Chicken & Egg Pictures at the Hot Docs Forum

Congratulations to Farming the Revolution for taking home the Best International Documentary Feature award at the 31st edition of Hot Docs in Toronto. The film was supported through Nishtha Jain’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award. The festival also featured six supported films and five films from supported filmmakers in the lineup, multiple of which were premieres, and a spotlight on 2022 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Brett Story.

Our Senior Program Manager Elaisha Stokes and Program Assistant Will Tamura were in attendance at the festival and the Hot Docs Forum. This year’s Forum had “20 projects—represented by 22 filmmakers, 11 of whom are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) and 16 of whom are women—representing 18 countries” (Business Doc Europe) presenting to key funders, decisionmakers, filmmakers, producers, and observers. There were a total of 58 projects being pitched across the industry events. Among the projects were 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees Anatomy of a Life, Jaripeo, War on Women, Holder of the Sky, and Matininó. There were also films from the following supported filmmakers: Leah Galant, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Mila Turajlić, Chelsi Bullard, Geeta Gandbhir, Mars Veronne, Yvonne Welbon, Carine Chichkowsky, Ina Fichman, Valérie Montmartin, Lorena Luciano, Filippo Piscopo, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Kenya Jade Pinto, Brit Fryer, and Sona Jo.

We are extremely proud of 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Anatomy of a Life on being awarded the Cuban Hat Award. This award, given to the best pitch as decided by Forum attendees, offers funding for powerful and unique projects. The award also includes numerous other gifts, including a feedback call with our very own Elaisha Stokes. 

Learn more about the selected projects here.

Five Supported Films at DC/DOX!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce that five supported films and six films from our alumni are included in the second edition of DC/DOX. This year’s lineup consists of 60% filmmakers who identify as women or nonbinary. The festival will take place in Washington, DC, from Thursday, June 13, through Sunday, June 16.

A Photographic Memory

dir. & prod. Rachel Elizabeth Seed

prods. Sigrid Dyekjær, Beth Levison, Matt Perniciaro, Michael Sherman, Danielle Varga

Still from A Photographic Memory

A Photographic Memory was a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee.

Get your tickets here.

graphic of a film reel

Intercepted

dir. Oksana Karpovych

prods. Giacomo Nudi, Rocío Barba Fuentes, Pauline Tran Van Lieu, Lucie Rego, Darya Bassel

Still from Intercepted. A lake is shown from the shoreline. Various people in bathing suits are shown wading in the far left and right of the frame. Two women and their grandson are in the middle, with their backs to the camera. In the far background, across the lake, recently bombed buildings are visible.
Still from Intercepted

Intercepted is a 2022 Critical Issues Fund grantee.

Get your tickets here.

graphic of a film reel

Look Into My Eyes

dir. & prod. Lana Wilson

prod. Kyle Martin

Still from Look Into My Eyes
Still from Look Into My Eyes

Look Into My Eyes was supported through Lana Wilson’s 2019 Chicken & Egg Award.

Get your tickets here.

graphic of a film reel

The Callers

dir. & prod. Lindsey Dryden

prods. Colleen Cassingham, Samantha Steele

Still from The Callers
Still from The Callers

The Callers was supported through the QUEER FUTURES series in collaboration with Multitude Films. 

Get your tickets here.

graphic of a film reel

Union

dir. & prods. Brett Story, Stephen Maing

prod. Samantha Curley, Mars Verrone, Martin Dicicco

Still from Union. A group of people wearing red walk in front of the camera. It is night time. Some of them wear facemasks.
Still from Union

Union was supported through Brett Story’s 2023 Chicken & Egg Award.

Get your tickets here.


From the AlumNest


Chicken & Egg Pictures at Cannes Marché Du Film

We are excited to announce that we will be attending the Marché du Film at Cannes for the first time to participate in Cannes Docs’ Doc Talks, joined by Chicken & Egg Award recipients filmmakers Ilinca Calugareanu (2023), Alisa Kovalenko (2024), and 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab recipient Two Mountains Weighing Down My Chest director Viv Li. 

