Chicken & Egg Pictures, a leader in supporting female non-fiction filmmakers, have announced the five recipients of their inaugural Breakthrough Filmmaker Awards. The five chosen filmmakers are Kristi Jacobson ("A Place at the Table"), Julia Reichert ("The Last Truck"), Yoruba Richen ("The New Black"), Elaine McMillion Sheldon ("Hollow") and Michèle Stephenson ("American Promise").
Jacobson is a NY-based filmmaker whose films capture nuanced, intimate and provocative portrayals of individuals and communities; her most recent film, "A Place at the Table," premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival before its theatrical release in over 35 U.S. cities. Reichert, meanwhile is a three-time Academy Award nominee for her documentary work, while Richen is a documentary filmmaker whose work explores issues of race, space, and power. Both Sheldon and Stephenson use identity as the backbone of their nonfiction work. The latter won the Jury Prize at Sundance and earned three Emmy nominations for "American Promise."
According to Chicken & Egg Pictures, the award responds to the reality that only a few women non-fiction directors in the U.S. are able to work full-time as independent storytellers. The program recognizes and elevates five mid-career women directors with unique voices who are poised to reach new heights and to continue to be strong filmmaker-advocates for urgent issues. The award consists of a $50,000 unrestricted grant and a year-long mentorship program tailored to each filmmaker’s individual goals.
"Chicken & Egg Pictures continues to make bold investments in both women artists and gender equality to ensure that a greater diversity of voices are acknowledged for their participation in the storytelling that drives change," said Jenni Wolfson, Executive Director of Chicken & Egg Pictures. "Our hope with this new award is to provide support and a platform for these artists to continue showcasing and elevating critical social justice, environmental, and human rights issues and stories while working to increase their visibility and ensure they receive the recognition they deserve."
Recipients of the Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Award were chosen through a nation-wide confidential nomination process. For more on the five winners, visit the Chicken & Egg Pictures website.