Penny Lane is an award-winning nonfiction filmmaker who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film”. Penny has been making innovative nonfiction films for over a decade, including three features – The Pain of Others, NUTS! and Our Nixon – and about a dozen short films. Her most recent feature documentary, The Pain of Others, a YouTube compilation film about Morgellons, screened at BAMcinemaFest and Sheffield Doc/Fest and was featured in The New Yorker.
In September, she was honored at Open City Documentary Film Festival in London as part of their “Penny Lane: Observing Observation Itself” program, which included screenings of two of Penny’s feature films and eight of her shorts.
She received her MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her BA in American Culture and Media Studies at Vassar College. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Colgate University, where she lives in a very old house and shows movies in her barn.
Her new feature documentary, Hail Satan?, is “a look at the intersection of religion and activism, tracing the rise of The Satanic Temple: only six years old and already one of the most controversial religious movements in American history”. It was acquired by Magnolia Pictures and will have its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Penny Lane is a Chicken & Egg Pictures 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name.
Post by Morgan Lee Hulquist.
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!
The eighth edition of the Open City Documentary Festival is kicking off this Tuesday, September 4, taking place over six days in venues across Central London. As part of their “Penny Lane: Observing Observation Itself” program, the festival will be running two feature films and eight short films by 2017 Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Award Recipient Penny Lane, including:
Morgellons disease is a medical mystery. Although doctors have no explanation for the condition, thousands of sufferers claim to experience a persistent crawling sensation under their skin, thin fibres growing out of their body and a host of other symptoms. Penny Lane dives head first into the online community of Morgellons patients re-working candid home-videos uploaded to YouTube by three women who are afflicted with the disease. Friday, September 7 at 6:10 PM. *
Throughout Richard Nixon’s presidency, three of his top White House aides obsessively documented their experiences with Super 8 home movie cameras. Saturday, September 8 at 1:00 PM. *
This screening offers a rare opportunity to see Lane’s short form work; distinctive, entertaining and provocative in equal measure. The event will include an extended Q&A with Penny covering her work and creative practice. Sunday, September 9 at 1:00 PM. *
And a special congratulations to Chicken & Egg Pictures Board Member Alexandra Shiva on her UK Premiere of This Is Home at the Open City Documentary Film Festival, in partnership with the London Migration Film Festival. Saturday, September 8 at 6:00 PM.
*Synopses from the Open City website.
Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.
Sheffield Doc/Fest is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and Chicken & Egg Pictures will be there with the 2018 Accelerator Lab cohort of first- and second-time female filmmakers, as well as four Nest-supported films for Sheffield goers to look out for!
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. Showtimes are Friday, June 8 at 3:45 PM and Sunday, June 10 at 6:30 PM.
The Pain of Others, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Breakthrough Award Recipient)
The Pain of Others is a found footage documentary about Morgellons, a mysterious illness whose sufferers say they have parasites under the skin, long colored fibers emerging from lesions, and a host of other bizarre symptoms which could be borrowed from a horror film. The Pain of Others is composed entirely of videos shared by a group of “Morgies” who have turned to YouTube for community and to prove they’re not crazy. Unsettling, funny and intimate, The Pain of Others is at once a body-horror documentary and a radical act of empathy. Showtimes are Sunday, June 12 at 9:00 AM and Tuesday, June 12 at 6:00 PM.
On Her Shoulders directed by Alexandria Bombach (2018 SXSW LUNA / Chicken & Egg Pictures Award recipient)
This empowering documentary presents 23-year-old Nadia Murad, a Yazidi genocide survivor determined to tell the world her story. Determined advocate and reluctant celebrity, she becomes the voice of her people and their best hope to spur the world to action. Showtimes are Sunday, June 10 at 3:00 PM and Monday, June 11 at 9:30 AM.
Skywards directed by Eva Weber (director of Nest-supported film Black Out, 2007)
A poetic and evocative visual study, Skywards takes the viewer on a journey into the world of pigeon flying, high above the bustling and crowded streets of Old Delhi. Showtimes are Sunday, June 10 at 5:45 PM and Tuesday, June 12 at 9:00 AM.
Additionally, join us for our second annual Accelerator Lab Pitch at Sheffield! The 2018 Accelerator Lab participants will pitch their projects to a live audience and will receive feedback from international decision makers and buyers. This will be an opportunity for all pass holders to hear from and meet filmmaking talent for future collaborations. The live pitch will take place Sunday, June 10 at 10:00 am.
Post by Morgan Hulquist, Summer 2018 Chicken & Egg Pictures Communications Intern.
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.