2022 (Egg)celerator Lab recipient The Wife Of director Volia Chajkouskaya and 2022 Critical Issues Fund recipient Intercepted are also part of the Cannes Docs programming.

The event will take place from Thursday, May 16 through Wednesday, May 22. More details below.  

Saturday, May 18

Doc Talk > Filmmakers Collectives Rising up in Eastern Europe ⁠
2:00 PM GMT+2
Volia Chajkouskaya, Irina Gelashvili, Lyuba Knorozok, Marta Krzeptowska
Moderated by Selin Murat

East and Central European countries have experienced severe upheavals in the last 10 years, from right-wing governments and active aggressive wars to external political meddling. However, documentary cinema is bursting with creativity and captivating audiences across the world. Filmmakers in the region however find themselves in double-roles, both as artists pushing boundaries of documentary filmmaking and activists on the picket lines fighting for what is theirs or in the case of Ukraine, on the frontlines of war. A conversation with these ambitious and courageous filmmakers about how their filmmakers’ collectives support their everyday struggles and successes.

Sunday, May 19

Stil with headshots of Ilinca Calugareanu, Alisa Kovalenko, Jenni Wolfson

Doc Talk > Redefining Success on Our Own Terms
2:00 PM GMT+2
Ilinca Calugareanu, Alisa Kovalenko
Moderated by Jenni Wolfson

The Chicken & Egg Award provides unrestricted funding and mentorship to help women and gender-expansive filmmakers advance their creative and business goals at a critical juncture in their careers. Filmmakers Ilinca Calugareanu and Alisa Kovalenko, in conversation with Chicken & Egg Pictures CEO Jenni Wolfson, reflect on their award year and share their values, their breakthroughs, and what is at stake as they redefine success for themselves.

Monday, May 20

Still from Intercepted film

Special Screening: Intercepted
9:30 AM GMT+2
dir. Oksana Karpovych
prods. Giacomo Nudi, Rocío B. Fuentes

Still with headshots of Viv Li, Kiyoko McCrae

Doc Talk > Towards a Universal Values System in Documentary: Dismantling Borders for Greater Equity 
2:00 PM GMT+2
Viv Li, Kiyoko McCrae, Alemberg Ang, Opal H. Bennett, Adam Piron
Moderated by Devika Girish

The Golden Age of Documentary, as the last 5 years have been labeled, may not have stabilized finances for the industry at large, but it has undeniably garnered more press and audience attention to documentaries. Our films play and win awards in the main competitions of A-List Festivals including Cannes, and are featured on the front page of major news outlets all over the world, making us more interconnected internationally than ever before. Under such scrutiny and when real life is involved, how can we work together to create a set of ethical or values-based guidelines to ensure equity, fairness, and safety? As our world currently feels turned upside down, let’s explore how our values are changing and if common ones can be agreed upon.

Lourdes Portillo (1944-2024)

Black and white headshot of Lourdes Portillo

We mourn the loss of our cherished Nest-supported and Eggspert filmmaker, Lourdes Portillo, who passed away this weekend in San Francisco at the age of 80.

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles, Lourdes was a passionate and pioneering filmmaker. Known for her unique hybrid style as a visual artist, investigative journalist, and activist, she created award-winning films about Latin American, Mexican, and Chicano/a experiences and social justice for over 30 years.

Since her first film in 1979, After the Earthquake/Despues del Terremoto, she produced and directed over a dozen works. These include the Academy®️ Award and Emmy®️ Award-nominated Las Madres: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, La Ofrenda: The Days of the Dead, Columbus on Trial, The Devil Never Sleeps, Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena, My McQueen, Al Más Allá, Señorita Extraviada, and State of Grace.

Throughout her career, Lourdes tirelessly advocated for equity, diversity, and inclusion in the film industry. Her legacy will continue to thrive through her extensive work, the many individuals she mentored and supported, and those who will follow the path she paved.

Rest in power.

