NEW YORK, June 09, 2023

AT&T Awards “Color Book” With Top Honor at Untold Stories Event During 2023 Tribeca Festival, David Fortune To Receive $1M To Produce Film

As The Sixth Winner of AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, “Color Book” Receives $1M, Promotional Support and Mentorship To Turn Film Idea into Full-Length Feature.

Group photo of Untold Stories Winner

Key Takeaways:

  • AT&T and Tribeca announced David Fortune’s “Color Book” as the 2023 winner of the Untold Stories event at the Tribeca Festival.
  • David Fortune marks the sixth filmmaker to receive this award and will be offered a premiere spot at the 2024 Tribeca Festival, awarded a $1 million prize and year-round mentorship.
  • Since 2017, AT&T’s Untold Stories program has employed more than 300 BIPOC crewmembers, created more than 1,500 hours of production and its films have gone on to appear on all major streaming platforms and more than 75 festivals around the world.  

What’s the news?

Today, AT&T* and Tribeca selected “Color Book” as the winner of the 2023 AT&T Presents: Untold Stories event. Filmmaker, David Fortune, competed amongst four other finalists to win $1 million and receive year-round mentorship to produce their feature film.

This year’s event took place at the 2023 Tribeca Festival giving emerging filmmakers including David Fortune, Maria Mealla, Miguel Angel Caballero, Moon Molson and Selyna Warren and Marissa Read, the opportunity to present their stories to an expert jury comprised of renowned industry talents and professionals, such as: actor Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher (2002), Glory Road (2006) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)), actor/producer Mo McRae (A Lot of Nothing (2022)), The First Purge (2018) and Wild (2014)), Kellyn Smith Kenny (Chief Marketing and Growth Officer, AT&T), actress Michael Michelle (How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days (2003), Dark Blue (2002), New Jack City (1991)), and Nardeep Khurmi (2021 Untold Stories winner with “Land of Gold”).

While David Fortune took home the top honor, the other four finalists were also each awarded a $15,000 grant to further develop their ideas. 

Why it Matters

A long-term collaboration between AT&T and the Tribeca Festival, Untold Stories is a mentorship program that connects rising, historically underrepresented filmmakers to greater possibilities by empowering them with the necessary resources and support they need to bring their unique stories to life.

Past recipients of this award have garnered notable success on the festival circuit, appearing at over 75 festivals around the world, including this year’s U.S. Narrative Competition at Tribeca. Collectively, the films score an average of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, and racked up glowing reviews like “…the director’s tonal control impresses” of 2018’s winner “Lucky Grandma” or how 2019 winner “Marvelous and The Black Hole” was “…an energetic coming-of-age tale that offers rich performances…”

2021 winner “Land of Gold” has appeared at 15 festivals and secured 12 awards since its debut at last year’s Tribeca Festival with reviews praising the film for its “Richly textured characters and fresh perspective make this modest road-trip melodrama worth the journey.” Untold Stories films have also been granted widespread exposure all other major streaming platforms.

What are people saying?

“I’m honored and humbled to win this award and to tell a story that represents the city of Atlanta and the disabled community. Thank you, AT&T and Untold Stories, for believing in the power and vision of this intimate father-son story,” said writer and director David Fortune.

“All of these untold stories offered dynamic perspectives, moved us emotionally and we believe deeply that all of these films demand to move from untold to told. The well-crafted presentations you shared today began to take us on a journey we wanted to keep watching, but we can only choose one,” claimed 2023 jurors Derek Luke, Mo McRae, Kellyn Smith Kenny, Michael Michelle and Nardeep Khurmi. “After living with your scripts, reviewing the supplemental materials and experiencing today’s pitches, we’ve chosen our 2023 winner. This film is an epically beautiful story powered by an endlessly talented filmmaker with a crystal clear vision. The Greenlight Committee loved the purity, artistry, and tenderness of our winning film’s vision.”

Additional information about the 2023 winner:

About “Color Book”: Following the passing of his wife, a devoted father is learning to raise his son with Down Syndrome as a single parent. While adjusting to their new reality, the two embark on a journey through Metro Atlanta to attend their first baseball game.

About David Fortune:  A graduate of Morehouse College and Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television, David Fortune, finds purpose in capturing the themes of intimacy based in inner-city communities. Over the years, he has been selected into numerous directing fellowships such as the Village Roadshow Entertainment Emerging Talent Program, Indeed/Hillman Grad’s Rising Voices Program, Netflix/Film Independent Amplifier Fellowship, and ViacomCBS - ViewFinders Directors Program where he shadow-directed two episodes of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.  In addition to these accolades, David was named a winner of the Netflix Content Creator’s Program for his film, “Us” and premiered his short “Shoebox” at the Tribeca Film Festival. Currently, David is focused on working with non-profit organizations to raise awareness about individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities through documentary films.

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