Announcing our 2022 Critical Issues Fund Grantees!

Graphic with eight stills from films of the Critical Issues Fund

We are proud to present the twelve grantees selected for the 2022 Critical Issues Fund. The Critical Issues Fund supports filmmakers, with more than $250,000 in funding, whose work is focused on important and topical issues that are currently having a decided and material impact on communities domestically and internationally. The 2022 grant awardees have projects exploring some of the most pressing issues of the moment: the war in Ukraine, gun violence, reproductive justice, and climate emergencies

“Through the Critical Issues Fund, we have identified films that have the potential to drive social change by sharing these stories with the world now—not years down the line. Chicken & Egg Pictures cares deeply about these issues and believes that a more equitable and just world can be shaped by the power of documentary films. Our hope is that through highlighting these stories told by talented women filmmakers, others will be motivated to action to support the films and the issues they highlight,” said CEO of Chicken & Egg Pictures, Jenni Wolfson. “We live in a world that’s not doing enough to prevent war, gun violence, climate change, or advance reproductive justice. We firmly believe these films can help in the fight for these issues.” 

We are thrilled to give these filmmakers a warm welcome to the Nest. The 2022 Critical Issues Fund grantees are: 

After Roe (Working title)
Directors: Amber Fares, Geeta Gandbhir (US/CANADA)
After Roe explores the ongoing nationwide battle playing out after the Supreme Court left the fate of tens of millions of women in the hands of politicians across the country.

Breaking the News
Directors: Heather Courtney, Chelsea Hernandez, Princess Hairston (US)
Producer: Diane Quon
Breaking the News follows a group of women and non-binary journalists, bucking the white male status quo, to launch The 19th*—a digital news startup that asks who has been omitted from mainstream coverage and how they can be included.

Displaced 
Director: Olha Zhurba (UKRAINE)
Producer: Darya Bassel 
Displaced captures a collective portrait of Ukrainians fleeing the grindstones of war, and those who stayed and are forced to adapt to life under constant shelling.

Frontline 
Director: Alisa Kovalenko (UKRAINE)
Producer: Katarzyna Kuczyńska 
Co-producers: Monica Hellström, Valeryi Kalmykov
Frontline is a diary from the frontline of the Russian invasion of Ukraine by a director and mother turned soldier.

Hollywood Does Abortion (Working title)
Directors & Producers: Barbara Attie, Mike Attie, Janet Goldwater (US)
Producer: Eliza Licht 
Hollywood Does Abortion explores descriptions of abortion in film and television, revealing how Hollywood both reflects and distorts this safe but controversial medical procedure.

Intercepted 
Director: Oksana Karpovych (UKRAINE/CANADA)
Producer: Les Films Cosmos
Intercepted is a journey through Ukraine that reveals the banality of evil behind the Russian invasion.

Plan C
Director & Producer: Tracy Droz Tragos (US)
Plan C follows the journey of a grassroots network, with a controversial visionary at the helm, as they fight to expand access to abortion pills across the United States, and keep hope alive during a global pandemic and the fall of Roe v. Wade.

Razing Liberty Square 
Director: Katja Esson (GERMANY/US)
Razing Liberty Square features Miami as ground zero for sea level rise. When residents of the Liberty Square public-housing community learn about a $300-million revitalization project in 2015, they soon discover that this sudden interest comes from the fact that their neighborhood is located on the highest and driest ground in the city. Now they must prepare to fight a new form of racial injustice: climate gentrification.

Red Zone
Director: Iryna Tsilyk (UKRAINE)
Producer: Darya Bassel 
Red Zone shares Tsilyk’s very intimate and female perspective on the question—what does it mean to be a woman in the war times?

Sol in the Garden 
Directors: Emily Cohen Ibañez, Débora Souza Silva (US/COLOMBIA/BRAZIL)
Sol in the Garden features Sol—who is released from prison after 16 years of incarceration—and follows her journey as she discovers that coming into her own freedom can be as challenging as living behind bars. Through a community gardening collective of formerly incarcerated horticulturalists in East Oakland, Sol strives to recover her humanity and sense of self.

Untitled Baby Doe Film 
Director: Jessica Earnshaw (CANADA)
Producer: Holly Meehl Chapman
Untitled Baby Doe Film intimately explores the phenomena of pregnancy denial through the stories of two women, a generation apart, given life sentences for the deaths of their newborns.

Untitled Uvalde Documentary 
Director & Producer: Anayansi Prado (PANAMA/US)

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

Eight Nest-supported World Premieres at 2023 Sundance Film Festival

We are egg-static that eight Nest-supported films will have their World premieres at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. 

