Every once in awhile I like to write about one of our colleagues in the world of funding, as so many of them are doing inspirational work worthy of spotlights and cheering. With their next Open Call deadline coming up on Wednesday, March 30th, Chicken & Egg Pictures is on my mind today.
Chicken & Egg Pictures is unique for several reasons. First, they exclusively support women filmmakers. The fact that Academy Awards for Best Director were handed out for 81 years before they gave one to a female director is just one indicator expressing the uphill climb women face in this creative field. The mentorship that the principal partners at C&E (Julie Parker Benello, Wendy Ettinger and Judith Helfand – highly experienced, award-winning filmmakers all) provide to the filmmakers in their coop is worth more than its weight in little gold statues.
The second reason they are unique is that they are a hybrid film fund and non-profit production company, which means they provide grant support to some projects and, at times, they choose to take on a more active producing role to see a project through to the screen and beyond. This gives them the opportunity to work with women artists in different ways, seed projects, nurture talent, and then continue to deepen commitments (and risk-taking) along the way on projects they are passionate about. Through these methods, they are building a stable of great films and a cadre of talented filmmakers.
Finally, they are dedicated to social justice storytelling and to inspiring real change through these stories. While this is not all that rare these days in the world of documentary funding, I salute their commitment to the idea that “people respond to stories, not issues.” Chicken & Egg care about craft as much as they care about systems change.
I’m also excited about their STORY LEADS TO ACTION series where they workshop their films with live audiences of community partners, educators, activists, etc., in an effort to create a working outreach and engagement plan for these films with the very people who need them to do their work!
Check out their website for more information about them, their wonderful work, and the upcoming deadline:http://www.chickeneggpics.org/ .