By Carolyn Billings, Assistant Vice President Creator & Developer Marketing, AT&T Mobility and Entertainment

Through the AT&T Film Awards, we seek to honor aspiring creators with imaginative, undiscovered short films. Amplifying the voices of these rising creators and supporting them with resources is a true privilege. I’m blown away at how they bring together creativity, experience and technology to tell great stories.

It’s my honor to announce the winners of the 5th edition of the AT&T Film Awards:

Emerging Filmmakers Awards

1st place ($10,000 prize)

SELF by Manolo Celi

Brooklyn, NY


A man's enthralling adventure through his cliched, humdrum existence.


2nd place ($3,000 prize)

Two Balloons by Mark Smith

Portland, OR


Seeking a life of love and exploration, two adventurous lemurs take to the skies.


3rd Place ($2,000 prize)

Son to Son by Nicole Pase & Milena Lorch

 N. Hollywood, CA


A late-night meeting between a father and son reveals an insidious secret lurking beneath the surface. What began as an innocent habit has led to the most deadly—and unexpected—epidemic in modern history. One conversation could mean the difference between life or death.


Youth Filmmakers Awards

Prize: These 3 finalists will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the first weekend of the Tribeca Film Festival, as well as training from Fresh Films to coach them on how to best document their Tribeca experience.

 Youth Finalist - Environment:

We Need to Protect THIS by Ben Summa

 Salt Lake City, UT


This short film displays the beauty in our environment, as well as its current problems. It educates people about this issue, shows people how they can help and showcases stunning visuals emphasizing the importance of protecting our environment.


Youth Finalist – Distracted Driving:

A Realistic Look at Distracted Driving by Maia Vota

Burlington, VT


A variety of students honestly explain whether or not they have ever driven distracted.


 Youth Finalist – Anti-Bullying:

Hello, My Name Is… by Alondra Vega & Maya Estremadoyro

Pembroke Pines, FL


Five high school girls come together to create a piece that highlights the importance of positivity and kindness in a world where many youth face bullying.


Underrepresented Filmmaker Award ($5,000 prize)

Committed by Rachel Handler

Jersey City, NJ


When Calvin announces that he's proposing to Leesa...and then they're moving to the suburbs, Rebecca enlists Dennis's help to sabotage the proposal and keep their friends around for good.


Best Spanish Language Short – Student

Prize: This winner will receive a scholarship to attend the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts Summer 2019 program, including a meeting with a CAA agent. Their short will also air on DIRECTV in Latin America.

Chips and Salsa by Martha Rodriguez

San Diego, CA


A young Mexican queer man comes out to his parents over a Christmas event.


Best Short – Shot On Mobile ($5,000 prize)

Resilience by Antonio Chavez Trejo

Burbank, CA


Eris, a young tormented woman goes into an introspective path about her life as her depression grows, forcing to question herself the reasons of her existence. As her suffering gains territory, so does the darkness within her, tempting her to put an end to the pain once and for all.


Best VR/AR/MR Project ($5,000 prize)

I Am A Man VR Experience by Derek Ham


Cary, NC


“I Am A Man” VR Experience is an interactive virtual reality experience set to the historic events of the African- American Civil Rights Movement. Users witness the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Worker’s Strike and the events leading to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. using the Oculus Rift VR headset.

At AT&T, we know that some of the most powerful narratives – those with the potential to incite conversation and drive change – are yet to be told. We see the AT&T Film Awards as a vehicle for elevating these stories. Moreover, through AT&T Aspire – our $450 million commitment to programs that help provide access to the education and training people need to get and keep good jobs – we see media making as a rapidly growing field of work.

As we continue our evolution as a media company, we want to empower the next generation of storytellers and creators by exposing them to skills, careers and opportunities in the media industry.  The AT&T Film Awards is just one of our many competitions for up-and-coming filmmakers and creators, throughout the year and across the country. Others include AT&T Presents: Untold Stories and Create-a-Thon contests which have produced nearly 500 short films from emerging and under-represented voices. Additionally, through our Cinema+ program, we provided over $450,000 in scholarships to Latin American film students

Missed this round of the AT&T Film Awards? Good news! The 6th edition of the AT&T Film Awards will open for submissions in early February, with winners announced on-stage at AT&T SHAPE 2019 this summer. Stay tuned for exact dates and details to come.