Nailah Jefferson: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 9

“The way that I would best describe my style as just, I try and be honest. I just want them to be truthful, authentic, stories. I want to give you a human connection because I think that’s what will shine through and connect people to the film each and every time.” – Nailah Jefferson, Essence

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

Commuted, directed by Nailah Jefferson 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative.Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Nailah Jefferson is a filmmaker influenced greatly by her southern roots. Her first documentary, Vanishing Pearls, told the story of a little known African American oyster fishing community and their fight for justice after the BP oil spill. And her first narrative, Plaquemines, in which a father and son navigate life in a dying fishing culture in Louisiana, was chosen as an American Black Film Festival HBO Shorts finalist and is available on HBO.

Her second feature documentary Commuted is a participant of the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative.

Commuted Nailah Jefferson Chicken & Egg Pictures
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.

Nausheen Dadabhoy: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 3

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

Nausheen Dadabhoy An Act of Worship Chicken & Egg Pictures Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 unnamed-5.jpgNausheen Dadabhoy is a Pakistani-American director and DP from Southern California. She received her MFA in Cinematography from the American Film Institute. She is based in New York, Los Angeles and Karachi, where she has broken boundaries to become the only female cinematographer in Pakistan.

Shooting out of an open cable car in the Swiss Alps at 9000 feet; getting followed by Pakistani intelligence officials in Kashmir; smuggling a camera into the holiest Muslim site in the world; narrowly avoiding terrorists near the Afghan border; these are the many things that Nausheen Dadabhoy has done to “get the shot.”

An Act of Worship Nausheen Dadabhoy Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 unnamed-3.jpg
An Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy

Since graduating she has lensed a number of narrative and documentary films: J’adore Nawal for Lena Dunham’s HBO documentary series Lenny which premiered at Sundance, Academy Award Live Action Short nominee La femme et le TGV or The Railroad Lady, and Aaja a music video for Riz Ahmed’s hip hop group The Swet Shop Boys. Nausheen’s films have played in competition at festivals like TIFF, AFI Fest, Locarno and IDFA. Her clients include Field of Vision, HBO, A&E and MSNBC.

An Act of Worship Nausheen Dadabhoy Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 unnamed-1.jpg
An Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy

Nausheen is the director of An Act of Worship, participant of the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative, currently in production.

An Act of Worship follows young Muslim women beginning their career in activism at a time when hate crimes against Muslims have reached their highest level since 9/11. The travel ban has sent the message that Muslims are not welcome in the US. Now, a new generation has been galvanized into action to reclaim their space in the American landscape.

Sahra Mani: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 2

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

“I make films to give hope to the women of my country and to give guidance to those who want to know my country better. I make films to help build a safe society for the next generation and to record our journey to that point.” – Sahra Mani, Al Jazeera

A Thousand Girls Like Me Sahra Mani 2016 Diversity Fellows InitiativeSahra Mani is an award-winning Afghan filmmaker committed to using her skills as a filmmaker to amplify the voices of Afghan women to help bring about an understanding of their lives.

She received a BA in Digital Film Production from London Metropolitan University and an MA in Documentary Filmmaking from University of the Arts London. 

Sahra was an organizer of the Afghanistan Human Rights Film Festival in 2013.  She is the founder of Afghanistan Doc House, a production company based in Kabul, and co-founder of London based production company Anahat Vision and Films. Her documentary films have played at film festivals around the world and won numerous awards. 

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

Her latest feature documentary and 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative grantee A Thousand Girls Like Me had its world premiere at Hot Docs this year, and went on to show at IDFA, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and Sheffield Doc/Fest. 

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.

A shortened version of A Thousand Girls Like Me is available to stream on Al Jazeera.

Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.

Chicken & Egg Pictures Receives IDA Amicus Award

Earlier this month, Nest-supported Dark Money and United Skates were included in the International Documentary Association (IDA) Shortlist for Top Feature and as well as nominated for the IDA Award for Best Feature of 2018.

