foster-to-Adopt Story, directed by Nicole Opper is supported by the Chicken & Egg Pictures Impact & Innovation Initiative.  Season 1 of The F Word revealed the story of one queer couple adopting from foster care in Oakland, CA. Season 2 continues their story while amplifying other voices in the foster care world: birth families, foster youth, adoptees, adoptive parents of color, and social entrepreneurs working to repair a broken system. Stream both seasons for free here.

From This Day Forward, directed by Sharon Shattuck

From This Day Forward, directed by Sharon Shattuck, is a moving portrayal of an American family coping with one of the most intimate of transformations. When the director’s father came out as transgender and changed her name to Trisha, Sharon was in the awkward throes of middle school. Her father’s transition to female was difficult for her straight-identified mother, Marcia, to accept, but her parents stayed together. As the Shattucks reunite to plan Sharon’s wedding, she seeks a deeper understanding of how her parents’ marriage survived the radical changes that threatened to tear them apart.

Deborah S. Esquenazi Southwest of Salem:The Story of the San Antonio Four
Southwest of Salem:The Story of the San Antonio Four, directed by Deborah S. Esquenazi

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four, directed by Deborah S. Esquenazi  excavates the nightmarish persecution of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez — four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of allegedly gang raping two little girls. This bizarre case is the first to be adjudicated under momentous new legislation: for the first time in US history, wrongfully convicted innocents can challenge convictions based on debunked scientific evidence. The film also unravels the sinister interplay of mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor which led to this modern day witch hunt. In October 2016, Southwest of Salem had its US television premiere on Investigation Discovery to an audience of one million people, breaking viewership records. In November 2016, the San Antonio Four were exonerated by the Court of Criminal Appeals, and Southwest of Salem was cited in their report. Listen to a podcast about the film’s successful impact campaign here.

Love the Sinner, co-directed by Jessica Devaney and Geeta Gandbhir

Love the Sinner, co-directed by Jessica Devaney and Geeta Gandbhir (also a 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient), is a personal documentary in which queer filmmaker Jessica Devaney has a dialogue with evangelical Christians, exploring the connection between Christianity and homophobia in the wake of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Love the Sinner has a corresponding curriculum and discussion guide, created with the support of Bertha Foundation, helping to frame conversations in church youth groups, classrooms, student organizations, and more.

Freeheld Cynthia Wade
Freeheld, directed by Cynthia Wade

Freeheld, directed by Cynthia Wade follows detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester, who spent 25 years investigating tough cases in Ocean County, New Jersey, as she fights against the that same county’s Board of Chosen Freeholders to give her earned pension benefits to her partner, Stacie in the face of terminal lung cancer. Freeheld won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject. The film’s ten-city theatrical release included 35 individual theatrical screenings spanning nine states, and provided a natural outreach platform for panels, press, and public dialogue concerning LGBTQ equality around the 2008 national election (when marriage rights were pending on many state ballots).

Call Me Kuchu Malika Zouhali-Worrall Katherine Fairfax Wright
Call Me Kuchu, co-directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright

Call Me Kuchu, co-directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall (also a 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)  and Katherine Fairfax Wright, follows David Kato, Uganda’s first openly gay man, and retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, as they work against the clock to defeat state-sanctioned homophobia while combatting vicious persecution in their daily lives. But no one is prepared for the brutal murder that shakes their movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world. Since the premiere of Call Me Kuchu, Ugandan activists have participated in 29 Q&As in conjunction with screenings across the world. The film was screened by the US State Department at the International AIDS Conference, and shown to the British Parliament and the High Commissioners of Commonwealth Countries. Call Me Kuchu has screened across Africa, and was featured as the opening event for the first ever Uganda Pride in 2012.

In addition to this roster of queer films previously supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures—three out of ten films participating in the current cohort of the  (Egg)celerator Lab tell queer stories: Pray Away, of the history and continuation of the “pray the gay away” or ex-gay movement; Mama Bears, about LGBTQ people who grew up in conservative, christian homes with ferociously loving and accepting mothers, who call themselves “mama bears”; and #Mickey, about someone exploring her sexual identity and dealing with the deep homophobia of her environment through the internet.

