Chicken & Egg Pictures – the award-winning hybrid film fund and non-profit production company dedicated to supporting women filmmakers – recently announced its 2012 Open Call grant recipients – quite the international list of projects, including stories set in Africa that immediately got my attention.
I previously profiled one of them – Buddha of Africa (a working title), a South Africa/Malawi production (currently in development), from director Nicole Schafer.
Here's another one that's officially on my watch list:
It's titled The Supreme Price – a USA/Nigeria production currently in post-production, from director Joanna Lipper – a documentary film about the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles.
Here's the longer story:
The Supreme Price tells the story of Hafsat Abiola — a daughter determined to realize her parents’ dreams of alleviating poverty and bringing democracy to Nigeria. In 1993, while Hafsat studied at Harvard, her father, M.K.O Abiola, was elected President of Nigeria. The military annulled the election results and seized power. Hafsat’s father became a renowned prisoner of conscience and in response, Hafsat’s mother, Kudirat, assumed leadership of Nigeria’s pro-democracy movement, demanded that the US embargo Nigerian oil and spoke out against the military dictatorship, actions which led to her assassination. As Nigeria transitions to civilian rule, Hafsat, now a human rights activist and social entrepreneur, faces the challenge of transforming a dysfunctional, fraudulent culture of political leadership into a legitimate democracy capable of serving Nigeria’s most marginalized population: women.
As someone whose father sought presidency in Cameroon (Nigeria's immediate neighor) roughly 20 years ago, with similar goals of bridging the wealth gap and bringing democracy to that country, and who paid a somewhat similar price, this is obviously a subject of genuine interest to me.
The photo above is of Hafsat Abiola.
By the way, Lipper also received some $200,000 from the MacAurthur Foundation for the project, so it's well on its way to completion and should debut, likely on the film festival circuit, within the next year.
A preview of the film was held in NYC last September, as I just found out, so I obviously wasn't present for it.
Chicken & Egg Pictures claims to be the first organization devoted entirely to women filmmakers to provide strategically-timed financial support ($2 million in total thus far) and rigorous hands-on mentorship directly to women filmmakers to nurture, support and promote their films.
I should also note that Nekisa Cooper, producer of Pariah, was awarded the the first Creative Producer grant from Chicken and Egg pictures this year at the Sundance Film Festival – a $10,000 award! So congrats to Nekisa on that!
There are more titles for me to highlight from their 2012 Open Call grant recipient list, and I'll do so in later posts.