And last week, we received more good news from the International Documentary Association. Chicken & Egg Pictures is being recognized with the prestigious Amicus Award. We’re in good company too, with past recipients including Stephen Spielberg, Norman and Lyn Lear, and our dear Nest friend and Fork Films President and CEO Abigail Disney.

The Amicus Award “honors individuals or organizations in recognition of their work supporting the essential needs of the nonfiction media landscape,” and we humbly thank IDA for this extraordinary recognition. In an environment where the need to amplify women’s voices is receiving much needed attention, this award will serve to further elevate the importance of their stories.

Julia Reichert 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker AwardWe would like to extend a special congratulations to 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient Julia Reichert for her well-earned Career Achievement Award. Thank you Julia, for your incredible contributions to documentary filmmaking. We are so happy for you and cannot wait to celebrate your achievements.

Dawn Porter 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker AwardWe also congratulate 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient Dawn Porter for her nomination for Best Limited Series for her Netflix doc series Bobby Kennedy for President. Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Bobby Kennedy for President but supported Dawn during her breakthrough year and past projects Trapped and The Chosen Life. Congratulations Dawn and good luck!

The IDA Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 8 at the Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles.  We’ll see you there!

The Nest in the Inaugural DOC NYC 40 Under 40

The DOC NYC Film Festival recently released their inaugural 40 Under 40 List, sponsored by Topic Studios, honoring documentary talents under the age of 40. Of the 40 artists selected, over half are women. Congratulations to all on this honor!

Assia Boundaoui, director of The Feeling of Being Watched (2016 Accelerator Lab and recipient of The Whickers Chicken & Egg Pictures Award)

Lyric R. Cabral, director of (T)ERROR and The Rashomon Effect (2017 Accelerator Lab)

Nausheen Dadabhoy, director of An Act of Worship (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

Jessica Devaney, co-director of Love the Sinner (2016 Impact and Innovation Initiative), and producer of the Nest-supported films Always in Season, The Feeling of Being Watched, Roll Red Roll,  and Speed Sisters.

Sabaah Folayan, director of Whose Streets? (2016 Accelerator Lab). Whose Streets? premiered on PBS on July 30.

Lana Wilson, director of The Departure and After Tiller

Farihah Zaman, co-director of Remote Area Medical

And congratulations to our other Nest friends!

Check out more DOC NYC news from the Nest.

Fork Films Announces 2018 Grants

Fork Films announced yesterday $625,000 in grant funding to  sixteen documentaries “that align with the company’s dedication to promoting peacebuilding, human rights, and social justice.”

We are so proud to have supported seven films of the sixteen announced, as well as one filmmaker.

Born In China, directed by Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang (2017 Accelerator Lab)

How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.

How to Have an American Baby, directed by Leslie Tai (2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

How to Have an American Baby is a kaleidoscopic voyage that travels behind closed doors into the booming shadow economy that caters to affluent Chinese tourists who travel to the US on birthing vacations—in order to give birth and obtain US citizenship for their babies. Tracing the underground supply chain from Beijing and Shanghai to Los Angeles, the film weaves together vignettes and deeply private moments. In bedrooms, delivery rooms, and family meetings, the story of a hidden global economy emerges—depicting the fortunes and tragedies that befall the ordinary people caught in the web of its influence.

Lights Camera Uganda, directed by Cathryne Czubek and Hugo Perez (2017 Accelerator Lab)

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.

Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope, directed by Hana Mire ( 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative and the 2017 Accelerator Lab)

If doing what you love put your life at risk, would you continue to do it? What if it would also endanger the life of your family and friends? Would you carry on? Or would you quit? These are the questions the women athletes of Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope face every single day as they are met with threats from members of the Al-Shabab militia in Mogadishu. Diving deep inside the Somali National Women’s basketball team’s first season since the civil war, the film follows veteran coach Suad Galow as she shepherds her team of fearless young women, and helps them to overcome the violent threats against them and reclaim their place on the international stage.

