The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, one of the most significant United States abortion cases in decades. This case has the potential to undo Roe v. Wade and is a threat to the constitutional rights of people who can become pregnant in the United States, where our organization is based. At Chicken & Egg Pictures we are deeply concerned about the possible outcomes of this case— such as preventing access to safe and legal abortions—and stand in support of reproductive rights.
We are living a defining moment for present and future generations, and we fiercely believe in the transformative power of documentary, especially in a call to action moment like this. Over the past sixteen years, Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported filmmakers who skillfully weave deeply humane storytelling to showcase the impact of reproductive restrictions. We encourage you to revisit some of the Nest-supported films that have increased visibility for reproductive rights:
A Quiet Inquisition, dirs. & prods. Alessandra Zeka and Holen Sabrina Kahn
Set in Nicaragua, A Quiet Inquisition portrays the reality of abortion prohibition where doctors have to navigate between the potential of prosecution and medical protocols that save lives.
Rent on Youtube
On The Divide, dirs. Maya Cueva & Leah Galant, prods. Melanie Miller, Diane Becker, Amanda Spain, Elizabeth Woodward
On The Divide is a film about the last abortion clinic on the US-Mexico border, where three Latinx people are connected despite their different views. As threats to the clinic and their personal safety mount, these three are forced to make decisions they never could have imagined.
Watch on POV in 2022
Vessel, dir. & prod. Diana Whitten, prod. Mitchell Block
Vessel is the story of activist Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Women on Waves, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing reproductive health services to women in countries with restrictive abortion laws. When her ship is faced with governmental, religious, and military blockade, she decides to use new technologies to train women to give themselves abortions using WHO-researched pills. This work builds an underground network of emboldened pro-choice activists who trust women to handle abortion.
Rent on Amazon Prime
The Chosen Life, dir. Dawn Porter, prod. Marilyn Ness
The Chosen Life follows the story of Dr. Yashica Robinson as she offers reproductive options for women in Huntsville, Alabama, where abortion providers face harassment, ostracism, and state-sanctioned obstacles.
Watch via The New York Times
Motherland, dir. & prod. Ramona S. Díaz, prod. Rey Cuerdo
Motherland takes us into the world’s busiest maternity hospital, which is located in one of its poorest countries: the Philippines. There, women face devastating consequences as their country struggles with reproductive health policy and the politics of conservative ideologies.
Watch on Tubi, Vudu & Peacock
Belly of the Beast, dir. Erika Cohn, prods. Nicole Docta, Christen Marquez & Angela Tucker
Belly of the Beast is a shocking story about the ongoing legacy of eugenics and reproductive injustice in the United States. When a courageous young woman and a radical lawyer discover a pattern of illegal sterilizations in California’s women’s prisons—primarily targeting women of color, they wage a near-impossible battle against the Department of Corrections.
Host a screening
After Tiller, dirs. & prods. Martha Shane and Lana Wilson
After Tiller is a compassionate portrait of the remaining four American doctors who openly provide third-trimester abortions and have become the new number-one targets of the anti-abortion movement. They continue to risk their lives every day to do work that many believe is murder, but which they believe is profoundly important for their patients’ lives.
Watch on Tubi & Apple TV
The Sundance Film Festival features line-up was announced today, Wednesday December 4, and we are egg-static for the following women filmmakers, who will be premiering their films at the festival in Park City, Utah from Thursday, January 23 to Sunday, February 2, 2020.
Exploring the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation in the US to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all.
Once, the village of Congo Mirador was prosperous. Now it is decaying and disintegrating—a prophetic reflection of Venezuela itself.
Inside the ACLU, a team of scrappy lawyers battle Trump’s historic assault on civil liberties.
Nowhere is the worldwide erosion of democracy, fueled by social media disinformation campaigns, more starkly evident than in the authoritarian regime of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Journalist Maria Ressa places the tools of the free press—and her freedom—on the line in defense of truth and democracy.
With this inventive portrait, a cameraperson seeks a way to keep her 86-year-old father alive forever. Utilizing moviemaking magic and her family’s dark humor, she celebrates Dr. Dick Johnson’s last years by staging fantasies of death and beyond. Together, dad and daughter confront the great inevitability awaiting us all.
