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Chicken & Egg Pictures Announces 2011 Grant Recipients

Chicken & Egg Pictures Announces 2011 Grant Recipients

Chicken & Egg Pictures, a hybrid film fund and non-profit production company, has announced the 14 grant recipients of their Spring Open Call 2011. Over 300 women filmmakers entered the documentary competition for funding of projects in various stages of completion.

“Six years ago this month we came together to build this dynamic venture with the mission of being both responsive to the needs of women filmmakers, particularly those making films dedicated to social change, and mindful of how the business of filmmaking and social change works-and could work better,” said Chicken & Egg Pictures co-founders Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand in a joint statement.

Below is the full list of grant recipients:

I BELIEVE IN YOU Grants:

“A Quiet Inquisition,” directed by Holen Kahn and Alessandra Zeka
A doctor must choose between breaking the law or breaking everything she stands for. This is the reality of living in one of the six countries in the world where the termination of any pregnancy, even if in response to a result of rape, incest, or to save the woman’s life is illegal and actively prosecuted.
For: Editing

“Caught in the Net,” directed by Hilla Medalia and Shosh Shalm
“Caught in the Net” follows China as the first country in the world to classify Internet Addiction as a clinical disorder. The film features a Beijing treatment center where Chinese teenagers are being de-programmed. We follow the lives of three teens from the day they arrive throughout their three-month treatment period and their return home.
For: Production

“Fighting Foster,” directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal
“Fighting Foster” brings to life the conflicting values, uncertainties and tensions that surround the foster care system. The film follows three parents who have lost their child(ren) to the child welfare system and the legal, administrative and emotional battles they must overcome in order to get their child(ren) home.
For: Development

“Gideon’s Army,” directed by Dawn Porter
The United States criminal justice system is strained to the breaking point. What it is like to work as a lawyer for the accused? Long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads are so common that even the most committed often give up. But they now have help. Jonathan Rapping, founder of the Southern Public Defender Training Center has dedicated his career to mentoring the lawyers who represent the people society would rather forget. Can he make a difference?
For: Production

“Home Again,” directed by Julie Englander
When you’ve grown up all over the world, can you ever really go home again? HOME AGAIN is an intimate documentary that poses questions about citizenship, faith, politics, and identity-one that views America through the eyes of missionary kids who’ve grown up overseas. Though their passports say they’re American, they find upon their return that the U.S. can be the strangest country of all.
For: Production

“In the Middle,” directed by Lorena Luciano
Locals on the remote Italian island of Lampedusa are split between compassion and animosity. As thousands of migrants make the dangerous crossing to Lampedusa fleeing the ongoing crisis across the Arab world, NGOs such as UNHCR, Red Cross, and Doctors without Borders have poured on the island to assist the asylum seekers, the unaccompanied minors, the pregnant women who are kept in detention centers, painfully unaware of the uncertain future awaiting them.
For: Development

“The New Black,” directed by Yoruba Richen
The New Black is a documentary-that uncovers the complicated and often combative relationship between the African-American and LGBT civil rights movements. Specifically, the film examines homophobia in the black church and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda.
For: Production

“Unstable Elements,” directed by Madeleine Sackler
The members of the Belarus Free Theater risk their lives staging illicit performances and campaigning around the world to expose what life is truly like under the last dictatorship in Europe, where the secret police are still called the KGB and political dissenters disappear.
For: Production

LIBERTY GRANTS:

“Girl Model,” directed by Ashley Sabin
Girl Model follows a complex supply chain between Siberia, Japan, and the U.S. within the modeling industry. The story is told through the eyes of a scout and a 13 year-old model.
For: Completion

“The Mosuo Sisters,” directed by Marlo Poras
Two spirited daughters from China’s last remaining matriarchal ethnic minority are thrust into the worldwide economic downturn when they lose the only jobs they’ve ever known.
For: Completion

“Mariachi High,” directed by Illana Trachtman
Mariachi High follows a year in the life of competitive high school musicians in the top-ranked ensemble Mariachi Halcon in Zapata, Texas – a flash point for the issues facing the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. As President Obama sounds a call for lowering the Latino dropout rate, the highest in the country, Mariachi High turns a positive lens on college-bound Latino role models who are inspired by cultural pride and striving for excellence. High school has never sounded so good.
Additional grant for: Editing

WHICH CAME FIRST Environmental Film Fund:

