Chicken & Egg Pictures at the Hot Docs Forum

Congratulations to Farming the Revolution for taking home the Best International Documentary Feature award at the 31st edition of Hot Docs in Toronto. The film was supported through Nishtha Jain’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award. The festival also featured six supported films and five films from supported filmmakers in the lineup, multiple of which were premieres, and a spotlight on 2022 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Brett Story.

Our Senior Program Manager Elaisha Stokes and Program Assistant Will Tamura were in attendance at the festival and the Hot Docs Forum. This year’s Forum had “20 projects—represented by 22 filmmakers, 11 of whom are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) and 16 of whom are women—representing 18 countries” (Business Doc Europe) presenting to key funders, decisionmakers, filmmakers, producers, and observers. There were a total of 58 projects being pitched across the industry events. Among the projects were 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees Anatomy of a Life, Jaripeo, War on Women, Holder of the Sky, and Matininó. There were also films from the following supported filmmakers: Leah Galant, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Mila Turajlić, Chelsi Bullard, Geeta Gandbhir, Mars Veronne, Yvonne Welbon, Carine Chichkowsky, Ina Fichman, Valérie Montmartin, Lorena Luciano, Filippo Piscopo, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Kenya Jade Pinto, Brit Fryer, and Sona Jo.

We are extremely proud of 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Anatomy of a Life on being awarded the Cuban Hat Award. This award, given to the best pitch as decided by Forum attendees, offers funding for powerful and unique projects. The award also includes numerous other gifts, including a feedback call with our very own Elaisha Stokes. 

Learn more about the selected projects here.

We Stand with Reproductive Rights

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

A Quiet Inquisition Alessandra Zeka 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 Still

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 Diana Whitten

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 Ramona Diaz

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

Still from Belly of the Beast

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 Martha Shane 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


Project: Hatched Grantees at the New Orleans Film Festival

The 32nd annual New Orleans Film Festival will take place from Friday, November 5 through Sunday, November 14, with in-person screenings and a Virtual Cinema accessible worldwide 🌍🐣! At Chicken & Egg Pictures we are egg-cited to see three Project: Hatched 2021 films and a film from the AlumNest as part of their lineup. Take a look at them below and get your tickets with this link.

Fruits of Labor

dir. & prod. Emily Cohen Ibañez

Still from Fruits of Labor

Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

dir. & prod. Ann Kaneko 

prod. Jin Yoo-Kim

Still from Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust
Still from Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

On The Divide

dirs. Maya Cueva, Leah Galant

prods. Melanie Miller, Diane Becker, Amanda Spain, Elizabeth Woodward

Still from On The Divide
Still from On The Divide

From the AlumNest

Ale Libre, directed by Project: Hatched 2021 grantee Maya Cueva, prods. Mayra Amaya, Melissa Bueno-Woerner, Daniel Tantalean, is part of the Documentary shorts section.

Post by Communications Intern Mariana Sanson

Meet Our Seven New Project: Hatched Grantees! 🐣

Project: Hatched 2021 grantees

Chicken & Egg Pictures proudly announced via Women & Hollywood seven new grantees of our 2021 Project: Hatched program. Both short- and feature-length projects will participate. Each project receives $20,000 toward film completion and impact campaigns and filmmaking teams participate in a six-month program with tailored mentorship and goal-setting.

“From water rights to reproductive health, the subjects of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ newest grantees are ones that come up constantly in our cultural and political conversations. These seven films push past the headlines to reveal intimate character studies that investigate how social issues impact everyday lives,” said Program Director Lucila Moctezuma. “For the first time in our Project: Hatched program, two short films were selected alongside features. Not only can shorts act as critical stepping stones to help emerging filmmakers build careers, but they also have strong potential to create impact and engage broader audiences.” 

Please click the granted films titles for more information on each project, and give these passionate and committed women and gender nonconforming directors a warm welcome to the Nest!

And So I Stayed

Directors & producers: Natalie Pattillo, Daniel A. Nelson (SINGAPORE/UNITED STATES)

And So I Stayed is a documentary about survivors of domestic violence who are unjustly incarcerated for killing their abusers in self-defense.

Daughter of a Lost Bird

Director & producer: Brooke Pepion Swaney (UNITED STATES) 
Producers: Jeri Rafter, Kendra Mylnechuk Potter

A Native adoptee reconnects with her birth family and her Lummi heritage—confronting her identity. Her singular story represents many affected by the Indian Child Welfare Act and Indian Adoption Project in the US.

Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

Director & producer: Ann Kaneko (UNITED STATES)
Producer: Jin Yoo-Kim 

This film poetically weaves together memories of Payahuunadü, “the land of flowing water,” where Native Americans, Japanese-Americans, and environmentalists defend land and water from Los Angeles.

I’m Free Now, You Are Free 

Director: Ash Goh Hua (SINGAPORE) 
Producer: Arielle Knight

I’m Free Now, You Are Free is a short documentary about the reunion and repair between Mike Africa Jr. and his mother Debbie Africa—a formerly incarcerated political prisoner of the MOVE 9.

On The Divide

Directors: Maya Cueva, Leah Galant (UNITED STATES) 
Producers: Melanie Miller, Diane Becker, Amanda Spain, Elizabeth Woodward

On The Divide follows the story of three Latinx people living in McAllen, Texas who, despite their views, are connected by the most unexpected of places: the last abortion clinic on the US/Mexico border. As threats to the clinic and their personal safety mount, these three are forced to make decisions they never could have imagined.

Change The Name

Director & producer: Cai Thomas (UNITED STATES) 
Producer: Donald Conley

Student activists and educators from Village Leadership Academy campaign to change the name of a park from a slaveholder to abolitionists Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.

Storm Lake 

Directors: Beth Levison, Jerry Risius (UNITED STATES) 
Producer: Beth Levison

Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Cullen and his family fight to protect their Iowan farming community through their biweekly newspaper, The Storm Lake Times—come hell or pandemic.

Read more about Project: Hatched.

Post by 2021 Communications Intern Mariana Sanson.