*These films were in development during the filmmaker’s Chicken & Egg Award year.
In addition to these directly supported films, our AlumNest filmmakers (the 300+ talented, diverse women nonfiction directors that we have supported throughout our fifteen years as an organization) are also premiering their films at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival:
The Last Thing He Wanted
Directed by Dee Rees (Eventual Salvation)
Untitled Kirby Dick/Amy Ziering Film
Directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War)
Congratulations to these incredible women filmmakers on their Sundance-bound films. We’ll see you in Park City!
The DOC NYC Film Festival recently released their inaugural 40 Under 40 List, sponsored by Topic Studios, honoring documentary talents under the age of 40. Of the 40 artists selected, over half are women. Congratulations to all on this honor!
Assia Boundaoui, director of The Feeling of Being Watched (2016 Accelerator Lab and recipient of The Whickers Chicken & Egg Pictures Award)
Nausheen Dadabhoy, director of An Act of Worship (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)
Jessica Devaney, co-director of Love the Sinner (2016 Impact and Innovation Initiative), and producer of the Nest-supported films Always in Season, The Feeling of Being Watched, Roll Red Roll, and Speed Sisters.
Sabaah Folayan, director of Whose Streets? (2016 Accelerator Lab). Whose Streets? premiered on PBS on July 30.
Farihah Zaman, co-director of Remote Area Medical
And congratulations to our other Nest friends!
- Erin Casper, editor of Roll Red Roll (dir. Nancy Schwartzman)
- Mariam Dwedar, camera operator for On Her Shoulders (dir. Alexandria Bombach, 2018 SXSW LUNA/Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient)
- Danielle Vega, co-producer of Cameraperson (dir. Kirsten Johnson, 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award)
Check out more DOC NYC news from the Nest.
The 2018 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) will take place in Camden, Rockport, and Rockland, Maine from September 13 to 16. Founded in 2005, CIFF is a festival focused exclusively on documentary film, and this year, we were egg-static to see that half of the selections across every category are directed by women.
In a press release from CIFF, Senior Programmer Samara Chadwick stated, “Programming at parity celebrates the contributions of the many formidable women in the field, while also emphasizing the fact that, in a century of documentary filmmaking, we’ve largely known one dominant perspective. […] At CIFF we’re drawn to directorial approaches from outside the canon, and we value all the creative voices and cinematic languages that have been otherwise underrepresented.”
At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we applaud the push for gender parity from the Camden International Film Festival.
See a full itinerary for Nest-supported films, filmmakers, and friends at CIFF below.
Survivors, co-directed by Arthur Pratt, Banker White, Anna Fitch and Barmmy Boy, Saturday Sep. 15 at 12:30 PM at the Rockport Opera House.
The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui (2016 Accelerator Lab grantee and The Whickers award winner), Sunday Sep. 16 at 12:30 PM. Assia will also be speaking on the Documentary as Co-Creation panel at 3:30 PM on Saturday Sep. 15 at High Mountain Hall in Camden.
On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient), Sunday Sep. 16 at 5 PM at The Strand Theatre in Rockland.*
Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal, Sunday Sep. 16 at 5:30 PM at the Rockport Opera House.
*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Skywards, A Cure for Fear, or On Her Shoulders but did support their directors in past projects.
Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.
We’re proud to announce that Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founders and Board members Julie Parker Benello and Wendy Ettinger are now members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences!
The Academy announced a record-setting 928 invited members, 49 percent of whom are women and 38 percent people of color. Nine branches, including the Producers, Film Editors, and Documentary branches invited more women than men. At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we applaud the Academy’s efforts to double the number of women and diverse members, a goal announced in 2016 and hoped to be completed by 2020.
This announcement marked a huge step in diversifying one of the most prestigious institutions in the field, bringing the overall Academy membership to 31% women. We couldn’t be more thrilled. You might have even caught Wendy talk about it on live TV, on BBC News when the announcement was made public. Julie and Wendy will join fellow Co-Founder (and Senior Creative Consultant) Judith Helfand, with all three Chicken & Egg Pictures Co-Founders now members of the Academy!