You can find out more about them and other queer films we’ve supported at this link: http://bit.ly/CHICKENEGGLGBTQ.

Nine Women-directed Films to See at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival kicks off their 22nd annual festival today, which will take place in Durham, North Carolina from Thursday, April 4 to Sunday, April 7.

The festival’s opening night film is American Factory, the Sundance 2019 Directing – US Documentary Competition award winner directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steven Bognar, screening Thursday, April 4 — 7:30 pm at Fletcher. In addition, we were egg-static to see Julia and her long-time directing partner Steven honored by Full Frame in a  tribute and curated retrospective of their work, which will screen throughout the festival, including Union Maids, directed by Jim Klein, Miles Mogulescu, and Julia Reichert (Thursday, April 4 — 1:30 at Cinema Three and Sunday, April 7 — 5:10 pm at Cinema Four), as well as eight other films.

Full Frame’s lineup includes work by a total of nine Nest-supported women filmmakers:

El Velador Natalia Almada

El Velador (The Night Watchman), directed by Natalia Almada (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)

From dusk to dawn, El Velador (The Night Watchman) accompanies Martin, a guard who watches over the extravagant mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. In the labyrinth of the cemetery, this film about violence without violence reminds us that, amid the turmoil of a drug war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives, ordinary existence persists in Mexico and quietly defies the dead.
Thursday, April 4 — 4:00 pm at Cinema One (as part of the Some Other Lives of Time program curated by Hale County This Morning, This Evening director Ramell Ross)

Hail Satan?, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)
With humor and searing insight, director Penny Lane debunks misrepresentations about the Satanic Temple. Drawing on extensive access to the organization’s participants, this unflinching examination reveals the controversial religious movement’s aim to shine a light on the hypocrisy around America’s separation of church and state.*
Friday, April 5 — 10:00 pm at Fletcher

Changing Same Michèle Stephenson Joe Brewster Impact Innovation Initiative 2018

The Changing Same, directed by Impact & Innovation Initiative (past program) grantees Michèle Stephenson (also a 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Joe Brewster

Poet Lamar Wilson remembers reading Anatomy of a Lynching as a young man and immediately asking his grandmother if she knew Claude Neal. The book recounts the heinous 1934 murder and mutilation of Neal, a 23-year-old African American, at the hands of a mob of white men.*
Saturday, April 6 at 1:00 pm at Cinema One

Jacqueline Olive Always in Season

Always in Season (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Jacqueline Olive
When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.
Friday, April 5 — 7:20 pm at Cinema Three

One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang
How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.
Friday, April 5 — 7:00 pm at Cinema One

Mudflow Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander

Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander
Grit is the story of a huge, toxic mudflow in Indonesia widely believed to be caused by shoddy drilling practices. The mud volcano has been erupting violently for the past eight years, burying 17 villages and permanently displacing 60,000 people. Grit follows ordinary Indonesians seeking justice for this disaster during a national election where one presidential candidate has promised restitution — and the other has not.
Thursday, April 4 — 10:00 am at Cinema One

A Thousand Girls Like Me 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative Sahra Mani

A Thousand Girls Like Me, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative — past program)
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.
Thursday, April 4 — 4:20 pm at Cinema Four 


Knock Down the House
, directed by Rachel Lears (former Nest grantee for The Hand That Feeds)
In the run up to the 2018 U.S. midterms, four political newcomers challenge their Democratic incumbents in the primary elections that lead ultimately to a seat in Congress. Fearless and determined, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean Swearengin, Cori Bush, and Amy Vilela introduce their grassroots platforms to the communities in which they are deeply ingrained.*
Friday, April 5 — 7:20 pm at Fletcher

*Synopses courtesy of Full Frame.

Nest-supported Films on POV’s 32nd Season

Egg-cellent news from POV, television’s longest-running showcase for independent nonfiction films, as they announced yesterday the slate for their Season 32 broadcast. Nine out of POV’s sixteen feature films this season are helmed by women directors, and six of those films are Nest-supported projects or by Nest-supported directors.

