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.
Writing With Fire, directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
Writing With Fire received the “Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary” and “World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Impact for Change.”
A special congratulations to AlumNest filmmaker Camilla Nielsson (Democrats) on her “World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Vérité Filmmaking” for President!
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
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
“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.
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)
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival kicks off their 22nd annual festival today, which will take place in Durham, North Carolina from Thursday, April 4 to Sunday, April 7.
The festival’s opening night film is American Factory, the Sundance 2019 Directing – US Documentary Competition award winner directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steven Bognar, screening Thursday, April 4 — 7:30 pm at Fletcher. In addition, we were egg-static to see Julia and her long-time directing partner Steven honored by Full Frame in a tribute and curated retrospective of their work, which will screen throughout the festival, including Union Maids, directed by Jim Klein, Miles Mogulescu, and Julia Reichert (Thursday, April 4 — 1:30 at Cinema Three and Sunday, April 7 — 5:10 pm at Cinema Four), as well as eight other films.
Full Frame’s lineup includes work by a total of nine Nest-supported women filmmakers:
From dusk to dawn, El Velador (The Night Watchman) accompanies Martin, a guard who watches over the extravagant mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. In the labyrinth of the cemetery, this film about violence without violence reminds us that, amid the turmoil of a drug war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives, ordinary existence persists in Mexico and quietly defies the dead.
Thursday, April 4 — 4:00 pm at Cinema One (as part of the Some Other Lives of Time program curated by Hale County This Morning, This Evening director Ramell Ross)
Hail Satan?, directed by Penny Lane (2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient)
With humor and searing insight, director Penny Lane debunks misrepresentations about the Satanic Temple. Drawing on extensive access to the organization’s participants, this unflinching examination reveals the controversial religious movement’s aim to shine a light on the hypocrisy around America’s separation of church and state.*
Friday, April 5 — 10:00 pm at Fletcher
Poet Lamar Wilson remembers reading Anatomy of a Lynching as a young man and immediately asking his grandmother if she knew Claude Neal. The book recounts the heinous 1934 murder and mutilation of Neal, a 23-year-old African American, at the hands of a mob of white men.*
Saturday, April 6 at 1:00 pm at Cinema One
Always in Season (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Jacqueline Olive
When 17-year-old Lennon Lacy is found hanging from a swing set in rural North Carolina in 2014, his mother’s search for justice and reconciliation begins while the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present.
Friday, April 5 — 7:20 pm at Cinema Three
One Child Nation (2017 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee), directed by Nanfu Wang (also a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Jialing Zhang
How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.
Friday, April 5 — 7:00 pm at Cinema One
Grit, directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander
Grit 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. Grit follows ordinary Indonesians seeking justice for this disaster during a national election where one presidential candidate has promised restitution — and the other has not.
Thursday, April 4 — 10:00 am at Cinema One
A Thousand Girls Like Me, directed by Sahra Mani (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative — past program)
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.
Thursday, April 4 — 4:20 pm at Cinema Four
Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (former Nest grantee for The Hand That Feeds)
In the run up to the 2018 U.S. midterms, four political newcomers challenge their Democratic incumbents in the primary elections that lead ultimately to a seat in Congress. Fearless and determined, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean Swearengin, Cori Bush, and Amy Vilela introduce their grassroots platforms to the communities in which they are deeply ingrained.*
Friday, April 5 — 7:20 pm at Fletcher
*Synopses courtesy of Full Frame.
Nest-supported filmmakers are taking flight at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, the oldest all-documentary festival in North America. Its 27th year will kick off on Friday, October 19 and run to Saturday, October 27 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Here are the Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported films, filmmakers, and friends to see in Hot Springs.
Blowin’ Up, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal
Monday, October 22 at 10:00AM, Cinema One.
Blowin’ Up looks at sex work, prostitution, and human trafficking through the lens of New York State’s criminal justice system. The film captures the growing pains of our nation’s first human trafficking intervention court in Queens, New York, and how we define trafficking and prostitution from many different perspectives: the criminal justice system, the social welfare system, and, most importantly, the women and girls who are at the center of it all.
The Devil We Know, directed by Stephanie Soechtig
Wednesday, October 24 at 10:00 AM, Cinema Two.
Unraveling one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time, a group of citizens in West Virginia take on a powerful corporation after they discover it has knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical—now found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans—into the drinking water supply.
Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman
Saturday, October 20 at 2:30 PM, Cinema Two.
In small-town Ohio, at a pre-season football party, a horrible incident took place. What transpired would garner national attention and result in the sentencing of two key offenders. As amateur crime blogger Alex Goddard uncovers disturbing evidence on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, documenting the assault of a teenage girl by members of the beloved high school football team, questions linger around the collusion of teen and adult bystanders. Roll Red Roll explores the complex motivations of both perpetrators and bystanders in this story, to unearth the attitudes at the core of their behavior.
United Skates, directed by Dyana Winkler & Tina Brown (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative)
Friday, October 26 at 7:00 PM, Cinema One.
When America’s last standing roller rinks are threatened with closure, a community of thousands battle in a racially charged environment to save an underground subculture–-one that has remained undiscovered by the mainstream for generations, yet has given rise to some of the world’s greatest musical talent.
Monday, October 22 at 5:00 PM, Cinema One.
“On October 26, 1934, Claude Neal was brutally lynched by a group of white men who stormed the county jail in Brewton Alabama where Neal was being held after being accused of the murder of a 20 year-old white woman, Lola Cannady. Every October 26, Lamar Wilson, a native of Marianna, Florida who now teaches English at the University of Alabama Birmingham, comes home to run a very particular marathon to commemorate the lynching of Claude Neal. Lamar retraces the route Claude Neal took on that fateful night where he ended up hanged on the courthouse grounds.”**
This Is Home, directed by Chicken & Egg Board of Directors member Alexandra Shiva
Tuesday, October 23 at 1:00 PM, Cinema One.
“A stirring, empathetic documentary chronicling the travails of four Syrian refugee families as they arrive in Baltimore with just eight months’ time allowed to find jobs, learn English, and adapt to life in the U.S. when the sudden 2017 travel ban imposed by the Trump administration further complicates their situation.”***
*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support The Changing Same directly but supported director Michèle Stephenson during her Breakthrough year, as well as Michèle and Joe’s VR project Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project, currently in production.
**Synopsis courtesy of Rada Film Group.
***Synopsis courtesy of Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.
Congratulations to all and see you in Arkansas!