“Atomic Epilogue Hope Dies Last,” directed by Ellen Spiro
Atomic Epilogue explores the changing face of energy production in the United States through one man’s unusual life and legacy. “Atomic” Ed Grothus spent decades as an activist and educator, while collecting tons of detritus from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in his unofficial museum of the nuclear age, The Black Hole. In his final days, Ed confronts his own death with honesty and humor, looking forward to the legacy of hope he wants to leave behind.
Additional Liberty Grant for: Completion

“Bidder 70,” directed by Beth Gage and George Gage
Moral monkey-wrencher, Tim DeChristopher derailed President George W. Bush’s 2008 Christmas gift to the energy industry, fraudulently bidding $1.8 million at auction without intention to pay or drill, to save 22,000 acres of Utah’s pristine red rock wilderness. Now he’s paying for it with his future. On July 26, 2011 a federal judge sentenced DeChristopher to 2 years in prison, 3 years of supervised probation and a $10,000 fine for his act of civil disobedience – an act that has catapulted DeChristopher into the national spotlight and energized a movement.
For: Editing

“Xmas Without China,” directed by Alicia Dwyer
Two families living side by side, but worlds apart, collide when pride and mischief inspire Chinese immigrant Tom Xia to challenge his American neighbors to celebrate Christmas without any Chinese products.
For: Editing

Full press release and list of grant recipients below:

NEW YORK (August 2, 2011) – Chicken & Egg Pictures, the award-winning hybrid film fund and non-profit production company dedicated to supporting women filmmakers, is proud to announce the fourteen grant recipients for its Spring Open Call 2011.

With over $1.8 million in grants and over 3,500 mentorship hours provided to women filmmakers since it was established in 2005, Chicken & Egg Pictures has had a significant impact on documentary filmmaking and the issues they illuminate. This year alone, five films executive produced or supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures received Emmy® nominations. In addition, two new films – touching on timely policy issues – that are executive produced by Chicken & Egg Pictures will have their Academy Awards®-qualifying runs this month as part of DocuWeeks™.

Award-winning independent producers and directors Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand founded Chicken & Egg Pictures in 2005. They match strategically timed financial support with rigorous, respectful and dynamic ”hands-with” mentorship, creative collaboration and community-building opportunities – or what they like to call “chick-flick-ship”.

“Six years ago this month we came together to build this dynamic venture with the mission of being both responsive to the needs of women filmmakers, particularly those making films dedicated to social change, and mindful of how the business of filmmaking and social change works-and could work better,” said Chicken & Egg Pictures co-founders Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand.

Spring Open Call 2011 Grant Recipients:
This spring, more than 300 women filmmakers submitted applications for consideration.

Of the fourteen funded documentary projects announced today, two existing grantees, Atomic Epilogue by Ellen Spiro and Mariachi High by Ilana Trachtman, are receiving additional grants due to their timeliness and urgency. “We were impressed by Ellen’s ability to respond to the recent nuclear energy and radiation disaster in Japan by turning her compelling character-driven memoir and precautionary tale about one man and his nation’s atomic waste, into an even more compelling and useful short. Likewise, Mariachi High is taking on the spectre of slashing culture, music and art programs from public schools through the experience of one competitive Mariachi high school band in Zapata, Texas.

The grantees from the Chicken & Egg Pictures 2011 Spring Open Call announced today are:

I BELIEVE IN YOU Grants:

A QUIET INQUISITION, directed by Holen Kahn and Alessandra Zeka
A doctor must choose between breaking the law or breaking everything she stands for. This is the reality of living in one of the six countries in the world where the termination of any pregnancy, even if in response to a result of rape, incest, or to save the woman’s life is illegal and actively prosecuted.
For: Editing

CAUGHT IN THE NET, directed by Hilla Medalia and Shosh Shalm
“Caught in the Net” follows China as the first country in the world to classify Internet Addiction as a clinical disorder. The film features a Beijing treatment center where Chinese teenagers are being de-programmed. We follow the lives of three teens from the day they arrive throughout their three-month treatment period and their return home.
For: Production

FIGHTING FOSTER, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal
“Fighting Foster” brings to life the conflicting values, uncertainties and tensions that surround the foster care system. The film follows three parents who have lost their child(ren) to the child welfare system and the legal, administrative and emotional battles they must overcome in order to get their child(ren) home.
For: Development

GIDEON’S ARMY, directed by Dawn Porter
The United States criminal justice system is strained to the breaking point. What it is like to work as a lawyer for the accused? Long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads are so common that even the most committed often give up. But they now have help. Jonathan Rapping, founder of the Southern Public Defender Training Center has dedicated his career to mentoring the lawyers who represent the people society would rather forget. Can he make a difference?
For: Production

