The 2021 Sundance Film Festival Awards were announced Tuesday, February 3. We were egg-static to see two Nest-supported films receive major awards from the Park City festival, which was held online from January 28 to Wednesday, February 3.
Users, directed by Natalia Almada
Natalia Almada received the “Directing Award: U.S. Documentary” for Users.
Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
Writing With Fire received the “Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary” and “World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change.”
A special congratulations to AlumNest filmmaker Camilla Nielsson (Democrats) on her “World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Vérité Filmmaking” for President!
We’re soaring (digitally) into the 2021 Sundance Film Festival this month, taking place from Thursday, January 28 to Wednesday, February 3. Tickets are now on sale to see the following Nest-supported filmmakers and films from anywhere in the United States:
Users, directed by Natalia Almada
“A mother wonders, will my children love their perfect machines more than they love me, their imperfect mother? She switches on a smart-crib lulling her crying baby to sleep. This perfect mother is everywhere. She watches over us, takes care of us. We listen to her. We trust her.”
Natalia Almada worked on Users during her 2018 Chicken & Egg Award year and the project participated in NEXT GEN EGG. Check out the film’s Sundance page here.
Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.
Writing With Fire participated in our 2018 (Egg)elerator Lab and NEXT GEN EGG. Check out the film’s Sundance page here.
The Changing Same — Lead Artists: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster, and Yasmin Elayat
“This immersive, episodic experience uses time travel and magical realism to pilgrimage through the evolution of racial violence in the U.S., making vital connections between the past and present. Episode 1 introduces the time travel portal—the Cracker House—and begins with a police altercation in a quiet suburb of modern-day New Jersey. The police altercation leads to mass incarceration and a slave warehouse, while hurtling toward a glimpse of a radiant post-racial utopia.”
The Changing Same received a 2017 Impact and Innovation Grant, a past Chicken & Egg Pictures program. You need a Desktop-tethered VR Headset to participate; learn more about the project here.
Our AlumNest is the 325+ women and gender nonconforming filmmakers we have supported in our sixteen years as an organization. Check out these projects by supported filmmakers at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival:
Bring Your Own Brigade, directed by Lucy Walker (The Lion’s Mouth Opens)
“Prison X – Chapter 1 : The Devil and The Sun” — Lead Artists: Violeta Ayala (Cocaine Prison), Alap Parikh, Maria Corvera Vargas, Roly Elias
Try Harder! directed by Debbie Lum (Seeking Asian Female)
President, directed by Camilla Nielsson (Democrats)
In The Same Breath, directed by Nanfu Wang (2018 Chicken & Egg Award, One Child Nation)
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival kicks off their 22nd annual festival today, which will take place in Durham, North Carolina from Thursday, April 4 to Sunday, April 7.
The festival’s opening night film is American Factory, the Sundance 2019 Directing – US Documentary Competition award winner directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steven Bognar, screening Thursday, April 4 — 7:30 pm at Fletcher. In addition, we were egg-static to see Julia and her long-time directing partner Steven honored by Full Frame in a tribute and curated retrospective of their work, which will screen throughout the festival, including Union Maids, directed by Jim Klein, Miles Mogulescu, and Julia Reichert (Thursday, April 4 — 1:30 at Cinema Three and Sunday, April 7 — 5:10 pm at Cinema Four), as well as eight other films.
Full Frame’s lineup includes work by a total of nine Nest-supported women filmmakers:
From dusk to dawn, El Velador (The Night Watchman) accompanies Martin, a guard who watches over the extravagant mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. In the labyrinth of the cemetery, this film about violence without violence reminds us that, amid the turmoil of a drug war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives, ordinary existence persists in Mexico and quietly defies the dead.
