Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Chicken & Egg in collaboration with Working Films is proud to announce the films and filmmakers that have been selected for our Real Girls, Reel Change workshop. Real Girls, Reel Change is an innovative new platform that will nurture the work of filmmakers, non-profit organizations, and funders that are focused on supporting the physical, emotional, and social well being of girls and young women. We understand that real impact takes time and strategic use of many types of resources, and we’ve developed Real Girls, Reel Change in order to explore the idea that it takes more than one great film on a topic to support sustained social change.
Professional filmmakers and outreach coordinators representing the following five films will participate in Real Girls, Reel Change October 21-23, 2009 in New York City.
Saving Jackie Selena A. Burks - C&E grantee
Body Typed Jesse Epstein and Trish Dalton - C&E grantee
Going on 13 Dawn Valadez and Kristy Guevara-Flanagan - C&E grantee
Wo Ai Ni Mommy Stephanie Wang-Breal - C&E grantee
Seneca Falls Louise Vance and Libby Scancarello
These filmmakers will spend two days honing their audience engagement plans, learning from one another and from experts in the field of audience and community engagement, and crafting plans for possible collaboration in the future. This group will be joined by two teams of youth media makers and their mentors. The two youth media projects that will be part of the residency are still to be determined. Check back soon for additional information about the selected youth media projects.
On the third and final day of Real Girls, Reel Change the adult and youth filmmakers will be joined by funders and non-profits for a day long workshop. Together they will participate in workshops, panel discussions, and brainstorming sessions where they will learn about the effectiveness of film as a tool for advancing organizational priorities and mission. Filmmakers will have the opportunity to informally present their audience engagement ideas to non-profits leaders working on girls’ issues. These organizations may become partners or may offer valuable feedback on the feasibility and impact potential of their plans.
Chicken & Egg, and our collaborators on this project – The Fledgling Fund and Working Films, are very excited about this new format for our work. We look forward to working with all of the selected filmmakers.
At the wrap-up dinner for the Good Pitch last week Julie, Wendy and Judith had the pleasure of sitting with Ben & Jerrys Co-founder Ben Cohen. Judith shares the night here: I have had a secret crush on that guy on the ice cream container ever since I found out he was from (my home town) MERRICK. Yep.... You are wondering what is in that water??? Me too.... But so it goes and so it twas that we got to end our wonderful INDIE FILM WEEK all PITCHED and all TWEETED out and oh-so proud of our party and all our filmmakers and so moved by Chris Hegedus and what it meant for all of us to celebrate her amidst a packed room of people who love her and (the eggs) SEATED around a dinner table with BEN COHEN (and gals from Sundance and BRIT DOCS). I got to talk about the roots of his ice cream (and pitch the two flavors I’ve been perfecting for years), muse about filmmaking and his sojourn into exposing the military industrial complex for millions of people across the U.S. Via cookie demonstrations that showed how truly unruly and unjust past administrations have been in their distribution of resources and priorities.... And he told us about how he was trying to get our country to comply with humanities needs and societies deep yearning for education and books instead of bombs. Less missiles and fear mongering and more schools.....
It was delicious, fun, whacky, wonderful and very productive (of course). CHOCOLATE CHICKEN EGGS & ICE GLAM (??) DESSERT STORM (PERHAPS??) SOLIBERRIDY FOREVER (yes that is my labor flavor — imagine Union Picked CALIFORNIA Strawberries with a drop of jalepeno in vanilla ice cream!!!!!!!!
P.S. My mother Florence Helfand (A HEALTHY BABY GIRL and BLUE VINYL) is so proud of the little known fact that Ben and Jerry are from our little town of MERRICK in South Nassau LI. Find me a Jewish doctor or a lawyer slapped on the outside of a million plus containers of confection who are using their amazing status and access to gain entry into the hearts, minds and cholesterol levels of America -
TO DO GOOD while they TASTE GOOD —- that is special!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The IFP is always plentiful in its gifts to independent film but never more so than in September, when Independent Film Week dawns across New York City for a week of meetings, screenings, parties and this year - The Good Pitch.
