Our Nest-supported filmmaking community is soaring into DOC NYC Film Festival, which runs virtually from Wednesday, November 11 to Thursday, November 19. Ten supported films across many of our core programs— (Egg)celerator Lab films by emerging filmmakers, projects by advanced-career Chicken & Egg Awardees, and films from our inaugural Project: Hatched completion program—are official selections. Plus A Cops and Robbers Story, directed by directed by Ilinca Calugareanu, will make its world premiere at the New York festival! Learn more about the ten projects below, and get your tickets for DOC NYC here.
9to5: The Story of a Movement, directed by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar | Tickets here
“In the early 1970s, secretaries and other female office workers were underpaid, undervalued, unable to advance, and often subject to sexual harassment. In the wake of the Women’s Liberation Movement, a group of women in Boston finally had enough, joining together to begin 9to5, a movement that would sweep the nation with irreverent, attention-getting actions to demand meaningful change—and later inspire the eponymous hit film and song.”*
A Cops and Robbers Story, directed by Ilinca Călugăreanu | Tickets here (World Premiere)
In the 1980s, Corey Pegues found himself embroiled in a life of crime as a member of New York’s City’s infamous Supreme Team gang. After an incident forces Pegues away from the streets, he unexpectedly emerges as a rising star in the NYPD, his past unknown to his fellow officers. A decorated 21-year police career is threatened when his political stances and revelations about his former life cause strife within the police community.
Down a Dark Stairwell, directed by Ursula Liang | Tickets here
In 2014, Peter Liang, a Chinese-American police officer, shot and killed an innocent, unarmed black man named Akai Gurley in the dark stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project. In the midst of high racial tension surrounding police conduct, Liang becomes the first NYPD officer to receive a guilty verdict in such a case in over a decade. The highly publicized incident polarizes New York’s Asian and African American communities’ in this insightful look into the complexities of police reform.
Enemies of the State, directed by Sonia Kennebeck | Tickets here
An average American family becomes entangled in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son is targeted by the US government.
Landfall, directed by Cecilia Aldarondo | Tickets here
Through shard-like glimpses of everyday life in post-Hurricane María Puerto Rico, Landfall examines a ruined world at the brink of transformation, spinning a cautionary tale for our times.
Stateless (Apátrida), directed by Michèle Stephenson | Tickets here
Through the grassroots campaign of electoral hopeful Rosa Iris, director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary reveals the depths of racial hatred and institutionalized oppression that divide Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal |Tickets here
Through the Night is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider, whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY.
The Letter, directed by Maia von Lekow and Chris King | Tickets here
Along the coast of Kenya, a frenzied mix of consumerism and Christianity is turning hundreds of families against their elders, branding them as witches as a means to steal their land. Ninety-two-year-old Margaret Kamango stands accused by her sons, while her strong-willed daughters try to protect her. This dangerous dispute is seen through the eyes of Margaret’s grandson, Karisa, who returns home from the city to investigate and is ultimately forced to choose which side he is on.
Once Upon A Time In Venezuela, directed by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos | Tickets here
Once Upon A Time In Venezuela follows residents of a small fishing village as they prepare for parliamentary election. Once the village of Congo Mirador was prosperous. Now it is decaying and disintegrating—a prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself.
AlumNest filmmaker Tiffany Hsiung’s short film Sing Me A Lullaby will make its US premiere; Call Center Blues, directed by Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Geeta Gandbhir will screen in the Shorts program; Dick Johnson is Dead (Kirsten Johnson), A Thousand Cuts (Ramona Diaz), and The Fight (Elyse Steinberg, Eli Despres, Josh Kriegman) are on the DOC NYC Short List for feature films; and our Co-Founder & Senior Creative Consultant Judith Helfand’s film Love & Stuff is an official selection under the Masters program (co-produced with our Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello).
*Language courtesy of DOC NYC.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is now accepting submissions for the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab Open Call!
The (Egg)celerator Lab (formerly the Accelerator Lab) is focused on identifying and supporting nonfiction directors working on their first or second feature-length documentary. This program brings together ten projects, with a special focus on self-identifying women and gender nonconforming directors.
In this year-long intensive mentorship program, these ten projects receive:
- $35,000 in grant funding for the production of their feature-length film;
- monthly mentorship with members of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ senior creative team;
- three creative retreats focused on career sustainability and creative development;
- industry and funder connections; and
- peer support from the (Egg)celerator Lab cohort.
