Ascension Soars at Cinema Eye Honors!

Huge congratulations to the Ascension team for picking up three awards at the 15th Annual Cinema Eye Honors: Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography, Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score, and Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film. 

Plus a special shoutout to AlumNest filmmakers Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, and the In the Same Breath team for their win in the award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Film For Broadcast.

Ascension

dir. & prod. Jessica Kingdon

prods. Kira Simon-Kennedy, Nathan Truesdell

Still from Ascension

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Jessica Kingdon and Nathan Truesdell

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
Dan Deacon

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film
Jessica Kingdon

Ascension examines the contemporary “Chinese Dream” through staggering observations of labor, consumerism and wealth. In cinematically exploring the aspiration that drives today’s People’s Republic of China, the film plunges into universal paradoxes of economic progress.


Headshot of a woman with a pony tail, a short sleeve shirt and smiling at the cameraOutstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Film For Broadcast
In the Same Breath
dir. Nanfu Wang
prods. Jialing Zhang, Carolyn Hepburn, Sara Rodriguez, Julie Goldman, and Christopher Clements 

Headshot of a woman with long hair and a fringe smiling at the camera


Take a look at the complete list of award winners by visiting this link.

Ascension, Simple As Water & Writing With Fire on the 94th Oscars® shortlist

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday, December 21 their shortlist for documentary features and documentary short subject. At Chicken & Egg Pictures we are sending massive congratulations to the 3 Nest-supported films on the list: Ascension, Simple As Water, and Writing With Fire, as well as to the 5 films from the AlumNest.

We are egg-cited to see these films on these lists and look forward to the Nominations list, which will be announced on Tuesday, February 8. Nominations voting begins on Thursday, January 27 and concludes on Tuesday, February 1.

The 94th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, March 27 and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide. Take a look at the shortlisted films below and checkout the full list with this link.

Ascension

Directed by Jessica Kingdon

Produced by Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy, and Nathan Truesdell

Still from Ascension

Simple As Water

Directed by Megan Mylan

Produced by Robin Hessman & Megan Mylan

Simple As Water still

Writing With Fire

Directed and produced by Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab

From the AlumNest

Documentary Feature

President 
dir. Camilla Nielsson 
prods. Joslyn Barnes, Signe Byrge Sørensen 

In the Same Breath 
dir. Nanfu Wang 
prods. Jialing Zhang, Carolyn Hepburn, Sara Rodriguez, Julie Goldman, and Christopher Clements  

Documentary Short Subject

Águilas
dir. & prod. Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
co-dir. & prod. Maite Zubiaurre 

Terror Contagion
dir. & prod. Laura Poitras 
prods. Anonymous, Yoni Golijov  

International Feature Film 

Prayers for the Stolen
dir. Tatiana Huezo 
prods. Nicolás Celis, Jim Stark

Ascension, Simple As Water & Writing With Fire nominated for 2022 PGA Awards

Congratulations to the Nest producers who were selected as 2022 Documentary Motion Picture nominees; their films—Ascension, Simple As Water, and Writing With Fire—will advance to the final round of voting for the 33rd Annual Producers Guild Awards. The Awards ceremony is on Saturday, February 26, so stay tuned and root for the following Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported projects.

Ascension

Produced by Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy, and Nathan Truesdell

Directed by Jessica Kingdon

Still from Ascension

Simple As Water

Produced by Robin Hessman & Megan Mylan

Directed by Megan Mylan

Simple As Water still

Writing With Fire

Produced and directed by Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab

A special congratulations to 2021 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Jialing Zhang for her nomination as producer of 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Nanfu Wang’s film In The Same Breath. In The Same Breath is also produced by Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, Sara Rodriguez, and Nanfu Wang.

Announcing the Fork Films and Chicken & Egg Pictures Story Workshop!

We’re proud to announce (via Women & Hollywood) our joint creative story workshop with Fork Films, a collaboration that combines our values-driven missions of propelling underrepresented stories.

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.

Still from Fight Song by Denali Tiller

“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:

Body Parts

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.


Fight Song

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.


Merkel

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.

Nest filmmakers and staff at the 2021 Gotham Week Conference!

