Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.
Alexandra Codina’s newest film Paper Children (Niños de papel), an (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and Knight Foundation funded film, explores America’s invisible refugee crisis through the eyes of one Miami family who navigate a broken system with unwavering resilience. The film is a Youtube Original and is available to stream for free. Alexandra also wrote about Paper Children and moving “beyond the politics of asylum” for our blog series Letters from the AlumNest.
Her debut film Monica & David, also a Nest-supported project which premiered in 2009, tells the love story of two adults with Down syndrome. The film won Tribeca Film Festival’s Jury Award, was nominated for an Emmy Award, premiered on HBO, and broadcast in 33 countries. Monica & David was featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, ABC, Harper’s Bazaar, Variety, and Latina Magazine.
In addition to Chicken & Egg Pictures, Alexandra’s work has also been supported by The Fledgling Fund, The Perspective Fund, Sundance Knight Fellowship, South Florida Arts Consortium & Tribeca All Access. She is currently producing Untitled: Chinese in Africa Project with Jialing Zhang (director/producer of (Egg)celerator Lab grantee One Child Nation). The daughter of Cuban refugees, Alexandra lives in Miami and is the mother of two young boys.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to present the first ever slate of grantees for their Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative generously supported by Knight Foundation, which is focused on identifying and supporting women or gender non-conforming nonfiction directors from cities where Knight Foundation invests who are working on their first or second feature-length documentary.
In its pilot year, the Nest Knight Fellowship supports three projects from filmmakers based in Philadelphia, PA, with each project receiving a $15,000 grant for the production of their feature-length film and benefiting from the mentorship of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ senior creative team.
“As a New York and San Francisco based organization that has supported many projects across the US and internationally, our team knows the importance of supporting geographically diverse filmmakers and film projects,” said Lucila Moctezuma, Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures. “With the Nest Knight Fellowship, we are putting an emphasis on learning from the perspectives of filmmakers not based in major film hubs, so we can better understand how to support them in their filmmaking goals and increase career sustainability in the documentary industry.”
Synopses of the 2019 Nest Knight Fellows’ projects are below. Click on project titles to get to know these projects and the Philadelphia-based filmmakers behind them.
Falaka Fattah and The House of Umoja, co-directed by Jos Duncan and Jason Pollard
In 1969, when gangs were forming throughout the United States as an act of resistance and protection from police brutality, Queen Mother Falaka Fattah and her husband David Fattah opened up their home to warring gangs in the Philadelphia area out of concern for the safety of her son. In the ensuing years the Fattahs worked with over 105 gangs convincing them to a sign a pledge of peace eradicating almost all of the gang violence in Philadelphia. As gun violence spurs in Philadelphia, Queen Mother Falakah Fattah urges today’s leaders to uphold the House of Umoja movement.
Frank Bey: When You Ask Me, directed by Marie Hinson
Frank Bey: When You Ask Me is a feature documentary about an aging blues singer’s return to the stage 17 years after music broke his heart. Frank Bey’s incredible journey reaches a climactic year as he overcomes the loss of his backing band to record his dream album in Nashville.
Storming, directed by Katrina Sorrentino
An intimate portrait of resolute parenthood pushed toward the brink in the face of tragedy and injustice, Storming follows the daily lives and challenges of Ken and Sue Diviney, nine years following a violent attack which left their son Ryan in a vegetative state with a severe traumatic brain injury. Dictated by their decision to continue full-time care for Ryan, Ken struggles emotionally with the idea of legacy and fatherhood lost on his son as he navigates life as a primary caretaker while Sue battles insurance and finances, holding out hope for Ryan’s unlikely recovery.
The Nest Knight Fellowship for first- and second-time filmmakers based in Philadelphia, PA is generously supported by Knight Foundation.