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AT&T PRESENTS: UNTOLD STORIES TO AWARD ONE ASPIRING FILMMAKER $1 MILLION AHEAD OF THE TRIBECA FESTIVAL 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
2021 ‘AT&T Presents: Untold Stories’ Finalists and Greenlight Committee Announced
Event Highlighting Diverse Underrepresented Filmmakers will Livestream on June 8
NEW YORK – June 2, 2021 – AT&T* and Tribeca announced the finalists and Greenlight Committee for the fourth ‘AT&T Presents: Untold Stories,’ an initiative created to help give the world access to stories from underrepresented filmmakers. This year's winning filmmaker will receive $1 million and mentorship to develop their idea into a full-length feature film; plus a guaranteed slot at the 2022 Tribeca Festival, and for the first time, distribution on HBO Max to ensure their story is seen and heard.
The five finalists for the 2021 ‘AT&T Presents: Untold Stories’ are:
“After the past year and recent events, access to diverse narratives is more urgent than ever,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Festival. “This program is truly life changing - not only highlighting the emerging talent in underrepresented communities, but also spotlighting their unique stories that offer different perspectives that we hope will help educate and affect change in the industry. We are proud of this collaboration with AT&T and cannot wait to celebrate this year’s finalists.”
“The mission of AT&T Presents: Untold Stories is simple: to take these wonderfully personal, funny, thrilling, and relatable stories from un-told to told,” said Kellyn Smith Kenny, Chief Marketing and Growth Officer, AT&T. “AT&T and Tribeca share in the belief that representation matters, across every medium and we’re incredibly proud to be giving another diverse filmmaker an opportunity to share their art with the world.”
These talented finalists will present their scripts and story ideas at a live-streamed event on Tuesday, June 8 to the ‘AT&T Presents: Untold Stories’ Greenlight Committee who will determine the winner. This year’s Greenlight Committee consists of leading industry talent and executives including Kellyn Smith Kenny (Chief Marketing and Growth Officer, AT&T), Karen Horne (Senior Vice President Equity and Inclusion, WarnerMedia), Veena Sud (TV Writer/Producer, “The Killing”), and Nisha Ganatra (Film Director, “The High Note”).
Hosted at the WarnerMedia Innovation Lab in New York, the event will feature a combination of virtual and in-person participation. All elements, including the pitches, Q&A between the filmmakers and Greenlight Committee, winner announcement, live remarks by Tribeca Film Festival Co-founders Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro and more, will be live-streamed on AT&&T’s YouTube channel.
In addition to the $1 million prize funded by AT&T, Tribeca and WarnerMedia will work closely with the filmmakers, overseeing production and providing mentorship from seasoned industry professionals, throughout the filmmaking process. AT&T and Tribeca will also support the filmmaker in award submissions, qualifying screenings, and promotions of the film.
On June 8, AT&T will also present one filmmaker with the fan-voted Film Favorite Award. While watching the pitches, fans can head to @ATT on Twitter from 10 a.m. ET-12:30 p.m.ET to vote for their favorite film. AT&T will provide the winner of the Film Favorite Award a $40,000 grant; while the other four participating filmmakers will receive a $10,000 grant -- making every finalist in the competition one step closer to achieving their film goals.
Additional information about the 2021 film finalists is below:
Filmmakers: Carlton Daniel Jr. (Director/Screenwriter), Evan Starling-Davis (Producer), Diana Ward (Producer)
About: 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.
Cocoa Brown – June 17 – 8:30pm & 10:30pm – Spring Studios
Cocoa Brown is a comedian and actress who has appeared on Showtime at the Apollo, One Mic Stand and BET’s ComicView. She’s also appeared in Tyler Perry’s series, For Better or Worse and comedy films such as, Ted 2 and The Single Mom’s Club. In addition to her comedic roles, Cocoa has showcased her acting talents on dramatic series such as Fox’s 9-1-1 and FX’s The People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
“Johnny Loves Dolores”
Filmmakers: Clarissa de los Reyes (Director/Screenwriter) Cecilia R. Mejia
About: 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.
“Land of Gold”
Filmmakers: Nardeep Khurmi (Director), Keertana Sastry (Producer), Pallavi Sastry (Producer)
About: 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.
Filmmakers: Gabriella A. Moses (Director/Screenwriter), Shruti Ganguly (Producer), Marttise Hill (Producer), Julius Pryor (Producer)
About: 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.
Filmmakers: Tony Koros (Director/Screenwriter), Elizabeth Charles (Producer)
About: 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.
Past winners of the top prize include Kate Tsang's “Marvelous and the Black Hole” (2019), Sasie Sealy and Banban Cheng's “Lucky Grandma” (2018), and Faraday Okoro’s “Nigerian Prince” (2017). Films selected for the program in 2020, which did not occur due to COVID-19 restrictions, that were offered 2021 participation include ALL DIRT ROADS TASTE OF SALT (screenwriter/director Raven Jackson), CHARCUTERIE (screenwriter Chris Courtney Martin, director Reagan Gomez) and FLY GIRL (screenwriter Christine Hoang). These films participated in AT&T/Tribeca’s 2020 virtual industry networking program and have all taken huge strides in advancement toward production, including signing on with major production companies and securing financing.
More information is available at ATT.com/pages/untold_stories.
Additional programming will be announced in the coming weeks. Follow @ATT and @Tribeca on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and at tribecafilm.com/festival. The official hashtag of the festival is #Tribeca2021.
Passes and Tickets for the 2021 Tribeca Festival
Festival passes are on sale now. Tickets to attend the Festival go on sale on May 3, 2021. Visit: https://www.tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets
Tribeca Festival is working in concert with the New York State Department of Health to ensure all public gatherings are in full compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols.
About the Tribeca Festival
The Tribeca Festival, presented by AT&T, brings artists and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. Tribeca champions emerging and established voices; discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators; curates innovative experiences; and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.
The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Tribeca will celebrate its 20th year June 9 – 20, 2021. www.tribecafilm.com/festival
In 2019, James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, a private investment company with locations in New York and Mumbai, bought a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together Rosenthal, De Niro, and Murdoch to grow the enterprise.
About 2021 Tribeca Festival Partners:
The 2021 Tribeca Festival is presented by AT&T and with the support of our corporate partners: A&E, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Audible, Bloomberg Philanthropies, CHANEL, City National Bank, CNN Films, Diageo, DoorDash, FreshDirect, Hudson Yards, Hudson River Park Trust, Indeed, KitchenAid, Montefiore-Einstein, Neutrogena, NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Persol, P&G, PwC, Roku, Spring Studios New York, United Airlines.
About *AT&T Communications
We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we @ATT innovate to improve lives. AT&T Communications is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). For more information, please visit us at att.com
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