Three Guggenheim Fellows

We are sending a heartfelt congratulatory message to the Chicken & Egg-supported filmmakers selected for the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. In its 99th year, The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation selected 188 Artists, Scholars, Photographers, Novelists, Essayists, Poets, Historians, Choreographers, Environmentalists, and Data Scientists. In the Film-Video field, 2021 (Egg)celerator grantee Jude Chehab, 2021 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Loira Limbal, and 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Jennifer Redfearn have been awarded this honor. 

Congratulations all!

Six Supported Films at Hot Docs

The 31st edition of Hot Docs will take place across Toronto this year from Thursday, April 25 to Sunday, May 5. We are thrilled to announce that 2020 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Nishtha Jain’s film, Farming the Revolution, is having its world premiere along with 5 other supported films and 5 films from supported filmmakers are on the lineup this year! 

Hot Docs is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference, and market, and embodies a deep commitment to gender parity, with 54% female directors in this year’s official selection, according to their press release. Two of our staff members will be in attendance so be sure to stay in touch via our social media channels for some exclusive content at the festival!

Farming the Revolution

dir. & prod. Nishtha Jain

prod. Valérie Montmartin

Still from Farming the Revolution
Still from Farming the Revolution

Farming the Revolution was supported through Nishtha Jain’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award and is having its World Premiere in the International Competition

graphic of a film reel

7 Beats Per Minute

dir. Yuqi Kang

prod. Ina Fichman, Anita Lee

Long shot of a diver clenching her knees under water
Still from 7 Beats Per Minute

7 Beats Per Minute was a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee having its Canadian Premiere in the Canadian Spectrum Competition.

graphic of a film reel

A Photographic Memory

dir. & prod. Rachel Elizabeth Seed

prods. Sigrid Dyekjær, Beth Levison, Matt Perniciaro, Michael Sherman, Danielle Varga

Still from A Photographic Memory

A Photographic Memory was a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee having its International Premiere in the Persister section.

graphic of a film reel

Intercepted

dir. Oksana Karpovych 

prods. Giacomo Nudi, Rocío Barba Fuentes, Pauline Tran Van Lieu, Lucie Rego, Darya Bassel

Still from Intercepted. A lake is shown from the shoreline. Various people in bathing suits are shown wading in the far left and right of the frame. Two women and their grandson are in the middle, with their backs to the camera. In the far background, across the lake, recently bombed buildings are visible.
Still from Intercepted

Intercepted is a 2022 Critical Issues Fund grantee having its Canadian Premiere in the Festival Favorites section.

graphic of a film reel

Look Into My Eyes

dir. & prod. Lana Wilson

prod. Kyle Martin

Still from Look Into My Eyes
Still from Look Into My Eyes

Look Into My Eyes was supported through Lana Wilson’s 2019 Chicken & Egg Award and is having its Canadian Premiere in the Special Presentations section.

graphic of a film reel

Wilfred Buck

dir. & prod. Lisa Jackson

prod. Alicia Smith, Lauren Grant

Still from Wilfred Buck. A person sits on a chair.
Still from Wilfred Buck

Wilfred Buck was supported through Lisa Jackson’s 2023 Chicken & Egg Award and is having its North American Premiere in the Canadian Spectrum Competition.


Spotlight on Brett Story

This is a headshot of Brett Story, a white woman with freckles and long brown hair and bangs. She is sitting at a table against a white wall, wearing a black turtleneck and jeans.

2022 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient Brett Story will be engaging in an illuminating conversation with author and organizer Astra Taylor. Learn more about Astra Taylor in Conversation with Brett Story here.


From the AlumNest

  • Xixi – World Premiere
    dir. & prod. Fan Wu
    prods. Sona Jo, Venice De Castro Atienza, Yoonsoo Her

Meet Our Team at Hot Docs

Black and white stills of Elaisha Stokes and Will Tamura

We are exhilarated that our Senior Program Manager Elaisha Stokes and Program Assistant Will Tamura will be in attendance at the festival. They will be attending Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported screenings and industry events. Make sure to say hi!


