Chicken & Egg Pictures at the Hot Docs Forum

Congratulations to Farming the Revolution for taking home the Best International Documentary Feature award at the 31st edition of Hot Docs in Toronto. The film was supported through Nishtha Jain’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award. The festival also featured six supported films and five films from supported filmmakers in the lineup, multiple of which were premieres, and a spotlight on 2022 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Brett Story.

Our Senior Program Manager Elaisha Stokes and Program Assistant Will Tamura were in attendance at the festival and the Hot Docs Forum. This year’s Forum had “20 projects—represented by 22 filmmakers, 11 of whom are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) and 16 of whom are women—representing 18 countries” (Business Doc Europe) presenting to key funders, decisionmakers, filmmakers, producers, and observers. There were a total of 58 projects being pitched across the industry events. Among the projects were 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab grantees Anatomy of a Life, Jaripeo, War on Women, Holder of the Sky, and Matininó. There were also films from the following supported filmmakers: Leah Galant, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Mila Turajlić, Chelsi Bullard, Geeta Gandbhir, Mars Veronne, Yvonne Welbon, Carine Chichkowsky, Ina Fichman, Valérie Montmartin, Lorena Luciano, Filippo Piscopo, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Kenya Jade Pinto, Brit Fryer, and Sona Jo.

We are extremely proud of 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Anatomy of a Life on being awarded the Cuban Hat Award. This award, given to the best pitch as decided by Forum attendees, offers funding for powerful and unique projects. The award also includes numerous other gifts, including a feedback call with our very own Elaisha Stokes. 

Learn more about the selected projects here.

Nest-supported Films at IDFA 2022

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam will take place from Wednesday, November 9 through Sunday, November 20. We are proud to see five Nest-supported films and seven AlumNest films in the line-up, and a retrospective dedicated to AlumNest filmmaker Laura Poitras. Multiple supported projects are also participating in the IDFA Forum from Saturday, November 12 to Wednesday, November 16. 
IDFA is home to the second and last Chicken & Egg Award program retreat of the year, where 2022 Award recipients will be taking meetings about their films, which are currently in development and production. 
Check out the Nest-supported films screening at IDFA including:


dirs. & prods. Clare Weiskopf, Nicolas van Hemelryck 

prods. Alexandra Galvis, Radu Stancu

A young woman is on her knees, with her hands on top of them, her eyes are closed and behind here there are shelfs
Still from Alis

Alis is a 2022 (Egg)celerator Lab finalist and is part of the Best of Fests section.  

Get your tickets with this link.


dir. & prod. Rebeca Huntt

prod. Sofia Geld

Low angle shot of Beba, placing her arm behind her head and wearing a black top
Still from BEBA

BEBA is a Project: Hatched 2022 grantee and is part of the Best of Fests section.

Get your tickets with this link.

Blue Id

dirs. & prods. Burcu Melekoglu, Vuslat Karan

Blue ID Vuslat Karan & Burcu Melekoglu
Still from Blue Id

Blue Id is a Nest-supported film and is having its World Premiere in the Luminous section. 

Get your tickets with this link.

Dear Mother, I Meant to Write about Death

dir. & prod. Siyi Chen

People’s Hospital Siyi Chen Accelerator Lab 2018
Still from Dear Mother, I Meant to Write about Death

Dear Mother, I Meant to Write about Death is a 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee. 

Get your tickets with this link.

The Hamlet Syndrome

dirs. Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosolowski 

prod. Magdalena Kaminska

In a dimly lit dressing room, a person dresses a mannequin.
Still from The Hamlet Syndrome

The Hamlet Syndrome was supported through Elwira Niewira’s 2021 Chicken & Egg Award and is part of the Best of Fests section. 

Get your tickets with this link.


dir. & prod. Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing

prods. Bob Moore, Ulla Lehmann, Mila Aung-Thwin

Still from Midwives. A young boy sleeps on the shoulder of a woman wearing a headscarf.
Still from Midwives

Midwives is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Best of Fests section. 

Get your tickets with this link.

Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels

dir. & prod. Mila Turajlić

prod. Carine Chichkowsky

Poster of Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels. An overlapped image of a photography of journalists taking photographs to men behind a table, and a man holding a film reel inside of a metallic box.
Image courtesy of Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels

Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels was supported through Mila Turajlić’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award and is having its World Premiere in the International Competition.

Get your tickets with this link.

