Filmmakers from both the Fork Films’ alumnae roster and Chicken & Egg Pictures’ AlumNest will receive supportive, strategic feedback from their peers, as well as mentors from both organizations to explore story structure, learn production best practices, and leave with a sharper vision for their films.
“Together we are stronger! This opportunity to combine our mission-aligned organizations and take advantage of our organic synergy to champion filmmakers is so valuable. It allows us to further support and elevate filmmakers as they continue to explore the stories in their films and learn about production best practices. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership,” said Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Director Lucila Moctezuma.
Learn about the Fork Films and Chicken & Egg Pictures Story Workshop participants below:
Directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan (AlumNest & Fork Films Alumna)
Produced by Helen Hood Scheer
Body Parts explores the making of Hollywood intimacy scenes in a post #MeToo era. From a kaleidoscopic range of perspectives, the film traces how a cinematic legacy of exploitation and ingenuity have shaped the entertainment industry and audiences. Can an authentic, more ethical vision of female sexuality be conveyed? The answers go beyond movie-making and impact the world at large.
Directed and produced by Denali Tiller (AlumNest)
Maia, Kayla and Alli are three young women who have aspirations as many young women do: to find love, success, and purpose in their work. But for these three women, their work involves getting hit, punched, body-slammed, kicked, tackled – and doing the same to others. As these women emerge from tender teenage years to a rough, brutal world of punching bags, dummies, broken bones, and razor’s edge competition, we will witness the emotional and physical strength that’s required to compete at a high level, and explore the threshold between fighting for fitness, validation, control, or self-defense in the face of trauma.
The Half Truths
Directed by Hemal Trivedi (AlumNest)
Produced by Hemal Trivedi, Amelia Hanibelsz, Cynthia Kane
India’s bloodiest conflict zone is Chhattisgarh, an environmentally fragile region and state where the country’s last dense forest exists, the “lungs of India”. A multinational mining company is eviscerating the land while simultaneously at war with rebel tribal forces. Soni, a tribal school teacher, runs an orphanage and is unexpectedly caught in the crossfire. She is arrested, tortured, and raped. Her arduous quest for justice makes her an international symbol of resistance against state oppression. After release from prison term, and with little choice in the matter, a leader emerges to save her cherished forest and find a path to peace.
Directed by Eva Weber (AlumNest)
Produced by Lizzie Gillett, Sigrid Dyekjaer, Eva Weber, Sonja Henrici
As Angela Merkel leaves the world stage, Merkel explores how a triple outsider—a woman, an East German and a scientist—re-invented herself to become one of the world’s most powerful politicians. Told from an international perspective for an international audience, this film is the definitive re-examination of Angela Merkel’s life and career, delicately told with humor, subtlety, and poignancy.
Power & Light
Directed by Marion Lipschutz, Rose Rosenblatt (AlumNest & Fork Films Alumnae)
Produced by Rose Rosenblatt, Sabrina Alvarez, Jesse Epstein
In Lawrence, MA a Dominican Pastor and his Anglo wife transform a fractious group of evangelical LatinX clergy into a fighting force for climate justice, determined to make their town a showcase for a green future. Power & Light is a portrait of a marriage that sits on the fault lines of race, culture, gender and religion, mirroring the larger tensions of a story about organizing for climate justice. Sue and Joel’s perspective, and their marriage, emotionally anchor the larger story of how a community informed by spiritual faith struggles to organize around man-made disasters.
The Total Trust
Directed and produced by Jialing Zhang (2021 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient* & Fork Film Alumna)
The Total Trust (working title) takes a visceral look at the realities of a society in the throes of a digital invasion. From cameras to AI profiling, China is facing an unprecedented level of surveillance, upheld in equal measure through fear and trust. By exploring the relationship between the watched and the watching, our film uncovers the trauma and hope engendered by these measures and lends a voice to those that stand in resilient defiance of such blatant abuse of power.
*The Total Trust is also supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures through Jialing Zhang’s Chicken & Egg Award this year.
DOC NYC, the largest nonfiction film festival in the US, is just around the corner, and they released the line-up for their eight-day DOC NYC PRO conference which will take place in conjunction with film screenings and from November 8-15. Each day includes a keynote address, followed by panels with filmmakers and industry professionals on a selection of themes . Here’s a line-up of Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported filmmakers and Nest-friends to hear from at DOC NYC PRO.
Thursday, November 8
Morning Manifesto: Dawn Porter (2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient) gives the opening speech of the DOC NYC PRO conference, discussing her “thoughts on the current state of documentary filmmaking.”
Who Owns The Story: Nanfu Wang (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) speaks on a panel exploring “the issues of complicated filmmaker/subject relationships and storytelling ownership”.
Dig Deep: Doc Storytelling: Nancy Schwartzman (Roll Red Roll) speaks on “providing specific, in-depth and enlightening studies for emerging documentary filmmakers”.
Friday, November 9
Getting Personal: Alexandria Bombach, 2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient and director of DOC NYC Short Listed film On Her Shoulders, discusses films “that rely on a strong bond between director and subject with filmmakers”.
Case Study: Bobby Kennedy For President: Nest-supported Dawn Porter speaks on her acclaimed Netflix doc series.
Saturday, November 10
Morning Manifesto: Our Nest-friend and President and CEO of Fork Films Abigail Disney speaks on “what stories are the most important to tell”.
Storytelling in a Post-Truth World: Rabab Haj Yahya, editor of 2018 Accelerator Lab grantee The Feeling of Being Watched shares her thoughts about ensuring a story is truthful.
Grab Your Audience’s Attention: Editor of 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative grantee United Skates, Katharine Garrison speaks on a panel about ” bringing an audience into your film’s world”.
Sunday, November 11
Tight Spots, Dynamic Shots: Erik Shirai, cinematographer of Nest-supported Blowin’ Up speaks on a panel about cinematography in docs.
Monday, November 12
Case Study With Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster: Directors of the Impact & Innovation Initiative project Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson (also a 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) discuss crafting exemplary short films.
Tuesday, November 13
Access is Everything: Kimberly Reed (Dark Money) and others discuss building trust with documentary subjects.
Wednesday, November 14
Dissecting Development With Impact Partners: Our friends at Impact Partners present a panel about establishing development funding for documentaries.
Way More Than B-Roll: 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient Penny Lane discusses how archival footage creates a deeper meaning in documentaries.
Thursday, November 15
Morning Manifesto: Yoruba Richen (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) and director of The New Black shares her thoughts on getting films made.
Synopses of panels courtesy of the DOC NYC website.
See you at the DOC NYC PRO conference!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
What happened when unarmed Black teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by White police officer Darren Wilson?
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.