Independent Film Week is an opportunity for Chicken & Egg Pictures to celebrate our projects at the forum, meet with potential future grantees and recognize those who are important to our work. This year, we decided to use our annual party to honor veteran filmmaker Chris Hegedus, recipient of our 2009 CELEBRATION grant. With over three decades of extraordinary filmmaking and generous mentorship to the field, we remain inspired by Chris’ work and her ability to be able to watch, listen and reveal the best and most complex part of the subjects and lives she follows. Here’s to many more!!
Chicken & Egg Pictures is much more than a film fund – we pride ourselves in the “hands-with” mentorship we provide to our filmmakers. Based on our experience as working filmmakers we know that participating in a filmmaking community that workshops creative ideas is as necessary as putting stock in your camera. To that extent, we were thrilled with the outcome of our pitching workshop for our grantees attending the IFW as Luisa Dantas of LAND OF OPPORTUNITY testifies here:
The training was very helpful, especially in showing me how to distinguish the project from other "Katrina" and New Orleans movies by focusing on the uniqueness of the characters. LAND OF OPPORTUNITY was very well received and our pitches seemed to be very effective.
What better way to finish off the week than with The Good Pitch? Proudly supported by Chicken & Egg, The Good Pitch is a unique opportunity for filmmakers to pitch their social purpose films and their associated campaign to an invited audience of observers, comprising foundations, NGOs, campaigners, advertising agencies, brands, broadcasters and media. We were delighted to watch two of our projects pitch at this special Good Pitch which focused on the U.N. Millennium Goals. I BELIEVE IN YOU grantee Mai Iskander’s film, GARBAGE DREAMS, is completed but will hopefully leverage some new partnerships to ensure that her film has an impact on global recycling habits and industries. Last up to pitch was ROSE AND NANGABIRE, by Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel. Executive Produced by Chicken & Egg, the team and Rose Mapendo, subject of the film, generated great buzz and emotions around the table as they hurtle towards a finishing line in the editing room and start to think about the outreach potential this great mother/daughter story could open up for the issues that surround it. Beth Davenport reports:
We were very honored to have Rose there to bring a human face to need for compelling films to illicit social change. It really hit home for us the whole reason why we do what we do.
We are very excited about our potential partnerships with the UNCHR, Film Aid International. We hope to collaborate with them to help bring the film's message of forgiveness and reconciliation to the DRC and Eastern Africa. As well, we hope to position the film to illicit policy change both in the areas of refugee resettlement and involvement in Congo's peace efforts with many of the organizations at our table.
Another great year at the IFW wrapped up – well not quite; our grantees who featured at the Spotlight on Documentaries will now be busy with follow-up, eager to jump behind the camera or editing suite again to produce the films they have been promising all week. Thank goodness The Good Pitch provides a note-taker for each project because GARBAGE DREAMS and ROSE AND NANGABIRE have their work cut out for them! And at the Chicken & Egg hub we are burying ourselves into our submissions – excited to find the next filmmakers who have the vision, skill and passion to present their stories and issues through film.
Photos from top to bottom: Julie Parker Benello, Judith Helfand, Chris Hegedus and Wendy Ettinger celebrate at our annual IFW party. Photo by Esther B. Robinson. Mai Iskander (top) and Beth Davenport and Angela Tucker (below) pitch their projects at the Good Pitch.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Kicking off IFP’s film week on Sunday evening, Rooftop Films will screen sneak previews of this years IFP Independent Filmmaker Lab works-in-progress, featuring Land of Opportunity, executive produced by Chicken & Egg Pics.