The deadline to apply for the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab is June 25, 2019 at 3:00 pm EDT.
Films from previous (Egg)celerator Labs have gone on to major international film festivals and TV broadcast debuts, where they have won numerous awards and critical praise; they have taken creative risks; helped foster important conversations about the issues they address; while the first- and second-time directors behind them have grown as leaders, enhanced their creative practices, and worked toward building a sustainable career in the film industry.
Read about select films from the last four (Egg)celerator Lab cohorts below:
From the 2016 (Egg)elerator Lab: Tre Maison Dasan, directed by Denali Tiller, 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.
Tre Maison Dasan premiered at SFFILM in 2018; had its broadcast premiere on Independent Lens PBS last April, where it also was available for streaming; and the film’s impact campaign and engagement strategy #NationalVisitingDays worked to “strengthen bonds of family, and prompt a national reflection about the the rippling effects of mass incarceration in America.”
From the 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab: One Child Nation, co-directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, follows a filmmaker as she uncovers the untold history of China’s one-child policy and the generations of parents and children forever shaped by this social experiment.
One Child Nation premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary and was acquired by Amazon for global rights.
From the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab: Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive, follows the mother of Lennon Lacy, a 17-year-old who was found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, as her search for justice and reconciliation begins and the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.
Always in Season premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency; Indie Grits, where it received Top Grit; RiverRun International Film Festival, where it received the Human Rights Award; as well as others. Filmmaker Magazine called the film “haunting, difficult and necessary, a depiction of an America that we think of as relegated to the past but that continues to encroach on the present.”
From the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab: Silent Beauty, directed by Jasmin López, is a personal documentary that follows the director 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.
Silent Beauty is currently in production. During the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab program year, Jasmin is also one of four recipients of the Jacqui Jones Memorial Scholarship by Black Public Media, and she recently participated in Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) Networks, where the project received a grant from TFI and DocsMX.
The deadline to apply to the 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab open call is Tuesday, June 25 at 3:00 pm EDT. Apply now! And sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on the (Egg)celerator Lab Open Call timeline and other news from the Nest.
The True/False Film Festival offers a four-day weekend of creative placemaking in which filmmakers, artists, musicians and others remake the mid-sized college town of Columbia, Missouri.
And we have some egg-cellent news! Four documentaries by Nest-supported filmmakers will be screening at the festival, happening from Thursday, February 28 to Sunday, March 3.
American Factory, directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steve Bognar
Dizzying, hilarious and devastating, this tale of two factories makes for a landmark story of workplace anxiety. Directors Reichert and Bognar have spent a decade documenting the plight of Ohio’s factory workers, and their dedication pays off when they are given astonishing access to Fuyao, a Chinese auto glass manufacturer, as it revives a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton.
- Friday, Mar. 1 / 2:30PM / Jesse Auditorium
- Friday, Mar. 1 / 9:15PM / The Globe
- Saturday, Mar. 2 / 6:30PM / Missouri Theatre
- Sunday, Mar. 3 / 6:00PM / The Picturehouse
How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.
- Friday, Mar. 1 / 4:30PM / Forrest Theater
- Saturday, Mar. 2 / 3:15PM / The Picturehouse
- Saturday, Mar. 2 / 7:00PM / Jesse Auditorium
- Sunday, Mar. 3 / 9:30AM / Missouri Theatre
In the Florida Panhandle lies the provincial town of Marianna, Florida, where one native resident runs a particular marathon in hopes of lifting the veil of racial terror caused by the town’s buried history.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is supporting the immersive, room-scale virtual reality experience based on their short film. In Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project, the participant travels through time and space to witness the connected historical experiences of racial terror in America.
Screens before The Commons:
- Thursday, Feb. 28 / 7:30PM / Showtime Theater
- Friday, Mar. 1 / 1:45PM / Forrest Theater
- Sunday, Mar. 3 / 12:00PM / Showtime Theater
- Sunday, Mar. 3 / 4:00PM / Jesse Auditorium
Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (former Nest grantee for The Hand That Feeds)
What’s more important: charismatic political candidates or the behind-the-scenes machine that works to elect them? Knock Down the House gives us both, breathlessly following a new breed of politician alongside a tireless collective of activists enraged by the state of American governance.
