Untold Stories is a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and Tribeca that awards $1 million dollars, mentorship and distribution to underrepresented filmmakers to produce their films. This unique platform has already made an impact on inclusivity in film. Following its first two nationally-distributed films, Nigerian Prince and Lucky Grandma, Untold Stories’ third feature Marvelous and the Black Hole premiered in early in 2021 and will be at this year’s Tribeca Festival.

On June 8th 2021, 5 new talented and diverse filmmaking teams pitched their proposed feature film projects to an esteemed Greenlight Committee of industry professionals to decide who will be the next $1 million prize recipient. The Untold Stories pitch was a virtual and in-person hybrid event to help ensure COVID-19 safety guidelines. The pitch event was streamed virtually, including a live Q&A with each filmmaking team and the Greenlight Committee.

This year's winning film – LAND OF GOLD - will be guaranteed a slot at the 2022 Tribeca Festival and, for the first time, HBOMax will distribute the winning film on their platform to ensure these stories are seen and heard. The additional 4 teams received a $10,000 grant for development support. An additional $40,000 was awarded to the Fan Favorite – JOHNNY LOVES DOLORES - as voted by the virtual audience participating.

2021 ONE MILLION DOLLAR PRIZE RECIPIENT

Land of Gold
Written and directed by Nardeep Khurmi
Produced by Keertana Sastry and Pallavi Sastry
Kiren, a first-generation Punjabi trucker and anxious father-to-be, stumbles across Elena, a 10-year-old undocumented Mexican-American, during a cross-country trip. As Kiren helps Elena find her way home, the unlikely pair connect over a shared history and evolving expectations of what family truly is.

2021 FINALIST PROJECTS

Homegoing
Written and directed by Carlton Daniel Jr.
Produced by: Evan Starling-Davis and Diana Ward
Haunted by nightmares, musical prodigy, Junior Carmichael, returns home to his family’s funeral parlor in Cleveland, Ohio in order to salvage his grip on reality. While finding his place in the world, he must come to terms with his family, community, and the man he loves.
Johnny Loves Dolores
Written and directed by Clarissa de los Reyes
Produced by Cecilia R. Mejia
As a community in Queens struggles to keep afloat during the 2008 recession, a lonely, underpaid clerk considers a lucrative “green card marriage” that runs counter to his ideal of marrying for love. His plans are complicated when an undocumented immigrant he secretly adores finds herself in dire financial need.
Leche
Written and directed by Gabriella A. Moses
Produced by Julius Pryor, Marttise Hill and Shruti Ganguly
Nina, a 9-year-old Dominican girl with albinism, is still grieving the death of her abuela when she moves to the States to live with her estranged mother. In a misguided attempt to cope and assimilate, she manifests the vodou spirits from her abuela’s altar and discovers they’re more than she bargained for when death begins to follow her.
Neon Tilapia
Written and directed by Tony Koros
Produced by Elizabeth Charles
When a dangerous water-weed threatens to take over his lake and livelihood, a fisherman in rural Kenya forms an unexpected alliance with his estranged granddaughter to fight back using glowing, genetically modified fish. As strange lights appear in the lake, chaos erupts in the village, and the two are challenged to reach a new understanding of each other.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

Carlton Daniel Jr.

Writer / Director
Homegoing

Carlton Daniel Jr. is a writer-director born in Cleveland, OH. Imagining Black futurity through his critical lens as a queer filmmaker, Carlton’s art explores Afrosurrealism, sexuality, and Afro-diasporic identity. He earned his MFA in Film and Dramatic Writing from Syracuse University in 2016. Carlton’s award-winning directorial debut, Monogamish (2017), screened at over 20 festivals internationally, premiering at Outfest Fusion. His most recent short, Homegoing (2020), continues its festival run, having played at multiple festivals including Palm Springs Short Fest, Atlanta and Miami Film Festivals. Carlton is developing a feature-length version of Homegoing, which was selected for the 2020 Outfest Screenwriting Lab.