Jeanie Finlay’s Retrospective and Q at Big Sky Documentary Festival

We were extremely proud to see 2023 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Jeanie Finlay’s retrospective at this year’s Big Sky Documentary Festival. She was alongside (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Q, 10 supported filmmakers, and Board member Félix Endara displaying their films. Of those films, five had world premieres, and two won awards. Outstanding work all! The festival occurred from February 16 to 25, 2024, in Missoula, Montana. 

Q

dir. & prod. Jude Chehab

Still from Q
Still from Q

Q is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee. 

graphic of a film reel

Retrospective: Jeanie Finlay

Black and white portrait of Jeanie Finlay.

We were proud to watch one of our 2023 Chicken & Egg Award recipients Jeanie Finlay, a prominent documentary filmmaker hailing from Northern England, getting recognized with a retrospective at this year’s Big Sky Film Festival. Jeanie’s films tell intimate stories that resonate with audiences globally, and this retrospective featured 12 selections from her repertoire, including her most recent feature Your Fat Friend. Explore the full program here.


From the AlumNest


Four Supported Films at Full Frame Documentary Festival

We were proud to see Light of the Setting Sun have its world premiere at Full Frame Documentary Festival. There were also three supported films and three alumni filmmakers in this years’ lineup. This edition marked the festival’s return to in-person activities and took place in Durham, North Carolina from April 3 to 6.

We would like to highlight the world premiere of Julia’s Stepping Stones, directed by our beloved Julia Reichert and her partner and longtime co-director Steven Bognar during the final months of Julia’s life. 

Light of the Setting Sun

dir. & prod. Vicky Du

prod. Danielle Varga

A young Taiwanese couple stands on a stage in front of a red curtain with their parents on either side of them. It's their wedding day.
Still from Light of the Setting Sun

Light of the Setting Sun was a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab Finalist and had its World Premiere.

graphic of a film reel

A Photographic Memory

dir. & prod. Rachel Elizabeth Seed

prods. Sigrid Dyekjær, Beth Levison, Matt Perniciaro, Michael Sherman, Danielle Varga

Still from A Photographic Memory

A Photographic Memory was a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee. 

graphic of a film reel

Look Into My Eyes

dir. & prod. Lana Wilson

prod. Kyle Martin

Still from Look Into My Eyes
Still from Look Into My Eyes

Look Into My Eyes was supported through Lana Wilson’s 2019 Chicken & Egg Award.

graphic of a film reel

Union

dir. & prods. Brett Story, Stephen Maing

prod. Samantha Curley, Mars Verrone, Martin Dicicco

Still from Union. A group of people wearing red walk in front of the camera. It is night time. Some of them wear facemasks.

Still from Union

Union was supported through Brett Story’s 2023 Chicken & Egg Award.


From the AlumNest


Three Chicken & Egg Pictures Supported Films at FIFDH!

Chicken & Egg Pictures was proud to see three supported films and two alumni films at the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights Geneva (FIFDH) held from March 11 and March 15. The annual festival runs parallel to the main session of the UN Human Rights Council, utilizing cinema’s power to highlight struggles and denounce violations wherever they occur.

Members of our community also participated in the forum and pro sessions. 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab Grantee Ella Glendining participated in the panel For an inclusive and antivalidist sexuality, and our Senior Program Manager Elaisha Stokes in the keynote Measuring and Reporting Impact.

Our Land, Our Freedom

dirs. & prods. Meena Nanji, Zippy Kimundu

prod. Eliane Ferreira

Our Land, Our Freedom (formerly testament) film still
Stills from Our Land, Our Freedom

Our Land, Our Freedom is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee.

graphic of a film reel

The Mind Game

dirs. Eefje Blankevoort , Els van Driel, Sajid “SK” Khan Nasiri

prod. Laura Verduijn

We see a young man (Sajid Khan) on his bed, in the sunlight, eating a meal by himself.
Still from The Mind Game

The Mind Game is a Project: Hatched 2023 grantee.

graphic of a film reel

Total Trust

dir. Jialing Zhang

prod. Knut Jäger

Still from the Eternal Memory
Still from The Eternal Memory

Total Trust was supported through Jialing Zhang’s 2021 Chicken & Egg Award.