- Thursday, Feb. 28 / 7:00PM / Missouri Theatre
- Friday, Mar. 1 / 1:30PM / Showtime Theater
- Friday, Mar. 1 / 10:00PM / Jesse Auditorium
- Saturday, Mar. 2 / 9:30AM / Showtime Theater
And if you’re not in Columbia, Missouri this weekend, we have some egg-cellent news regarding these women directed documentaries. Netflix has acquired American Factory and Knock Down the House, and Amazon acquired One Child Nation; the three films will be available to stream soon.
Showcasing over 200 films and hosting over 200 thousand people each year, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is North America’s largest documentary film festival. Chicken & Egg Pictures is excited to announce that ten Nest-supported films will be gracing this year’s line-up!
Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal
Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman
Recovery Boys, directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon (2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient)
The Devil We Know, directed by Stephanie Soechtig and Jeremy Seifert (co-director)
The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui (2015-16 Accelerator Lab)
A Thousand Girls Like Me, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellow Initiative)
United Skates, directed by Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown (2016 Diversity Fellow Initiative)
Tree, directed by Milica Zec and Winslow Turner Porter
Warrior Women, directed by Christina King and Elizabeth Castle (2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative)
On Her Shoulders directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient)
In addition to the Nest-supported films that will be screening at the 2018 Hot Docs Festival, keep an eye out for the following films by directors whose work Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported and recognized in the past.
Grit directed by Cynthia Wade (Freeheld, 2007 and 2008) and Sasha Friedlander (Mudflow, 2013)
Inventing Tomorrow directed by Laura Nix (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient)
Skywards directed by Eva Weber (Black Out, 2007)
And a special shout out to Barbara Kopple (2011 Chicken & Egg Pictures Celebration Award) who has a few films playing at Hot Docs!
Chicken & Egg Pictures wants to wish these Nest-supported films and filmmakers luck with their participation in the Hot Docs Forum on May 1st and 2nd of the festival.
Born In China directed by Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang
The Rashomon Effect directed by Lyric Cabral
Nobody Loves Me, directed by Farihah Zaman and Jeff Reichert, co-directores of the Nest-supported documentary Remote Area Medical.
Post by 2018 Spring Programs Intern Dinayuri Rodriguez.
The 2017 DOC NYC Film Festival features three films that Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported directly. Running November 9-16, 2017 in Manhattan, the DOC NYC Film Festival is America’s largest documentary film festival.
Check out the full lineup of films, shorts, panels, and showcases here!
Lovesick (World Premiere)
Directed by Priya Desai and Ann Kim
In India, a culture obsessed with marriage but where AIDS is an unspeakable disease, can you find love and companionship if you’re HIV+? Ancient tradition and the new reality of HIV collide. Lovesick is the modern love story that results. Tickets and showtimes available here.
32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide (NYC Premiere)
Directed by 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. Tickets and showtimes available here.
Directed by Yance Ford
Set in the suburbs of the black middle class, Strong Island seeks to uncover how—in the year of the Rodney King trial and the Los Angeles riots—the murder of the filmmaker’s older brother went unpunished. The film is an unflinching look at homicide, racial injustice, and the corrosive impact of grief over time. Tickets and showtimes available here.
A big congratulations, also, to these Nest-supported filmmakers whose films are also screening at DOC NYC:
Katherine Fairfax Wright, Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall
Mohammed Naqvi, Insha’allah Democracy
Geeta Gandbhir, Armed With Faith
Julia Bacha, Naila and the Uprising
Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman, Nobody Loves Me
Lucy Walker, Oh, What a Beautiful City (A City Symphony)
Laura Poitras, Risk
The Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017 just wrapped and we are proud to announce the Chicken & Egg-supported filmmakers who were awarded at Sheffield Doc/Fest this year: Yance Ford for Strong Island, Jennifer Brea for Unrest and Unrest (VR)*, and Violeta Ayala for The Fight*.
Directed by Yance Ford
Tim Hetherington Award, presented by Dogwoof and the Tim Hetherington Trust.
Set in the suburbs of the black middle class, Strong Island seeks to uncover how—in the year of the Rodney King trial and the Los Angeles riots—the murder of the filmmaker’s older brother went unpunished. The film is an unflinching look at homicide, racial injustice, and the corrosive impact of grief over time.
Called a “brave, revealing film” and a “stylish and wrenching rumination on familial grief” by the New York Times, Strong Island was one of six films considered for the Tim Hetherington award which recognizes films and filmmakers for reflecting journalist Tim Hetherington’s legacy. It is streaming now on Netflix.
Unrest and Unrest (VR)
Directed by Jennifer Brea
Illuminate Award supported by Welcome; Alternate Realities VR Award.