Thursday, April 4 — 4:00 pm at Cinema One (as part of the Some Other Lives of Time program curated by Hale County This Morning, This Evening director Ramell Ross)
Hail Satan?, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)
With humor and searing insight, director Penny Lane debunks misrepresentations about the Satanic Temple. Drawing on extensive access to the organization’s participants, this unflinching examination reveals the controversial religious movement’s aim to shine a light on the hypocrisy around America’s separation of church and state.*
Friday, April 5 — 10:00 pm at Fletcher
Poet Lamar Wilson remembers reading Anatomy of a Lynching as a young man and immediately asking his grandmother if she knew Claude Neal. The book recounts the heinous 1934 murder and mutilation of Neal, a 23-year-old African American, at the hands of a mob of white men.*
Saturday, April 6 at 1:00 pm at Cinema One
Always in Season (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Jacqueline Olive
When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.
Friday, April 5 — 7:20 pm at Cinema Three
One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang
How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.
Friday, April 5 — 7:00 pm at Cinema One
Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander
Grit is the story of a huge, toxic mudflow in Indonesia widely believed to be caused by shoddy drilling practices. The mud volcano has been erupting violently for the past eight years, burying 17 villages and permanently displacing 60,000 people. Grit follows ordinary Indonesians seeking justice for this disaster during a national election where one presidential candidate has promised restitution — and the other has not.
Thursday, April 4 — 10:00 am at Cinema One
A Thousand Girls Like Me, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative — past program)
In Afghanistan where systematic abuses of girls rarely come to light, and seeking justice can be deadly, one young woman says “Enough.” Khatera was brutally raped by her father since the age of nine and today she raises two precious and precocious children whom he sired. Against her family’s and many Afghanis’ wishes, Khatera forces her father to stand trial. This is her incredible story of love, hope, bravery, forgiveness, and truth.
Thursday, April 4 — 4:20 pm at Cinema Four
Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (former Nest grantee for The Hand That Feeds)
In the run up to the 2018 U.S. midterms, four political newcomers challenge their Democratic incumbents in the primary elections that lead ultimately to a seat in Congress. Fearless and determined, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean Swearengin, Cori Bush, and Amy Vilela introduce their grassroots platforms to the communities in which they are deeply ingrained.*
Friday, April 5 — 7:20 pm at Fletcher
*Synopses courtesy of Full Frame.
Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient Natalia Almada was recently announced as one of four Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellows.
The Art of Nonfiction Fellowship supports artists by providing them with an unrestricted grant and a year-long fellowship focused on their creative goals and challenges.
Chicken & Egg Pictures supported Natalia through our 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program, as well as previously supported her feature documentary El Velador (The Night Watchman).
Recipient of the 2012 MacArthur “Genius” Grant, Natalia Almada combines artistic expression with social inquiry to make films that are both personal reflections and critical social commentaries. Her work straddles the boundaries of documentary, fiction, and experimental film.
Her most recent film Todo lo demás (Everything Else) is a narrative feature starring Academy Award®-nominated Adriana Barraza; it premiered at the New York Film Festival and was nominated for an Ariel Award. El Velador (The Night Watchman) premiered at the 2011 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and broadcast on the award-winning PBS program POV, along with her other two feature documentaries Al otro lado (To The Other Side) and El General (The General). Almada’s short film All Water Has a Perfect Memory premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and received the Best Short Documentary award at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Almada was also the recipient of the 2009 Documentary Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, United States Artists, the Herb Alpert Foundation, and The MacDowell Colony. Almada graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives between Mexico City and San Francisco.
Other 2018 Art of Nonfiction fellows are Deborah Stratman, Sam Green, and Sky Hopinka. Read more about the fellows, grantees and the programs on the Sundance Institute website.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the third cohort of our Breakthrough Filmmaker Award!
The five selected filmmakers are Natalia Almada (Todo lo demás, 2016), Ramona Diaz (Motherland, 2017), Laura Nix (Inventing Tomorrow, 2018), Kimi Takesue (95 and 6 to Go, 2016), and Nanfu Wang (I Am Another You, 2017).
“Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipients have often described their Breakthrough year as life altering,” said Lucila Moctezuma, Program Director of Chicken & Egg Pictures. “Unlike any other award, it’s not just a recognition of past accomplishments, but an investment in the future, both for the filmmakers’ careers and for the film industry at large, which must do more to honor women’s leadership and voices.”
For additional information on Chicken & Egg Pictures and the Breakthrough Filmmaker Award, please visit our Programs page.