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Chicken & Egg Pictures Announces Inaugural 27 Grantees of its Netflix-Supported Research & Development Grant

Chicken & Egg Pictures announced today the 27 filmmaking team recipients of its inaugural Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant. Supported by Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, the grants provide experienced directors with $10,000 for research or $20,000 for development of a new documentary project — stages of the filmmaking process that are often unpaid and unsupported. Chicken & Egg Pictures’s team will also provide grantees with peer support, connecting them to the broader documentary community for mentorship and networking opportunities.

From the press release:

The 2023 Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant is supported by Netflix’s Fund For Creative Equity, a dedicated effort to help build new opportunities for underrepresented communities within entertainment.

The grantees are experienced filmmakers who have directed or co-directed at least two feature-length documentary films. The 27 grantees were selected from among 170 applications representing 36 countries and myriad topics ranging from criminal justice in Romania, Feminist AI in Bolivia to the effects of the war in Ukraine.

“We created the Chicken & Egg Pictures Research & Development Grant in response to the reality that it is challenging for women and non-binary filmmakers to make a living in documentary, especially when they are fundraising for a new project,” said Jenni Wolfson, CEO of Chicken & Egg Pictures. Wolfson continued, “We designed the grants to be flexible–to support the time and space for filmmakers to think, plan, and write. Grantees can also use the funds for expenses such as salaries or caregiving costs for the team members during the filmmaking process. We are grateful to Netflix for their support of this program and their investment in the sustainability of nonfiction filmmakers’ careers.”

“While documentaries need resources in all stages, from research to post-production, the research and development phase is particularly challenging for independent films to get support. This grant aims to support early exploration, ideation, and experimentation,” said Kiyoko McCrae, Program Director of Chicken & Egg Pictures. “Our reviewers, led by Senior Program Manager Elaisha Stokes, prioritized projects in the early stages of research and development that articulated clear goals. Elaisha Stokes joined Chicken & Egg Pictures this year, bringing her extensive experience in documentary filmmaking to lead our program with integrity.”

“The applications that we reviewed confirmed a long-standing issue in the field. Filmmakers lack freedom and support to invest in the creative process during the R&D stage” McCrae continued, “R&D has often become synonymous with fundraising. We hope this grant will allow filmmakers to invest creative time in pursuing stories.”

The complete list of grant recipients is below, divided into two segments. The first Research Grant segment lists recipients “who are in the ideation period, including identifying secondary sources, following storylines, and building foundational relationships.” The second lists Development Grant recipients “who are in a deeper exploration period, including securing access to core characters and collaborators, solidifying budgets, fundraising, story development and other tasks.”

Research Grant recipients:

1. Marah Strauch (dir. & prod.), Eric Bruggemann (prod.) – Austria, United States
2. Corine Shawi (dir. & prod.), Nancy Sabbagh (prod.) – Lebanon
3. Daniela Muñoz Barroso (dir.), Leila Montero (prod.) – Cuba
4. Anjali Nayar (dir.), Kenya-Jade Pinto (dir.) – Canada, India, Kenya
5. Sandra Luz López Barroso (dir.), Karla Bukantz (prod.) – Mexico
6. Violeta Ayala (dir. & prod.), Redelia Shaw (prod.), Dan Fallshaw (prod.) – Australia, Bolivia
7. Ilinca Calugareanu (dir. & prod.) – Romania, United Kingdom
8. Erika Cohn (dir. & prod.) – United States
9. Yoruba Richen (dir. & prod.), Lacey Schwartz Delgado (dir. & prod.), Mehret Mandefro (prod.), Kristi Jacobson (prod.) – United States, Ethiopia

Development Grant recipients:

1. Tatiana Fernández Geara (dir. & prod.), Wendy P. Espinal (prod.) – Dominican Republic (I am my Grandma’s Granddaughter)
2. Sabaah Folayan (dir. & prod.) – United States (Worth the Risk (working title)
3. Rita Baghdadi (dir. & prod.), Sahar Yousefi (prod.) – United States, Morocco (Stallions)
4. Iva Radivojević (dir. & prod.), Madeleine Molyneaux (prod.), Marija Stojnić (prod.), Andrijana Sofranić Šućur (prod.) – Serbia (Formerly Yugoslavia), United States (When The Phone Rang)
5. Angeliki Aristomenopoulou (dir.), Rea Apostolides (prod.), Yuri Averof (prod.) – Greece, Iceland, United Kingdom (Holy Human Angel)
6. Farihah Zaman (dir. & prod.), Jeff Reichert (prod.) – United States, Bangladesh (Soulmates)
7. Luchina Fisher (dir. & prod.), Yvonne Welbon (prod.), Thomas Allen Harris (prod.) – United States (The Untitled Gary Fisher Project)
8. Svitlana Lishchynska (dir.), Anna Kapustina (prod.), Alex Tondowski (prod.), Derren Lawford (prod.) – Ukraine, Germany, United Kingdom (A Bit Of A Stranger)
9. Habiba Nosheen (dir. & prod.), Amar Lohana (prod.) – Pakistan, Canada, United States (The Gymnasts of Machar Colony)
10. Isabella Rinaldi (dir. & prod.), Arya Rothe (dir. & prod.), Cristina Hanes (dir. & prod.) – Italy, India, Romania (Untitled)
11. Bora Lee-Kil (dir.), Sona JO (prod.) – Republic of Korea (Our Bodies)
12. Cynthia Lowen (dir. & prod.), Jon Cohrs (co-dir.), Jim LeBrecht (prod.) – United States (Kids Like Me)
13. Grace Lee (dir. & prod.), Alicia Sams (prod.) – United States (The Franklin Experiment)
14. Petra Costa (dir. & prod.) – Brazil (Untitled 2)
15. Elwira Niewiera (dir.) – Poland, Germany (Untitled 3)
16. Mila Turajlić (dir. & prod.), Carine Chichkowsky (prod.) – Serbia, France, (Second World, Second Sex)
17. Sarvnik Kaur (dir. & prod.), Quentin Laurent (co-prod.) – India, France (Disruption)
18. Carmen Castillo (dir.), Camille Laemlé (prod.), Macarena Aguiló (prod.) – Chile, France (Memories of an Oblivion)

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