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
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:
2016 (Egg)celerator Lab
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
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
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!
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
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
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!
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 (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.
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).
The Independent Filmmaker Project announced its 40th annual IFP Project Forum slate highlighting films, series, digital, and audio projects from around the world. We are honored to announce that four Chicken & Egg-supported projects from our 2018 programs year were included.
An Act of Worship follows young Muslim women activists at a time when hate crimes against Muslims have reached their highest level since 9/11. The travel ban has sent the message that Muslims are not welcome in the US. Now, a new generation has been galvanized into action to reclaim their space in the American landscape.
At the intersection of the northern Mexico desert and the plains of southwest Texas exists a symbiotic community. Here, people’s lives are spread across two countries, connected by a bridge that everyone must travel. For some, crossing to the other side means getting to work or school. For others, life straddling the border is the only way to keep their family together. Through a collection of interweaving vignettes, The In Between is a poetic ode to a greater reality of the border than the one portrayed on the news, offering a nuanced and intimate portrait of a place and its people at the heart of Mexican-American identity.
Made in Boise, directed by Beth Aala (2018 Discretionary Grant)
A surprising—and booming—industry 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.
As the Chinese society criticizes dysfunctional hospitals, a doctor’s daughter revisits the small-town hospital where she grew up — this time with a camera, in the middle of a chaotic ER.
And a special congratulations to filmmakers who were previously supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures.
A female police chief and a determined band of women officers work to redefine “protect and serve,” when a tragic shooting upends their progress.*
Narrowsburg, directed by Martha Shane (After Tiller co-director)
Narrowsburg tells the story of a French producer and a mafioso-turned-actor who attempted to turn a small Catskills town into the “Sundance of the East.”*
*Synopses from the IFP website.
Filmmakers will attend the IFP Project Forum during the 40th anniversary of IFP Week happening September 15 – 20 in Brooklyn.
Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.