Chicken & Egg Pictures — a nonprofit fund for women and gender non-conforming non-fiction filmmakers — has launched the AlumNest Relief Fund, an emergency response initiative designed to support the organization’s alumni going through “financial hardship” due to COVID-19.
More than US$230,000 has been raised for the fund so far. Grants of $1,000 will be presented to Chicken & Egg Pictures-supported filmmakers globally who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19.
To disburse the grant funds, the nonprofit is partnering with Women Make Movies, which provides distribution, production assistance and fiscal sponsorship to women filmmakers.
Grants to the first round of eligible applicants were distributed in July, with another round to be released this fall.
The fund was established in response to a survey of grantees in the organization’s AlumNest alumni program to determine the impacts of the pandemic.
From that survey, Chicken & Egg Pictures found that 64% of their global filmmaker respondents have experienced loss of jobs such as permanent employment, gigs and work for hire at the start of the pandemic; and 60% have indicated the crisis has had an impact on their emotional and mental health.
Many filmmakers lost all or nearly all their sources of income and indicated that the professional and personal issues they are facing are interrelated.
As part of its effort to alleviate financial pressures on filmmakers, Chicken & Egg Pictures also waived the entry fee for its (Egg)celerator Lab open call for emerging documentary filmmakers program, where 10 directors receive mentorship and $30,000 to $40,000 toward their first or second feature-length documentaries.
The organization’s The Project: Hatched completion fund — originally designed to support women non-fiction directors as they prepare for a festival world premiere of a feature length film — has been reshaped to support “impact-driven filmmakers” whose festival premieres were canceled due to COVID-19 and who plan to launch their films and campaigns in “new ways.”
The program’s latest slate of projects was announced in July.
Project: Hatched recently received a $100,000 grant from the New York Community Trust via its Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz Fund.
Finally, organization also announced the addition of three new members to its board of directors: Meredith Chin (Duty Free), a first-time documentary producer; Kit Crawford, owner and board member of food and drink producer Clif Bar & Company; and Nancy Stephens, actor and president of the Rosenthal Family Foundation.
Stephens and her husband, filmmaker Rick Rosenthal, have served as executive producers on such documentaries as Won’t You Be My Neighbour?, Dark Money and Always in Season.
Pictured: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos’ Once Upon A Time In Venezuela, one of the filmmaking teams selected for the 2020 Project: Hatched cohort.