5 Filmmakers Compete for Top Prize; 2017 Winner, ‘Nigerian Prince,’ to Premiere at Festival on April 24

For the 2nd year in a row, AT&T* and Tribeca will host AT&T Presents: Untold Stories. AT&T will award $1 million to a talented filmmaker to create his or her film. And Tribeca will provide mentorship from seasoned industry professionals.

AT&T, Tribeca and the year-round nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute, will host a live pitch event with 5 aspiring filmmakers. The winner of the live pitch will receive a $1 million prize to produce their film.

We’ll host the live pitch event and announce the winner in New York City on April 11 – a week before the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival begins. For the 5th straight year, AT&T is the presenting sponsor of the festival, which runs April 18-29.

“AT&T Presents: Untold Stories is a celebration of diversity and inclusion in film. It gives an opportunity to the creative minds who need a platform to tell their unique stories,” said Fiona Carter, AT&T Chief Brand Officer. “We are honored once again to shine a light on brilliant filmmakers. Faraday Okoro’s winning film from last year, ‘Nigerian Prince,’ is a testament to the unwavering power of this program. We can’t wait to unveil his work and introduce the world to another Untold Story at this year’s Festival.”

“Full funding, mentorship, guidance and guaranteed distribution...Untold Stories is a trailblazing program that supports the filmmaker and the film. It's only through programs like this that we will see a rapid and meaningful change in our media landscape,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder and CEO of the Tribeca Film Festival and co-founder and co-chair of the Tribeca Film Institute.

“AT&T Presents: Untold Stories exemplifies TFI’s year-round work bringing economic equity to the independent film space,” said Amy Hobby, executive director of Tribeca Film Institute.  “In addition to launching the winning team, the program provides high level exposure to industry, as well as guidance and mentorship to inform the long careers ahead for these talented storytellers.”

The live pitch event

To kick off AT&T Presents: Untold Stories, Tribeca Film Institute chose 5 talented and diverse filmmakers to present their story ideas and film scripts to a Greenlight committee. AT&T Chief Brand Officer Fiona Carter and several distinguished film experts make up the committee. This includes Lisa Cortes (Director and Producer), Alexander Dinelaris (Writer and Producer), Alfre Woodard (Actress), Griffin Dunne (Actor, Director and Producer) and Ilana Glazer (Actor, Writer and Producer). Learn more about each of them here.

Fans can tune into a livestream of the pitch event on Tribeca’s Facebook page. The Greenlight committee will announce the winner later that day at a luncheon celebrating inclusivity in storytelling.

Winnings go beyond $1 million grant

In addition to the $1 million top prize, AT&T and Tribeca will help with awards submissions, qualifying screenings, advertisements and promotion of the film. The film will premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and will run across AT&T's video platform. AT&T will also provide a $10,000 grant to the other 4 participating filmmakers to help achieve their film goals.

AT&T events at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival

  • April 18-20: AT&T Presents TFI Network: a part of the Tribeca Film Festival and the Untold Stories Program. The 3-day networking event for Tribeca Film Institute grantees and other selected filmmakers, will include panels and presentations from some of the industry’s most iconic filmmakers and experts. One panel will focus on AT&T Presents: Untold Stories and include AT&T Chief Brand Officer Fiona Carter and this year’s $1 million grant recipient.
  • April 24: Premiere of “Nigerian Prince,” the first film to come out of the exclusive AT&T Presents: Untold Stories film initiative. Following a red carpet opening and premiere of the film, the film’s cast, including winning filmmaker Faraday Okoro, will join attendees at an after party.
  • “Nigerian Prince,” directed by Untold Stories winning filmmaker Faraday Okoro, is a story about a stubborn Nigerian-American teenager who, after being sent to Nigeria against his will, joins forces with an internet scammer in order to return to the United States. 
  • April 25: AT&T’s DIRECTV Premiere of the film, “Woman Walks Ahead, will kick off with a red carpet event. Directly following the premiere, the film’s cast will join attendees at an after party.
    • “Woman Walks Ahead” is the story of Catherine Weldon, a portrait painter from 1890s Brooklyn, who travels to Dakota to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull and becomes embroiled in the Lakota peoples’ struggle over the rights to their land. The film is directed by Susanna White.
    • “Women Walks Ahead” will premiere on DIRECTV CINEMA on May 31. DIRECTV CINEMA is a premium pay-per-view service that gives customers exclusive access to select new releases before they hit theaters.
  • April 27: AT&T’s Free Film Friday gives fans the chance to see exclusive film screenings for free. For more details, go to TribecaFilm.com/ATTFreeFilmFriday.

Learn more about AT&T Presents: Untold Stories at TribecaFilm.com/ATTUntoldStories. And stay up-to-date on this year’s festival news by downloading the official Tribeca Film Festival mobile app, presented by AT&T, through iTunes, Google Play or your app store today.

AT&T Presents: Untold Stories II Selected Projects and Filmmakers
For more information on each of the filmmakers and their projects, please go to: TribecaFilm.com/ATTUntoldStories. (Photos available upon request)

Emmett. Directed by Bridget Stokes and written by Vicky Wight
Emmett, a twelve year-old black academic prodigy, teams up with eccentric sixty year-old SAT tutor Mary to solve a crime that will keep his family together.

Lucky Grandma.
Written and directed by Sasie Sealy, written by Angela Cheng
Grandma is an ornery, chain-smoking Chinese grandmother with a small-time gambling habit.  When a local fortune-teller predicts a most auspicious day in her future, Grandma decides to go “all in” and lands herself on the wrong side of luck, and in the middle of a Chinese gang war.

The Beautiful Ones. Written and directed by Neil M. Paik
The lives of a young veteran, a tormented teenager and an activist journalist intertwine by way of an old Polaroid camera that changes hands over the course of 15 years following 9/11 in a portrait of young Americans becoming unwittingly bound together by their experiences of love, loss and search for identity.

The Year Between. Written and directed by Alex Heller, produced by Eugene Sun Park
During the year between Clemence’s earth-shattering diagnosis of bipolar disorder and her earth-shattering comeback, she attempts to rejoin society from her room in her parents’ basement.

You and Me Both. Written and directed by Jennifer Suhr, produced by Carolyn Mao
Two sisters, one a struggling heroin addict fresh from rehab, take a road trip through America’s Heartland to meet their Korean birth mother after their adoptive mother's passing. Along the way they must navigate feelings of grief and fear in order to find their way back to one another.

About the Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival is the leading cultural event that brings visionaries 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. The Festival 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. Now in its 17th year, the Festival has evolved into a destination for creativity that reimagines the cinematic experience and explores how art can unite communities. www.tribecafilm.com/festival

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