Chicken & Egg Pictures announced today, via Variety, the newest grantees of Project: Hatched, a program designed to support directors as they develop and launch strategic impact campaigns. Ten films will receive $30,000 each toward their completion funding and impact campaigns. This was the first year that the grant’s criteria were expanded to include international projects and an increase in the number of projects supported, raising total funds disbursed from $240,000 in 2022 to $300,000 in 2023.
Project: Hatched 2023 films showcase the work of courageous filmmakers who have uncovered powerful stories, through artful visual storytelling, and who have a clearly articulated impact plan to reach broad audiences. Chicken & Egg Pictures believes all nonfiction films, from the overtly political to the abstract or personal, hold the power to impact their viewers, their communities and beyond, and to continue conversations around important and timely topics.
“We are seeking filmmakers with a strategic vision for the impact they wish to achieve. However, we also value a willingness to embrace diverse interpretations of what constitutes impact and engagement for each individual filmmaker, and how this work can evolve throughout the life of a film,” said Associate Director of Program Sabine Fayoux Cantillo. “All the films supported in this year’s cohort have the potential to create meaningful and specific impact on the lives of the people most affected by the issues being portrayed. Each of them has thought deeply about developing their goals and strategies in collaboration with their film’s core audiences and participants, informed by mutually beneficial opportunities. We are proud to contribute to the larger ecosystem that enables filmmakers to carry this important work forward.”
Please click the film titles for more information on each project, and give these passionate and committed directors a warm welcome to the Nest!
Project: Hatched 2023 grantees
Bad Press (US)
co-dirs. Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler
prods. Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler
When the Muscogee Nation censors its free press, a rogue reporter races to expose her government’s corruption in a historic battle with ramifications for all of Indian Country.
Sundance U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Freedom of Expression
Big Fight in Little Chinatown (CANADA)
dir. Karen Cho
prods. Bob Moore, Katie McKay
Residents, businesses, and community organizers fight to save their Chinatown neighborhoods from erasure in this story of resistance and resilience.
Premiered at DOC NYC 2022, Montreal International Documentary Film Festival (RIDM) Women Inmate Jury Award 2022, Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival Honourable Mention Best Canadian Feature Film 2022
Freedom Hill (US)
dir. & prod. Resita Cox
In North Carolina, residents of Princeville—the first town in America incorporated by formerly enslaved freed Africans—resist the steady erosion of both flooding and environmental racism.
Premiered at Full Frame Documentary Festival 2022; acquired by WORLD
From the Shadows #missingirls (INDIA)
dir. & prod. Miriam Chandy Menacherry
prods. Sheena Matheiken, Aalia Furniturewala, Anand Ramayya, Gary Byung-Seok Kam
impact prod. Triparna Banerjee
An artist and an activist find glimmers of hope as they seek justice for survivors of India’s rampant child sex trafficking.
International premiere as a special International Women’s Day 2023 screening hosted by South Asian House and Film Independent’s Global Media Makers in Austin, acquired by TV2 Denmark and KBS (Korea)
Liquor Store Dreams (US)
dir. & prod. So Yun Um
prod. Eddie Kim
Two Korean American children of liquor store owners in Los Angeles set out to bridge generational divides with their immigrant parents.
Premiered at Tribeca Festival 2022, CAAMFest 2023 Honorable Mention for Best Documentary; acquired by POV
Now That We Are Together (MEXICO)
dir. & prod. Patricia Balderas Castro
co-prod. Claudia Ruiz Capdevielle
impact prods. Merle Iliná, Michelle Plascencia
After an unexpected encounter with a group of women taking back the streets, a filmmaker begins an intimate-yet-collective journey to understand her own experience with violence.
Premiered at Morelia International Film Festival 2022, where it won Best Movie Directed by a Woman and Audience Favorite
PAY OR DIE (AUSTRALIA, CANADA, US)
dirs. & prods. Rachael Dyer, Scott Alexander Ruderman
prod. Yael Melamede
Three families facing life-or-death decisions reveal the harrowing reality of America’s insulin affordability crisis, where 2 million people are being held ransom to pharmaceutical profits.
Premiered at SXSW 2023, acquired by MTV Documentary Films, streaming premiere launch on Paramount+
Suddenly TV (US)
dir. & prod. Roopa Gogineni
At a besieged protest in Khartoum, young revolutionaries create an imaginary television station to confront the violence of the regime and conjure a new Sudan.
Premiered at IDFA 2022, SXSW 2023 Documentary Short Competition Special Jury Award, IndieLisboa Short Film Grand Prize
The Mind Game (AFGHANISTAN, CANADA, NETHERLANDS)
dirs. Eefje Blankevoort, Els van Driel, Sajid Khan Nasiri
prod. Laura Verduijn
impact prods. Els van Driel, Eefje Blankevoort, Tina Farifteh, Nienke Huitenga, Lara Aerts, Khadidja Benouataf
An Afghan teenager’s first-hand, cell-phone filmed perspective reveals the psychological pressure facing unaccompanied minor refugees.
