FORM: Documentary Feature
RUNTIME: 01 hr : 18 min : 26 sec

TAGLINE: The return of the urban backyard chicken!
TAGLINE 2: Coming to a backyard near you!
TAGLINE 3: The city will never be the same again!


Mad City Chickens is a film about people who keep chickens in the city.


Mad City Chickens is a sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical look at the people who keep chickens in their urban backyards. From chicken experts and authors to a rescued landfill hen and an inexperienced family that decides to take the poultry plunge--it’s a humorous and heartfelt trip through the world of backyard chickendom. Even a mad professor and a giant hen get into the act!


Witness if you will Gallus Domesticus…the backyard chicken. A mere few pounds of feather, bone, and muscle; a creature regarded by many as a rather humorous, though not so intelligent agent of food production.

And yet make note of a most singular phenomenon now taking shape across suburb and city. From backyard eggs to the family’s new favorite pet, the urban chicken is forging a fresh place in the pecking order of human importance.

Mad City Chickens deftly weaves multiple stories and contextual issues on city chickens and their keepers in a non-linear fashion that one rarely sees in a documentary. From leading experts to urban newbies, experience the humor and heart of what’s fast becoming an international backyard chicken movement.


~Mother Earth News Editor-in-Chief, Cheryl Long
~Leading bird flu expert, Dr. Michael Greger
~Rare behind-the-scenes at Murray McMurray Hatchery
~Backyard Poultry editor, Elaine Belanger
~Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities, Christine Heinrichs
~Stunning results from nutritional study on pastured eggs
~Follow an urban family for an entire year as they take the poultry plunge
~A factory farm hen that refused to die even after being gassed and dumped at a landfill

PLUS…coops, birds, eggs, art, images from the Seattle Tilth group, founding members of the Mad City Chickens group, a California musical hen, a Texas life-saving flock…and yes…even a mad professor and a giant chicken find their way into the mix.


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Photo of Tashai directing actors Pat Aspinwall & Justin Riley in a scene from Mad City Chickens. Photographer: Stephanie Wisniewski.

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Co-Producer/Director Tashai Lovington is a graduate from the University of Illinois (Chicago) where she studied film, photography, and digital media. Her student film, 3rd Rail Band, aired on television and invited viewers down into the bowels of the Chicago subway to witness musicians who otherwise might never see the light of day. As producer of the short, La Fe’e Rouge, Lovington was honored with the Audience Award in the 2006 PBS/ITVS sponsored Independent Lens Film Festival. She currently has several projects in the works including more collaborations with her film partner Robert Lughai.


Photo of Robert testing camera set up on new shoot. Photographer: Tashai Lovington.

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Co-Producer/Director Robert Lughai worked for over 5 years as the Program Coordinator and Education Director for television station WYOU in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s collaborated on numerous films with his partner Tashai Lovington, having formed Tarazod Films. Lughai directed their short, La Fe’e Rouge, which won the Audience Award in the 2006 PBS/ITVS sponsored Independent Lens Film Festival. Their Mad City Chickens is a feature-length documentary on the unusual subject of urban backyard chicken. Up next? A few short narratives are in the works, and then a feature-length.


You can’t tell someone you’re doing a chicken movie without causing them to at the very least crack a smile. Chickens are just inherently funny.


Co-Director Robert Lughai shares a “moment” with one of the stars of the Mad City Chickens film. Photographer: Tashai Lovington.

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Consuela the chicken survived being gassed and dumped at a landfill before being rescued by Liz Perry. Photographer: Robert Lughai.

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Shooting a “giant chicken” blue screen scene for Mad City Chickens. Photographer: Robert Lughai.

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A giant Gallus domesticus pokes its head around a street corner in a scene from Mad City Chickens. Yes, it’s documentary…but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!  Photographer: Tashai Lovington.

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We finished setting up the green screen area to shoot the next batch of footage with our star chicken. What an experience!

Two important facts to remember:
1- Chickens don’t walk in a straight line…except when the camera is not rolling.
2- When the camera is rolling, chickens prefer to preen rather than perform.

The hens enjoyed the experience much more than we did. But then we discovered spaghetti. There’s nothing like a wet, wiggly worm-like piece of spaghetti to get your actors to move from point A to point B without hesitation or complaint.


Chickens Magazine (Hobby Farms)
Milwaukee Journal
Isthmus Daily Page
Capital Times

For a complete listing of press coverage, visit our Press and Reviews thread on the Tarazod Films blog.


Mad City Chickens has played in over 200 cities and in three countries!