HOME AGAIN, directed by Julie Englander
When you’ve grown up all over the world, can you ever really go home again? HOME AGAIN is an intimate documentary that poses questions about citizenship, faith, politics, and identity-one that views America through the eyes of missionary kids who’ve grown up overseas. Though their passports say they’re American, they find upon their return that the U.S. can be the strangest country of all.
For: Production

IN THE MIDDLE, directed by Lorena Luciano
Locals on the remote Italian island of Lampedusa are split between compassion and animosity. As thousands of migrants make the dangerous crossing to Lampedusa fleeing the ongoing crisis across the Arab world, NGOs such as UNHCR, Red Cross, and Doctors without Borders have poured on the island to assist the asylum seekers, the unaccompanied minors, the pregnant women who are kept in detention centers, painfully unaware of the uncertain future awaiting them.
For: Development

THE NEW BLACK, directed by Yoruba Richen
The New Black is a documentary-that uncovers the complicated and often combative relationship between the African-American and LGBT civil rights movements. Specifically, the film examines homophobia in the black church and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda.
For: Production

UNSTABLE ELEMENTS, directed by Madeleine Sackler
The members of the Belarus Free Theater risk their lives staging illicit performances and campaigning around the world to expose what life is truly like under the last dictatorship in Europe, where the secret police are still called the KGB and political dissenters disappear.
For: Production

LIBERTY GRANTS:

GIRL MODEL, directed by Ashley Sabin
Girl Model follows a complex supply chain between Siberia, Japan, and the U.S. within the modeling industry. The story is told through the eyes of a scout and a 13 year-old model.
For: Completion

THE MOSUO SISTERS, directed by Marlo Poras
Two spirited daughters from China’s last remaining matriarchal ethnic minority are thrust into the worldwide economic downturn when they lose the only jobs they’ve ever known.
For: Completion

MARIACHI HIGH, directed by Illana Trachtman
Mariachi High follows a year in the life of competitive high school musicians in the top-ranked ensemble Mariachi Halcon in Zapata, Texas – a flash point for the issues facing the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. As President Obama sounds a call for lowering the Latino dropout rate, the highest in the country, Mariachi High turns a positive lens on college-bound Latino role models who are inspired by cultural pride and striving for excellence. High school has never sounded so good.
Additional grant for: Editing

WHICH CAME FIRST Environmental Film Fund:

ATOMIC EPILOGUE: Hope Dies Last, directed by Ellen Spiro
Atomic Epilogue explores the changing face of energy production in the United States through one man’s unusual life and legacy. “Atomic” Ed Grothus spent decades as an activist and educator, while collecting tons of detritus from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in his unofficial museum of the nuclear age, The Black Hole. In his final days, Ed confronts his own death with honesty and humor, looking forward to the legacy of hope he wants to leave behind.
Additional Liberty Grant for: Completion

BIDDER 70, directed by Beth Gage and George Gage
Moral monkey-wrencher, Tim DeChristopher derailed President George W. Bush’s 2008 Christmas gift to the energy industry, fraudulently bidding $1.8 million at auction without intention to pay or drill, to save 22,000 acres of Utah’s pristine red rock wilderness. Now he’s paying for it with his future. On July 26, 2011 a federal judge sentenced DeChristopher to 2 years in prison, 3 years of supervised probation and a $10,000 fine for his act of civil disobedience – an act that has catapulted DeChristopher into the national spotlight and energized a movement.
For: Editing

XMAS WITHOUT CHINA, directed by Alicia Dwyer
Two families living side by side, but worlds apart, collide when pride and mischief inspire Chinese immigrant Tom Xia to challenge his American neighbors to celebrate Christmas without any Chinese products.
For: Editing

Update on the Impact of Chicken & Egg Pictures in 2011:
This month Chicken & Egg Pictures is also celebrating the six Emmy nominations received by five grantees: A Small Act by Jennifer Arnold, Deep Down: A Story from the Heart of Coal Country by Jen Gilomen and Sally Rubin, Monica & David by Ali Codina, The Oath by Laura Poitras (2 nominations) and Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy by Stephanie Wang Breal. The Emmy Awards ceremony will be on September 26th.

In the meantime you can catch Semper Fi: Always Faithful by Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon and The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement by Gail Dolgin and Robin Fryday, both Executive Produced by Chicken & Egg Pictures, during their Academy Awards®-qualifying runs this month at the International Documentary Association’s 15th Annual DocuWeeks™ Theatrical Documentary Showcase.

“The impact these films and grantees have had this year are testament to the value of the investment of dollars and hours we collectively devote to creative mentorship, collaboration, community building we provide,” said Chicken & Egg Pictures co-founders Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand.

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