Premiered at Movies that Matter Festival 2023, upcoming broadcast on Dutch public television KRO-NCRV
Twice Colonized (DENMARK)
dir. Lin Alluna
prods. Emile Hertling Péronard, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Stacey Aglok MacDonald
Renowned Inuit lawyer Aaju Peter, who has led a lifelong fight for the rights of Indigenous people, delves into her own origins to mend the wounds of dislocation, colonization, and loss.
Premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2023, Movies that Matter Festival 2023 Camera Justitia Award
We are proud to see Chicken & Egg Award recipient Mila Turajlic’s film Non-Aligned: Scenes From the Labudović Reels and an AlumNest film on the lineup for Sarajevo Film Festival this year!
Our very own Program Manager Iva Dimitrova has also been selected as a part of the three-member jury for the Documentary Competition. The festival will take place from Friday, August 11 to Friday, August 18, 2023, and will be attended by two of our staff members. We hope to see you there!
dir. & prod. Mila Turajlić
prod. Carine Chichkowsky
Get your tickets here.
From the AlumNest
Meet our Team at Sarajevo Film Festival
Representing Chicken & Egg Pictures, Development Manager Allison Villegas Roman and Program Manager Iva Dimitrova will be in attendance at the festival. Together, they will participate in industry events and network with filmmakers. They will also be briefly attending the Rough Cut Boutique, as well as other industry events offered through the festival’s CineLink Industry Days.
Iva will be a part of the 3-member jury for the Documentary Competition. For her role, she will be watching 20 regional films (21 countries from the Caucasus to the Balkan) that are a mix of short, medium-length, and feature-length, and award the following prizes:
- The Heart of Sarajevo for the best film
- Human Rights award for the best documentary that deals with an H.R. topic
- Special jury Award
- Best short film- Heart of Sarajevo
Post written by Communications Intern Tess Caldwell
Chicken & Egg Pictures is thrilled to welcome two new Program team members to our Nest: Senior Program Manager Elaisha Stokes and Industry & Artist Development Manager Tobi Phang-Lyn.
Elaisha and Tobi are joining our team at a pivotal moment for our organization. As outlined in our Strategic Plan for 2023-2025, we’re expanding our efforts to support women and non-binary filmmakers. By 2025, our goal is to increase the number of supported filmmakers and the amount of grantmaking by 50%. Learn more about our new team members below.
As the Senior Program Manager at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Elaisha oversees the Chicken & Egg Award and the Research & Development grants for mid-career filmmakers. She believes that the documentary craft is a means to increase gender diversity and inclusion, both in the arts and in the zeitgeist.
Previously, Elaisha served as a Senior Producer for CBS Original Documentaries, where she oversaw several documentary series for Paramount+ and other streaming platforms. Her documentary work has been featured on National Geographic, CNN, The New York Times, and Vice and her films have screened at BFI London, the Maryland Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, London Shorts and Planet in Focus. She has received awards and grants from the Nation Institute, the Pulitzer Family, the Emmy® Foundation, and the Ontario Arts Council. In 2018, she was a Sundance New Voices fellow and a Cine Qua Non screenwriting fellow. Elaisha holds an MA in Documentary Filmmaking from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.
“Making documentaries is challenging work. Filmmakers must rely on their creative vision and their perseverance to see the film through to completion. Despite assumptions that mid-career filmmakers have the necessary connections and resources to fund their projects, few organizations actually support them. Chicken & Egg Pictures is filling this industry gap by providing mentorship and funding opportunities to mid-career filmmakers, with the aim of elevating diverse voices and narratives in the documentary space. It is an honor to join this team and work to support beautiful, dynamic, and timely films by women and non-binary artists.”
As the Industry & Artist Development Manager, Tobi Phang-Lyn works closely with the Program Director and Program team to provide filmmakers supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures with career-building opportunities, new networks, resources, and a vibrant community to deepen their craft and further develop their projects. She oversees the AlumNest and DocNest programs and is responsible for strengthening relationships between filmmakers and industry professionals.
Prior to joining Chicken & Egg Pictures, Tobi was the Membership & Marketing Manager at The Gotham Film & Media Institute where she oversaw Gotham Membership and public programming, helping independent filmmakers make valuable industry contacts, find collaborators, and advance their projects. She also led marketing efforts for the organization year-round and for the annual Gotham Week and Gotham Awards.
