Chelsea adds Nadia Hallgren to director roster

Chelsea Pictures announces the signing of the award-winning director/cinematographer Nadia Hallgren for her first-ever branded representation. Nadia’s first feature as a director is the hit Netflix documentary Becoming, following former First Lady Michelle Obama on her 34-city book tour for her bestselling memoir.

The documentary, produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, premiered in May of 2020. Michelle Obama selected Nadia to helm the project after speaking with her for less than 30 minutes.

“[Michelle Obama] praised Hallgreen and said viewers would find ‘respite’ in the film. ‘Because she’s a rare talent, someone whose intelligence and compassion for others comes through in every frame she shoots. Most importantly, she understands the meaning of community, the power of community, and her work is magically able to depict it.”

Prior to Becoming, Nadia directed After Maria, a 2019 Academy Award shortlisted nominee for Documentary Short Film telling the story of three families displaced by Hurricane Maria. The short was also nominated for Best Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival.


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Chelsea president, Lisa Mehling, says, “Nadia is a formidable talent and we are honored to have her join the Chelsea team. As cinematographer of some of my favorite films (Trouble the Water, RBG, The Hunting Ground) Nadia has seamlessly transitioned to directing with After Maria, landing her on the Oscar Shortlist and now with the outstanding documentary Becoming, where Nadia become a fly on the wall of the world’s most famous woman, resulting in an intimate, human and deeply touching vérité film. We clicked immediately over our mutual friends in the business, her hunger to tell stories and her regard for the impact that is possible with a brand platform.”

Here is the trailer for Becoming:

Additionally, at SXSW 2018 Nadia won the Special Jury Prize for an Independent Episodic called She’s The Ticket. The series followed women running for office in response to Trump’s 2016 election.

Nadia also received a Webby for Public Service and Activism in 2018 for her film Gavin Grimm vs. about a transgender teen from Virginia’s journey to the Supreme Court after being banned from using the boy’s bathroom in his high school.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the slate of directors at Chelsea Pictures,” notes Hallgren, “My goal is always to collaborate with others who have shared values, aspire to innovate and work at the highest level of the craft. The brand space for me is an opportunity to challenge convention and contribute to the culture in a new way. Chelsea is doing this work and I’m excited to bring my style of storytelling to the company.”

With a focus on the craft of vérité storytelling, Hallgren is considered one of the leading cinematographers in documentary filmmaking. Her credits include the Sundance award-winner Motherland (2017), Academy Award-nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner Trouble the Water (2008), and Sundance award-winner Trapped (2016).


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Nadia is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and an alum of the International Centre of Photography.

SOURCE: Chelsea Pictures

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