2 (Egg)celerator Lab Films to Watch at BlackStar Film Festival

BlackStar Film Festival is an annual celebration of the visual and storytelling traditions of the African diaspora and of global communities of color, showcasing films by Black, Brown and Indigenous artists from around the world.

BlackStar Film Festival

BlackStar Film Festival takes place Wednesday, August 4 to Sunday, August 8 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and online. (Egg)celerator Lab grantee films Between Fire and Water and Writing With Fire are available to stream and to see in-person. Plus Nest-supported filmmakers such as Michèle Stephenson and Lyric R. Cabral are participating in online sessions at the fest. 🖤 ⭐

Between Fire and Water (Entre Fuego y Agua)

Paths of Fire and Water Viviana Gómez Echeverry
Still from Between Fire and Water, photo by Anton Wenzel

dir. Viviana Gómez Echeverry & Anton Wenzel
prod. Sonia Barrera Gutiérrez

Watch the trailer here, and stream the full film here here (available August 8 – 9).


Writing With Fire

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab
Still from Writing With Fire

dir. Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh
prod. Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh

Watch the trailer here, and stream the full film here here (available August 7 – 8).


AlumNest Films

A special shoutout to Chicken & Egg Award recipients Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Michèle Stephenson on their new short films screening in the same Shorts: Antumbra program. Watch here on Saturday, August 7 at 4:00 pm ET (virtual screening).

Elena
dir. Michèle Stephenson
prod. Joe Brewster

Video Visit
dir. Malika Zouhali-Worrall

7 Supported Films to Stream at the Cleveland International Film Festival

There’s plenty to stream at the 2021 Cleveland International Film Festival, which runs virtually from Wednesday, April 7 to Tuesday, April 20 on their website.

Granted films featured in the online festival include four 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees: A Cops and Robbers Story, Apart, Through the Night, and Writing With Fire, as well as three additional Nest-supported films. The (Egg)celerator Lab supports first- and second-time filmmakers who are working on a feature length documentary, with a special focus on underrepresented voices. Learn more about the films below, and get your tickets here. Online stream tickets are just $10!

Apart, dir. Jennifer Redfearn


The number of women in U.S. prisons has grown by 800% over the past 40 years. And the vast majority are mothers. In a Midwestern state caught between the opioid epidemic, drug sentencing, and rising incarceration for women, three unforgettable mothers—Tomika, Lydia, and Amanda— return home from prison and rebuild their lives after being separated from their children for years.

Apart participated in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.

A Cops and Robbers Story, dir. Ilinca Calgureanu


Ilinca Calugareanu A Cops and Robbers Story Accelerator Lab 2018

Corey Pegues, one of the highest ranking black executives in the NYPD, reveals a few months after retirement that before joining the NYPD he worked the streets dealing crack cocaine for one of the most notorious drug gangs in the US, the Supreme Team. To many he is either a perp in cop costume or a criminal turned hero. But who is the real Corey Pegues?

A Cops and Robbers Story participated in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.

The Dilemma of Desire, dir. Maria Finitzo


An exploration of “cliteracy,” and the clash between the gender politics and the imperatives of female sexual desire.

The Dilemma of Desire participated in Project: Hatched 2020.

Down A Dark Stairwell, dir. Ursula Liang


A nuanced look at how two communities of color navigate an uneven criminal justice system, anchored by one polarizing New York City case.

Landfall, dir. Cecilia Aldarondo


Through shard-like glimpses of everyday life in post-Hurricane María Puerto Rico, Landfall examines a ruined world at the brink of transformation, spinning a cautionary tale for our times.

Landfall participated in Project: Hatched 2020.

Through the Night, dir. Loira Limbal


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 participated in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab. Director Loira Limbal is supported through the 2021 Chicken & Egg Award.

Writing with Fire, dirs. Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh


Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab

In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.

Writing With Fire participated in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.


In the Same Breath, dir. Nanfu Wang is also screening at the festival. Chicken & Egg Pictures supported Nanfu’s previous film, as well as supported Nanfu through the 2018 Chicken & Egg Award.

Two Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported Films Win at Sundance!

