Thursday, July 29, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Natalie Difford
1 (212) 875 0456
CHICKEN & EGG PICTURES ANNOUNCES GRANT RECIPIENTS
MARKING FIVE YEARS, CELEBRATING $1.5 MILLION & MORE THAN 3,000 MENTORSHIP HOURS FOR WOMEN FILMMAKERS
Organization's Environmental-Focused "Which Came First Fund" To Support Three Films in Production in the Gulf Region in Aftermath of the Devastating BP Oil Spill, A Collaboration with Veteran Filmmaker/Producer Marc Weiss
NEW YORK (July 29, 2010) - Chicken & Egg Pictures, the hybrid film fund and non-profit production company dedicated to supporting women filmmakers, is proud to announce the grant recipients from the 2010 Spring Open Call.
Now in its fifth year of operation, with over $1.5 million in grants and over 3,000 mentorship hours provided to women filmmakers, Chicken & Egg Pictures is indeed "incubating and hatching all at once."
Founded in 2005 by award-winning independent producer/directors Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand, Chicken & Egg Pictures nurtures and supports women filmmakers whose diverse voices represent a range of lived experiences and realities that have the power to change the world as we know it. This unique hybrid of a film fund, philanthropic organization and ''hands-with'' production entity matches strategically-timed financial support with rigorous, respectful and dynamic mentorship, creative collaboration and community-building opportunities.
This spring, more than 300 applications were submitted for three grant categories.
"We are re-inspired by the rigorous and passionate work that women non-fiction filmmakers are tackling and bringing to the fore. There is no lack of inspiration, no lack of optimism in the face of very serious and egregious times and there is no doubt in our minds that women storytellers have an important place at the table of public thought and action - one that they are setting with intense, important and riveting stories of our times and for our times. There are more worthy projects than we can support. Thus, we have strived to make our application process - from the practical questions on our Letter of Inquiry to the group feedback ''best practices'' sessions we offer around the country - a process that will benefit projects beyond the Chicken & Egg Pictures grant process."
- Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand
I BELIEVE IN YOU GRANTS
I Believe in You grants are made at varying stages of the production and post-production process. They offer a filmmaker the freedom to explore her vision, kick-off and develop a project, find grace and clarity in creative chaos, spend time in the edit room or serve as a bridge to her next goal. Films that received this grant and have recently went on to great success include Monica and David by Alexandra Codina (Winner of Best Documentary Feature at Tribeca 2010, forthcoming HBO broadcast) and Wo Ai Ni Mommy by Stephanie Wang-Breal (Winner of Best Documentary Feature at Silverdocs 2010, forthcoming PBS/POV broadcast).
I Believe in You grantees from the Chicken & Egg Pictures 2010 Spring Open Call announced today are:
ALWAYS IN SEASON, directed by Jacqueline Olive (Bay Area)
For almost a century until the mid-1960s, tens of thousands of ordinary people attended the lynchings of nearly 5,000 African Americans that often included hours of torture, mutilation, and photographs. With intimate accounts from spectators, their descendants, and relatives of lynching victims, ALWAYS IN SEASON examines the effect this level of violence still has on Americans, while exploring whether it really has been easy for blacks and whites to forget a recent past that includes racial terrorism. (Development/Production)
CALL ME KUCHU, directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright (UK and NYC)
CALL ME KUCHU tells the story - at once tragic and hopeful - of a tight-knit community of gay and transgender Ugandans in a country where homosexuality is a crime punishable by life imprisonment. At a time when an "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" tabled in Parliament promises even harsher penalties, and religious leaders orchestrate ferocious anti-gay marches, Uganda's "kuchus" find themselves fighting for justice and freedom on the frontlines of Africa's gay rights movement. (Editing)
CHESS MOVIE (working title), directed by Katie Dellamaggiore (NYC)
A squat concrete building on an inner-city block, Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn, New York may not impress from the outside, but inside Ms. Vicary's classroom, something special is happening. Here, hundreds of students have learned to play chess, one of the world's oldest and most complex games. I.S. 318 boasts the best junior high chess program in the nation, despite a high percentage of student poverty. This year, chess team members learn that being the best isn't easy, especially when state and city-wide budget cuts threaten their beloved afterschool program. (Editing)
DEAR MANDELA, directed by Dara Kell and Christopher Nizza (NYC)
