New and Upcoming Film Festival Screenings

While I have some big news to share about the film shortly, I wanted to send an update on the four upcoming film festivals where "Nefertiti's Daughters" has recently been accepted. If you're in the area and can make it, please let me know! 

1. While at dinner last night in Berlin with Mira Shihadeh (one of the stars of our film), I received an email telling me that were just accepted to the final Oscar-qualifying festival for this qualifying year — the 19th Annual Rhode Island International Film Festival held August 4-9, 2015 in Newport, Rhode island. 

Said the email: "Your film was selected from over 5,000 submissions from more than 60 countries. Your film will be featured as part of this year’s Official Competition, and will be in contention for our Oscar Qualifying Short Film Award." 

This is fantastic news, and I will, for sure, be in attendance. I will update when they release their festival screenings schedule and we know when and where our premiere will be held.

2. We were accepted as an official selection for the very well-regarded Stony Brook Film Festival, on Long Island (New York). The festival runs July 16-25 and we are slated to screen on Sunday July 19 at 6pm inside the 1,000-seat Staller Center for the Arts on the Stony Brook campus. Also noteworthy is that the film was accepted, for the first time, as a feature — not a short — since Stony Brook’s limit on shorts is 30 minutes. I definitely will be in attendance for the screening and Q&A following it.

3. We were accepted as the screening film at the two-week long Lack.Streiche.Kleber Festival in Dresden, Germany. This huge street art festival runs July 25 through August 7. the film will screen at 10pm on Thursday, July 30 at Thalia Kino Dresden, Görlitzer Str. 6, 01099 Dresden. And...I will be in attendance for the screening and am very excited about it!

4. Finally, the film has also been accepted to the 8th Annual San Joaquin International Film Festival in Stockton, California. This is a two-day festival and the film is slated to screen onSunday August 2, 2015 at 11:00 am at the Janet Leigh Theatre, Stockton. This screening is significant to me because it will be the first time the film will be seen in my home state of California, and not too far from my hometown of Oakland, California.

I am very very much hoping to make the screening in person. The challenge is that I will be coming back from Augsburg, Germany either the day of, or the day before. I'll know in the coming weeks, but I very much want to be there and will make all efforts!

I hope you are able to make one of the festivals, but I'm guessing there will be other opportunities as we continue down the festival circuit. If you can make it, please email me and let me know. It would be so wonderful and meaningful to see you in person!

UPCOMING FESTIVAL SCREENINGS

Sun, Jul 19 (6:00pm): Stony Brook Film Festival, Stony Brook, New York
Thurs, Jul 30 (10:00 pm): Lack.Streiche.Kleber Festival, Dresden, Germany
Sun, Aug 2 (11:00 am): San Joaquin International Film Festival, Stockton, CA
Aug 4-9 (date/time TBD): Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival, Newport, Rhode Island (Oscar-qualifying festival)

Q&A From Aspen Shortsfest

Here's the post-screening Q&A for "Nefertiti's Daughters" at Aspen Shortsfest last week. It's worth listening to the audience reaction when Laura Thielen (co-director of the festival) asks Bahia Shehab to introduce herself at the 30-second mark, as well as what Bahia had to say about the current climate in Egypt.

Our First Press Mention

We got the first bit of press today, via a Huffington Post story. It's nice to be the first film mentioned:

[S]hort films in Aspen this April will encompass 70 films from 30 countries, based on 3,100 submissions from over 100 countries.

Attention should be paid to Aspen Shortsfest: over the years, the festival has presented over 70 Oscar nominees and winners. Of particular note this time around:

Nefertiti's Daughter about the role of street artists and women in the Arab Spring.
Andrew With Great Fanfare about a 14-year-old in New Orleans.
Bhavini starring an 11-year-old from India who just wants to dance. 
Living in America whereby a quad skier tackles the Chugach Mountains in Alaska.
The Champion featuring an Iraqi refugee and his family, a promising boxer now driving a cab in Chicago.
German Shepherd about the son of a Holocaust survivor who becomes enamored of Germans and Germany.

ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM + VIDEO FESTIVAL

Nefertiti's Daughters has also been accepted into competition at the very well-regarded regional festival, Athens International Film + Video Festival in Athens, Ohio (where Ohio University resides). 

It will screen in Athens on the final day of its seven-day festival on April 9th, the same day as our world premiere at Aspen Shortsfest, at 1:30pm ET at the The Athena Cinema, 20 S Court St, Athens, OH:

Nefertiti’s Daughters, with Listen

Thursday, April 9, 1:30 PM

LISTEN
dir. Hamy Ramezan, Rungano Nyoni
13 min. Denmark, Finland

Copenhagen. A police station. A foreign woman, wearing a burqa, is there with her young son to file a complaint. Yet, it seems the translator is not willing to report what she is telling.

NEFERTITI'S DAUGHTERS
dir. Mark Nickolas
40 min. U.S.A.

Nefertiti’s Daughters is a story of women, art and revolution. Told by prominent Egyptian artists, this documentary witnesses the critical role revolutionary street art played during the Egyptian uprisings. Focused on the role of women artists in the struggle for social and political change, it spotlights how the iconic graffiti of Queen Nefertiti placed her on the front lines in the ongoing fight for women’s rights and freedoms in Egypt today.

ASPEN SHORTSFEST — WORLD PREMIERE UPDATE

Aspen Shortsfest has released its program and schedule for this year's festival. Nefertiti's Daughters is the anchor film in Competition Program 4 on Thursday April 9th at 5:30 pm MT in Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, CO.  

Interestingly, despite taking up 40 of the 90 minutes with our film alone in this 7-film program, the other six films we are screening with are all fiction and animation. We're the only documentary of the group.

We are also one of four films — and the only documentary — that Aspen Shortsfest is promoting on the front page of its website.

A second screening has also been scheduled on Saturday April 11th at 7:30pm at the Crystal Theater in nearby Carbondale, CO. 

We Have A World Premiere!

While I was sworn to secrecy for a few weeks, I am now able to share the excellent news that my most recent film — Nefertiti’s Daughters — will be having its World Premiere on April 9 at Aspen Shortsfest in Wheeler Opera House, in downtown Aspen, Colorado! It's also one of the select films to screen a second time in nearby Carbondale on Saturday night, April 11.

Aspen is one of the top short film festivals in the world, and one of the Academy Award-qualifying festivals for documentary shorts (for the grand jury winner). Last year’s short doc winner at Aspen (“Our Curse”) was one of the five Oscar nominees this year, and its short fiction winner (“The Phone Call”) actually won the Oscar.

Finally, to top off our great news, Bahia Shehab — the central artist of our film — will be flying from Cairo to attend the premiere in person, which will be wonderful for the film!

Anyway, more news to follow once Aspen releases its program publicly. I couldn’t be more excited. The festival has a great track record and there’s no doubt that our film is going to attract a good deal of attention as a result.

P.S. While only Kickstarter backers have access to the whole film, I have a publicly-available sneak preview if you’re interested. The three minute clip is one of the more powerful moments in this story. It takes place at the 22-minute mark of the 40-minute film and Bahia gives you an amazing sense of the intersection of women, art, and revolution, and the events that drove these truly remarkable artists into the streets of Cairo: