The line-up for the 2019 DOC NYC PRO conference was recently released, and the eight day industry conference will feature documentary panels, master classes, and an expanded initiative to support works-in-progress called “Only in New York”, co-presented by SHOWTIME® Documentary Films. This year features a record number of AlumNest filmmakers and Nest industry friends sharing their insight and expertise at the conference from Thursday, November 7 to Friday, November 15.
Check out the Nest-full DOC NYC PRO line-up below:
DOC NYC PRO: First-Time Filmmaker
Thursday, Nov. 7 from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea
Panels such as “Developing Your Story” and “Funding an Independent Documentary” feature Malika Zouhali-Worrall (2019 Chicken & Egg Award), Chelsi Bullard (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee for Kids Can Spit), and former Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Intern Netsanet Negussie (now Creative Development & Production Associate at Catalyst Films, helmed by 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Kristi Jacobson).
DOC NYC PRO: The Short List: Features
Friday, Nov. 8 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | IFC Center
2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Nanfu Wang will discuss politics in One Child Nation, with directors of The Edge of Democracy, The Kingmaker and For Sama. Plus AlumNest filmmakers Steve Bognar (co-director of American Factory) and Rachel Lears (Knock Down the House) discuss the art of observation in documentary.
DOC NYC PRO: Editing
Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea
Hear from AlumNest filmmaker (The Hand That Feeds) and Knock Down the House director Rachel Lears and the film’s editor Robin Blotnick on the “Anatomy of a Scene: Knock Down the House” panel.
DOC NYC PRO: Cinematography
Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea
AlumNest filmmaker Alison Klayman, whose subjects span Ai Weiwei and Steve Bannon will discuss the art of observation in intimate settings on the “Building Rapport” panel. An Act of Worship director Nausheen Dadabhoy (2019 (Egg)celerator Lab) will share her insights on building a career on cinematography, and Nanfu Wang will speak on her experience as a director and cinematographer in the “In-depth with Nanfu Wang” panel.
DOC NYC PRO: Distribution and Audience Impact
Sunday, Nov. 10 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea
Join Nancy Schwartzman (Roll Red Roll) at “Impact Case Studies: Eating Animals and Roll Red Roll.”
DOC NYC PRO: Pitch Perfect
Monday, Nov. 11 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea
Eight filmmakers with works-in-progress selected from DOC NYC’s Only in New York, including Silent Beauty director Jasmin Lopez (2019 Egg)celerator Lab), will pitch to industry professionals from A&E IndieFilms, ESPN Films, Impact Partners, NEON, and TIME Studios. The session will be moderated by our Co-Founder and Senior Creative Consultant Judith Helfand and will include our Program Director Lucila Moctezuma.
DOC NYC PRO: Producing
Tuesday, Nov. 12 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea
Beth Levison, producer of Made in Boise, will participate in the “Creative Producing Panel”, plus Julie Goldman (producer on One Child Nation) and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Kristi Jacobson discuss career-building.
DOC NYC PRO: Funding a Documentary
Wednesday, Nov. 13 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea
Chicken & Egg Pictures Executive Director Jenni Wolfson is on the Funder + Filmmaker Relationships panel from 10:00 – 11:10 AM.
DOC NYC PRO: Legal for Docs
Thursday, Nov. 14 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea
Nicole Page of Reavis Page Jump LLP, our legal team at Chicken & Egg Pictures, will educate audience members on topics like defamation and privacy claims, relating to true crime documentary films.
June marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the beginning of the modern LGBTQ liberation movement and Pride month in the US and other participating countries. At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we are proud to support filmmakers who use intimate storytelling to showcase diverse queer stories and characters and support filmmakers who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.
Their films are powerful tools for catalyzing social change and helping to end discrimination; their stories have been and will continue to be an important part of Chicken & Egg Pictures. And this June, we encourage you to revisit these Nest-supported films that have premiered over the past fourteen years—films that increased visibility for queer issues (The F Word: A Foster-to-Adoption Story, From This Day Forward), changed hearts and minds about important human rights topics (Southwest of Salem, Love the Sinner), and helped to build momentum in LGBTQ movements around the world (Freeheld, Call Me Kuchu).
