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!” 

Doc Nest 2023

On June 6, 2023, Chicken & Egg Pictures hosted Doc Nest, an invitation-only, one-day event at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice in New York. Doc Nest aimed to connect industry leaders, investors and donors with filmmakers, and to highlight a dozen Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films from around the world in various stages from development to post-production. It brought together twelve filmmaking teams from nine countries along with 87 industry leaders, donors and investors. 

The films highlighted in this convening touched upon issues related to criminal justice, gun violence in the US, threats to democracy, the war in Ukraine, gender parity, ecological justice, racial equity, and more. The highlighted films included a range of styles and artistic approaches from archival to vérité and investigative to personal, covering a range of perspectives, backgrounds and experiences. 

This intimate gathering forged relationships and provided potential supporters an inside look into projects seeking investments. The goals of the event were two-fold: 1) To provide filmmakers with more access to industry support and to raise funds for projects; and 2) To ignite honest conversations about the challenges and barriers in navigating relationships between funders and filmmakers in creating impactful documentary films. 

This all-day event formerly known as Next Gen Egg has evolved over time and was designed to deconstruct the inherent hierarchy underlining typical pitch events. This year, filmmakers were given a platform to discuss their films through moderated discussions around three themes–artistic approach, access and impact–inviting potential supporters into their process and to foster new partnerships. We paired two film projects in each discussion, inviting open conversation between filmmakers about the challenges and opportunities they face in the filmmaking process. 

Chicken & Egg Pictures provided a total of $60,000 to the twelve projects that were presented at Doc Nest. As of October 2023, the funding committed by other donors and investors who attended Doc Nest amounts to nearly $1 million across the dozen projects highlighted at the event. 

We want to thank the Clif Family Foundation for generously sponsoring Doc Nest and the Ford Foundation Just Films for being our host.

Welcome to the Nest, Ames Stevens!

Meet the newest member of our team: Production Assistant Ames Stevens 


Ames looks directly at the camera and smiles. There are flowers behind them.

As Production Assistant, Ames provides cross-departmental logistic support for Doc Nest 2023 (formerly Next Gen Egg), a large-scale event for filmmakers to receive industry opportunities.

Prior to joining Chicken & Egg Pictures, Ames worked with DiverseToons, a nonprofit devoted to uplifting animators of color, and film festivals such as RIIFF and DOC NYC. Additionally, they have been a PA for a variety of content from HBO, Netflix, and Universal NBC. They are also a filmmaker and a founding member of the queer film collective, SetRise Studios. Ames holds a BA in Film from Vassar College. In their free time, they can be found at any local theater or gallivanting in Inwood Hill Park.

“Chicken & Egg Pictures is that rare organization that gears every aspect of its existence towards a love for artists and filmmakers. It is constantly heartening to work with an organization that deeply cares about women and non-binary artists behind the camera. As a community member and filmmaker, I am thrilled to be working with Chicken & Egg Pictures!”

We are excited to welcome an egg-stra special new team member in our Nest. To learn more about them, visit our team page.