The 2023 Sundance slate is made up of 28% first-time filmmakers. Chicken & Egg Pictures is committed to supporting filmmakers through the lifecycle of their films; we’re proud that five of the documentary films premiering at Sundance are grantees of our flagship program (Egg)celerator Lab, designed for first or second-time filmmakers. 

See you in Utah!

Against the Tide

dir. & prod. Sarvnik Kaur

prods. Koval Bhatia

Still of Against the Tide. Two men go through the content of their fishing net, there are a fish and plastic trash.
Still from Against the Tide

2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Against the Tide is having its world premiere in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. 

Available in person and online
Premiering on Friday, January 20 
Get your tickets


It’s Only Life After All

dir. & prod. Alexandria Bombach

prods. Kathlyn Horan, Jess Devaney, Anya Rous

Still from It’s Only Life After All

It’s Only Life After All was supported through Alexandria Bombach’s 2019 Chicken & Egg Award and is having its world premiere in the Premiere section. 

Available in person
Premiering on Thursday, January 19
Get your tickets


Is There Anybody Out There?

dir. Ella Glendining

prod. Janine Marmot

Still from Is There Anybody Out There? Ella Glendining is on a a medical bend with her belly uncovered
Still from Is There Anybody Out There?

2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Is There Anybody Out There? is having its world premiere in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. 

Available in person and online
Premiering on Sunday, January 22 
Get your tickets


Joonam

dir. Sierra Urich

prod. Keith Wilson

A mother and daughter stand under opposite ends of a grape arbor together, harvesting grape leaves. A grandmother is seen sitting in the background with a walker in front of her. Each woman appears to be separately lost in thought.
Still from Joonam

2022 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Joonam is having its world premiere in the U.S. Documentary Competition. 

Available in person and online
Premiering on Saturday, January 21
Get your tickets here


Milisuthando

dir. Milisuthando Bongela

prod. Marion Isaacs

Still from Milisuthando. Aerial shot of a person braiding their hair.
Still from Milisuthando

2019 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Milisuthando is having its world premiere in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

Available in person and online
Premiering on Saturday, January 21
Get your tickets


Plan C

dir. & prod. Tracy Droz Tragos

Still Plan C

Plan C is supported through the Critical Issues Fund* and it is having its world premiere in the Premiere section.

Available in person
Premiering on Monday, January 23 
Get your tickets


The Eternal Memory

dir. & prod. Maite Alberdi

prods. Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Rocío Jadue

Still from The Eternal Memory. A couple wearing special cardboard glasses. The woman holds the man's glasses.
Still from The Eternal Memory

The Eternal Memory was supported through Maite Alberdi’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award and is having its world premiere in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. 

Available in person and online
Premiering on Saturday, January 21
Get your tickets


The Tuba Thieves

dir. Alison O’Daniel

Still from The Tuba Thieves. A person looking up with their hand beside their face holding two fingers. Below them is a text that reads the first evening's stars begin to appear. Black and White photograph.
Still from The Tuba Thieves

2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee The Tuba Thieves is having its world premiere in the Next section. 

Available in person and online
Premiering on Sunday, January 22
Get your tickets


From the AlumNest

  • Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project
    dirs. & prods. Michele Stephenson, Joe Brewster
    U.S. Documentary Competition 

  • Kim’s Video
    dirs. & prods. David Redmon, Ashley Sabin
    prods. Deborah Smith, Dale Smith, Francesco Galavotti, Rebecca Tabasky
    Next section (Opening night) 

  • King Coal
    dir. & prod. Elaine McMillion Sheldon
    prods. Shane Boris, Diane Becker, Peggy Drexler
    Next section

  • Murder in Big Horn
    dirs. Razelle Benally, Matthew Galkin
    prods. Razelle Benally, Matthew Galkin, Ivan Macdonald, Ivy Macdonald

  • Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields
    dir. Lana Wilson
    prods. Christine O’Malley, Jack Turner
    Premiere section

  • Victim/Suspect
    dir. & prod. Nancy Schwartzman
    prods. Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Alice Henty, Rachel de Leon, Amanda Pike

Update:

Meet our Team at Sundance Film Festival

Portraits of Kiyoko McCrae, Jenni Wolfson, and Rebecca Celli
Our new Program Director Kiyoko McCrae will be in attendance along with Jenni Wolfson, CEO, and Rebecca Celli, Associate Director of Development.


*More details about the Critical Issues Fund coming early next year