The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture kicked off its inaugural African American Film Festival on Wednesday, October 24 and runs to Saturday, October 27 with screenings and events happening at the museum, the Freer|Sackler Gallery, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The first of its kind, #AAFest will be a multi-day cinematic experience which celebrates African American culture through both nonfiction and narrative film. Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to have supported two films at the inaugural festival.
The Changing Same, directed by Impact & Innovation Initiative grantees Michèle Stephenson (also a 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) and Joe Brewster, is screening in competition on Friday, October 26 at 12:45 PM at the Oprah Winfrey Theater in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“In the Florida Panhandle lies the provincial town of Marianna, Florida, where one native resident runs a particular marathon in hopes of lifting the veil of racial terror caused by the town’s buried history.”*
Chicken & Egg Pictures is supporting the immersive, room-scale virtual reality experience based on their short film. In Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project, the participant travels through time and space to witness the connected historical experiences of racial terror in America.
When America’s last standing roller rinks are threatened with closure, a community of thousands battle in a racially charged environment to save an underground subculture—one that has remained undiscovered by the mainstream for generations, yet has given rise to some of the world’s greatest musical talent.
The Juried Competition Film Awards is Saturday, October 27 at 10:30 AM. Congratulations to Michèle and Joe and Tina and Diana! See you in DC.
*Synopsis courtesy of the Smithsonian African American Film Festival wesbite.
DOC NYC, the largest nonfiction film festival in the US, is just around the corner, and they released the line-up for their eight-day DOC NYC PRO conference which will take place in conjunction with film screenings and from November 8-15. Each day includes a keynote address, followed by panels with filmmakers and industry professionals on a selection of themes . Here’s a line-up of Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported filmmakers and Nest-friends to hear from at DOC NYC PRO.
Thursday, November 8
Morning Manifesto: Dawn Porter (2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award Recipient) gives the opening speech of the DOC NYC PRO conference, discussing her “thoughts on the current state of documentary filmmaking.”
Who Owns The Story: Nanfu Wang (2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) speaks on a panel exploring “the issues of complicated filmmaker/subject relationships and storytelling ownership”.
Dig Deep: Doc Storytelling: Nancy Schwartzman (Roll Red Roll) speaks on “providing specific, in-depth and enlightening studies for emerging documentary filmmakers”.
Friday, November 9
Getting Personal: Alexandria Bombach, 2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient and director of DOC NYC Short Listed film On Her Shoulders, discusses films “that rely on a strong bond between director and subject with filmmakers”.
Case Study: Bobby Kennedy For President: Nest-supported Dawn Porter speaks on her acclaimed Netflix doc series.
Saturday, November 10
Morning Manifesto: Our Nest-friend and President and CEO of Fork Films Abigail Disney speaks on “what stories are the most important to tell”.
Storytelling in a Post-Truth World: Rabab Haj Yahya, editor of 2018 Accelerator Lab grantee The Feeling of Being Watched shares her thoughts about ensuring a story is truthful.
Grab Your Audience’s Attention: Editor of 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative grantee United Skates, Katharine Garrison speaks on a panel about ” bringing an audience into your film’s world”.
Sunday, November 11
Tight Spots, Dynamic Shots: Erik Shirai, cinematographer of Nest-supported Blowin’ Up speaks on a panel about cinematography in docs.
Monday, November 12
Case Study With Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster: Directors of the Impact & Innovation Initiative project Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson (also a 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) discuss crafting exemplary short films.
Tuesday, November 13
Access is Everything: Kimberly Reed (Dark Money) and others discuss building trust with documentary subjects.
Wednesday, November 14
Dissecting Development With Impact Partners: Our friends at Impact Partners present a panel about establishing development funding for documentaries.
Way More Than B-Roll: 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient Penny Lane discusses how archival footage creates a deeper meaning in documentaries.
Thursday, November 15
Morning Manifesto: Yoruba Richen (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) and director of The New Black shares her thoughts on getting films made.
Synopses of panels courtesy of the DOC NYC website.
See you at the DOC NYC PRO conference!
Getting Real, a biennial conference on documentary media presented by the International Documentary Association, will take place September 25-27 in Los Angeles. The three-day conference attracts over 1,000 filmmakers, industry professionals, mentors, and thought leaders and addresses themes of sustainability, transparency, and creativity.
At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we were ecstatic to see so many women documentary filmmakers and professionals featured throughout the conference. See below for the full slate of Nest-supported filmmakers and friends at Getting Real, including Keynote Speaker Michele Stephenson and our very own Director of Programs Lucila Moctezuma.
Reenactment Reconsidered: Staged Realities and Nonfiction Fantasies Panel: Yance Ford (Strong Island) Wednesday Sep 26, 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM, Pickford Center
Making The Most Of Mentorship panel: Nicole Opper (The F Word: A Foster to Adopt Story), Lucila Moctezuma (Chicken & Egg Pictures Director of Programs) Thursday Sep 27 1:45 – 3:15 PM, ArcLight Hollywood
A-Doc, The Asian American Documentary Network Convening: Grace Lee (2017 Breakthrough Award Recipient and American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs) Thursday Sep 27 2:30 – 3:30 PM, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
See you in LA!
Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.
Fork Films announced yesterday $625,000 in grant funding to sixteen documentaries “that align with the company’s dedication to promoting peacebuilding, human rights, and social justice.”
