Chicken & Egg Pictures is celebrating the holiday season and saying farewell to 2020 by featuring a dozen Nest-supported women and gender nonconforming filmmakers. For more Dozen Days of Filmmakers, see here.
“This film is about the kindness and hope that still exists in people who have gone through hell, and about Carlos Spector’s tireless efforts to help them not to lose their voices.” — Marcela Arteaga, Women & Hollywood
Marcela Arteaga’s newest film The Guardian of Memory follows immigration lawyer Carlos Spector as he fights to obtain political asylum for Mexicans fleeing from violence. The film is the story of Mexican men, women, and children seeking a respite from their tragedies by heading to their neighboring country, the US. It is also a story about the kindness and hope that still exists in people who have gone through hell, and about Carlos Spector’s tireless efforts to keep memory alive.
The Guardian of Memory participated in our 2017 (Egg)celerator Lab. The film premiered at Hot Docs in 2019, and went on to screen at Margaret Mead, DocsMx, and Morelia film festivals. The film has received multiple awards, including, most recently, the Best Documentary Award from the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences, also known as The Ariel.
Remembrance, Marcela’s first feature documentary film in 2003, received support from the Rockefeller Foundation. It was the recipient of the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Mexican Film at the Guadalajara IFF, México; and the Jury’s Special Award at the Guanajuato IFF and the Festival of Málaga. Marcela Arteaga graduated from Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica.
The American Museum of Natural History’s Margaret Mead Film Festival will run from Thursday, October 17 to Sunday, October 20 in New York City. The festival, which is inspired by anthropologist Margaret Mead, celebrates documentary media that increases our understanding of the complexity and diversity of peoples’ cultures around the world, and you can catch three Nest-supported films there:
Encouraged by the utopian hopes of the Arab Spring, the members of a women’s soccer club in Libya heroically fight for their right to play. Their community refuses to support the team, forcing them to disband. Some women move on, becoming mothers and professionals, while others hold on to their soccer dreams.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival is coming up —Thursday, April 25 to Sunday, May 5 in Toronto, CA—and with it comes some huge news pertaining to the Nest!
Not only will women will comprise 54% of directors at the Canadian festival; three Nest-supported films (Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, The Guardian of Memory, and Buddha In Africa) will be making their world premieres; and 2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Julia Reichert will receive the 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award, coupled with a curated retrospective of her work throughout the festival, including new documentary American Factory.
Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man, directed by Lily Zepeda (2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative [past program]) — World Premiere
To a stranger, he’s quirky, but to those who know the famed Mr. Toilet, he’s the leader of the global sanitation revolution. He grew up in the slums of Singapore with a bucket for a toilet and knows the agonies first hand of what it’s like to go through life without having a proper loo.
- Saturday, April 27 at 5:45 PM — Scotiabank Theatre 3
- Sunday, April 28 1:00 PM — Isabel Bader Theatre
- Saturday, May 4 8:30 PM — Fox Theatre
The Juarez Valley, a region once known for cotton production, is now nothing more than burned down houses, empty towns, and memories. Carlos Spector, an immigration lawyer born in El Paso, TX, fights to obtain political asylum for Mexicans fleeing from violence. This is the story of Mexican men, women, and children seeking a respite from their tragedies by heading to their neighboring country, the US. It is also a story about the kindness and hope that still exists in people who have gone through hell, and about Carlos Spector’s tireless efforts to keep memory alive
- Sunday, April 28 at 8:15 PM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
- Tuesday, April 30 at 12:45 PM — Scotiabank Theatre 8
- Saturday, May 4 at 1:00 PM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Buddha In Africa, directed by Nicole Schafer — World Premiere
In a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, the film follows Enock Alu, a Malawian boy from a rural village growing up between the contrasting worlds of his traditional African culture and the strict discipline of the Confucian, Buddhist value system of the Chinese. Once the star performer with dreams of becoming a martial arts hero like Jet Li, Enock, in his final year at school, has to make some tough decisions about his future and finds himself torn between returning to his relatives in the village or going abroad to study in China. Against the backdrop of China’s expanding global influence, the film evokes some of the tensions surrounding the growing relationship between China and Africa.
- Saturday, April 27 at 6:00 PM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
- Monday, April 29 at 1:00 PM — Scotiabank Theatre 8
- Sunday, May 5 at 10:15 AM — Scotiabank Theatre
How much control does a person have over their own life? In China, state control begins before a child is even born.
Always In Season (2018 (Egg)celerator Lab), 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.
- Sunday, April 28 at 6:15 PM — Hart House Theatre
- Tuesday, April 30 at 12:45 PM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
- Saturday, May 4 at 6:30 PM — Hart House Theatre
American Factory, directed by Julia Reichert (2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient) and Steve Bognar*
Dizzying, hilarious and devastating, this tale of two factories makes for a landmark story of workplace anxiety. Directors Reichert and Bognar have spent a decade documenting the plight of Ohio’s factory workers, and their dedication pays off when they are given astonishing access to Fuyao, a Chinese auto glass manufacturer, as it revives a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton.
