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.

 

Denali Tiller: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 11

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen of our supported women nonfiction filmmakers.

Denali Tiller Tre Maison DasanDenali Tiller is an artist and filmmaker named one of 110 “Filmmakers To Watch” by Variety Magazine in 2015 for her short film Sons and Daughters of the Incarcerated — which grew into her feature documentary, Tre Maison Dasan.

She has worked with the US Agency for International Development, and is currently adjunct faculty at Rhode Island School of Design. Through her work, Denali is interested in empowering artists in systemic thinking, social justice, and activism. She is most passionate about children and youth advocacy, and how we raise boys in America.

Tre Maison Dasan Denali Tiller 2015 Accelerator Lab
Tre Maison Dasan, directed by Denali Tiller

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.

“We so often we tell stories about children from a top down perspective, informed by what we (adults) “know” about their experiences and psychology, and consequently how their lives will unfold. As Tre, Maison and Dasan taught me about their worlds, I recognized that there was a desperate need for a film that allows children to speak for themselves – particularly children of color – to capture the power in their own emotional intelligence, and elevate their voices in a way that fully represents their lives as they experience them.”—Denali Tiller, Director’s Statement

Tre Maison Dasan participated in the 2016 Accelerator Lab.

 

 

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

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!

Nine Nest-Supported Films/Filmmakers at the AFI Docs Film Festival

The AFI Docs Film Festival is kicking off in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MD this week, and Chicken & Egg Pictures is honored to have supported the following nonfiction filmmakers and their projects, which can be seen at the festival from June 13-17.

United Skates_Tina Brown and Dyana Winkler_Diversity Fellows Initiative2016

United Skates, directed by Dyana Winkler & Tina Brown (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

When America’s last standing roller rinks are threatened with closure, a community of thousands battle in a racially charged environment to save an underground subculture—one that has remained undiscovered by the mainstream for generations, yet has given rise to some of the world’s greatest musical talent.

The 2018 Tribeca Audience Award-winning film will be closing out the festival on Sunday, June 17 at 6:30 pm.

Blowin Up_Stephanie Wang-Breal

Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal

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.

Screenings: Thursday, June 14 at 3:30 pm and Friday, June 15 at 6:15 pm.

Dark Money by Kimberly Reed

Dark Money, directed by Kimberly Reed

A century ago, corrupt money swamped Montana’s legislature, but Montanans rose up to prohibit corporate campaign contributions. Today, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision —which allows unlimited, anonymous money to pour into elections nationwide—Montana is once again fighting to preserve open and honest elections. Following an investigative reporter through a political thriller, Dark Money exposes one of the greatest threats to American democracy.

Screening: Thursday, June 14 at 6:00 pm.

It Will Be Chaos by Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo

It Will Be Chaos, directed by Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo

Life in Southern Italy is thrown into a tailspin when refugees arrive by the thousands and the locals are left to fend for themselves. Eritrean survivor Aregai, trapped in the Italian faltering immigration system, goes underground to reach Northern Europe. Through his journey, intercut with the road trip to Germany of a Syrian family, the clash between the newcomers and the locals escalates in real time.

Screening: Thursday, June 14 at 5:45 pm.

Tre Maison Dasan by Denali Tiller (2015 Accelerator Lab Grantee)

Tre Maison Dasan, directed by Denali Tiller (Accelerator Lab 2015)

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.

Screenings: Thursday, June 14 at 6:00 pm and Sunday, June 18 at 4:45 pm.

The following films were directed by Nest-supported filmmakers and will also be featured at the AFI Docs Film Festival.

Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient)

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

A Murder in Mansfield, directed by Barbara Kopple (2011 Chicken & Egg Pictures Celebration Award)

Skywards, directed by Eva Weber (Black Out, 2007)

See the full AFI Docs Film Festival slate here.

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

The Nest at the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival

Chicken & Egg Pictures is happy to share that the Nest-supported film, Tre Maison Dasan, will be featured at the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival!

The festival will run from April 4-17. For more information on the programming, schedule, and tickets, visit the SFFILM website.

Tre Maison Dasan, directed by Denali Tiller

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.

The following films directed by filmmakers who have been supported by the Nest in the past will also be screening at the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival!

Still from Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix

Inventing Tomorrow directed by Laura Nix (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient)
The Pushouts directed by Katie Galloway (director of the Nest-supported film, The Return)
Skywards directed by Eva Weber (director of the Nest-supported film, Black Out)

Post by 2018 Spring Programs Intern Dinayuri Rodriguez.

Chicken & Egg Pictures announces grantees for inaugural Accelerator Lab

Chicken & Egg Pictures announced today the selected participants of the inaugural Accelerator Lab. The Accelerator Lab brings together 10 non-fiction projects helmed by first and second-time women filmmakers as part of a brand new program with the goal of providing the necessary tools and environment for talented filmmakers to tell their stories. The Accelerator Lab is focused on identifying a diverse group of first and second-time women non-fiction filmmakers and supporting their continued success through various means and initiatives.