The 2021 Gotham Week Conference started this Sunday, September 19 and will run through Friday, September 24, with public panels and workshops exploring storytelling through film, TV, and audio. This year’s edition will focus on how the pandemic pushed media and entertainment to reinvent itself as well as focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Their programming will feature the work of a number of filmmakers from the AlumNest: Amber Fares, Jessica Devaney, Nanfu Wang, and Beth Levison; plus 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees Jude Chehab and 2019 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Kimberly Reed are participating in theGotham Week (Virtual) Project Market.

Collaboration in convergence

Sunday, September 19 

4:00 –⁠ 5:00 pm EDT 

A conversation with the filmmaking team behind Netflix’s Convergence: Courage In A Crisis,  where they will discuss the tools and tactics they used to create a globally collaborative film. Featuring Nest-supported filmmaker Amber Fares (Speed Sisters)

Women Owned Production Companies — Creating Your Path to Career Sustainability

Monday, September 20

10:00 am –⁠ 11:00 am EDT  

A conversation between the leaders of women owned production companies discussing the difficulties they face to produce the work they want to make and build a strategic and long-lasting career. Featuring Nest-supported filmmaker and friend Jessica Devaney (Love the Sinner)

Exploring In the Same Breath

Dir. Nanfu Wang, prods. Nanfu Wang, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, Sara Rodriguez, and Jialing Zhang

Thursday, September 23 

1:00 pm –⁠ 2:00 pm EDT  

A conversation with the production team of In the Same Breath, directed by 2017 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Nanfu Wang and produced by current Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Jialing Zhang.

More than money: How film commissioners and other partnerships can help nurture your next project sponsored

Friday, September 24 

12:00 pm –⁠ 1:00 pm EDT 

Panel: learn how a film commissioner can become a meaningful partner to help build the collaborations that give a more authentic dimension to film projects. Featuring Beth Levison (producer of Made in Boise

Free access through IGTV


Gotham Week (Virtual) Project Market

Still from Q
Still from Q

Q  (2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee)

dir & prod. Jude Chehab

The Gender Project 

dir. Kimberly Reed (2020 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient) 

prods. Louise Rosen & Robin Honan


AlumNest Films

  • Boycott, directed by 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Julia Bacha, prods. Suhad Babaa & Danel Chalfen
  • HER, directed by 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Geeta Gandbhir, prods. Sonita Gale & Austyn Biggers
  • JFK8 (working title), directed by AlumNest filmmaker Brett Story, prods. Marianne Verrone & Samantha Curley
  • Coexistence, My Ass!, directed by Nest-supported filmmaker Amber Fares, prods. Rachel Leah Jones & Rabab Haj Yahya 

Meet Our Team at CIFF

Headshot Jaad Asante
Headshot Iva Dimitrova

Representing Chicken & Egg Pictures, our Program Coordinator Iva Dimitrova and Filmmaker Engagement Manager Jaad Asante will be participating in the Gotham Week (Virtual) Project Market and taking meetings with women and gender nonconforming filmmakers and producers with projects in all stages of production.


Check the 2021 Gotham Week Conference here and get your tickets here.

Post by 2021 Summer Communications Intern Mariana Sanson. 

Jialing Zhang: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 7

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Lynn Zhang 2017 Accelerator Lab Born In ChinaJialing Zhang is an independent filmmaker based in Beijing. She is co-director and editor of Complicit, which follows the intimate journey of a benzene-poisoned Chinese migrant worker who takes on the global electronic manufacturing industry. Lynn also freelances as a local producer for various media including VICE on HBO, Fusion TV, the New York Times, and independent feature documentary projects. She holds a Master’s degree from New York University in documentary filmmaking.

One Child Nation, co-directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang

Recently, she co-directed 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee One Child Nation with Nanfu Wang. One Child Nation premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the Grand Jury Prize in the US Documentary Competition. The film exposes the devastating consequences of China’s One-Child Policy through the stories of those who lived through it.

Nest Screenings at DOC NYC

This year’s DOC NYC runs Wednesday, November 6 to Friday, November 15 at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village and Chelsea’s SVA Theatre and Cinépolis Chelsea. The 10th edition of the all-documentary film festival brings the New York premiere of (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Mr Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, screenings of two other Nest-supported films (One Child Nation, American Factory), plus five films AlumNest filmmakers screening throughout the fest.