- Tuesday, April 30 at 6:00 PM — Isabel Bader Theatre
- Thursday, May 2 at 10:30 AM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
- Saturday, May 4 at 6:00 PM — Isabel Bader Theatre
- Sunday, May 5 at 4:15 PM — TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
In addition to American Factory, the Outstanding Achievement Retrospective of Julia Reichert’s work which will screen throughout the festival will include Growing Up Female, considered the first feature documentary of the modern women’s movement; Union Maids, in which women look back on the Depression-era trade unionist crusade; and A Lion in the House, the Emmy-winning film which follows five children battling cancer over the course of six years, as well as others.
The following films directed by Nest-supported filmmakers will also be featured at Hot Docs: Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears (director of Nest-supported film The Hand That Feeds with Robin Blotnick) and Shooting the Mafia, directed by Kim Longinotto (director of Nest-supported film Dreamcatcher).
*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not directly support American Factory but supported director Julia Reichert during her Chicken & Egg Award year.
Today is World Refugee Day, a day which calls for the global public to stand with refugees and stand for their safety. In 2017, the number of displaced people worldwide reached a record high of 68.5 million, as reported by The UN Refugee Agency’s annual Global Trends study. At Chicken & Egg Pictures, we are proud to support a number of filmmakers that use intimate storytelling to portray the individuals behind those numbers. Their stories have been and will continue to be an important part of Chicken & Egg Pictures.
Nest-supported film It Will Be Chaos, will be broadcast tonight on HBO in conjunction with World Refugee Day. Directed by Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo, the film is an epic, yet intimate portrait of lives in transit and the human consequences of the refugee crisis spanning the Mediterranean. The story unfolds between Italy and the Balkan corridor, focusing on two unforgettable refugee stories of human strength and resilience in search of a better and safer future. It Will Be Chaos premiered on HBO on June 18, will have an encore presentation tonight at 5:55 pm ET, and is now available for streaming on HBO.
More powerful films to watch in honor of World Refugee Day include:
Eventual Salvation, directed by Dee Rees about her 80-year-old American-born grandmother who barely escaped Liberia with her life as she returns to rebuild her community after their devastating civil war (on Netflix);
Children in No Man’s Land, directed by Anayansi Prado, which chronicles the journey of Maria de Jesus and her cousin Rene (ages 13 and 12) as they attempt to cross the US/Mexico border alone to reunite with their mothers in the Midwest (on Kanopy);
And This is Home: A Refugee Story*, directed by Chicken & Egg Board of Directors member Alexandra Shiva, an intimate portrait of four Syrian families arriving in Baltimore (premieres Friday, June 22 on Epix).
And other Nest-supported projects to watch out for in the near future are:
MUHI – Generally Temporary (2015 Accelerator Lab grantee), directed by Rina Castelnuovo and Tamir Elterman—on the festival circuit and just finished a theatrical tour in Germany; Unaccompanied Children (2017 Accelerator Lab grantee), directed by Alexandra Codina—currently in production; The Guardian of Memory (2017 Accelerator Lab Grantee), directed by Marcela Arteaga—currently in production; Number 387 (2018 Accelerator Lab Grantee), directed by Madeleine Leroyer—currently in production; Breathe (2018 Impact & Innovation Initiative Grantee), directed by Milica Zec and Winslow Porter—currently in development.
*Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support This is Home but director Alexandra Shiva is a member of the Chicken & Egg Pictures Board of Directors.
Post by 2018 Communications Intern Morgan Lee Hulquist.
Join us for our first ever LIVE CHICK-PITCH at the 2017 Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Our focus: to showcase, celebrate, and introduce you to the work, vision, and promise of 10 compelling projects helmed by emerging women directors from around the globe—each one a member of our 2017 CHICKEN & EGG PICTURES Accelerator Lab, hailing from Bangladesh, China, Somalia, Mexico, Poland, and across the US.
The Live Pitch will take place on Sunday, June 11, 12:00 – 14:00 pm at the Sheffield ITV Town Hall Reception Room B.
Moderated by award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand, Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Co-Founder and Senior Creative Consultant.
- Born in China by Nanfu Wang & Lynn Zhang (China)
- The Guardian of Memory by Marcela Arteaga (Mexico)
- Kids Can Spit by Chelsi Bullard (US)
- Lights, Camera, Uganda by Cathryne Czubek & Hugo Perez (US)
- People I Know by Zofia Pregowska (Poland)
- Rajada Dalka/Nation’s Hope by Hana Mire (Somalia)
- The Rashomon Effect by Lyric R. Cabral (US)
- Surf Girls of Cox’s Bazar by Elizabeth D. Costa (Bangladesh)
- The Surrender of Waymond Hall by Jane Greenberg, (US)
- Unaccompanied Children by Alexandra Codina (US)
Find out more about the 2017 Accelerator Lab.
If you would like to attend let us know by emailing Sabine Fayoux, Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can’t join us at the Live Pitch please consider meeting with the filmmakers individually or in small group meetings during the festival. To coordinate a meeting, please contact our European representative and Sheffield Doc/Fest liaison Tereza Šimíková at email@example.com.
The Chicken & Egg Pictures Accelerator Lab is a year-long program that brings together 10 nonfiction projects directed by women from around the world who are making their first or second film. The program provides them with a major grant of $35,000 USD and intensive mentorship that strives to balance creative storytelling and core producing skills with practical models for building sustainability, community, and relationships in the nonfiction marketplace. The 2017 Sheffield Doc/Fest marks the program’s second of three retreats, this one built around utilizing and leveraging all that the Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Meet Market and Industry Convenings have to offer.