The South African government promised to 'eradicate the slums' by 2010, in time for the Soccer World Cup. But three young shack dwellers who live in the vast slums of Durban refuse to be moved from their homes. DEAR MANDELA follows their journey over three years, from the chaos on the streets to the highest court in the land as they resist the evictions and put the promises of their hero, Nelson Mandela, to the test. (Editing towards completion)
EL JARDIN (working title), directed by Natalia Almada (Mexico City)
EL JARDIN is a portrait of a cemetery in the drug heartland of México. Since the war on drugs began in 2007, the cemetery has doubled in size and the mausoleums have doubled in height creating a skyline that looks like a fantastical surrealist city more than a resting place for the deceased. Here, the lives of the cemetery workers and families of the victims, guilty and innocent, intersect in the shadow of this bloody conflict that has claimed over 23,000 lives. (Editing)
OUR SCHOOL, directed by Mona Nicoara (NYC) co-directed by Miruna Coca-Cozma (Romania)
OUR SCHOOL tells the story of race relations in a small Transylvanian town through the eyes of Roma children struggling to break the barriers of segregation. The documentary follows three children, over a period of four years, as they seek a better future through education. The result is an elegy about hope and squandered opportunities, as well as a meditation on what it truly means - and what it truly takes - to give a real chance to a whole generation of children. (Editing)
SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE, directed by Debbie Lum (SF)
A Chinese American filmmaker ventures into the world of an older Caucasian man who is obsessed with young Asian women like her. When he meets a willful young woman from China over the Internet and she agrees to come to the US to marry him, fantasy and reality collide in this unexpected tale of modern love. (Post-production)
The Liberty Grant from Chicken & Egg Pictures enables a filmmaker to stop fundraising, focus on the creative side of completing her film and launch on the festival circuit with her rights and spirit intact. The film Freeheld from Cynthia Wade received the Liberty Grant and went on to the Academy Awards® in 2008 where it received the Oscar® for Best Documenty Short Subject and was broadcast on HBO.
The Liberty Grant recipient from the Chicken & Egg Pictures 2010 Spring Open Call announced today is:
THE PATRON SAINTS, directed by Melanie Shatzky & Brian M. Cassidy (USA/Canada).
PATRON SAINTS is a disquieting and at times surrealistic exploration of an assisted living facility. Bound by first-hand ruminations of the nursing home's youngest and recently disabled resident, the film is a revealing portrait of the changing nature of bodies and minds. (Completion)
WHICH CAME FIRST FUND (WCFF)
In Spring 2009, Chicken & Egg Pictures launched the WHICH CAME FIRST FUND (WCFF), an environmental film fund dedicated to supporting women filmmakers who are taking on challenging, time-sensitive and serious environmental-justice issues and translating them into compelling character-driven stories. Prior WHICH CAME FIRST FUND grantees include Garbage Dreams, directed by Mai Iskander, which has gone on to win 24 film festival awards and was shortlisted for an academy award for Best Documentary Feature in 2009.
- SPECIAL INITIATIVE IN RESPONSE TO THE BIG SPILL -
This round, in response to the BP Oil Spill and devastation along the Gulf, Chicken & Egg Pictures' WHICH CAME FIRST FUND has teamed up with veteran filmmaker/producer Marc Weiss to support three films addressing the myriad of issues and environmental crisis that the Gulf region has been grappling with for decades, and now dramatically revealed by the ''Big Spill.''
"I'm thrilled to collaborate with Chicken & Egg Pictures. Applying their innovative and adaptable model to this disaster responds to the urgency of the moment, illustrating the critical role storytellers can play in the face of the worst man-made environmental disaster in many years."
- Marc Weiss
The three ''Gulf'' films are: Rebecca Ferris's ISLE DE JEAN CHARLES, Leah Mahan's TURKEY CREEK and Margaret Brown's UNTITLED MARGARET BROWN OIL SPILL DOC:
ISLE DE JEAN CHARLES, directed by Rebecca Ferris (LA)
For 170 years, the Native Americans of Isle de Jean Charles have fished, hunted, and lived off the land deep in the Louisiana bayous, but now a host of environmental problems - coastal erosion, sea level rise, and the recent Gulf oil spill - are forcing them to decide whether to stay on their beloved island and potentially be washed away, or move to higher ground.
TURKEY CREEK, directed by Leah Mahan (LA)
When the historic African American cemetery of Turkey Creek is bulldozed for commercial development, prodigal son Derrick Evans returns home to help protect his coastal Mississippi community. When the twin disasters of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill devastate the Gulf Coast, residents join with other endangered communities to fight for a sustainble future.