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival Awards were announced Tuesday, February 3. We were egg-static to see two Nest-supported films receive major awards from the Park City festival, which was held online from January 28 to Wednesday, February 3. 


Users, directed by Natalia Almada

Natalia Almada received the “Directing Award: U.S. Documentary” for Users.

Natalia Almada worked on Users during her 2018 Chicken & Egg Award year and the project participated in NEXT GEN EGG. Check out the film’s Sundance page here.


Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab

Writing With Fire received the “Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary” and “World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change.”

Writing With Fire participated in our 2018 (Egg)elerator Lab and NEXT GEN EGG. Check out the film’s Sundance page here.


A special congratulations to AlumNest filmmaker Camilla Nielsson (Democrats) on her “World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Vérité Filmmaking” for President!

Nest-supported Films at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival

We’re soaring (digitally) into the 2021 Sundance Film Festival this month, taking place from Thursday, January 28 to Wednesday, February 3. Tickets are now on sale to see the following Nest-supported filmmakers and films from anywhere in the United States: 

Users, directed by Natalia Almada

“A mother wonders, will my children love their perfect machines more than they love me, their imperfect mother? She switches on a smart-crib lulling her crying baby to sleep. This perfect mother is everywhere. She watches over us, takes care of us. We listen to her. We trust her.”
Natalia Almada worked on Users during her 2018 Chicken & Egg Award year and the project participated in NEXT GEN EGG. Check out the film’s Sundance page here.


Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh 2018 Accelerator Lab

In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.
Writing With Fire participated in our 2018 (Egg)elerator Lab and NEXT GEN EGG. Check out the film’s Sundance page here.


The Changing Same — Lead Artists: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster, and Yasmin Elayat

Changing Same Michèle Stephenson Joe Brewster Impact Innovation Initiative 2018

“This immersive, episodic experience uses time travel and magical realism to pilgrimage through the evolution of racial violence in the U.S., making vital connections between the past and present. Episode 1 introduces the time travel portal—the Cracker House—and begins with a police altercation in a quiet suburb of modern-day New Jersey. The police altercation leads to mass incarceration and a slave warehouse, while hurtling toward a glimpse of a radiant post-racial utopia.”
The Changing Same received a 2017 Impact and Innovation Grant, a past Chicken & Egg Pictures program. You need a Desktop-tethered VR Headset to participate; learn more about the project here.


AlumNest Filmmakers

Our AlumNest is the 325+ women and gender nonconforming filmmakers we have supported in our sixteen years as an organization. Check out these projects by supported filmmakers at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival:

Bring Your Own Brigade, directed by Lucy Walker (The Lion’s Mouth Opens)

Prison X – Chapter 1 : The Devil and The Sun — Lead Artists: Violeta Ayala (Cocaine Prison), Alap Parikh, Maria Corvera Vargas, Roly Elias

Try Harder! directed by Debbie Lum (Seeking Asian Female)

President, directed by Camilla Nielsson (Democrats)

In The Same Breath, directed by Nanfu Wang (2018 Chicken & Egg Award, One Child Nation)

Announcing our 2018 Accelerator Lab grantees!

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to announce the third cohort of our Accelerator Lab for first- and second-time filmmakers!

The Accelerator Lab is focused on identifying and supporting women nonfiction directors working on their first or second feature-length documentary. This program brings together ten projects helmed by first- or second-time directors, with a special focus on underrepresented voices.

“Community-building is key to this program,” says Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Director Lucila Moctezuma. “While the Accelerator Lab for first- and second-time filmmakers certainly helps women filmmakers to enter the industry pipeline, it also provides them with a community of support that helps them to stay in the pipeline. The reality of being a film director is that it can often feel daunting and isolating. By explicitly encouraging peer-to-peer mentorship among our cohort, we provide emerging filmmakers with a chance to bond with and learn from one another, to help one another carve a space for themselves in the industry, and to equip them with the strength of a community they can rely on throughout their careers.”

Synopses of the 2018 Accelerator Lab grantees’ compelling projects are below, and you can get to know the directors by viewing the linked project pages. Grantees will work on these films during their program year.

Our next open call for the Accelerator Lab will take place in the spring of 2018. For additional information on the program, including application criteria, please visit our Programs page.

