The Nest at 2022 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

We are egg-static to see eight supported films, and seven AlumNest films in the 29th Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival line-up. This edition will take place in-cinemas in Toronto and will stream across Canada from Thursday, April 28 to Sunday, May 8.  

The festival stated that 49% of the official selections were directed by women, maintaining its commitment to a roughly 50-50 gender split.

World Premiere

Silent Beauty

dir. & prod. Jasmin Lopez

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara López
Still from Silent Beauty

A personal documentary that follows Director Jasmin López as she works to heal from child sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her grandfather, Gilberto, a Baptist minister, almost thirty years ago. In the process of sharing her own trauma with her large family, she learns that generations of children in her family were victims of the same abuse. Told from the director’s perspective, Silent Beauty is a film about confronting and accepting difficult truths while finding beauty in the process. 

Silent Beauty is a 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is having its World Premiere in the Persister section. 

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Alis

dirs.& prods.  Clare Weiskopf, Nicolas van Hemelryck

prods. Radu Stancu, Alexandra Galvis

A young woman is on her knees, with her hands on top of them, her eyes are closed and behind here there are shelfs
Still from Alis

In a Colombian shelter for teenage girls, filmmakers ask a group of young women to close their eyes and imagine the life story of a fictional classmate named Alis. As reality prevails and fiction fades, the innocent game becomes a descent into hell, where their luminous faces guide the audience to the depths of the dark world they once inhabited, only to emerge with new skin. How to imagine a different life, break the cycle of violence, and embrace a brighter future? 

Alis
is a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab finalist and is part of Made In Chile: A spotlight on docs from Chile

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars

(previously titled Stories From Debris)

dir. Jennifer Rainsford

prods. Mirjam Gelhorn, David Herdies, Michael Krotkiewski

Still from All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars

The 2011 Japan tsunami triggers this staggering essay about loss that connects human and environmental trauma using astonishing juxtapositions. Humans breathe out and the oceans breathe in, so that we are constantly breathing together and becoming our planet. If we admit that our human experiences of pain and the Earth’s are just different versions of the same destruction, will recovery come, be it in ripples or waves?* 

All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the World Showcase section.

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Boycott

dir & prod. Julia Bacha

prod. Suhad Babaa, Daniel J. Chalfen

Still from Boycott

When a news publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona and a speech therapist in Texas are told to choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, they launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech in 33 states in America.

Boycott was supported through Julia Bacha’s 2019 Chicken & Egg Award, and is a Hot Docs Special Presentation.  

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Eskape

dir. Neary Adeline Hay

prods. Jasmin Basic

Still from Eskape

The survival story of a mother and her daughter, the filmmaker, through the desperate flight from a crumbling Cambodia after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime. Faced with the silence brought by trauma and time, the longing to understand her mother today resonates in an abysmal echo, while reviving the memories as a political refugee in Europe.

Eskape is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is having its North American premiere in the Hidden Stories section. 

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Midwives

dir. & prod. Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing

prods. Bob Moore, Ulla Lehmann, Mila Aung-Thwin

Still from Midwives

A tale of the complicated relationship between Rohingya and Buddhists in Myanmar, told over five years through the eyes of two midwives from either side of the divide. 

Midwives is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is having its Canadian premiere as a HotDocs Special Presentation

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Mija

dir. & prod. Isabel Castro

prod. Tabs Breese, Yesenia Tlahuel

Close up to the face of Doris singing
Still from Mija

With Doris’ voice as our guide, Mija uses VHS archive, verité footage, and camcorder vlogging to tell the story of two young women’s coming-of-age journeys as they look for success and belonging. The film is an immensely emotional and intimate portrait honoring the resilience of immigrants and their children. 

Mija is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Artscapes section. 

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


Once Upon a Time in Uganda

dir. Cathryne Czubek, co-dir. Hugo Perez

prods. Gigi Dement, Cathryne Czubek, Matt Porwoll, Hugo Perez, Kyaligamba Ark Martin

2017 Accelerator Lab Cathryne Czubek Hugo Perez Lights Camera Uganda
Still from Once Upon a Time in Uganda

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. 

Once Upon a Time in Uganda is a 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Nightvision section. 

Get your tickets + more info with this link.


From the AlumNest

 


Check out the full line-up with this link.  

*Language courtesy of Hot Docs.

