IDF – Chicken & Egg Pictures Open Call



PLEASE NOTE: This document is just to help you get started preparing your answers and gathering your materials. You should plan to submit your final application through our online system. The link for the grant form is available at the bottom of this page.




This is a new grant for Indian women documentary filmmakers sponsored by the Indian Documentary Foundation and Chicken & Egg Pictures.

Since 2005, Chicken & Egg Pictures has awarded $3.3 million and 5,000 hours of mentorship to over 160 films.

For this funding round we are interested in films that tackle human rights, social justice, and environmental issues in a nuanced, original, and compelling way. We’re looking for a range of voices, powerful stories, and filmmakers who are committed to working in tandem with social movements.

Films must be directed or co-directed by a woman (including female-male co-directors and transgender/gender-non-conforming individuals).

The Fund is intended for Indian film-makers who are mainly based in India. To qualify you will need to demonstrate that you have an office or place of work registered in India.

You can be a mid-career film maker or a first time director. We do not, however, accept films from student film-makers.




The application process opens on October 1st , 2014 and the final date for submission is November  21st, 2014 midnight IST.

All applicants will be notified by the end of January, 2015.




Our review process is rigorous. A panel of expert screeners from the Indian Documentary Foundation and the Chicken & Egg team shall review every application, looking at prospective projects thoroughly, fairly, and from multiple perspectives.




We’re looking for:

  • Innovation: Filmmakers with unique voices and projects that take risks.
  • Vision: A new perspective on an issue, a unique access into the story and the ability to make the universal accessible, personal and resonant.
  • Storytelling: Original story, tone, style and structure.
  • Craft: Inextricable links between the driving story and the production values, sound, cinematography and other craft decisions.
  • Resonance: Timely, urgent or compelling issues at stake.
  • Impact: Films with the potential to help shift culture, practices and even policy as well as to build and support grassroots movements for change.
  • Diversity: In all its forms, including geography, age, subject matter, ethnicity, career level and more.



  • Genres: We support nonfiction feature, nonfiction short.
  • Not accepted: We don’t support fiction, student projects or any projects not directed or co-directed by a woman. (Female-male co-directors and transgender/non-gender-conforming individuals may be accepted).



Filling out the Online Application:

  • We recommend you download the application questions well in advance of the deadline to prepare your answers.
  • Review the protocols of the application form in advance of the deadline as well. Look at the word count for the sections and the tech specs for the documents and links you’ll be uploading.
  • Note that our system won’t save your work, or give you a copy of your application after it’s complete. Be sure to save a copy of your final answers separately.

Work Sample

  • To apply for a grant, you must submit a current work sample for the project you’re applying with. Depending on your experience or on the format of your current work sample, you may also need to submit a prior work sample to add to your application. Please check the FAQ for our requirements and recommendations around prior work samples.
    • The goal of your current work sample is to help the review panel understand your proposed project visually and stylistically. It can be anything from a storyboard to a fine cut.
    • You may also submit a prior work sample from a film you directed or worked on in the past to further elaborate on your style and approach.
    • First-time filmmakers must include both a current and prior work sample; in this case, a prior work sample can be other people’s projects on which you worked an A.D., cinematographer, editor, sound recordist, producer, co-producer, consulting producer, line producer or outreach/engagement coordinator.
  • There are no strict rules for the minimum or maximum run time for current or prior works. We recommend you submit at least 3 minutes and no more than 1 hour.
  • Work samples should have English subtitles; if they don’t, please also send us a translated script of what’s being said on screen.
  • Work samples may take any number of forms:
    • Rough-cut: If you have one, we would love to see a rough cut. Our decision process does take a few months, so we recommend you submit early — don’t wait until it’s in fine cut!
    • Trailer: Trailers can often be slick, fast, and energetic, so they may not give us an accurate sense of your film’s tone, character development, setting, or story structure. If you’re submitting a trailer, we encourage you to also attach a couple of scenes or even a small amount of raw footage to further fill out your narrative and give us better insight into your style.
    • Concept Sketches: Even if you’re in early development and haven’t yet started filming, we need to see what you see. Give us some visual idea of your current project. This can be a single interview you filmed yourself on a digital camera, or even a storyboard. Be creative!
  • A few important tech notes to keep in mind when submitting your work samples:
    • All work samples must be accessible via a live URL (vimeo, YouTube, or private hosting site). You’ll provide us with a link and password to review the sample.
    • Make sure your link and password work all the way through the sample, and make sure it will stay live and be accessible through November!
    • If you are absolutely unable to submit online, you may email, with the subject line, “DVD submission request.” Always include your project title name in the subject line of your email.




How many applications receive funding?

We have decided to fund 2 new projects via the Open Call.


How much are your grants?

The average grant is around Rs 3 lakhs in cash and equivalent in-kind support.


Can I apply with more than one project?

Please only apply with the one project you feel is the best.


Does my proposal have to be written in English?



Can I get feedback on my application?

We are a small staff with limited capacity, and cannot provide one-on-one feedback to applicants (except for those whose projects are shortlisted). However, we believe wholeheartedly in the importance of feedback, and are constantly searching for ways to offer more support to all our applicants.


Do I have to submit prior work with my application?

You must submit prior work if you are:

  • a first-time director;
  • in development on a film, and have no other footage to show;
  • only submitting a trailer, with no extra scenes or character strands to add; or fit into any combination of the above.

If you are a first-time director, prior work can include projects you have worked on an A.D., cinematographer, editor, sound recordist, producer, co-producer, consulting producer, line producer, production coordinator, or outreach/audience engagement coordinator. Please see our Application Checklist above for more info.


I’m a first-time director, and have not shot anything yet for my proposed project. I have a great idea, a character, and access. How can I apply?
We are excited to learn more. We ask that you submit both a current and prior work sample with your application:

1. Current work sample. Submit some form of visual media representing your proposed project, even if it is a “sketch” filmed on a digital camera or a storyboard. We have been moved to support projects that needed development funding after seeing interviews a filmmaker shot herself, with a small digital camera and no crew. Be bold. Be creative.

2. Prior work sample. As a first-time director, this means experience gained while working on other people’s projects. We accept excerpts from films on which you served an A.D., cinematographer, editor, sound recordist, co-producer, consulting producer, line producer, production coordinator or outreach/audience engagement coordinator. Please be sure to describe your role in the creation of the completed work submitted.


What makes a good logline?

A logline is a concise, story-driven description that explains the heart of your project in one or two sentences. Nearly every film festival, producer, distributor, or other industry professional will want to see one, so you should spend time developing a strong logline for your project. A good logline introduces your central character, her world, her goals, and the forces standing in her way. It should also resonate, in concert with your title and tagline, and offer a bit of double meaning and mystery that compels the reader to want more.

A few examples from projects recently funded by Chicken & Egg Pictures:

  • Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry: Can an artist change China? Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry follows two tumultuous years in the life of Ai Weiwei, when he became a superstar, a dissident of the art world, in the headlines, a first-time father and an online god to tens of thousands of Chinese citizens, all while trying to stay out of prison.
  • Black Out: A literal and metaphorical journey towards enlightenment, Black Out shows how children reconcile their daily lives in Guinea, one of the world’s poorest countries, with their desire to learn.


I identify as transgender/gender-non-conforming. Can I apply?

Yes, our application is open to women, female/male co-directing partnerships, and transgender/gender-non-conforming individuals.


Click here for grant form

Please note the closing date is November 21st, 2014 midnight IST.
Please do not exceed the word count.