Clarissa de los Reyes

Writer / Director
Johnny Loves Delores

Clarissa de los Reyes is a filmmaker born and raised in Manila, Philippines. Her work has screened at various film festivals including Palm Springs, Busan, Fribourg, and more. Her short film Johnny Loves Dolores is the recipient of several awards including a Grand Jury Prize at the San Diego Asian Film Festival where it competed alongside feature films. It was also one of six films curated by the American Cinematheque’s 8th Annual Focus on Female Directors. The feature screenplay for Johnny Loves Dolores recently participated at the 2020 Tribeca Film Institute Network where it received the TFI/Adrienne Shelly Filmmaker Award. When not working on her own projects, she collaborates extensively as a Director of Photography. She has shot films in China, Taiwan, Philippines and the U.S., some of which have gone on to screen at some of the top festivals around the world.

Nardeep Khurmi

Writer / Director
Land of Gold

Nardeep hails from the ‘burbs of Philly by way of Switzerland. You can usually catch him searching for the tastiest street food when he’s not working on his films, which spotlight underrepresented communities with narratives focused on expanding representation of the global majority. His award-winning short films, Pagg and Monogamish, have screened at over 60 festivals internationally, and his vlog-style adaptation of Flowers for Algernon and his latest short film, Unknown Caller, are streaming on YouTube. Nardeep is also an accomplished stage and screen actor, recently recurring on “Why Women Kill,” “Orbital Redux,” and “Jane the Virgin,” and appearing on “Rebel,” "Kenan," “SWAT,” “The Odd Couple,” and “Angie Tribeca.” He also voices a veritable stable of animals and humans on Disney’s hit “Mira, Royal Detective.” His script for Land of Gold is a 2021 WeScreenplay Finalist and a 2021 ScreenCraft Film Fund Finalist, as well as on Coverfly’s Red List. www.nardeepkhurmi.com

Gabriella A. Moses

Writer / Director
Leche

Gabriella A. Moses is a director, writer, and production designer based in Brooklyn,NY. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Her production design work has been featured across top film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca and SXSW. Gabriella was selected by the Hispanic Coalition of NY as one of their 2015 Rising Latino Stars. She also served as a Shadow Director for the 2015 ABC Diversity Showcase. Gabriella is currently developing two features. Leche has received support from Sundance Institute’s Creative Producing Lab, the NYWIFT "From Script to Pre-Production Workshop", Sundance Screenwriter's Intensive, Tribeca Film Institute All Access Lab, Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund program and IFP No Borders Program. She also was a Tribeca and Chanel Through Her Lens Fellow. She believes in sharing stories with underrepresented protagonists that test viewer’s perceptions of identity and their imaginations.

Tony Koros

Writer / Director
Neon Tilapia

Tony Koros is a New York based Kenyan screenwriter, director and producer. He is a 2021 Sundance Screenwriters & Directors Lab Fellow, a recipient of the 2020 Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Grant, a 2020 Cine Qua Non Lab Script Revision Lab fellowship, the Martin E. Segal Production Grant and the 2019 Hollywood Foreign Press Association grant. His latest short film, “Tithes & Offerings” premiered in competition at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2019 and has since been acquired for distribution by CANAL+. His previous short films have screened at over seventy international film festivals including Palm Springs International Shortfest where he won the Alexis Prize in 2017, Clermont-Ferrand 2018, FESPACO 2017, and won the Sembene prize at the Zanzibar International Film Festival. He holds an MFA in Filmmaking from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (2018).

GREENLIGHT COMMITTEE

Karen Horne

Karen Horne is recognized as a Diversity and Inclusion pioneer in the entertainment industry. As Senior Vice President of Equity & Inclusion at WarnerMedia, she leads its brands’ domestic and international creative talent development pipeline programs and initiatives. Karen’s legacy spans years at NBCUniversal, where she was Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios. Horne also was the Director of Writer Development & Special Projects for Walt Disney Studios and Co-producer at HBO for the Emmy Award-winning animated series “Spawn.”