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we are so proud to support women filmmakers whose voices are changing the world, one television broadcast at a time. Make sure to set your DVR or stream on pov.org or amdoc.org in order to catch these powerful documentaries:

Roll Red Roll Nancy Schwartzman
Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman

Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman will be the opening film for the new season, broadcasting June 17 on all PBS stations and across its platforms and pov.org and amdoc.org.

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, unearthing the attitudes at the core of their behavior. The Steubenville story acts as a cautionary tale of what can happen when adults look the other way and deny that rape culture exists. With unprecedented access to police documents, exhibits and evidence, the documentary feature unflinchingly asks: “why didn’t anyone stop it?”

On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach

On Her Shoulders, directed by 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient) will broadcast July 22.

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.

Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix
Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix

Inventing Tomorrow, directed by 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Laura Nix will broadcast on July 29.

Meet passionate teenage innovators from around the globe who are creating cutting edge solutions to confront the world’s environmental threats – found right in their own backyards – while navigating the doubts and insecurities that mark adolescence. Take a journey with these inspiring teens as they prepare their projects for the largest convening of high school scientists in the world, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

Mudflow Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander
Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander

Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander, will broadcast on September 9.

Grit is the story of a huge, toxic mudflow in Indonesia widely believed to be caused by shoddy drilling practices. The mud volcano has been erupting violently for the past eight years, burying 17 villages and permanently displacing 60,000 people. Grit follows ordinary Indonesians seeking justice for this disaster during a national election in which one presidential candidate has promised restitution—and the other has not.

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 (2016 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee) will broadcast on October 14.

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. While investigating their experiences, Assia uncovers hundreds of pages of declassified FBI documents that prove her hometown was the subject of one of the largest counterterrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11—code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” 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.

Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal

Blowin’ Updirected by 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Stephanie Wang-Breal will broadcast on October 21.

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.

Changing Same Michèle Stephenson Joe Brewster Impact Innovation Initiative 2018
Changing Same, directed by Michèle Stephenson Joe Brewster

Changing Same, directed by Impact & Innovation Initiative grantees Michèle Stephenson (also a 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Joe Brewster, is on the second season of POV’s Shorts program, following On Her Shoulders.

Chicken & Egg Pictures is supporting the immersive, room-scale virtual reality experience based on the short film, Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project.

Check your local listings for broadcast times and more information.

The Nest at the 2019 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

The 16th Annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival kicked off last Friday, February 15 and will continue to Sunday, February 24 in Missoula, Montana. The festival hosts over 200 visiting artists, presents an average of 150 nonfiction films, and we are egg-static to report that seven Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films were included in the line-up.

Councilwoman, directed by Margo Guernsey
World Premiere: Friday,  February 22 at 5:00 pm — Elks Lodge

A hotel housekeeper, from the Dominican Republic, has won a City Council seat in Providence, Rhode Island. Carmen balances cleaning hotel rooms with navigating a political establishment that does not easily acquiesce to the needs of working people. She falls in love and gets married, but the relationship falls apart. That doesn’t stop her from gaining confidence in her new political role. She manages complicated neighborhood dynamics, and takes on issues of tax equity and fair wages. Despite her leadership, she faces a tight re-election campaign when her contenders suggest a more traditional politician would do a better job.

Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal
Northwest Premiere: Thursday, Feb. 21 at 8:45pm — MCT Center for the Performing

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.

Mudflow Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander

Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander
Montana Premiere:  Thursday, February 21 at 9:15 pm — Elks Lodge

Grit is the story of a huge, toxic mudflow in Indonesia widely believed to be caused by shoddy drilling practices. The mud volcano has been erupting violently for the past eight years, burying 17 villages and permanently displacing 60,000 people. Grit follows ordinary Indonesians seeking justice for this disaster during a national election where one presidential candidate has promised restitution — and the other has not.

Roll Red Roll Nancy Schwartzman

Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman
Montana Premiere: Sunday, February 17 at 1:30pm

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.  Roll Red Rolle explores the complex motivations of both perpetrators and bystanders in this story, to unearth the attitudes at the core of their behavior. The Steubenville story acts as a cautionary tale of what can happen when adults look the other way and deny that rape culture exists. With unprecedented access to police documents, exhibits and evidence, the documentary feature unflinchingly asks: “why didn’t anyone stop it?”

