The Tribeca Film Festival has announced the finalists and jury for its sixth-annual Untold Stories competition, where five up-and-coming filmmakers will pitch their ideas for a chance to turn their project into a film that will debut at next year’s festival in New York City.
Former CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin will moderate the jury panel, which includes “Antwone Fisher” star Derek Luke, “Sons of Anarchy” star Mo McRae” and AT&T chief marketing and growth officer Kellyn Smith Kenny.
The winner will receive a $1 million grant for their project, as well as year-long mentorship during production. Last year’s Untold Stories winner, “Smoking Tigers,” will be screened in competition at this year’s Tribeca on June 10.
Directed by Korean-American filmmaker Shelly Yo, “Smoking Tigers” is set in Los Angeles in the early 2000s and follows a lonely 16-year-old Korean American girl named Hayoung who is taken under the wings of three wealthy students she meets at an elite academic boot-camp. As she falls deeper into their world, Hayoung works harder to hide her problematic family and lower-income background from her new friends, only to discover the bittersweet pains of adulthood that will forever shape her life.
“The Untold Stories program is a perfect example of AT&T’s purpose in action. We are all about connecting people to greater possibility, and on June 9th one talented filmmaker’s life will forever change,” Kenny said. “We’ve seen firsthand that shining a spotlight on underrepresented voices – like Shelly Yo, Nardeep Khurmi, Kate Tsang, Sasie Sealy, Banban Cheng and Faraday Okoro – ignites a chain reaction of inspiring communities and unlocking new opportunities that leads to greater possibility.”
“Untold Stories is a testament to the incredible impact that can be created when the voices of historically underrepresented filmmakers are elevated and meaningful financial support and guidance is provided,” Tribeca CEO and co-founder Jane Rosenthal said. “We are so grateful for our multi-year collaboration with AT&T on this one-of-a-kind mentorship program. The Tribeca Festival is especially proud to welcome 2022 Untold Stories winner ‘Smoking Tigers’ to this year’s festival – the very first Untold Stories film to be entered in the U.S. Narrative Competition.”
The five contending projects in this year’s Untold Stories:
“Angel In Retrograde” by Miguel Angel Caballero
After a car accident, Angel awakens from a coma with retrograde amnesia, unaware of the last 20 years. As he attempts to adapt to a middle-aged life with a wife and a teenage daughter, Angel unexpectedly reignites his attraction with his high school best friend, Joshua.
“Bat Mitzvah” by Selyna Warren and Marissa Read
Babe Brenner, broke and stumbling through early adulthood, makes a wager with her Bubi to advance her inheritance by getting Bat Mitzvah’ed by her 30th. Forced to attend Hebrew school with a bunch of hormonal 12-year-olds, her new tween-age besties teach Babe the real meaning of becoming a woman.
“Body Shop”by Maria Mealla
In an alternate reality where “body shops” replace hospitals, Lupe’s body suffers an accident that forces her into the loaner frame of a white Anglo woman. Desperate to expedite the repairs, Lupe ventures to a rumored black market to source skin that matches her true identity.
“Color Book” by David Fortune
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 Atlanta to attend their first baseball game.
“Hyper/Space” by Moon Molson
An urban Black millennial, suffering from a bundle of unnamed neurological disorders, is launched into a low-key manic quest to unravel the mystery of his mother’s death after his live-in girlfriend “disappears.”