Kellyn Smith Kenny

Kellyn Smith Kenny is a global executive regarded for her unique ability to lead and inspire diverse, distributed global teams to reach new heights, and deliver breakthrough performance. Known for her analytical horsepower, razor-sharp customer insight, and ability to lead transformational change, Kellyn is a strategic force who has successfully built beloved brands and high-performing teams.

Kellyn joined AT&T Communications as Chief Marketing & Growth Officer in November of 2020 to accelerate customer acquisition, increase customer lifetime value, and deepen AT&T’s premium position. In this role she will oversee brand strategy, media strategy and planning, market research and insights, competitive and customer intelligence, creative services and strategic partnerships for AT&T Communications.

Trace Lysette

TRACE LYSETTE is an actress and advocate best known for her recurring role as 'Shea' on Amazon's critically acclaimed series “Transparent”. Trace began her career auditioning for cisgender (non-trans) roles and landed her first break in a guest spot as 'Lila' in the 14th season of “Law & Order: SVU”. Trace continued to find success, booking recurring roles on “Blunt Talk” for Starz opposite Patrick Stewart, FX’s “Pose”, and a supporting role in “Hustlers”, directed by Lorene Scafaria and opposite Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. She will next be seen in independent feature “Venus As A Boy”, which will premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. She will next star in the independent feature, "Monica" opposite Patti Clarkson, which films this summer.

Veena Sud

Veena Sud created “The Killing” (AMC/Netflix) which was nominated for six Emmy Awards as well as WGA nomination for Best New Series. Her recent series, “Seven Seconds,” is an ensemble drama centered on the hit-and-run of a young Black teenager by a white police officer. Sud’s feature film THE LIE premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and on Amazon in 2020. Sud was featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s 2011 Power Showrunners List and Variety’s Women’s Impact Report.

Nisha Ganatra

Award-winning writer, producer and director Nisha Ganatra is celebrated for her work on television shows like “Highland,” “Better Things,” and “You Me Her.” She also created “Code Academy” and has directed episodes of “Girls,” “Dear White People,” “Future Man,” “Mr. Robot,” “Shameless,” “Brooklyn 9-9,” and countless more. Her acclaimed debut indie feature film, CHUTNEY POPCORN, which she wrote, produced and directed, won Audience Awards at the Berlin Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, Ojai Film Festival, and many more. Her film LATE NIGHT, starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling premiered at Sundance and sold to Amazon in a record-breaking deal and garnered the highest streaming numbers of the year. Ganatra is a Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee for her work as Director/Producer for “Transparent.” She has recently directed THE HIGH NOTE for Working Title and Focus Features, starring Tracee Ellis Ross, Ice Cube, June Diane Raphael, Dakota Johnson and Kelvin Harrison Jr.

2019 One Million Dollar Grant Recipient

Marvelous and the Black Hole
Written and Directed by Kate Tsang

Teenage delinquent Sammy Ko teams up with a surly children's party magician on a bizarre adventure to navigate her tumultuous home life and inner demons. A coming-of-age comedy that touches on unlikely friendships, grief, and finding hope in the darkest moments.

Premiering at Sundance Film Festival 2021

2018 One Million Dollar Grant Recipient

Lucky Grandma
Directed by (and Co-written by): Sasie Sealy and Angela Cheng

Set in New York City’s Chinatown, the film follows an ornery, chain-smoking Chinese grandma who goes all in at the casino, landing herself on the wrong side of luck… and in the middle of a gang war.

Available to stream on multiple platforms.

2017 One Million Dollar Grant Recipient

Nigerian Prince
Written and Directed by Faraday Okoro

A troubled American teenager, sent away to his mother's native Nigeria, finds himself entangled in a dangerous web of scams and corruption with a con-artist cousin as his guide.

Available to steam on Netflix and other platforms.