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Chicken and Egg Announces Grants for Women's Docs

by Sydney Levine
August 12, 2010 9:34 AM
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Melissa Silverstein posted this on her blog,Women And Hollywood on August 3, 2010.

If you are a female doc filmmaker you should know about Chicken & Egg Pictures which is a “is a hybrid film fund and non-profit production company dedicated to supporting women filmmakers who are as passionate about the craft of storytelling as they are about the social justice, environmental and human rights issues they’re embracing, translating and exploring on film.”

They just gave out a new batch of grants which they culled from over 300 applications.

These ladies have given out $1.5 million over the last five years to films like Freeheld, Monica and Ali, and Wo Ai Ni Mommy.

Rock stars!

Here are the latest grants direct from the press release:

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.

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)

LIBERTY GRANT
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 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. 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.”

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)

More info on Chicken & Egg Pictures

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