We are so proud to have supported seven films of the sixteen announced, as well as one filmmaker.
How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.
How to Have an American Baby is a kaleidoscopic voyage that travels behind closed doors into the booming shadow economy that caters to affluent Chinese tourists who travel to the US on birthing vacations—in order to give birth and obtain US citizenship for their babies. Tracing the underground supply chain from Beijing and Shanghai to Los Angeles, the film weaves together vignettes and deeply private moments. In bedrooms, delivery rooms, and family meetings, the story of a hidden global economy emerges—depicting the fortunes and tragedies that befall the ordinary people caught in the web of its influence.
Against all odds, former bricklayer and teacher Isaac Nabwana has turned his small home in the slums of Uganda’s capital city into the Wakaliwood action movie studio. After 10 years and 40+ films, Wakaliwood has become an overnight international media sensation, inspiring others around the world to follow in his footsteps. When New York film nerd Alan Hofmanis shows up on his doorstep one day, everything is bound to change.
If doing what you love put your life at risk, would you continue to do it? What if it would also endanger the life of your family and friends? Would you carry on? Or would you quit? These are the questions the women athletes of Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope face every single day as they are met with threats from members of the Al-Shabab militia in Mogadishu. Diving deep inside the Somali National Women’s basketball team’s first season since the civil war, the film follows veteran coach Suad Galow as she shepherds her team of fearless young women, and helps them to overcome the violent threats against them and reclaim their place on the international stage.
Women are now the fastest growing population in the U.S. criminal justice system, increasing at nearly double the rate of men. The majority of women going into prison are serving time for drug-related charges. This immersive, character-driven film follows three women—who are part of a new reentry program in Cleveland, Ohio—as they prepare to leave prison, reunite with their children, and find jobs after serving time for drug-related charges.
Syrian Families Film (Untitled), directed by Megan Mylan
A look at war and displacement through the lens of parenthood from Megan Mylan, Academy-Award winning director of Lost Boys of Sudan and Smile Pinki. This feature documentary unfolds as a sequence of cinematic short stories revolving around Syrian families living in Turkey, Greece, the US, Germany, and Syria. Each chapter is an intimate portrait of parents—often mothers alone—as they work to rebuild their children’s lost sense of security and possibility. It is a story that is both urgent and timeless.
What happened when unarmed Black teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by White police officer Darren Wilson?
Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project recounts the story of acclaimed poet, Nikki Giovanni and the revolutionary historical periods through which she lived—from the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movement, to present-day Black Lives Matter.
* Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Film but supports director Michèle through our 2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program.
See the full slate of Fork Films’ newly supported projects here.
Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is thrilled to provide support this year to three groundbreaking projects through our Impact & Innovation Initiative.
The F Word: A Foster to Adopt Story, directed by Nicole Opper
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.
Breathe, directed by Winslow Porter and Milica Zec*
A communal experience connecting us through the simple power of existence, Breathe transforms users into Rose, a young girl orphaned after a devastating war. Rose’s life changes drastically after the trauma of living out formative years inside a conflict zone. Through her eyes, viewers live out the greatest joys and most profound struggles from her adolescence to adulthood. Each moment is inextricably shaped by her upbringing—yet she is able to find strength in small interconnected moments with those she loves.
Even as humanity continues to fail and harm each other, Breathe seeks to remind us of the solace we can find in our similarities; we are all human, and we are all connected.
The Racial Terror Project, by Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster
The Racial Terror Project is a groundbreaking immersive virtual reality, room-scale installation in which users time travel along the last route of Claude Neal, who was brutally hunted down and lynched by a mob of white men in Florida in 1934, and meet his descendant community today and his ancestors in the era of slavery. The Racial Terror Project tells the story of how our present-day lived experiences of racial violence and discrimination reflect a long, insufficiently-acknowledged history of white racial oppression that dates back to slavery and continues today.
We can’t wait to go along for the journey as these exciting projects push the boundaries of storytelling!
We are thrilled to learn that Catapult Film Fund has recognized several of our supported filmmakers with grants this year. Catapult focuses on supporting “powerful and moving storytelling, by filmmakers with a strong voice across a broad spectrum of subject matter,” and providing funding that will enable filmmakers to move forward to the next stage of production.* Congratulations to Jessica, Kelly, Lyric, Michèle, and Penny!
Check out more information about these films, and others, here.
The Rashomon Effect
Directed by Lyric R. Cabral (Accelerator Lab 2017) and produced by Jessica Devaney (Impact & Innovation Initiative, 2016)
What happened when unarmed Black teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by White police officer Darren Wilson?**
Directed by Kelly Duane de la Vega (Application Cycle 2013)
Mississippi Red looks at American feminism through the lens of race, religion and the political establishment as a pair of bipartisan allies fight to pass an equal pay bill in one of the most conservative states in the union.**
Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni film
Directed by Michèle Stephenson (Breakthrough Filmmaker Award, 2016) and Joe Brewster
Through intimate vérité, archival footage, and visually innovative treatments of her poetry, Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni film pushes the boundaries of biographical documentary film to reveal the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators.**
Untitled Religious Activism Documentary
Directed by Penny Lane (Breakthrough Filmmaker Awards, 2017)
* = From Catapult Film Fund About Us page.