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Chicken & Egg Announces Eight 2024 Chicken & Egg Awards Recipients


The nonprofit Chicken & Egg Pictures has announced the eight recipients of its Chicken & Egg Awards for 2024. From the press release:

Chicken & Egg Pictures, the organization dedicated to offering support and funding for women and gender-expansive documentary filmmakers, has announced more than $600,000 in new grants to eight recipients of its 2024 Chicken & Egg Award, with each receiving a $75,000 grant–a $50,000 unrestricted career grant and $25,000 to be applied to a project the filmmaker will work on during their award year. The recipients are Alisa Kovalenko, Beth Aala, Jumana Manna, Katy Lena Ndiaye, Nailah Jefferson, Sierra Pettengill, Ursula Liang, and Violet Du Feng.

Bios for all of the filmmakers follow below:

Alisa Kovalenko (UKRAINE)

Alisa Kovalenko (she/her) is a Ukrainian award-winning documentary director, based in Kyiv. Her films Alisa in Warland (IDFA 2015) and Home Games (Sheffield DocFest 2018) have played at over 150 festivals and won multiple awards. Her latest full-length documentary, We Will Not Fade Away, had its World Premiere at Berlinale Generation 2023, was selected for the European Film Awards, and was designated best Ukrainian documentary of 2023 by the Ukrainian Film Academy.


Beth Aala (she/her) is a Filipina-American documentary filmmaker. She has won three Emmy® Awards and a Peabody Award for her work at HBO. Beth’s credits include Uncharted (Tribeca Festival, 2023); This is Brighton (Newport Beach Film Festival, 2023); the News and Documentary Emmy®-nominated films Made in Boise (AFI Docs, 2019) and Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (TIFF 2013); and Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman (Sundance, 2017). Beth’s films have been supported by ITVS, IDA, Chicken & Egg Pictures, NYSCA, and WMM, and her work has been featured on HBO, PBS, MTV, Discovery, and A&E.

Jumana Manna (PALESTINE)

Jumana Manna (she/her) is a visual artist and filmmaker. Her work in sculpture, filmmaking, and writing explores how power is articulated, with a focus on the body and the land in relation to colonial inheritances. She was raised in Jerusalem and lives in Berlin. Her latest film, Foragers (2022) was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, played at over 80 film festivals, and won multiple awards. 

Katy Lena Ndiaye (SENEGAL)

Katy Lena Ndiaye (she/her) is a filmmaker based in Dakar and Brussels. Her cinematic work focuses on contemporary Africa and its relationship to history and memory, with a particular emphasis on women’s perspectives about transmission and legacy. Parallel to her career as a filmmaker, she worked in television from 2000 to 2018. Since 2013, she has been running IndigoMood Films, which supports African authors in their desire for cinema, bringing their stories and visions to the screen.

Nailah Jefferson (UNITED STATES)

Nailah Jefferson (she/her) is a New Orleans-born filmmaker whose work spans fiction and nonfiction. Nailah’s most recent film, Commuted, tells the story of Danielle Metz, a woman whose triple-life drug sentence was commuted by President Obama after serving 23 years. Commuted premiered at the 2023 New Orleans Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award for Best Documentary. Nailah’s second feature documentary, Donyale Luna: Supermodel premiered on HBO and Max in September 2023, and was hailed as one of the best films  of 2023 by The Huffington Post.

Sierra Pettengill (UNITED STATES)

Sierra Pettengill (she/her) is a filmmaker from Brooklyn whose work focuses on the warped narratives of the American past. She directed the all-archival film, RIOTSVILLE, USA, which premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Her films have played in festivals and venues around the world, including Sundance, Locarno, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Ursula Liang (UNITED STATES)

Ursula Liang (she/her) is an award-winning director and producer with 25 years of experience in storytelling. After working in print for ESPN The Magazine, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and others, she directed three critically-acclaimed feature documentaries, 9-Man (2014), Down a Dark Stairwell (2020), and Jeanette Lee Vs. (2022). Ursula is a member of Film Fatales, A-DOC, IDD, and is the Board Vice President of Brown Girls Doc Mafia. She lives in Oakland, California.

Violet Du Feng (CHINA)

Violet Du Feng (she/her) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose films provide nuanced, intimate, and provocative perspectives on larger social issues. Violet has directed, produced, and executive produced more than ten films over the past decade including the most recent Oscar® Shortlisted Hidden Letters (2022) and CPB/PBS special programming Harbor From The Holocaust (2020)

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