Read more about these women-helmed films and get your tickets below:

Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man 

2016 (Egg)celerator Lab

Flush Revolution Lily Zepeda 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative

Jack Sim wants to talk to you about your toilet. When the charismatic Singaporean millionaire learned that nearly a third of the world doesn’t have access to proper sanitation, he set out to make a difference through his World Toilet Foundation. Cleverly using humor to get attention for his cause, Sim highlights the need for investment in this basic public health issue. Now he’s ready to plunge into his biggest challenge—securing six million toilets as part of India’s sanitation initiative.

Directed by Lily Zepeda; Produced by Tchavdar Georgiev, Lily Zepeda, and Eugene Efuni
Thursday, November 14 at 7:30 pm | tickets here

One Child Nation

2017 (Egg)celerator Lab

China’s one-child policy ended in 2015, but it has had a haunting impact on several generations of Chinese families. After the birth of her own child, filmmaker Nanfu Wang returns to her village, where she begins an investigation into the controversial population control program. Posing difficult questions to family members, local party officials, journalists and activists, she and co-director Jialing Zhang uncover troubling secrets that have long been kept hidden. 

Directed by Nanfu Wang (2018 Chicken & Egg Award) and Jialing Zhang; Produced by Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Julie Goldman, Christoph Jörg, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn
Friday, Nov. 8 at 11:00am and Thursday, Nov 15 at 6:55pm |  tickets here

American Factory

2016 Chicken & Egg Award

When Dayton, Ohio’s General Motors plant closed in 2008, thousands of blue-collar workers lost their livelihood in a community hard hit by the recession. Eight years later, a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory on the same site, bringing back jobs and inspiring newfound hope—until Chinese labor practices clash with the expectations of a formerly unionized American workforce.

Directed by Julia Reichert, Steve Bognar; Produced by Steven Bognar, Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello, Jeff Reichert, and Julia Reichert
Saturday, Nov. 9 at 6:15pm & Monday Nov. 11 at 3:45pm | tickets here

Plus directors Julia and Steve will be receiving the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence, which honors a mid-career filmmaking team that excels in observational filmmaking!

AlumNest Films

Hungry to Learn
Directed by Geeta Gandbhir (2016 Chicken & Egg Award); Produced by Rose Arce and Soledad O’Brien
Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2:15 pm and Sunday, Nov. 10 at 12:40 pm | tickets and more information here

Shoofting the Mafia
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Kim Longinotto (Dreamcatcher); Produced by Niamh Fagan
Saturday, Nov. 9 at 5:15 pm | tickets and more information here

Narrowsburg
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Martha Shane (After Tiller); Produced by Beck Kitsis and Martha Shane
Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4:20 pm | tickets and more information here

Knock Down the House
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Rachel Lears (The Hand That Feeds); Produced by Robin Blotnick, Rachel Lears, and Sarah Olson
Thursday, Nov. 7 at 2:45pm & Monday, Nov. 11 at 8:50 pm | tickets and more information here

The Great Hack
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Jehane Noujaim (The Square) and Karim Amer; Produced by Karim Amer, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Judy Korin, and Pedro Kos
Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6:15pm & Thursday, Nov. 14 at 11:00am | tickets and more information here

Desert One
Directed by AlumNest filmmaker Barbara Kopple (A Murder in Mansfield); Produced by Barbara Kopple, David Cassidy, and Eric Forman
Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 at 8:35 pm & Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 2:25 pm | tickets and more information here

See you at DOC NYC, and look out for our supported filmmakers and team members at the DOC NYC PRO conference!

IDA Shortlist Features Five Supported Films

International Documentary Association (IDA) revealed their annual IDA Documentary Awards shortlists for the Best Documentary Feature and Best Documentary Short categories.

Congratulations to these five Nest-supported films which are shortlisted for this top honor:

American Factory
Directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award) and Steven Bognar
Produced by Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, Jeff Reichert, and Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founder Julie Parker Benello

Hail Satan?
Directed by Penny Lane (2017 Chicken & Egg Award)
Produced by Gabriel Sedgwick

One Child Nation
2017 (Egg)celerator Lab 
Directed by Nanfu Wang (2018 Chicken & Egg Award) and Jialing Zhang
Produced by Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, and Carolyn Hepburn

Roll Red Roll
Directed by Nancy Schwartzman
Produced by Nancy Schwartzman, Steven Lake, and Jessica Devaney

The Feeling of Being Watched
2016 (Egg)celerator Lab
The Whickers / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award
Directed by Assia Boundaoui
Produced by Jessica Devaney

At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we’re wishing all the shortlisted filmmakers good luck! IDA will announce the final 10 nominees for Best Documentary Feature on Wednesday, October 23, with the awards ceremony on Saturday, December 7.

