Netflix and Chicken & Egg Pictures have teamed up on a new $450,000 documentary fund to support seasoned women and non-binary filmmakers working on their next feature-length project. Up to 30 filmmaking teams will receive either a $10,000 research grant or a $20,000 development grant to use towards a docu project.
Recipients of the Chicken & Egg Pictures research and development grant will also have access to peer support, mentorship, and relationship-building within the documentary filmmaking community.
Applications are currently being accepted for the new grant. The deadline for submission is April 24 and recipients will be announced this summer. To be eligible for the new grant, projects must be a feature-length film that is either in the research or the development stage. Additionally, the project must be directed or co-directed by an experienced woman or non-binary filmmaker who has directed at least two feature-length documentary films. Docus covering all types of topics and artistic approaches are welcome to apply. Projects will be evaluated according to their feasibility and the director’s body of work and connection to the story.
The 2023 Chicken & Egg Pictures research and development grant award is supported by Netflix’s fund for creative equity, which was launched in 2021 as an effort to help build new opportunities for underrepresented communities within entertainment.
“The unfortunate reality is that it’s incredibly hard for women and non-binary filmmakers to make a living in documentary film, and one major reason for that is difficulty securing funding for new projects,” says Jenni Wolfson, CEO of Chicken & Egg Pictures. “Filmmakers face funding challenges when in the research and development phase of new projects and often end up investing their own resources. We are grateful to Netflix for their support of this important, new initiative that supports experienced directors while they ideate, think, plan, and write their next feature-length film, providing financial support during a filmmaking stage that has too often gone unpaid and unsupported.”
Founded by Wendy Ettinger, Julie Parker Benello, and Judith Helfand in 2005, Chicken & Egg Pictures provides support and funding to women and non-binary doc filmmakers. The non-profit recently supported two 2021 Oscar-nominated films — “Writing With Fire” and “Ascension” — as well as the 2019 Oscar winning docu “American Factory.” The non-profit also provided support to Emmy-nominated “One Child Nation” (2019) and 2023 Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize-winning “The Eternal Memory.” Since its inception, Chicken & Egg Pictures has awarded more than $10 million in grants and thousands of hours of creative mentorship to more than 450 filmmakers.
The $10,000 research grant supports the ideation period of docu filmmaking including identifying secondary sources, following storylines and building foundational relationships. The $20,000 development grant supports a deeper exploration period including securing access to core characters and collaborators, solidifying budgets, fundraising, story development and other tasks.
Created to be flexible, grants can be used to cover the filmmaking team’s fees and salaries, as well as caregiving costs during the filmmaking process.