Five mini-documentary films captivated the TEDWomen 2016 audience — directed, written and produced by female filmmakers whose work embodies today’s best and most innovative storytelling. In a partnership between Lifetime and Chicken & Egg Pictures, these short films are artful in the ways their storytelling catalyzes social change and the TEDWomen 2016 theme, “It’s About Time.”
Watch the selected films below and learn more about the award-winning filmmakers behind them.
Lyari Girl Boxing
About this film: In Lyari, Pakistan—called “the Colombia of Karachi” because of the tightening grip of rival gangs and widespread drug culture—a group of female boxers are taking ownership of their fate.
About the filmmaker: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a two-time Academy Award and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker. In the past 15 years, she has made more than a dozen multi-award-winning films in over 10 countries around the world. Her films include A Girl in the River, Song of Lahore, Peacekeepers: A Journey of a Thousand Miles and Saving Face. In 2012, Time Magazine included Sharmeen in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2013, the Canadian government awarded her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in the field of documentary films, and the World Economic Forum honored her with a Crystal Award at their annual summit in Davos. She is a TED Senior Fellow.
How Much Is Enough?
About this film: Several American mothers reflect on two key questions: How much extra time would you like in a day? What would you do with that extra time?
About the filmmaker: Grace Lee directed the Peabody-winning documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, which Hollywood Reporter called “an entertainingly revealing portrait of the power of a single individual to effect change.” The film premiered at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival and was broadcast on the PBS series “POV.” Her previous documentary The Grace Lee Project was broadcast on Sundance Channel and was called “ridiculously entertaining” by New York magazine. She recently produced two documentaries for PBS: the Emmy-nominated Makers: Women in Politics and Off the Menu: Asian America. As a Women at Sundance Fellow, she is developing a social issue comedy series.
A Mother’s Dream
About this film: An intimate portrait of a day in the life of Collette Flanagan, a mother who lost a child to police violence and now empowers others to demand constructive and concrete systemic change in their communities.
About the filmmaker: Filmmaker, artist and author Michèle Stephenson pulls from her Panamanian and Haitian roots and experience as a human rights attorney to tell compelling, personal stories that resonate beyond the margins. Her most recent film, American Promise, was nominated for three Emmys, won the Jury Prize at Sundance, and was selected for the New York Film Festival’s Main Slate Program. Shewas recently awarded the Chicken & Egg Pictures Filmmaker Breakthrough Award and is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and a Sundance Skoll Storytellers for Change Fellow. Her recent book, Promises Kept, written along with co-authors Joe Brewster and Hilary Beard, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.
About this film: This film captures the unlikely story of Sweet Beginnings, a company that employs ex-offenders by teaching them how to be beekeepers and harvest honey.
About the filmmaker: Kristi Jacobson is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of Catalyst Films. Her latest film, Solitary, an immersive look at life inside a supermax prison, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and will be released on HBO in 2017. She has created films for HBO, PBS, ESPN, ABC, the Sundance Channel, A&E, Lifetime and Channel 4/UK. Her films, including American Standoff, Toots and A Place at the Table, reveal her passion for capturing nuanced, intimate and provocative portrayals of individuals and communities. She’s a 2016 recipient of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Breakthrough Filmmaker Award, awarded to 5 nonfiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change.
The Experience of Time
About this film: This short film explores the history of humans’ complicated relationship with time, deconstructs our obsession with controlling it, and contemplates how to be more mindful of this valuable resource.
About the filmmaker: Elaine McMillion Sheldon is a Peabody-winning documentary filmmaker and media artist. She’s the creative director of the Emmy-nominated interactive documentary Hollow and runs “She Does,” a weekly podcast that documents creative women’s journeys. In 2016, she was awarded the Breakthrough Filmmaker award from Chicken & Egg Pictures. Sheldon has been named one of 50 People Changing The South by Southern Living Magazine, a 2013 Future of Storytelling Fellow, and one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker magazine. She’s a founding member of All Y’all Southern Documentary Collective.