From the AlumNest

  • Another Body 
    dirs. & prods. Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn
    prod. Elizabeth Woodward

  • We Will Not Fade Away
    dir. Alisa Kovalenko
    prods. Valery Kalmykov, Oleksiy Kobelev

10 Community SIMA Award Wins & Mentions

Last month, SIMA, the nonprofit impact media agency that celebrates, curates, and distributes documentaries and creative media projects that advance positive social change, announced the winners of the 12th annual Social Impact Media Awards. Of the 2024 winners, we were proud to have five supported films and two filmmakers win awards, and three alumni films and filmmakers receive special mentions. Congratulations to all those strong social impact leaders recognized in this year’s awards.

Eat Bitter

dirs. Ningyi Sun, Pascale Appora-Gnekindy

prod. Mathieu Faure

The upper half is characters Luan and Thomas' faces and Thomas prays to the left of their faces; and the lower half is the back of Thomas' head and him getting ready to dive in the yellowish river.
Stills from Eat Bitter

Eat Bitter is a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab finalist who won the award for Best Cinematography.

graphic of a film reel

PAY OR DIE

dirs. & prods. Rachael Dyer, Scott Alexander Ruderman 

prod. Yael Melamede

PAY OR DIE
Still from PAY OR DIE

PAY OR DIE is a Project: Hatched 2023 grantee and won the Systemic Change Award (Sponsored by the Foundation for Systemic Change (FSC)).

graphic of a film reel

The Eternal Memory

dir. & prod. Maite Alberdi

prod. Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Rocío Jadue

Still from the Eternal Memory
Still from The Eternal Memory

The Eternal Memory was supported through Maite Alberdi’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award and won the award for Best Director.

graphic of a film reel

The Script

dir. Brit Fryer, Noah Schamus

prod. Colleen Cassingham, Jess Devaney

Still from The Script. In a set, a person with their back to the camera, talks to two other persons that are sitting in chairs in front of a table. To the right and left, there are camera crew people.
Still from The Script

The Script was supported in partnership with Multitude Films as a part of the QUEER FUTURES series and won the Creative Activism Award.

graphic of a film reel

Twice Colonized

dir. Lin Alluna

prods. Emile Hertling Péronard, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Stacey Aglok, Bob Moore

The main character of Twice Colonized, Aaju Peter, in a close-up shot holding her hands in front of her face so her traditional tattoos on her hands and her chin are visible.
Still from Twice Colonized

Twice Colonized is a Project: Hatched 2023 grantee who won the Transparency Jury Prize.


Special Mentions

How to Carry Water

dir. Sasha Wortzel

prod. Jess Devaney, Anya Rous, Colleen Cassingham

Still from How to Carry Water

How to Carry Water was supported in partnership with Multitude Films as a part of the QUEER FUTURES (2022) series.

graphic of a film reel

Suddenly TV

dir. & prod. Roopa Gogineni 

prods. Reem Haddad, Trevor Snapp, Fiona Lawson-Baker

A young Sudanese protester points a cardboard camera towards an interview unfolding on a bridge in the middle of a large sit-in demonstration.
Still from Suddenly TV

Suddenly TV is a Project: Hatched 2023 grantee.


From the AlumNest

  • Mourning in lod – Ethos Jury Prize
    dir. Hilla Medalia
    prod. Sheila Nevins

  • This Is Where I Learned Not To Sleep – Humanitas Award
    dirs. & prods. Kirsten Kelly & Anne de Mare
    prod. Andrew Schwertfeger

  • Who I Am Not – Special Mention
    dir. Tunde Skovran
    prods. Andrei Zinca, Danielle Turkov, Paul Cadieux, Patrick Hamm, Amy Shepherd, Edith Weil, Daniel Szandtner, Janos Kovacs

Post written by Communications Assistant Tess Caldwell