Want to gear up for the IDA Awards nominations announcement? Check out these streaming links for the Nest-supported films mentioned above: Roll Red Roll on NetflixThe Feeling of Being Watched on POVOne Child Nation on Amazon Prime, Hail Satan? on Hulu, and American Factory on Netflix.

Nest-supported Films at AFI Docs

AFI Docs, the all-documentary film festival from American Film Institute, is just around the corner, taking place Wednesday, June 19 to Sunday, June 23 in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, Maryland.

68% of their slate of films are produced by women and almost half have a woman director or co-director. The lineup features 72 documentaries from 17 countries, including six world premieres—one of them being Nest-supported film Made In Boise.

Made in Boise directed by Beth Aala

Made In Boise, directed by Beth Aala (2018 Discretionary Grant) unveils a surprising—and booming—industry which 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.

The film will have its world premiere with director, producer Beth Aala and producer Beth Levison in attendance, as part of the Spectrum selection of AFI Docs for “filmmakers pushing the boundaries of storytelling and exploring more unconventional subject matter.”

Three other Nest-supported films are also on the list:

American Factory, directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steve Bognar will screen as the AFI Docs Centerpiece screening, with a conversation with co-directors Steven and Julia and NBC Meet The Press’s Chuck Todd to follow.

Jacqueline Olive Always in Season

Always In Season (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab), directed by Jacqueline Olive will screen as part of the Truth and Justice selection, with director Jacqueline Olive in attendance for both screenings.

One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang  (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang will also screen as part of the Truth and Justice selection, with co-director Jialing Zhang in attendance.

And don’t miss these films by former Nest grantees: Picture Character, directed by Ian Cheney and Martha Shane (co-director of Nest-supported After Tiller) and The Great Hack, directed by  Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim (Nest-supported The Square). 

Don’t miss the (Egg)celerator Lab Pitch at Sheffield Doc/Fest!

Sheffield Doc/Fest kicks off today, Thursday, June 6 and continues into Tuesday, June 11. The world-leading festival celebrates the art of documentary with over 180 screenings of nonfiction films, as well as the business of the film industry, with a packed slate of pitches, funding opportunities, and meetings as part of the Sheffield Doc/Fest Marketplace and MeetMarket

This year, Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to present our third annual (Egg)celerator Lab pitch, in which filmmaking teams from all ten 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees give quick pitches to a live audience of documentary industry folks and receive feedback from international decision makers and buyers.

This year’s pitch session is moderated by award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand, Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Co-Founder and Senior Creative Consultant, and will include a panel of:

  • José Rodriguez of Tribeca Film Institute,
  • Alexandra Hannibal of CNN Films,
  • Jo Lapping of BBC Storyville,
  • Jess Gormley of The Guardian, and
  • Christine Kecher of A&E Networks.

The 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees are:

Anyone with a Sheffield Doc/Fest pass is welcome to sit in on the sessions, learn about the incredible film projects these emerging filmmakers are working on, and hear feedback from panelists. The Chicken & Egg Pictures (Egg)celerator Lab Pitch will take place Sunday, June 9 at 11:00 AM at ITV Town Hall Reception Room B. More information here.

And if you’re at Sheffield Doc/Fest, don’t miss screenings of these Nest-supported films:

One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang

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

One Child Nation is in the running for the The Tim Hetherington Award, supported by Dogwoof. Tickets and screening times are available here.

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.

Tickets and screening times are available here.

Hail Satan?, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)
With humor and searing insight, director Penny Lane debunks misrepresentations about the Satanic Temple. Drawing on extensive access to the organization’s participants, this unflinching examination reveals the controversial religious movement’s aim to shine a light on the hypocrisy around America’s separation of church and state.*

Tickets and screening times are available here.

And a special shoutout to these members of our AlumNest of previously-supported filmmakers:  Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (former Nest grantee for The Hand That Feeds) and The Great Hack, directed by  Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim (former Nest grantee for The Square).