Filmmaker Kate Tsang took the top award of a $1 million grant at this year’s AT&T Presents: Untold Stories. The program is in collaboration with Tribeca and champions inclusive and diverse filmmaking. The event, which took place earlier this morning in New York City, featured five filmmakers pitched ideas for a film in front of the Untold Stories Greenlight committee made up of industry leaders and film experts. After the committee deliberated, Tsang’s film, Marvelous and the Black Hole came out on top.
Now in its third year, Untold Stories was live-streamed and for the first time in the history of the program, all five finalists were female. In addition to Tsang, the finalists were Aslihan Unaldi (Afloat), Kaliya Warren (Expatriates), Maria Victoria Ponce (Washing Elena) and Ellie Foumbi (Zenith). The four other participants will receive $10,000 each to achieve their film goals.
“We are convinced that the five filmmakers we heard today will all be making their films – because of their determination, forthrightness and vision,” said Fiona Carter, AT&T Communications Chief Brand Officer, on behalf of the Greenlight Committee. “We were struck by Kate Tsang’s command of story and subject. We admire her film’s universal appeal and singular imaginative concept. It has a lively spirit, a nuanced balance of humor and emotion, and is a perspective you don’t normally see on screen.”
Tsang’s film will premiere at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, and AT&T and Tribeca will work with the filmmaker on a distribution strategy. Her film is a story about teenage delinquent Sammy Ko, who teams up with a surly children’s party magician on a bizarre adventure to navigate her tumultuous home life and inner demons. A coming-of-age comedy that touches on unlikely friendships, grief, and finding hope in the darkest moments.
In addition, Warren’s Expatriates received the most votes on Twitter and is the winner of our Film Fan Favorite. She will receive an additional $40,000 grant to produce her film, for a total grant of $50,000.
This year’s Greenlight Committee included Haifaa Al Mansour (Director and Producer), Len Amato (President of HBO Films), Fiona Carter (AT&T Communications Chief Brand Officer), LisaGay Hamilton (Actor, Director, and Producer), Katie Holmes (Actor, Director and Producer), Mira Nair (Director and Producer) and Kal Penn (Actor, Comedian and Producer)
Last year’s winner, Lucky Grandma directed by Sasie Sealy, will premiere this year at Tribeca and will continue its festival run in May at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.