These include providing financial assistance by way of grants, as well as creative guidance and support through mentorship workshops, industry connections, and peer support. Participants will receive a two-part grant for the production of their film, which they will develop over the course of the 12-18 month program.

“These filmmakers and projects represent a microcosm of the over 200 filmmakers whom Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported over the last ten years. Our goal is to nurture their talent by providing them with a yearlong creative lab program, a grant of up to $35,000, and a community of women filmmakers who can support and learn from one another,” said Jenni Wolfson, Executive Director of Chicken & Egg Pictures. “We selected these women filmmakers because we believe not only that they are going to make artful and compelling films, but because we believe that these stories must be told and will contribute to changing how we see and respond to the world around us.”

2015 ACCELERATOR LAB PARTICIPANTS:

 A GUANGZHOU LOVE STORY
Director: Kathy Huang
In China, an unprecedented surge in African migration has led to a rise in marriages between Chinese women and African men. A Guangzhou Love Story captures the love, heartache, and real life challenges of Afro-Chinese couples attempting to forge a meaningful future together in the face of racism and xenophobia.

A Guangzhou Love Story, directed by Kathy Huang
A Guangzhou Love Story, directed by Kathy Huang

BY A THREAD
Director: Rina Castelnuovo & Tamir Elterman
By A Thread tells the story of Muhammad (Muhi), a Palestinian child from Gaza and the son of a Hamas activist wanted by Israel. As a newborn, Muhi is transferred to Israel for treatment of a life-threatening condition. Months turn into years and Muhi, now six, has lived his whole life in the Israeli hospital, confined for security reasons to its premises with his grandfather. The film explores Muhi’s contradictory world in which he is treated, raised, and saved by his people’s enemy, while his parents remain in Gaza.

By A Thread is an inside look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’s inescapable presence in everyday life and how it shapes those like Muhi who are unwillingly drawn into it.

CUENCA
Director: Isabel Alcántara
After a spate of mysterious illnesses and deaths, a community in Mexico discovers its water is radioactive. What unfolds is a story of resilience, conviction and the lies we tell ourselves about our dwindling resources.

Cuenca, directed by Isabel Alcantara
Cuenca, directed by Isabel Alcantara

FLY AWAY
Director: LC Cohen
Fly Away 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.

LAWYERS
Director: Hikaru Toda
A story of love, family, and rights, Lawyers is a snapshot of Japan in transition. Fumi and Kazu are life partners, both professionally and privately: they run the first and only law firm in Japan run by an openly gay couple. From activists to artists to vulnerable young people, we see a cross section of Japanese society pass through Kazu and Fumi’s office – their clients and their cases reveal Japan’s changing social landscape and the diversity too often overlooked in its homogenous society. Lawyers also follows Kazu and Fumi’s quest to raise a family. Faced with a legal system that doesn’t allow adoption by same sex couples and having seen firsthand the realities of institutionalized youths, they have begun the process of registering as foster parents.

ROLL RED ROLL
Director: Nancy Schwartzman
The story of a football town divided, Roll Red Roll is a true crime thriller examining sexual assault in small town America.

RULES TO LIVE BY
Director: Hope Litoff
A reflection on the life and suicide of Ruth Litoff, a successful artist, a pathological liar, and the filmmaker’s sister. By looking back on Ruth’s incredible highs and lows, bursts of creative genius, depression, secrets, and lies, a vivid portrait will emerge of the brilliant woman the filmmaker is not sure she ever really knew. This is her attempt to understand what happened.

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE INCARCERATED
Director: Denali Tiller
Growing up is full of challenges, but for Tre, Maison, and Giana those challenges reach beyond friends, school, and middle school crushes. Sons and Daughters of the Incarcerated tells the story of three children whose fathers are in prison, and a formerly incarcerated mother who is now working to stop the cycle. How do the stigmas of incarceration shape their identities as they struggle to find their places in their communities and the world? What will it take to break the cycle of violence, crime, and imprisonment that pulls so hard on these kids’ lives and millions more like them?

THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED
Director: Assia Boundaoui & Alex Bushe
The Feeling of Being Watched is the first documentary film to tell the story of the War on Terror from the perspective inside an Arab-American neighborhood. Since the early 90’s, people in Bridgeview, IL have stayed quiet about their deep suspicions of living under government surveillance, and no one has ever dug into why the surveillance may have begun. Until now. This film brings to light an under-represented human story and follows the filmmakers as they investigate what really happened, and may still be happening, in Bridgeview.

WHOSE STREETS?
Director: Sabaah Jordan & Damon Davis
A first-hand look at how the murder of one teenage boy became the last straw for a community under siege. Whose Streets? is a story of love, loss, conflict, and ambition; the journey of everyday people turned freedom fighters, whose lives intertwined with a burgeoning national movement for black liberation. This is a film for all of America – it provides insight into the unseen reality of racism, the role of media in conflict, state-sanctioned violence, and militarized policing – but at its core it is Ferguson’s story, it is our cry of “enough is enough.”

Whose Streets?, directed by Sabaah Jordan and Damon Davis
Whose Streets?, directed by Sabaah Jordan and Damon Davis