Congratulations to our newest grantees, and wishing you a fantastic year!

 

Ilinca Calugareanu

A Cops and Robbers Story, directed by Ilinca Calugareanu (ROMANIA / UK)

Corey Pegues, one of the highest ranking black executives in the NYPD, reveals a few months after retirement that before joining the NYPD he worked the streets dealing crack cocaine for one of the most notorious drug gangs in the US, the Supreme Team. To many he is either a perp in cop costume or a criminal turned hero. But who is the real Corey Pegues?

 

Siyi Chen

People’s Hospital, directed by Siyi Chen (CHINA / US)

As the Chinese society criticizes dysfunctional hospitals, a doctor’s daughter revisits the small-town hospital where she grew up—this time with a camera, in the middle of a chaotic ER.

 

Sonia Kennebeck

Enemies of the State, directed by Sonia Kennebeck (MALAYSIA / GERMANY / US)

An average American family becomes entangled in a bizarre web of espionage and corporate secrets when their hacker son is targeted by the U.S. government.

 

 

The Youth, directed by Eunice Lau (SINGAPORE / US) and Arthur Nazaryan (US)

The Youth is an unflinching look at the forces that drive one to adopt an extreme ideology. Through the eyes of a father who seeks to understand how his son is radicalized by the propaganda of the Islamic State Army, The Youth reveals how a Muslim American family is affected by the geopolitics and polemics that fuel the resurgence of reactionary and right-wing political movements. Through this intimate lens on the Somali community in Minnesota, The Youth explores the racism and prejudices against immigrants, the rise of radical Islam, and what it means to be Muslim in contemporary America.

 

Madeleine Leroyer

Number 387, directed by Madeleine Leroyer (FRANCE)

This is the story of a Greek physician who collects pendants and bracelets.
This is the story of an Italian woman who has been fighting for 15 years to “make bodies talk.”
This is the story of those who watch over the forgotten migrants.
Since the beginning of 2016, 3,649 migrants have died while attempting to reach Europe by sea. 3,649 names, the vast majority of which have been diluted in the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean.
What happens to the dead? Who identifies them?
What do the mothers, the brothers do to try to find their missing loved ones?
For years, medical examiners have been trying to give back a name, dignity, a memory to these forgotten souls.
This film tells their story.

 

Marie Lidén

Electric Malady, directed by Marie Lidén (SWEDEN / UK)

Director Marie Lidén grew up with a mother who suffered from an illness that the world did not recognize—Electrosensitivity. Years later, in a technologically advanced world, Marie gives a poignant account of the lives of two electrosensitives: William, a 41-year-old Swedish man, and Tyler, a 13-year-old Canadian boy. Using Marie’s own family story as a thread, the film explores William and Tyler’s isolated worlds and their families’ unrelenting commitment to help their children.

 

Loira Limbal

Through The Night, directed by Loira Limbal (US)

To make ends meet, Americans are working longer hours across multiple jobs. This modern reality of non-stop 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.

 

Jacqueline Olive

 Always in Season, directed by Jacqueline Olive (US)

As the trauma of a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present, Always in Season follows relatives of the perpetrators and victims in communities across the country who’re seeking justice and reconciliation in the midst of racial profiling and police shootings. In Bladenboro, NC, the film connects historic racial terrorism to racial violence today with the story of Claudia Lacy who grieves as she fights to get an FBI investigation opened into the death of her seventeen-year-old son, Lennon Lacy, found hanging from a swing set on August 29, 2014. Claudia, like many others, believes Lennon was lynched.

 

Jennifer Redfearn

Reentry (working title), directed by Jennifer Redfearn (US)

Women are now the fastest growing population in the U.S. criminal justice system, increasing at nearly double the rate of men. The majority of women going into prison are serving time for drug related charges. This immersive, character-driven film follows three women—who are part of a new reentry program in Cleveland, Ohio—as they prepare to leave prison, reunite with their children, and find jobs after serving time for drug related charges.

 

Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh (INDIA)

In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, be it on the frontlines of India’s biggest issues or within the confines of their homes, redefining what it means to be powerful.