Exclusive: Chicken & Egg’s New Project: Hatched Grantees Tackle Gender Identity, Mental Illness, & More

A portrait of an abolitionist trying to heal her family in the wake of incarceration, an animated short presenting gender fluidity through a child’s eyes, and the story of 30 women crossing from North to South Korea in pursuit of peace — these are among the non-fiction films Chicken & Egg Pictures has selected for its latest round of Project: Hatched grantees. Women and Hollywood can exclusively confirm that six documentary projects from women and nonbinary artists will receive $30,000 toward their completion costs and impact campaigns. The filmmakers will also receive seven months of mentorship in impact strategy and professional development.

In addition, two runner-up projects will each receive a $15,000 finalist grant.

Members of Chicken & Egg’s alumni network, AlumNest, participated in the Project: Hatched selection process. The grantees are “Any Given Day,” Margaret Byrne’s exploration of living with mental illness in Chicago; “A Woman on the Outside,” Lisa Riordan Seville and Zara Katz’s story of a young Philadelphia activist hoping to reunite her family when her father and brother are released from prison; Rebeca Huntt’s “BEBA,” a self-portrait examining inherited trauma and familial history; Deann Borshay Liem’s “Crossings,” which follows 30 women peacemakers, including Gloria Steinem, as they travel from North to South Korea in the hopes of ending the Korean War; “Mama Has a Mustache,” Sally Rubin’s animated short that sees a child learning about identity beyond the gender binary; and Emma Francis-Snyder’s “Takeover,” the story of ’70s activists the Young Lords.

The Project: Hatched finalists are “The Janes,” Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes’ Sundance doc about the eponymous ’70s underground abortion network, and “Powerlands,” Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso’s look at the intersection of Indigenous displacement and environmental destruction.

“Since 2019, Project: Hatched has supported 19 short and feature-length films,” Chicken & Egg noted in a press release. “Through the program, filmmakers learn from Chicken & Egg Pictures’ creative team, peers, and experts about distribution, outreach, and how to maximize their films as educational and advocacy tools. Filmmakers in this program have used their films to help push for legislative reforms, host community gatherings, and hold crucial conversations with targeted influencers.”

In September, Chicken & Egg awarded Project: Hatched grants to Maya Cueva and Leah Galant’s “On the Divide”; Cai Thomas’ “Change the Name”; Ash Goh Hua’s “I’m Free Now, You Are Free”; Ann Kaneko’s “Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust”; Brooke Pepion Swaney’s “Daughter of a Lost Bird”; Natalie Pattillo and Daniel A. Nelson’s “And So I Stayed”; and Beth Levison and Jerry Risius’ “Storm Lake.”

Find more information about the latest Project: Hatched grantees and finalists below.

Project: Hatched Grantees

Any Given Day
Director: Margaret Byrne
Producer: Margaret Byrne
Producer/Impact Producer: Latesha Dickerson 

A filmmaker and three Chicagoans navigate the complexities of living with mental illness.

A Woman on the Outside
Directors: Lisa Riordan Seville, Zara Katz
Producers: Kiara C. Jones, Lisa Riordan Seville, Zara Katz

Kristal is a young ambitious Philadelphian driven to keep families connected to their incarcerated loved ones. But when her father and brother return from prison, she confronts the ultimate question: can she reunite her own family?

Director: Rebeca Huntt
Producers: Rebeca Huntt, Sofia Geld
Impact Producer: Mia Bruno

A stunning self-portrait, tough, raw, stubborn, and powerful “Beba” stares down the curses of her ancestry, probing the psychic wounds she has inherited, while simultaneously embracing the vastness of her multitudes.

Director: Deann Borshay Liem
Producers: Deann Borshay Liem, Ramsay Liem, Sarah Kim, Gay Dillingham

Thirty women peacemakers, including Gloria Steinem, undertake a risky crossing of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), from North to South Korea, to end America’s longest-running war.

Mama Has a Mustache
Director: Sally Rubin
Producer: Sally Rubin
Impact Producer: Nick Kelso

“Mama Has a Mustache” is a short animated documentary about identity and family outside of the traditional gender binary, as seen through children’s eyes.

Director: Emma Francis-Snyder
Producer: Tony Gerber

In 1970, the Young Lords, a group of activists, took over a decrepit hospital in the South Bronx, launching a battle for their lives, their community, and healthcare for all.

Project: Hatched Finalists

Director: Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso
Producers: Jordan Flaherty, Emily Faye Ratner, Ewa Jasiewicz

A Navajo filmmaker investigates the global displacement of Indigenous people and the devastation of the environment by corporations that have exploited the land where she was born.

The Janes
Directors: Tia Lessin, Emma Pildes
Producers: Emma Pildes, Daniel Arcana, Jessica Levin

“The Janes” is the story of an underground network of women in Chicago in the ‘60s and early ‘70s who provided safe, affordable, illegal abortions.

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