A Thousand Girls Like Me 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative Sahra Mani

A Thousand Girls Like Me, directed by 
Montana Premiere: Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8:45 pm — Elks Lodge

When a 23-year-old Afghan woman, Khatera, confronts the will of her family and the traditions of her country to seek justice for years of sexual abuse from her father, she sheds light on the faulty Afghan judicial system and the women it rarely protects.

Tre Maison Dasan Denali Tiller 2015 Accelerator Lab

Tre Maison Dasan, directed by Denali Tiller
Montana Premiere: Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6:15pm — Elks Lodge

Tre Maison Dasan is a story that explores parental incarceration through the eyes of three boys—Tre, Maison, and Dasan. Following their interweaving trajectories through boyhood marked by the criminal justice system, and told directly through the child’s perspective, the film unveils the challenges of growing up and what it means to become a man in America.

Warrior Women Christina D. King Elizabeth Castle 2017 Accelerator Lab

Warrior Women, directed by 

The women of the American Indian Movement fight from a vulnerable place only matriarchs can understand—it is a battle for their children and the culture they hope to preserve for them. Warrior Women chronicles the struggle of Madonna Thunder Hawk and Marcy Gilbert, a Lakota mother and daughter whose fight for indigenous rights started in the 1970s and continues today at Standing Rock.

 

Nest-supported Films to See at DOC NYC

The DOC NYC Film Festival recently released their full 2018 line-up, schedule, and some exciting news: of the sixteen features screening in competition, women directed or co-directed eight of them. We’re egg-static to see DOC NYC follow in the footsteps of a number of film festivals which have recently pledged gender parity in programming, like Camden International Film Festival which achieved gender parity in selections across every category just last month.

DOC NYC runs from Thursday, November 8 to Thursday, November 15 at the IFC Center, SVA Theatre, and Cinépolis Chelsea, with three Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films and one supported filmmaker on the line-up.

On Her Shoulders Alexandria Bombach

On Her Shoulders (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient), directed by Alexandria Bombach. Saturday, November 10 at 10:00 AM and Sunday, November 11 at 9:55 PM at the Cinépolis Chelsea.

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.

On Her Shoulders was also listed as a top award contender for the documentary feature category on the DOC NYC shortlist.

Mudflow Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander

Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander. Sunday, November 11 at 5:15 PM at the Cinépolis Chelsea and Thursday, November 15 at 12:45 PM at IFC Center.

Grit is the story of a huge, toxic mudflow in Indonesia widely believed to be caused by shoddy drilling practices. The mud volcano has been erupting violently for the past eight years, burying 17 villages and permanently displacing 60,000 people. Grit follows ordinary Indonesians seeking justice for this disaster during a national election where one presidential candidate has promised restitution — and the other has not.

Tre Maison Dasan Denali Tiller 2015 Accelerator Lab

Tre Maison Dasan (2016 Accelerator Lab Grantee), directed by Denali Tiller. Sunday, November 11 at 7:45 PM and Monday, November 12 at 2:30 PM at the Cinépolis Chelsea.

Tre Maison Dasan is a story that explores parental incarceration through the eyes of three boys—Tre, Maison, and Dasan. Following their interweaving trajectories through boyhood marked by the criminal justice system, and told directly through the child’s perspective, the film unveils the challenges of growing up and what it means to become a man in America.

Kristin Jacobson

Take Back The Harbor, directed by Kristi Jacobson  (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) and Roger Ross Williams. Sunday, November 11 at 10:00 AM  at the SVA Theatre.

“On Governor’s Island, an ambitious program works to restore once-bountiful oysters and the environmental benefits they bring to New York Harbor. Take Back the Harbor highlights students at a remarkable public high school where environmental stewardship is part of the curriculum.”*

Take Back The Harbor was also listed as a top award contender for the documentary short category on the DOC NYC shortlist.

*Synopsis courtesy of Discovery/Motto Pictures. Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Take Back The Harbor but supported director Kristi Jacobson through the Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program.

And don’t forget to see Nest-supported filmmakers at the DOC NYC PRO conference occurring in conjunction with screenings. See you at DOC NYC!