AT&T returns to Tribeca Festival to host the fifth AT&T Presents: Untold Stories where it will award a deserving, systemically underrepresented filmmaker $1 million to develop their pitch into a feature-length film.
The event will take place at Spring Studios in New York City during the 2022 Tribeca Festival on Friday, June 10th and will feature five talented filmmakers with diverse voices and backgrounds vying for the opportunity to take their stories from untold to told.
Each filmmaker team will pitch their project to an esteemed Greenlight Committee consisting of entertainment and media industry professionals. The winning film will receive $1 million to produce their feature-length film, which will premiere exclusively at the 2023 Tribeca Festival, and also be granted a dedicated first look opportunity with HBO Max.
This year’s esteemed Greenlight Committee includes filmmaker J.D. Dillard, actress Niecy Nash, actor Andre Holland, actress DeWanda Wise, AT&T Chief Marketing and Growth Officer Kellyn Smith Kenny, Warner Media SVP of Equity and Inclusion Karen Horne and HBO MAX SVP of Content Acquisition Leslie Cohen.
The success of the program can be seen in last year’s winner, Land of Gold, premiering at Tribeca Festival on June 14th, followed by an unprecedented large-platform release on HBO Max. A feat few first-time filmmakers have ever accomplished, the film written and directed by Nardeep Khurmi serves as a testament to what is possible when the proper support system and funding is put in place to support filmmakers seeking opportunities to tell new and exciting stories. The film, Land of Gold, is about when a truck driver Kiran hears pounding on a shipping container and finds a young Mexican-American girl inside, his already tumultuous life takes a drastic turn as he seeks to reunite her with her family.
The five finalists to pitch to the Greenlight Committee include:
- The Weight of Land from Daniel Drummond (Writer/Director), Gia Rigoli (Producer) and Esteban Zuluaga (Producer): When the Estradas, a family of Latino ranch hands, learn they’ve inherited one of the largest ranches in Arizona, the promise of a better future seems certain. However, bitter feuds spurred by the inheritance drive a dangerous wedge between the Estradas and their small town.
- Smoking Tigers from So Young Shelly Yo (Writer/Director) and Guo Guo (Producer): Over one summer spent at an elite academic bootcamp, a lonely Korean American teenager hides her true identity to fit in, only to discover the bittersweet pains of adulthood.
- Under The Lights from Miles Levin (Writer/Director) and Natalie Metzger (Producer): A boy with epilepsy, desperate to feel like a regular kid, goes to prom knowing that the lights will make him have a seizure.
- Paper Trail from Rachael Moton (Writer/Director) and Gia Rigoli (Producer): In rapidly gentrifying North Philadelphia, two genius Black siblings at risk of eviction begin doing the coursework of local college students in exchange for cash. When one of their clients, a white woman, goes viral from an essay they wrote, the siblings are faced with a moral dilemma: Allow their client to publicly use their voices, or be caught at the center of a cheating scandal.
- Mutt from Vuk LK (Writer/Director), Alexander Stegmaier (Producer) and Stephen Scott Scarpulla (Producer): Over the course of a single hectic day in New York City, three people from Feña’s past are thrust back into his life. Having lost touch since transitioning from female to male, Feña must navigate the new dynamics of these old relationships while tackling the day-to-day challenges that come with living a life in-between.
You don’t need to be at Tribeca Festival to join in. Viewers worldwide can tune into the live pitch event at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, June 10th on AT&T’s Twitter channel. In addition to the winner chosen by the Greenlight Committee, the participating livestream audience will be voting on a Fan Favorite who will be awarded $40,000.
In addition to the $1 million top prize, AT&T and Tribeca will mentor the filmmakers throughout the development process, assisting with awards submissions, qualifying screenings, marketing and promotion of the film. AT&T will also provide a $10,000 grant to the other 4 participating filmmakers to help achieve their film goals.
Visit AT&T Untold Stories for more on previous year’s events and winners.