Sophie Deraspe’s doc on a lesbian Syrian blogger, The Amina Profile, and Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit’s film about a cancer-themed video game, Thank You for Playing (pictured), are among 18 projects that have received grants from female-focused, non-fiction funding body Chicken & Egg Pictures.
The latest round of funding from the non-profit group – which supports women filmmakers through grants and mentorship, and will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in 2015 – totaled US$330,000. The 2014 Open Call for projects received 640 submissions from around the world.
The 14 films selected for Open Call grants include Deraspe’s The Amina Profile as well as Jennifer Brea’s Canary in a Coal Mine, Deirdre Fishel’s Care, Margo Guernsey’s Councilwoman, an anonymous filmmaker’s project #Dalitwomenfight and Sky Neal’s Even When I Fall.
Additional films include Naziha Arebi’s Freedom Fields, Sharon Shattuck’s From This Day Forward, Kathy Huang’s A Guangzhou Love Affair, Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus’s Hot Girls Wanted, Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti’s The Movie About Anna, Libby Spears’s PC594, Gini Reticker’s The Trials of Spring, and Hanan Abdalla’s The Vote.
Meanwhile, the recipients of two discretionary grants from the organization are Zouhali-Worrall and Osit’s Thank You for Playing, which received completion funds, and Kristi Jacobsen’s Out of Mind - a doc examining the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons – which got production funding. Both films were pitched at the IDFA Forum last week, though press at the Amsterdam event were barred from writing about Out of Mind, with the Dutch festival declining to explain why.
Elsewhere, follow-up grants for critical post-production needs went to Nicole Opper’s Búscame: Search for Me, on a young Mexican youth who joins a home for runaways, and Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s (T)ERROR, about U.S. counter-terrorism strategies.
Finally, the organization has named Citizenfour cinematographer Kirsten Johnsen as the recipient of its annual Celebration Grant, which honors veteran women filmmakers. Previous recipients of the award include Barbara Kopple, Chris Hegedus and Lourdes Portillo.
“Kirsten Johnson is an extraordinary filmmaker who has been making films for the last two decades, both as a director and as a cinematographer. She has worked with some of the world’s greatest nonfiction storytellers, as well as with new and emerging talent,” said Judith Helfand, creative director and co-founder, in a statement.
“She brings an exquisite eye, an open heart, a fearless will, and an intuitive ability to listen to every project she works on, and then she comes home to work on her own unique voice and vision. We are giving her this Celebration Grant to celebrate her collaborative spirit, artistry, and courage to follow the story wherever it takes her.”