Reentry (working title), directed by Jennifer Redfearn (2018 Accelerator Lab)

Women are now the fastest growing population in the U.S. criminal justice system, increasing at nearly double the rate of men. The majority of women going into prison are serving time for drug-related charges. This immersive, character-driven film follows three women—who are part of a new reentry program in Cleveland, Ohio—as they prepare to leave prison, reunite with their children, and find jobs after serving time for drug-related charges.

Syrian Families Film (Untitled), directed by Megan Mylan

A look at war and displacement through the lens of parenthood from Megan Mylan, Academy-Award winning director of Lost Boys of Sudan and Smile Pinki. This feature documentary unfolds as a sequence of cinematic short stories revolving around Syrian families living in Turkey, Greece, the US, Germany, and Syria. Each chapter is an intimate portrait of parents—often mothers alone—as they work to rebuild their children’s lost sense of security and possibility. It is a story that is both urgent and timeless.

The Rashomon Effect, directed by Lyric R Cabral (2017 Accelerator Lab)

What happened when unarmed Black teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by White police officer Darren Wilson?

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Film, directed by Michèle Stephenson (Breakthrough Filmmaker Award, 2016) and Joe Brewster*

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project recounts the story of acclaimed poet, Nikki Giovanni and the revolutionary historical periods through which she lived—from the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movement, to present-day Black Lives Matter.

* Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Film but supports director Michèle through our 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program.

See the full slate of Fork Films’ newly supported projects here.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

Nest-Supported Projects at IFP Week

2018 IFP Week FilmsThe Independent Filmmaker Project announced its 40th annual IFP Project Forum slate highlighting films, series, digital, and audio projects from around the world. We are honored to announce that four Chicken & Egg-supported projects from our 2018 programs year were included.

An Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

An Act of Worship follows young Muslim women activists at a time when hate crimes against Muslims have reached their highest level since 9/11. The travel ban has sent the message that Muslims are not welcome in the US. Now, a new generation has been galvanized into action to reclaim their space in the American landscape.

The In Between, directed by Robie Flores (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)

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.

Made in Boise, directed by Beth Aala (2018 Discretionary Grant)

A surprising—and booming—industry has emerged in Boise, Idaho. In this idyllic, all-American city, nurses, nail technicians, and stay-at-home mothers are having babies for strangers—in record numbers. Boise’s own St. Luke’s Medical Center founded and runs the first and best surrogacy program of its kind, in all the US. But everything is not as it appears, surrogacy is not without its health risks, and the practice is not without its emotional complications. Character-driven and stylized in its approach, Made In Boise introduces audiences to the unique world of surrogacy in the most unexpected of places.

People’s Hospital, directed by Siyi Chen (2018 Accelerator Lab)

As the Chinese society criticizes dysfunctional hospitals, a doctor’s daughter revisits the small-town hospital where she grew up — this time with a camera, in the middle of a chaotic ER.

And a special congratulations to filmmakers who were previously supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures.

Women in Blue, directed by Deirdre Fishel (Care, 2014) and executive produced by Gini Reticker (The Trials of Spring, 2014)

A female police chief and a determined band of women officers work to redefine “protect and serve,” when a tragic shooting upends their progress.*

Narrowsburg, directed by Martha Shane (After Tiller co-director)

Narrowsburg tells the story of a French producer and a mafioso-turned-actor who attempted to turn a small Catskills town into the “Sundance of the East.”*

*Synopses from the IFP website.

Filmmakers will attend the IFP Project Forum during the 40th anniversary of IFP Week happening September 15 – 20 in Brooklyn.

Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist. 

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.

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.

United Skates wins Tribeca Audience Award

United Skates, directed by Tina Brown and Dyana Winkler at Tribeca Film Festival.
United Skates, directed by Tina Brown & Dyana Winkler

Congratulations to United Skates directors Tina Brown & Dyana Winkler for their 2018 Tribeca Audience Award win! Chicken & Egg Pictures supported Tina and Dyana’s project with our 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative.

Next, United Skates will be hitting up Toronto’s Hot Docs Film Festival, so be sure to catch them there!

Read more about the film and its filmmakers in this No Film School interview.