The Golden Thread

dir. & prod. Nishtha Jain

prods. Irena Taskovski, Irena Taskovski

Still from The Golden Thread.
Still from The Golden Thread, courtesy of Taskovski Films LTD.

The Golden Thread was supported through Nishtha Jain’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award and is having its World Premiere in the Masters section. 

Get your tickets with this link.


dir. Ainara Vera

prod. Clara Vuillermoz

Still from Polaris

Polaris is a 2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee and is part of the Best of Fests section.

Get your tickets with this link.

From the AlumNest

A woman with shoulder length black hair stands next to a stone wall.Nest-supported and Academy Award®-winning director Laura Poitras was named Guest of Honor at IDFA. She will be honored in the Retrospective and the Top 10 programs. The retrospective includes all seven films directed by Poitras from 2003 to today, and the Top 10 program includes Laura’s curation of ten films key to the human condition.



IDFA Forum

The IDFA Forum gathers some of the strongest documentary projects currently being developed and produced globally, and presents them in a five-day program of public presentations and one-on-one meetings. 

Chicken & Egg Pictures is proud to co-host the IDFA Forum Lunch.

Check out the list of Nest-supported projects below:

The Tuba Thieves

dir. Alison O’Daniel

Still from The Tuba Thieves

Between 2011 and 2013, tubas were stolen from high schools across Southern California. The Tuba Thieves begins with one of the heists, but it is not a mystery about the thefts. Nyke, a Deaf drummer and Geovanny, a hearing marching band student, play fictionalized versions of their lives within a Los Angeles soundscape: helicopters hover, highway tunnels absorb radio signals, and working-class neighborhoods are overwhelmed by the cacophony of highways and airplane flight paths. Finally, three historical ‘silent’ concerts are re-enacted. By the end of the film, as the last tubas are stolen, portraits of Nyke and Geovanny emerge from all the noise.

The Tuba Thieves is a 2021 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee.
Learn more about the film with this link.

The Eternal Memory

dir. & prod. Maite Alberdi

Still from The Eternal Memory

The Eternal Memory was supported through Maite Alberdi’s 2020 Chicken & Egg Award.
Learn more about the film with this link.

The Phantom Pain of Rojava

dir. Maryam Ebrahimi

prod. Stina Gardell

A woman in a military uniform and colorful headdress gazes into the scope of a gun leaning on a cement barrier. There are other people behind her doing the same thing.
Still from The Phantom Pain of Rojava

The Phantom Pain of Rojava was supported through Maryam Ebrahimi’s 2021 Chicken & Egg Award.
Learn more about the film with this link.

Meet our Team at IDFA

Yvonne Welbon & Tereza Simikova look directly at the camera and smile. Portraits in black and white.
To the left, Yvonne Welbon, and to the right Tereza Simikova.

Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon and International Program Consultant Tereza Simikova will coordinate the Chicken & Egg Award retreat, organize meetings with filmmakers, and attend the IDFA Forum Lunch.

Six Nest-supported filmmakers receive The Spark Fund!

We are egg-tremely proud to see six Nest-supported filmmakers among Firelight Media Spark Fund’s 36 recipients. This one-time opportunity offers a $50,000 stipend to established, independent documentary filmmakers who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color (BIPOC) and whose work on humanities-themed projects was disrupted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.  
Congratulations to all the recipients!

Assia Boundaoui The Feeling of Being Watched 2016 Accelerator Lab2016 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Assia Boundaoui (The Feeling of Being Watched)

A headshot of a woman looking at the camera with curly medium length hair, wearing a blazer and a necklace2020 (Egg)celerator Lab grantee Débora Souza Silva (For our Children)

Portrait of a woman with short medium hair, slightly tilting down their head and looking up at the cameraNest-supported filmmaker Farihah Zaman (Remote Area Medical)

Portrait of a woman with medium length hair, wearing a scarf and looking2017 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs)

Headshot of a woman with short curly hair, looking at the camera and with a blurry background2016 Chicken & Egg Award recipient Michèle Stephenson

Made in India Vaishali SinhaNest-supported filmmaker Vaishali Sinha (Made in India)

Headshot of a woman tilting her head to her left and widely smiling. She wears dreadlocks, an open shirt with a shirt underneath and a necklace.We are sending an extra special congratulations to our Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon, who was also selected as one of the recipients.

Check out the full list of recipients and learn more about them with this link.

