In-Person Q&As with WRITING WITH FIRE Filmmakers Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh, Co-presented by Chicken & Egg Pictures
Monday, November 29, 6:50 show
Hosted by Judith Helfand, Julie Parker Benello, Lucila Moctezuma and Wendy Ettinger of Chicken and Egg Pictures
Moderated by Lucila Moctezuma, Program Director
Chicken & Egg Pictures supports women nonfiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change.
Rintu Thomas is an award-winning director-producer from India whose work is supported by the Sundance Institute,Chicken & Egg Pictures, IDFA, SFF Film Fund, Doc Society, Tribeca Institute, Finnish Film Foundation and Bertha Foundation, among others. Over the last 10 years, Rintu’s films have been used as advocacy tools for social impact, included in the curriculum of universities and exhibited globally in spaces such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference and The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts – becoming catalysts for new conversations. She is a Sundance and Japan Foundation fellow. Sushmit Ghosh is an award-winning director and cinematographer from India whose work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Institute, Doc Society, SFFFilm Fund, IDFA, The Bertha Foundation, Sorfond and the Finnish Film Foundation, among others. In 2009 Sushmit co-founded Black Ticket Films, a production company invested in the power of storytelling. With a strong eye on social justice stories, Black Ticket Films’award-winning slate of films are being used as advocacy, impact and education tools by institutions across the world. Five years in the making, WRITING WITH FIRE is Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh’s debut feature documentary. The film has played at over 90 festivals and won 17 international awards. Married for six years Thomas & Ghosh live between New Delhi and the mountains and, in their spare time, enjoy discovering quaint bookshops.
As Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Lucila Moctezuma oversees the planning and implementation of the organization’s programs in support of women and gender nonconforming documentary filmmakers. Lucila has a strong trajectory developing programs aimed at supporting filmmakers at different stages of their careers and creative process. She was previously Executive Producing Director at the internationally renowned UnionDocs, Manager of the Production Assistance Program at Women Make Movies, Director of the Media Arts Fellowships for the Rockefeller Foundation, and founder of Tribeca Film Institute's Latin America Fund. Originally from Mexico City, Lucila is a frequent guest participant at film forums, panels and juries in the US and abroad and in 2021 she became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Documentary Branch.
Judith Helfand, Co-founder & Senior Creative Consultant, Chicken & Egg Pictures – Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand is best known for her ability to take on the dark and cynical worlds of chemical exposure, heedless corporate behavior, and environmental injustice and make them personal, resonant, and even entertaining. Three of her award-winning films had world premieres at Sundance, and all have been nationally broadcast on PBS, HBO, and The Sundance Channel and linked to rigorous engagement. Her films include the THE UPRISING OF ’34 (co-directed with esteemed veteran George Stoney), her groundbreaking personal film A HEALTHY BABY GIRL, its Sundance award-winning sequel BLUE VINYL, followed by EVERYTHING’S COOL (both co-directed with Daniel B. Gold). She has taught the art of documentary film at New York University, New School, and was the Filmmaker-in-Residence at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in 2007 and 2009. As much an educator and field-builder as she is a filmmaker, Judith co-founded Working Films and sits on the boards of Great Small Works and The Lower East Side Girls Club. Her latest film in progress is COOKED, a feature documentary about the politics of disaster for which she was awarded a MacArthur grant.
Julie Parker Benello, Co-founder & Board President, Chicken & Egg Pictures – Julie is the Founder of Secret Sauce Media, her latest venture to produce and invest in surprising and timeless film projects. Julie co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures in 2005 with a shared belief that diverse women nonfiction storytellers have the power to catalyze change at home and around the globe. She is a producer on Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s Academy Award®, Gotham Award, and Independent Spirit Award winning feature documentary American Factory, now streaming on Netflix in partnership with Higher Ground Productions and Participant Media. She is currently producing Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk’s USA Gymnastics documentary ATHLETE A, as well as longtime collaborator Judith Helfand’s feature documentary LOVE & STUFF. She was an Executive Producer of UNITED SKATES (Tribeca 2018, HBO) and THE TALE for Gamechanger Films (Sundance 2018, HBO). Earlier in her career, she co-produced BLUE VINYL, served as a Production Executive for the company Non Fiction Films, and was an archival researcher for Discovery Channel series Cronkite Remembers. Julie lives in San Francisco, where she serves on the Board of SFFILM. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Documentary Branch.
Wendy Ettinger, Co-founder, Chicken & Egg Pictures – Wendy Ettinger has been producing and executive producing narrative films and documentaries for over twenty years. In 2005, she co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures to fund and mentor women documentary directors. In 2013, Wendy co-founded Gamechanger Films, the first equity fund established to finance and invest in women narrative directors. Her films have premiered or screened at festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca, and have won numerous awards. She has served on international juries, and is humbled to have received accolades for her work in film and social impact. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.