Unrest tells the story of Jennifer by Jennifer, a Harvard Ph.D. student, who was signing a check at a restaurant when she found she could not write her own name. Months before her wedding, she became progressively more ill, losing the ability even to sit in a wheelchair. When doctors insisted that her condition was psychosomatic, she picked up her camera to document her own story and the stories of four other patients struggling with the world’s most prevalent orphaned disease.
Unrest (VR) is the virtual reality project based on the Chicken & Egg-supported documentary. Tiffany Pritchard from Filmmaker Magazine writes, “Unrest (VR) is a 10-minute immersive experience that takes place from a bed, where I lay down and, with an Oculus Rift, experienced what it’s like to be confined to a room with the debilitating illness ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis). Through a nod of my head, I was navigated through insightful experiences that provided scientific inner workings of our brains.”
Congratulations to Jennifer for her two wins!
Directed by Violeta Ayala and Daniel Fallshaw
Doc/Dispatch Prize supported by Deutsche Welle.
The Fight is a short documentary, produced by The Guardian, which tells the story of disabled people in Bolivia fighting for their rights by journeying across the Andes to La Paz, where they are met with violence by police.
Violeta’s Nest-supported film, Cocaine Prison, documents the inside of one of Bolivia’s most notorious prisons, telling the story of a cocaine worker fighting for freedom, a drug mule who dreams of being a drug boss, and his younger sister, to reveal the country’s relationship with cocaine. Cocaine Prison bridges the ever-widening gap between the North and the South and brings a new perspective to the War on Drugs as it is waged in the Andes.
*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support Unrest (VR) or The Fight directly, but did support both Jennifer and Violeta in their feature-length films. Jennifer Brea received a grant for Unreal, and Violeta Ayala received a grant for Cocaine Prison.
Post by Morgan Hulquist, Summer 2017 Chicken & Egg Pictures Communications Intern
Filmmaker discussions and Q&As are a great way for you to connect with the people who care about your film, and audiences love the chance to engage with you and discuss your film.
Glenn Raucher, Director of Theater Operations at the Film Society of Lincoln Center has seen countless film talkbacks; below, he and his staff shared with us stories of Q&A pros who used every possible chance to connect with their audience.
“John Waters, upon hearing that we were turning away 100+ people (!) from a stand-by line (sure to be disappointed, at best), offered to go out and greet them all, giving them a great experience, despite being turned away. Pedro Almodovar did the same before his ridiculously sold-out Amphitheater Talk” – Glenn Raucher, Director of Theater Operations.
“In 2002 Gary Sherman brought in his own print of “Deathline,” (uncut and very different from the theatrically released 1974 version that was re-titled “Raw Meat”). As a result, the audience got to see a version of the movie that had rarely, if ever, been shown in the United States. He was also patient and cooperative with the staff and his fans.” -Fletch Cossa, House Manager
“During a screening of “Jauja” in the New York Film Festival, the subtitling for the film failed momentarily, causing us to have to pause the film. Viggo Mortensen stood up, and cheerfully talked with the crowd while they waited, also communicating that…s**t happens, and it’s all good! It diffused the tension until the computer issue was fixed and the film resumed.” -Glenn Raucher, Director of Theater Operations
“Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as Borat, offered a “Brazilian” to everyone taking an elevator backstage with him, including our house manager. He was also, out of character, unfailingly friendly and polite.” -Karim Allick, House Manager
“A woman approached me and asked if I could help her convince Jean Dujardin to record a brief message of uplift for her very sick husband, a friend of the Film Society’s. Dujardin had flown in that day, and was clearly exhausted, but after a brief explanation, he said “of course!” and recorded a charming and funny get-well message.”- Glenn Raucher, Director of Theater Operations
These stories remind us that you don’t have to be a celebrity to make a great impression on your audience. House Manager Patrick Ng shares 3 overall tips to keep in mind for your Q&A:
- Keep your answers brief, unless you have an awesome anecdote to tell. This allows for more questions to be taken from the audience, and keeps the momentum moving. First time filmmakers tend to be more long winded in their responses, while the pros take the “less is more” approach. Short answers also provide the best quotes used in press and social media.
- Share your insight. People will remember your Q&A more when they can walk away with a nugget of insight that will inspire them, motivate them, make them look at something in a different way.
- Schedule permitting, make yourself available after the Q&A (in the lobby, not the theater!) to take more questions. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable asking a question in front of a full house and would prefer a more intimate circumstance.