The Nest at the 41st Annual IFP Week

IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) recently announced the 2019 IFP Project Forum slate, which includes 143 feature-length and series projects in both development and production. And we were egg-cited to see the following Nest-supported projects and filmmakers will be participating in the upcoming edition of IFP Week, September 15 – 19 in Brooklyn, New York.

Commuted Nailah Jefferson Chicken & Egg Pictures
Commuted (working title)

Commuted (working title), directed by Nailah Jefferson, tells the story of Danielle Metz, a 52-year-old woman trying to find her footing after spending nearly half of her life in prison. In 2016, Danielle’s was one of 568 life sentences President Obama overturned. Commuted participated in the 2018 Diversity Fellows Initiative (past program).

Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me

Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me, directed by Marie Hinson, is a feature documentary about an aging blues singer’s return to the stage 17 years after music broke his heart. Frank Bey: You’re Going to Miss Me is a participant of the 2019 Nest Knight Fellowship, a pilot initiative generously supported by Knight Foundation for filmmakers from Philadelphia, PA.

Milisuthando (working title)

Milisuthando (working title), directed by Milisuthando Bongela, is a coming-of-age story, in which Milisuthando—a black South African unaware of apartheid until it ended—explores how blacks and whites first lived together after 342 years of racial segregation. Milisuthando (working title) is a participant of the 2019 (Egg)celerator Lab.

Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon

Also participating in the upcoming IFP week is a project directed by Chicken & Egg Pictures Senior Creative Consultant Yvonne Welbon, The Spies Who Loved Me,  a thrilling exposé on citizen-surveillance and the impact of fake news. Along with being a member of the Chicken & Egg Pictures team, Yvonne is an award-winning independent filmmaker, producer, educator, entrepreneur, and consultant. She has successfully produced and distributed over 20 films including Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @100 (winner of ten best documentary awards) and Sisters in Cinema, a documentary on the history of black women feature film directors.

Ilinca Calugareanu A Cops and Robbers Story Accelerator Lab 2018
AlumNest filmmaker Ilinca Calugareanu

Celluloid Dreams, directed by Ilinca Calugareanu, a documentary series that tells five staggering stories of courage and wonder and shows us how movies can change us, and sometimes, the world. Chicken & Egg Pictures did not support Celluloid Dreams, but did support Illinca’s project A Cops and Robbers Story, which was a participant in the 2018 (Egg)celerator Lab.

Other AlumNest filmmakers participating in IFP include Rebecca Haimowitz (Made in India) for Next Generation Sex,  David Osit (co-director of Thank You For Playing and Games You Can’t Win) for MayorSharon Shattuck (From This Day Forward) for The Eyes to See, Amber Fares (Speed Sisters) for Dearborn.

Chicken & Egg Pictures Partners with Magnet Media to Explore Emerging Platforms in Storytelling

New approaches to storytelling continue to expand as new technology emerges and accessibility to platforms improves. While the basic act of crafting compelling stories remains unchanged, transmedia and emerging storytelling platform challenge the ways storytellers produce these stories and change the ways audiences can experience them.

Chicken & Egg Pictures partnered with Magnet Media to co-host the “VIP Roundtable: Social Video, Interactive Video & Emerging Platforms” event in order to achieve greater understanding of the influence the audience has on the storyteller in this digital era. On a Thursday night on April 13th, media makers and shakers, marketers, and filmmakers convened for an evening of dialogue, engagement, and reflection about what the future of storytelling holds for content creators and distributors. Panelists included experts from Twitch, Cheddar, Refinery29, Google Fiber, and RAPT Media, and provided insights and steered conversations on innovative storytelling: from the growth of live streaming and its impact on how we consume daily news, to leveraging the power of interactive video in the business sector to strengthen brand engagement with consumers.

As part of our Alumni Resource and Support Network, Chicken & Egg Pictures partnered with Magnet Media to provide our filmmakers with the opportunity to connect with other creatives and media professionals, learn new forms of storytelling, and discover potential opportunities as storytellers in the field. “The event demonstrated Magnet Media and Megan Cunningham’s commitment to creating a more inclusive industry through networking, tailored education, and unique access,” said Yvonne Welbon, Chicken & Egg Pictures Senior Creative Consultant.

We may not know what new emerging platforms will take form in the coming months or years (technology is rapidly evolving!), but we know one thing is for certain: the future of storytelling is immersive.

Post by Netsanet Negussie, Spring 2017 Chicken & Egg Pictures Program Intern