Jasmin Mara López: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 8

Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender non-conforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara LópezJasmin Mara López is a journalist, audio producer, and filmmaker based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Born in the US with familial roots in México, her childhood was affected by issues experienced on both sides of the US-México border. This instilled in her a strong passion for immigrant rights, youth empowerment, and social change. In 2007, Jasmin founded Project Luz, which taught Mexican youth to document stories from within their communities. She was then recruited by the USC Annenberg Civic Engagement and Journalism Initiative to coordinate a program that trained immigrant youth in journalistic ethics and practice. In 2015, she received the Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism Award for her audio documentary Deadly Divide: Migrant Death on the Border.

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara López
Silent Beauty, directed by Jasmin Mara López

She was awarded the 2017 New Orleans Film Society Emerging Voices Mentorship, 2018 Southern Documentary Fund Production Grant, 2019 Jacquie Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund via Black Public Media, and 2019 TFI Pond5 Grant. She participated in the 2018 UnionDocs Summer Documentary Lab, 2017 Third Coast Radio Residency at Ragdale, 2019 Ragdale Artist Residency, 2019 TFI Network, 2019 Firelight Media Documentary Lab, as well as the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab for her feature documentary Silent Beautya personal documentary about confronting and accepting difficult truths while finding beauty in the process. Read more about Silent Beauty on the film’s webpage.

AlumNest Filmmakers are DOC NYC PRO’s

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara López
Behind the scenes still from Silent Beauty, directed by Jasmin López. The (Egg)celerator Lab grantee is participating in the DOC NYC “Only in New York” initiative during DOC NYC PRO.

The line-up for the 2019 DOC NYC PRO conference was recently released, and the eight day industry conference will feature documentary panels, master classes, and an expanded initiative to support works-in-progress called “Only in New York”, co-presented by SHOWTIME® Documentary Films. This year features a record number of AlumNest filmmakers and Nest industry friends sharing their insight and expertise at the conference from Thursday, November 7 to Friday, November 15.

Check out the Nest-full DOC NYC PRO line-up below:

DOC NYC PRO: First-Time Filmmaker 
Thursday, Nov. 7 from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Panels such as “Developing Your Story” and “Funding an Independent Documentary” feature Malika Zouhali-Worrall (2019 Chicken & Egg Award), Chelsi Bullard (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee for Kids Can Spit), and former Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Intern Netsanet Negussie (now Creative Development & Production Associate at Catalyst Films, helmed by 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Kristi Jacobson).

DOC NYC PRO: The Short List: Features
Friday, Nov. 8 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | IFC Center

2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Nanfu Wang will discuss politics in One Child Nation, with directors of The Edge of DemocracyThe Kingmaker and For Sama. Plus AlumNest filmmakers Steve Bognar (co-director of American Factory) and Rachel Lears (Knock Down the House) discuss the art of observation in documentary.

DOC NYC PRO: Editing
Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM Cinepolis Chelsea

Hear from AlumNest filmmaker (The Hand That Feeds) and Knock Down the House director Rachel Lears and the film’s editor Robin Blotnick on the “Anatomy of a Scene: Knock Down the House” panel.

DOC NYC PRO: Cinematography 
Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea

AlumNest filmmaker Alison Klayman, whose subjects span Ai Weiwei and Steve Bannon will discuss the art of observation in intimate settings on the “Building Rapport” panel. An Act of Worship director Nausheen Dadabhoy (2019 (Egg)celerator Lab) will share her insights on building a career on cinematography, and Nanfu Wang will speak on her experience as a director and cinematographer in the “In-depth with Nanfu Wang” panel.

DOC NYC PRO: Distribution and Audience Impact
Sunday, Nov. 10 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Join Nancy Schwartzman (Roll Red Roll) at “Impact Case Studies: Eating Animals and Roll Red Roll.”

DOC NYC PRO: Pitch Perfect
Monday, Nov. 11 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Eight filmmakers with works-in-progress selected from DOC NYC’s Only in New York, including Silent Beauty director Jasmin Lopez (2019 Egg)celerator Lab), will pitch to industry professionals from A&E IndieFilms, ESPN Films, Impact Partners, NEON, and TIME Studios. The session will be moderated by our Co-Founder and Senior Creative Consultant Judith Helfand and will include our Program Director Lucila Moctezuma.

DOC NYC PRO: Producing
Tuesday, Nov. 12 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Beth Levison, producer of Made in Boise, will participate in the “Creative Producing Panel”, plus Julie Goldman (producer on One Child Nation) and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Kristi Jacobson discuss career-building.