UNTITLED MARGARET BROWN OIL SPILL DOC, directed by Margaret Brown (AL and NYC)
Peabody-Award winner Margaret Brown's new documentary is an investigation into the personal stories behind the BP Oil Spill. The film will explore how scientific, government and corporate interests respond in the wake of an environmental crisis, and the way this is affecting a region and culture so rooted in nature.
The WHICH CAME FIRST FUND is also proud to be supporting Bag It with a WCFF Liberty (completion) grant.
BAG IT, directed by Susan Beraza (CO)
Is your life too plastic? Our story follows Jeb Berrier, an average American guy who is admittedly not a "tree hugger," who makes a pledge to stop using plastic bags. This simple action gets Jeb thinking about all kinds of plastic as he embarks on a global tour to unravel the complexities of our plastic world. When Jeb's journey takes a personal twist, we see how our crazy-for-plastic world has finally caught up to us and what we can do about it. Today. Right now. (Completion)
About Chicken & Egg Pictures
Chicken & Egg Pictures is a film fund and non-profit production company dedicated to supporting women filmmakers who are as passionate about the art and craft of storytelling as they are about the human rights, global health and environmental justice issues they are embracing, translating and exploring on film.
Films that have received support from Chicken & Egg Pictures include: The Academy Awards® winner Freeheld by Cynthia Wade (Best Documentary Short, 2008), Lioness by Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers, Connected by Tiffany Shlain (in production), Earth Camp One by Jennie Livingston (in production), Eventual Salvation by Dee Rees, Body Typed by Jesse Epstein and The Oath by Laura Poitras .
More information about these and other projects is available at www.CHICKENEGGPICS.org and the organization's blog at www.chickeneggpics.blogspot.com
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
On April 30th, 2010, Link TV, the largest independent TV broadcaster in the country, launched the ViewChange Online Film Contest - to find short films showing how international development efforts are making progress towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Link TV wants to see the personal stories behind these global targets, and is offering $50,000 in cash prizes to the best films.
OPPORTUNITY FOR FILMMAKERS
Online voters will help determine the finalists, after which I will be joined by Gael Garcia Bernal, Wim Wenders, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Angelique Kidjo, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the panel of judges to select the winners, who will be announced in October.
In addition to cash prizes, winners and finalists' videos will be nationally broadcast on Link TV and the finalists' films will be showcased at major events in New York City and Washington D.C. All six category winners will be included in ViewChange.org, a cutting-edge digital media hub launching in November 2010.
CONTEST CATEGORIES & DETAILS
Entrants to the contest will be able to submit films five minutes or less to any one of several categories - learn more here. The winner in each category will earn a $5,000 prize, and the Grand Prize winner will receive $20,000. Contestants can upload their submissions until August 31st to the project's website: ViewChangeFilmContest.org.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or need further information. With your help, we can build awareness, inspire action, and accelerate the worldwide movement to reduce extreme poverty by 2015.
CHICKEN & EGG PICTURES IS COLLABORATING ONCE AGAIN WITH ROOFTOP FILMS TO CREATE THE WOMEN FILMMAKERS SHORT FILM GRANT!! APPLICATIONS DUE AUGUST 3, 2010
ROOFTOP FILMS / CHICKEN & EGG PICTURES WOMEN FILMMAKERS SHORT FILM GRANT
We will award one $6,000 grant to a female director and match that director with a veteran filmmaker as a mentor or collaborator.
How does it work?
Who is eligible? (important)
What is the history of the grant?
• Applications must be received by August 3, 20109.
• Applicants notified: September 14, 2010.
What we have:
• $6,000 as one cash grant for a female director, plus 10 hours of mentorship from a veteran filmmaker.
• Possible access to a Final Cut Pro workstation (in Brooklyn, NY)
• Possible crew from ROOFTOP staff, including: an editor, a documentary DOP, a still photographer, a composer, a sound engineer/editor, a line producer
• Possible interns, volunteers, PAs
• Download the application and the budget form for the Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund Short Film Grants. The application for male and female filmmakers is the same. Female filmmakers will be automatically eligible for both grants.
The application asks for the following information:
• Your name and contact information.
• A description of the film you want to make.
• A production plan.
• A budget. (Use our form or your own.)
• What you want from us.
• A few lines about yourself.
Returning the Application:
Email the application and budget as attachments to email@example.com
SEE HERE FOR FULL GRANT APPLICATION INFORMATION