“I’m so inspired by how the Chicken & Egg Pictures team has imbued every part of their work with a commitment to core values surrounding equity, access, and social impact, and I’m looking forward to continuing to champion and provide filmmakers in our community with the support and resources they need.”
Chicken & Egg Pictures proudly announces two new members to our Board of Directors: Leslie Belzberg and Marjan Safinia. Members of our Board of Directors serve an official role for Chicken & Egg Pictures, offering constructive feedback, guidance, and independent oversight of our work.
Leslie Belzberg (pictured left) currently oversees all television and theatrical productions for Gaumont USA as Senior Vice President, Production. Prior to Gaumont, Leslie was a consultant for Blumhouse Television and head of production at Miramax and Endemol-Shine North America.
Before moving into high-level executive roles at major studios, Belzberg was an independent producer, most well-known for her storied collaboration with director John Landis. Together, they co-created St. Clare Entertainment, a TV production company. She also produced many of his films including Coming to America, Three Amigos, Blues Brothers 2000, Beverly Hills Cop III, Susan’s Plan, The Stupids, Oscar, Spies Like Us, and Into the Night. Belzberg has also produced Academy Award winning films such as Crazy Heart, which earned Jeff Bridges a Best Actor win, and the documentary Genocide, also produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, now the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
Leslie earned an MBA from Fordham University in New York and a BA in English Literature and Contemporary Drama from York University in Toronto.
Marjan Safinia (pictured right) is an Iranian documentary filmmaker whose films examine identity, community, and social justice. Her current project And She Could Be Next (in production) is about women of color running for political office to claim political power for a rising new American majority. Marjan’s feature documentary Seeds tells the story of ten brave teenagers from the world’s most troubled conflict zones living side-by-side for one life-changing summer. Her first film But You Speak Such Good English is a half hour documentary which explores the first-generation immigrant experience from an insider perspective.
Collectively, Marjan’s films have played at over 100 international film festivals and broadcast in North America, Europe, and across the Arab world. She has produced and directed work for Co-Founder of Google Sergey Brin, the Barack Obama administration, and Next Generation in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. Her work has been supported by the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund and Sundance Institute. She is also a Sundance Catalyst Fellow.
Until 2018, Marjan was the longest-serving President of the Board of Directors of the International Documentary Association (IDA), also the only woman of color to hold the position since the IDA was founded in 1982. She also co-hosts The D-Word, the preeminent online community for documentary professionals. Marjan is a regular juror, programmer, speaker and connector of all things documentary.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce that we were named an Official Charity Partner of the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half by New York Road Runners (NYRR). The race will take place on Sunday, March 17, 2019.
In 2018, NYRR is celebrating 60 years of helping and inspiring people through running. NYRR has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. At the most recent United Airlines NYC Half in 2018, over 2,900 runners and 140 Official Charity Partners raised approximately $5 million for charity.
“We are excited to be a part of this year’s Official Charity Partner program at this year’s United Airlines NYC Half, which helps Chicken & Egg Pictures continue our support for women nonfiction filmmakers,” said Executive Director Jenni Wolfson. “We look forward to having a dedicated team of runners take on the United Airlines NYC Half on behalf of our organization—training, preparing, and ultimately completing the 13.1-mile race and helping us push toward gender parity in the documentary filmmaking world.”
We can’t wait to turn this half marathon into a chicken run. See you at the race!
We are excited to announce that Chicken & Egg Pictures is a finalist in this year’s New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards Program. Six nonprofit organizations from across the city have been chosen as finalists.
“Strong nonprofits help our communities thrive every day. These six finalists serve as models and provide innovative and replicable practices for all nonprofits,” said Sharon Stapel, President and Executive Director of NPCC. Thanks, Sharon!
The winning organizations, who will receive cash prizes as well as scholarships to Columbia Business School programs, will be announced during the Best Practices Workshop & Awards Presentation on Friday, December 1, 2017. We can’t wait!
Learn more about the award and the other finalists here.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce that we are semifinalists for this year’s New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards Program. Ten nonprofit groups from across the city have been chosen as semifinalists and will be competing for up to $60,000 in cash prizes and scholarships to Columbia Business School programs.
“As an organization that thrives on learning, innovation and high standards of management, making it to the semi-final round of the Nonprofit Excellence Awards means so much to us. We are committed to building leadership across all staff and are looking forward to gaining valuable feedback on our management practices from going through this rigorous awards application process. We believe that it will better equip us to fulfill our mission of supporting women nonfiction filmmakers and advancing gender equity in the film industry,” said Jenni Wolfson, Executive Director, Chicken & Egg Pictures.
The winning organizations will be announced during the Best Practices Workshop & Awards Presentation on Friday, December 1, 2017.
Learn more about the prestigious award and the other semifinalists here.