This year, Chicken & Egg-supported filmmakers invited to the Academy include Yance Ford (Oscar®-nominee Strong Island), Catherine Gund (Born to Fly), Sari Gilman (Kings Point, editor on Trapped), Lana Wilson (The Departure and After Tiller), Laura Nix (2018 Breakthrough Award Recipient), and Nanfu Wang (2018 Breakthrough Award Recipient, 2017 Accelerator Lab Grantee for Born In China).
New members also include Paco de Onís, editor of Nest-supported Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, as well as Toby Shimin, editor of Nest-supported 32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide. Congratulations to all!
Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.
Two Nest-supported films, Motherland (directed by Ramona Diaz) and The Departure (directed by Lana Wilson), have been nominated for Best Documentary at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards! Congratulations and best of luck, Lana and Ramona!
Motherland, directed by Ramona Diaz
One of the world’s poorest and most populous countries, the Philippines, struggles with reproductive health policy—both in the legislature where laws are in debate, and in a hospital with the busiest maternity ward on the planet.
The Departure, directed by Lana Wilson
Ittetsu Nemoto, a former punk-turned-Buddhist-priest in Japan, has made a career out of helping suicidal people find reasons to live. But this work has come increasingly at the cost of his own family and health, as he refuses to draw lines between those he counsels and himself. The Departure captures Nemoto at a crossroads, when his growing self-destructive tendencies lead him to confront the same question his patients ask him: what makes life worth living?
If you are registered to vote in the Film Independent Spirit Awards, remember to cast your vote by Friday, February 16.
Congratulations to all Nest-supported filmmakers at Sheffield Doc/Fest this year! Our programs team will be there with the 2017 Accelerator Lab cohort for first- and second-time filmmakers so if you’re around, come say hello.
Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films and filmmakers at 2017 Sheffield:
- World Premiere: Armed With Faith, directed by Asad Faruqi and Geeta Gandbhir*
- UK Premiere: Do Donkeys Act?, directed by David Redmon and Ashley Sabin*
- World Premiere: Even When I Fall, directed by Kate McLarnon and Sky Neal
- World Premiere: Insha’Allah Democracy, directed by Mohammed Naqvi*
- UK Premiere: Motherland, directed by Ramona S. Diaz
- UK Premiere: Strong Island, directed by Yance Ford
- European Premiere: The Departure, directed by Lana Wilson
- UK Premiere: Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea
- European Premiere: Whose Streets?, directed by Sabaah Folayan and co-directed by Damon Davis
*Chicken & Egg pictures did not support Armed With Faith, Do Donkeys Act?, and Insha’Allah Democracy, but did support Geeta Gandhbir for A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, Love the Sinner, and A Conversation with Police on Race (NY Times Op-Doc); Ashley Sabin for Girl Model; and Mohammed Maqvi’s film Among the Believers. And, as a 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient, Geeta has received support from Chicken & Egg Pictures in the forms of a $50,000 unrestricted grant, individualized mentorship, and creative and professional workshops.
Go to the Sheffield Doc/Fest website for more information and the full lineup.
In New York instead? Check out Nest-supported films and filmmakers at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (June 9-18).
We are proud to announce this year’s Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films and filmmakers at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
The Departure (World Documentary Competition)
Directed by Lana Wilson
Love the Sinner (Shorts: Viewfinder, World Premiere)
Directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Jessica Devaney
Tree (Virtual Arcade, New York Premiere)
Project Creators: Winslow Turner Porter and Milica Zec
Unrest* (Virtual Arcade, World Premiere)
Project Creators: Arnaud Colinart, Jennifer Brea, Amaury La Burthe
Key Collaborators: Diana Barrett (Fledgling Fund), Lindsey Dryden (Little By Little Films)
For more information and the full roster of films at the Tribeca Film Festival this year, please visit the Tribeca website.
*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not fund the film I Am Evidence, but supports director Geeta Gandbhir as a 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Awardee; and did not support the Unrest VR experience, but is a supporter of Unrest the feature-length film by Jennifer Brea.