DOC NYC PRO: Funding a Documentary
Wednesday, Nov. 13 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Chicken & Egg Pictures Executive Director Jenni Wolfson is on the Funder + Filmmaker Relationships panel  from 10:00 – 11:10 AM.

DOC NYC PRO: Legal for Docs
Thursday, Nov. 14 9:00 AM | Cinepolis Chelsea

Nicole Page of Reavis Page Jump LLP, our legal team at Chicken & Egg Pictures, will educate audience members on topics like defamation and privacy claims, relating to true crime documentary films.

Announcing our 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab!


Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the fourth cohort of our (Egg)celerator Lab—previously known as Accelerator Lab—for emerging filmmakers. The (Egg)celerator Lab program is focused on identifying and supporting women and gender non-conforming nonfiction directors working on their first or second feature-length documentary.

This year’s (Egg)celerator Lab cohort is made up of 90% women directors of color; six first-time filmmakers and four second-time filmmakers; includes three directors telling LGBTQ stories; hails from seven different countries, including Colombia, Pakistan, and South Africa; and consists of women who have worked across the documentary landscape—from audio producers to cinematographers.

Loglines of the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees’ projects are below. Click on the project title to get to know these filmmakers and the projects they will be working on during their program year.

 

Milisuthando (Working Title) Milisuthando Bongela

Milisuthando (Working Title), directed by Milisuthando Bongela (SOUTH AFRICA)

In this coming-of-age story, Milisuthando—a black South African unaware of apartheid until it ended—explores how blacks and whites first lived together after 342 years of racial segregation.

 

Nausheen Dadabhoy An Act of Worship Chicken & Egg Pictures Diversity Fellows Initiative 2018 unnamed-5.jpgAn Act of Worship, directed by Nausheen Dadabhoy (US/PAKISTAN)

An Act of Worship follows a new generation of Muslim-American women activists who have been galvanized into action while anti-Muslim sentiments are on the rise.

 

#Mickey Betzabé García 2019 Accelerator Lab#Mickey, directed by Betzabé García (MEXICO)

Born in Sinaloa, Mickey found in internet a platform where she can explore her transgender identity and deal with her homophobic environment.

 

 

Paths of Fire and Water, directed by Viviana Gómez Echeverry (COLOMBIA)

Camilo is a young black man adopted by an indigenous family, who is now looking for his biological mother to understand who he really is.

 

We Are Inside Farah Kassem 2019 Eggcelerator LabWe Are Inside, directed by Farah Kassem (LEBANON)

Returning to Mustapha’s house in radicalised Tripoli, Farah decides to join her father’s all male poetry club: a living memorial of past times.

 

 

Untitled PRC Project Jessica Kingdon 2019 Accelerator LabUntitled PRC Project, directed by Jessica Kingdon (US)

Untitled PRC Project is a kaleidoscopic journey through China’s industrial supply chain, revealing paradoxes born from prosperity of the world’s emergent superpower.

 

MAMA BEARS DARESHA KYI 2019 Eggcelerator LabMama Bears, directed by Daresha Kyi (US)

Mama Bears explores the many ways in which the lives of conservative, Christian mothers are utterly transformed when they decide to accept their LGBTQ children.

 

Silent Beauty Jasmin Mara LópezSilent Beauty, directed by Jasmin López (MEXICO/US)

Silent Beauty is an autobiographical exploration of one woman’s family history with child sexual abuse and a culture of silence.

 

 

PRAY AWAY Kristine StolakisPray Away, directed by Kristine Stolakis (US)

Pray Away tells the story of the history and continuation of the “pray the gay away” or ex-gay movement.

 

 

Sara: A Fearless Dream Sara Khaki Mohammad Reza Eyni (Egg)celerator Lab 2019

 

Sara: A Fearless Dream, co-directed by Sara Khaki (pictured above) and Mohammad Reza Eyni (pictured below) (IRAN/US)

 

 

Sara takes the first council seat as the first female in her native male-dominated Iranian village. Sara: A Fearless Dream captures her as she takes a dangerous road to success.

 

 

Our next Open Call for the (Egg)celerator Lab will take place in the spring of 2020. For additional information on the program, including application criteria, please visit our Programs page.

* The parentheses next to the directors’ names indicate the directors’ country or countries of origin.