Land of Opportunity looks beyond the tragic event of Katrina to the continuing struggle to re-build New Orleans, and is among a series of documentary films considered by IFP as ‘next year's hot festival and indie releases.’ The evening will take place at the base of Brooklyn Bridge in Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park at 9pm with free admission. Check here for my details - www.rooftopfilms.com
Chicken & Egg Pics is also proud to be showcasing the following feature documentary grantees at their various stages of development and production (being hatched/hatching) at IFP weeks “Spotlight on Documentaries’:
ALL OF ME: A STORY OF LOVE, LOSS AND LAST RESORTS, directed and produced by Alexandra Lescaze, and executive produced by Jim Prugh
EARTH CAMP ONE, directed by Jennie Livingston (PARIS IS BURNING)
MATCH+: A STORY ABOUT LOVE IN THE TIME OF HIV, directed and produced by Ann S. Kim and Priya Giri Desai
MY FAVORITE NEOCONSERVATIVE, directed by Yael Luttwak, produced by Fredrik Carlstrom, executive produced by Wendy Ettinger, Judith Helfand, and Julie Parker Benello
LAND OF OPPORTUNITY, directed and produced by Luisa Dantas, produced by Rebecca Snedeker, and executive produced by Wendy Ettinger (THE WAR ROOM; LIONESS) and Judith Helfand, Julie Parker Benello (BLUE VINYL)
Even if you still haven’t made those tentative steps (broken out of your egg shell!!) and made your own pitch, check IFP weeks schedule of events for panels and discussions any aspiring first-time film-maker should not miss, featuring Keynotes from: MIRA NAIR (Director, Amelia) and PETER SARAF (Big Beach Films) and panellist advice on:
- Making Your First Feature
- Building an Audience for Your Film
- New Digital & Financial Models
- Positioning Your Film for Festivals & Buyers
- Strategizing Your Next Career Move
So make sure you get your pass NOW!
We are very excited to post updates on the releases of some of Chicken & Egg Pics grantees finished film projects, yet on-going outreach…
WILLIAM KUNSTLER: DISTURBING THE UNIVERSE, The Kunstler daughters documentary on their late father’s role as lawyer in some of the most radical civil rights cases of the 60’s and 70’s, will be released theatrically in the following cities:
* Cinema Village, New York, 13-Nov
* Landmark, Boston, 13-Nov
* Landmark NuArt, Los Angeles, 20-Nov
* Landmark San Francisco, 20-Nov
* Landmark Berkeley, 20-Nov
* Landmark DC, 20-Nov
* Landmark Seattle, 20-Nov
* Landmark Denver, 11-Dec
* Landmark Minneapolis, 11-Dec
* Landmark Philadelphia, 11-Dec
* Landmark Atlanta, 11-Dec
* More dates to come...
THE TOE TACTIC is finally out on DVD! www.thetoetactic.com
View the trailer and/or buy the dvd (cheaper than on Amazon) at: http://www.kino.com/video/item.php?film_id=983
OR rent from Netflix http://www.netflix.com/Movie/The_Toe_Tactic/70114943?trkid=226872
GOING ON 13 is being broadcast nationwide on public television throughout fall, in over 25 major PBS markets Visit their website for the most up to date info on screening times: http://www.goingon13.com/screenings/
From Tweety Bird to Bow Wow, double dutch to chat rooms, Daddy's girls to first deceptions, watch as Ariana, Isha, Rosie, and Esme let go of childhood and fumble — or sprint — toward an uncertain future. This is puberty and for each of these girls of color, it’s a whirlwind of change and new choices. Without flinching, GOING ON 13 enters their world as they negotiate the precious, precarious moments between being a little girl and becoming a young woman.
A screening of "What's On Your Plate?" will take place at the Napa Sonoma Wine Country Film Festival! BUY TICKETS HERE: http://winecountry.bside.com/2009/films/whatsonyourplate_winecountry2009
A unique, kid-friendly documentary on organic farming and eating healthy in a big city. Best friends Sadie and Safiyah, two New York City seventh graders, are tired of yucky school lunches and want to know what could possibly be in them. The girls' quest for healthy food and uncovering ingredients leads them all over the city and its surrounding areas. They visit doctors, politicians, farmers, food activists, school supervisors, and chefs to learn about where food grows, how it is cultivated, and how and why it is prepared, packaged, and served the way that it is. Following the themes of “good food shouldn't be a luxury” (stated by one poet friend) and “you are what you eat,” What's on Your Plate?
And finally - Garbage Dreams has just won its 10th award.
Garbage Dreams just won Best Documentary at the Landlocked Film Festival and Jury Prize at the Montana CINE International Film Festival - adding up to a total of 10 awards.
Garbage Dreams will hold its international premiere at IDFA this November and its middle eastern premiere at The Dubai International Film Festival in December.
For more information, go to http://www.garbagedreams.com/