Season two of The F Word: A Foster-to-Adopt Story, directed by Nico Opper is supported by the Chicken & Egg Pictures Impact & Innovation Initiative. Season 1 of The F Word revealed the story of one queer couple adopting from foster care in Oakland, CA. Season 2 continues their story while amplifying other voices in the foster care world: birth families, foster youth, adoptees, adoptive parents of color, and social entrepreneurs working to repair a broken system. Stream both seasons for free here.
From This Day Forward, directed by Sharon Shattuck, is a moving portrayal of an American family coping with one of the most intimate of transformations. When the director’s father came out as transgender and changed her name to Trisha, Sharon was in the awkward throes of middle school. Her father’s transition to female was difficult for her straight-identified mother, Marcia, to accept, but her parents stayed together. As the Shattucks reunite to plan Sharon’s wedding, she seeks a deeper understanding of how her parents’ marriage survived the radical changes that threatened to tear them apart.
Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four, directed by Deborah S. Esquenazi excavates the nightmarish persecution of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez — four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of allegedly gang raping two little girls. This bizarre case is the first to be adjudicated under momentous new legislation: for the first time in US history, wrongfully convicted innocents can challenge convictions based on debunked scientific evidence. The film also unravels the sinister interplay of mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor which led to this modern day witch hunt. In October 2016, Southwest of Salem had its US television premiere on Investigation Discovery to an audience of one million people, breaking viewership records. In November 2016, the San Antonio Four were exonerated by the Court of Criminal Appeals, and Southwest of Salem was cited in their report. Listen to a podcast about the film’s successful impact campaign here.
Love the Sinner, co-directed by Jessica Devaney and Geeta Gandbhir (also a 2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient), is a personal documentary in which queer filmmaker Jessica Devaney has a dialogue with evangelical Christians, exploring the connection between Christianity and homophobia in the wake of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Love the Sinner has a corresponding curriculum and discussion guide, created with the support of Bertha Foundation, helping to frame conversations in church youth groups, classrooms, student organizations, and more.
Freeheld, directed by Cynthia Wade follows detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester, who spent 25 years investigating tough cases in Ocean County, New Jersey, as she fights against the that same county’s Board of Chosen Freeholders to give her earned pension benefits to her partner, Stacie in the face of terminal lung cancer. Freeheld won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject. The film’s ten-city theatrical release included 35 individual theatrical screenings spanning nine states, and provided a natural outreach platform for panels, press, and public dialogue concerning LGBTQ equality around the 2008 national election (when marriage rights were pending on many state ballots).
Call Me Kuchu, co-directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall (also a 2019 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Katherine Fairfax Wright, follows David Kato, Uganda’s first openly gay man, and retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, as they work against the clock to defeat state-sanctioned homophobia while combatting vicious persecution in their daily lives. But no one is prepared for the brutal murder that shakes their movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world. Since the premiere of Call Me Kuchu, Ugandan activists have participated in 29 Q&As in conjunction with screenings across the world. The film was screened by the US State Department at the International AIDS Conference, and shown to the British Parliament and the High Commissioners of Commonwealth Countries. Call Me Kuchu has screened across Africa, and was featured as the opening event for the first ever Uganda Pride in 2012.
In addition to this roster of queer films previously supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures—three out of ten films participating in the current cohort of the (Egg)celerator Lab tell queer stories: Pray Away, of the history and continuation of the “pray the gay away” or ex-gay movement; Mama Bears, about LGBTQ people who grew up in conservative, christian homes with ferociously loving and accepting mothers, who call themselves “mama bears”; and #Mickey, about someone exploring her sexual identity and dealing with the deep homophobia of her environment through the internet.
You can find out more about them and other queer films we’ve supported at this link: http://bit.ly/CHICKENEGGLGBTQ.