Wonderful news from Sundance Institute! Thirty-three recipients of the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Stories of Change Grant were announced recently, and 81% of the supported projects have at least one woman producer or director.
Projects are supported through grants in the development, production, post-production and audience engagement stages, and include custom grants from The Kendeda Fund, MacArthur Foundation, and The Skoll Foundation.
Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal (2018 Accelerator Lab)
To make ends meet, Americans are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of nonstop work has resulted in an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers. Through the Night is a verité documentary that explores the personal cost of our modern economy through the stories of two working mothers and a child care provider, whose lives intersect at a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY.
Through the Night received a production grant from the Sundance Documentary Fund.
Born in China, directed by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang (2017 Accelerator Lab)
How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.
Born in China received a grant for post-production from the Sundance Documentary Fund.
The Letter, directed by Maia von Lekow and Chris King (2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative)
Along the coast of Kenya, a frenzied mix of consumerism and Christianity is turning hundreds of families against their elders, branding them as witches as a means to steal their land. Ninety-two-
year-old Margaret Kamango stands accused by her sons, while her strong-willed daughters try to protect her. This dangerous dispute is seen through the eyes of Margaret’s grandson, Karisa, who returns home from the city to investigate and is ultimately forced to choose which side he is on.
The Letter received a grant for post-production from the Sundance Documentary Fund.
Untitled Race & Criminal Justice Project, directed by Ursula Liang (2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative)
A nuanced look at how two communities of color navigate an uneven criminal justice system, anchored by one polarizing New York City case.
United Race & Criminal Justice Project received support for production from the Macarthur Foundation. This grant provides support for journalistic projects, prioritizing diverse, Native and Indigenous voices.
Chicken & Egg Pictures would also like to congratulate the following filmmakers whose work we have supported in the past or who we have individually support through the Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program—
2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Recipient Laura Nix received a grant for audience engagement for her film Inventing Tomorrow from The Kendeda Fund.
Meet the passionate teen innovators from around the globe who dedicate their blood, sweat, and Bunsen burners to craft cutting-edge solutions to the world’s environmental threats and present their findings at the world’s largest high school science competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support Inventing Tomorrow, but supported Laura Nix through our Breakthrough Filmmaker Award program in 2016.
And She Could Be Next received a production grant from the Sundance Documentary Fund and is made by a team of women filmmakers of color, including four Nest-supported filmmakers. And She Could Be Next is directed by Grace Lee (2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient and director of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs), Yoruba Richen (2016 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient), Deborah S. Esquenazi (Southwest of Salem) , and Geeta Gandbhir (director of A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, producer of Love the Sinner, and 2017 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient) as well as Anayansi Prado, Ramona Emerson, Amber Fares, and Marjan Safinia.
Another special congratulations to Anna Fitch for her grant for production on her new project Heaven Through the Backdoor, which she is co-directing with Banker White. Anna Fitch previously received support on her work in Survivors from Chicken & Egg Pictures, also co-directed with Banker White.
Congratulations also to Violeta Ayala (director of Nest-supported Cocaine Prison) on receiving production support for her new feature documentary, The Fight.
What an incredible group of women-directed projects! Congratulations to all.
Nine Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees have been recognized with grants through the Sundance Documentary Fund. On Monday, October 31, the Sundance Institute announced the awarding of over $1 million in grants through this program.
Chicken & Egg Pictures congratulates our grantees, and looks forward to celebrating their continued success.
Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees awarded Sundance Production Grants:
Even When I Fall
Directed by Kate McLarnon & Sky Neal
Even When I Fall is the story of three remarkable young Nepali women, all survivors of human trafficking into corrupt big top circuses across India. Facing forgotten families and uncertain futures, the story begins in the often-overlooked aftermath of a childhood spent in captivity and forced labor. But these tough young women were inadvertently left with a secret weapon by their captors – their breathtaking skills as circus artists.
Directed by Sahra Mosawi
In Afghanistan where systematic abuses of girls rarely come to light, and seeking justice can be deadly, one young woman says “Enough.” Her name is Khatera and this is her incredible story of love, hope, bravery, forgiveness and truth. It is also one of horrific abuse. Khatera was brutally raped by her father since the age of nine. Today she is twenty-three and raising two precious and precocious children—a daughter and a son—whom he sired.
Directed by Arthur Pratt, Anna Fitch, Banker White, and Barmmy Boy
Through the eyes of Sierra Leonean filmmakers, Survivors presents a portrait of their country during the Ebola outbreak, exposing the complexity of the epidemic and the socio-political turmoil that lies in its wake. The film chronicles the remarkable stories of Sierra Leonean heroes during what is now widely regarded as the most acute public health crisis of the modern era.
Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees awarded Sundance Post-Production Grants:
32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide
Directed by Hope Litoff
A reflection on the life and suicide of Ruth Litoff, a successful artist, a pathological liar, and the filmmaker’s sister. By looking back on Ruth’s incredible highs and lows, bursts of creative genius, depression, secrets, and lies, a vivid portrait will emerge of the brilliant woman the filmmaker is not sure she ever really knew. This is her attempt to understand what happened.
Directed by Lucy Cohen
Fly Away is a film about memory, identity, and growing up told through the eyes of seven siblings and their mother. Five of the children are on the autistic spectrum and as they move through adolescence, an event of the past keeps drawing them back. Combining observational footage with a rich archive of home movies and songs, the film is both a detective story and coming-of-age tale, exploring universal themes of memory, family, and love.
Directed by Cynthia Wade & Sasha Friedlander
Mudflow 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. Mudflow follows ordinary Indonesians seeking justice for this disaster during a national election where one presidential candidate has promised restitution — and the other has not.
Directed by Dyana Winkler & Tina Brown
United Skates follows an underground subculture growing inside our country’s last standing roller rinks. Fusing hip-hop with the speed of old school quad roller skates, this film shines a fresh light on the recurring pattern of racial struggle faced by African American artists, as it follows the next artistic movement still undiscovered by the American mainstream.
Directed by Sabaah Jordan & Damon Davis
A first-hand look at how the murder of one teenage boy became the last straw for a community under siege. Whose Streets? is a story of love, loss, conflict, and ambition; the journey of everyday people turned freedom fighters, whose lives intertwined with a burgeoning national movement for black liberation. This is a film for all of America – it provides insight into the unseen reality of racism, the role of media in conflict, state-sanctioned violence, and militarized policing – but at its core it is Ferguson’s story, it is our cry of “enough is enough”.
Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees chosen for the Art of Nonfiction Fellowship:
Kirsten Johnson works as a director and a cinematographer. Her most recent work as a cinematographer appears in Citizenfour, Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs Gravity, and The Wound and the Gift. Her work was featured in Academy Award®-nominated The Invisible War. She shared the 2010 Sundance Documentary Competition Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for The Oath. She shot the Tribeca Film Festival 2008 Documentary winner, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Her cinematography is featured in Farenheit 9/11, Academy Award®-nominated Asylum, Emmy®-winning Ladies First, and Sundance premiere documentaries, A Place at the Table, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, American Standoff, and Derrida. Deadline, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance in 2004, was broadcast on primetime NBC, and won the Thurgood Marshall Award.
Kirsten received the Chicken & Egg Pictures Celebration Award, supported by the Ravenal Foundation, in 2014.
Chicken & Egg Pictures grantees chosen for the inaugural Bertha Foundation Fellowship:
Directed by Sahra Mosawi