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.

Yoruba Richen: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 10

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.


The New Black Yoruba RichenYoruba Richen is a 2016 Chicken & Egg Award filmmaker whose work explores issues of race, space, and power. She has directed films in the US and abroad, including The New Black, Promised Land, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom, and most recently The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show. Yoruba received the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access, was a Sundance Producers Fellow, is a featured TED Speaker and a Guggenheim Fellow. She is director of the documentary program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. 

Her last film, The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show was selected for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and is a Peacock Original. Her previous film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom was broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel to record audiences and was awarded the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking.

Yoruba is currently working on How It Feels To Be Free, a two-part documentary chronicling how black entertainers like Lena Horne and Cicely Tyson navigated the industry and took control of their own images, all while fighting for civil rights through their art and actions.

The New Black Yoruba Richen
Still from The New Black, directed by Yoruba Richen

Shalini Kantayya: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 9

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 moment is asking us to drop into a deeper place in our humanity to lead. I’m so grateful to the people in my film who have shown me how to do this. There has never been more clarity that the people who have been systematically missing from the conversation have the most to share with us about the way forward.” — Shalini Kantayya, Letters from the AlumNest

Shalini Kantayya’s newest film, Coded Bias, explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her subsequent journey to push for the first-ever US legislation to govern against bias in artificial intelligence. The documentary aims to shine a light on the threat artificial intelligence poses to civil rights and democracy. Coded Bias participated in our 2020 Project: Hatched program; was an Official Selection at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival; and was featured in The New York Times, Democracy Now!, and Hollywood Reporter. The film is now playing at 70+ virtual cinemas across the US. Support a local movie theater and stream from home: codedbias.com/virtualcinema

Still from Coded Bias, directed by Shalini Kantayya

Shalini’s other credits include directing the season finale episode for the National Geographic television series Breakthrough, a series profiling trailblazing scientists transforming the future, executive produced by Ron Howard, broadcast globally in June 2017. Her debut feature film Catching the Sun, about the race for a clean energy future, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Catching the Sun released globally on Netflix on Earth Day 2016 with Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio and was nominated for the Environmental Media Association Award for Best Documentary.

Kantayya is a TED Fellow, a William J. Fulbright Scholar, and a finalist for the ABC Disney DGA Directing Program. She is an Associate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Laura Nix: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 7

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.

Laura Nix is a director, writer, and producer working in nonfiction and fiction. Her short film, Walk Run Cha-Cha, was nominated for a 2020 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject; and the New York Times series, From Here to Home, in which the film appears, was nominated for a 2020 News and Documentary Emmy. 

Her feature documentary Inventing Tomorrow, which follows passionate teenage innovators from around the world as they create cutting-edge solutions to confront environmental threats, won a 2019 Peabody Award. Laura also directed the feature documentaries The Yes Men Are Revolting, The Light in Her Eyes, and Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig, as well as the award-winning fiction feature, The Politics of Fur

Laura Nix Inventing Tomorrow 2018 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award
Still from Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix

Laura was named a 2018 Chicken & Egg Award Recipient and was awarded the Sundance Institute/Discovery Impact Fellowship in 2017. Raised in New York state and based in Los Angeles, Laura is a film expert for the US State Department’s American Film Showcase and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Jos Duncan: Dozen Days of Filmmakers — Day 6

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.

Jos Duncan is a multimedia producer, professional storyteller, and social entrepreneur with over fifteen years experience collaboratively creating and documenting community-centered narratives. She is the founder of Love Now Media, an empathy-centered media company that uses storytelling to advocate for social justice and wellness.

Her documentary film Falaka Fattah and The House of Umoja, co-directed with Jason Pollard, participated in the 2019 Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative generously supported by Knight Foundation which supports stories in Philadelphia, PA. 

Still from Falaka Fattah and The House of Umoja, co-directed by Jos Duncan and Jason Pollard 

In 1969, when gangs were forming throughout the United States as an act of resistance and protection from police brutality, Queen Mother Falaka Fattah and her husband David Fattah opened up their home to warring gangs in the Philadelphia area out of concern for the safety of their son. In the ensuing years, the Fattahs worked with over 105 gangs, convincing them to a sign a pledge of peace, and eradicating almost all of the gangs violence in Philadelphia. As gun violence spurs in Philadelphia, Queen Mother Falakah Fattah urges today’s leaders to uphold the House of Umoja movement.