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Published: Jun 03, 2018
Updated: Jun 19, 2018

Meet the AT&T Film Awards Finalists

Author: Dave Okamoto

Updated June 2, 2018: Congratulations to all our winners!

In February, we called for submissions for the 2018 SHAPE edition of the AT&T Film Awards, an open competition seeking imaginative, undiscovered short films from aspiring storytellers.

Now in our fourth edition of the competition, we focused on aspiring and underrepresented storytellers. Over 1,500filmmakers entered their short films (under 10 minutes) that utilized innovative and emerging filmmaking technologies such as 360 cinematic video, films shot on mobile, and CGI/animated shorts. After watching all of the submissions, we had a hard time narrowing down our selections. But we made our selections—all amazing films.

The winners were announced Saturday, June 2, by David Christopher, President of AT&T Mobility and Entertainment, and Ava DuVernay, writer, director, producer. The biggest twist? A three-way tie for winner in the Emerging Filmmaker category, with all three filmmakers taking home a $20,000 prize.

Here’s what our winners won:

  • Emerging Filmmaker: Tie for First Place — $20,000 for each of the three finalists
  • Underrepresented Filmmaker: Winner– $10,000 USD
  • Shot on Mobile: Winner– $5,000 USD
  • 360 Cinematic Video: Winner– $5,000 USD
  • CGI/Animated: Winner– $5,000 USD

Here are the finalists and their films:

New York The Place we Live In movie posterDocumentary: New York, The Place We Live In
Sung In Sohn and filmmaking partner Ahmed Abu Talib of Queens, New York wanted to capture daily scenes you’d see in New York. The duo embraced mobile technology to create a documentary that reveals what makes New York special and accentuates how the city differs from other places in the country. The diverse, fast, and dynamic environment set the stage for their documentary, which focused on conveying that even though New York had a tragic moment in the past, it is still the city everyone wants to be part of.
Creators: Sung In Sohn of New Jersey and Ahmed Abu Talib of Queens, New York
Winner for Best Shot on Mobile  


kcloc movie posterDocumentary: KCLOC
The 3D Animated documentary examines how people perceive time. The film features 10 meticulously designed clock head characters that represent interviews conducted with people from different walks of life on the subject of time. The film’s subjects answered the question, ‘What does time mean to you? The end result is a short that explores the impact of time, encouraging the viewer to question their own perception of time.
Creator: Ninaad Kulkarni of Brooklyn, NY
Winner for Best CGI/Animated Short


My Africa movie posterDocudrama: My Africa
Across the globe, wildlife – and people – are in trouble. Poaching, land degradation, and climate change threaten the long-term viability of many of the world’s most iconic animals–and strain resources people need to survive. Yet there are signs of hope, as some communities are reknitting the bonds that have long enabled people and wildlife to live together. My Africa transports viewers to one such place: the untamed rangelands of Kenya, where elephant populations are climbing, and communities are working for the long-term success of the species. Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, My Africa uses VR to follow the story of a young Samburu woman named Naltwasha Leripe, who reveals a world where the futures of wildlife and people are intertwined.
Creators: David Allen, Andrew Ruhemann, Gaby Bastyra, Adam May, and Chris Campkin of London, UK, and Dr. M. Sanjayan, Anastasia Khoo, and Melina Formisano of Arlington, VA.
Winner for Best 360 Cinematic Video


Stereotyped movie posterComedy: STEREOTYPED
STEREOTYPED is a parody of the entertainment industry, somewhere  between Extras and Entourage. It follows the story of a young Spanish actress who arrives to the U.S. only to discover she’s a walking Latina stereotype.
Creators: The Los Angeles-based team includes Andrea Vicunia (main actress, director and writer), Luca Nicora (main actor and 1st AD), Hannah Chequer-Queiroz (producer), Josua Fischer (DP), Javier Dampierre (editor), Marcos Cruz (composer), Tricia Campbell (hair & makeup), and Cory Baker (sound).
Winner for Best Underrepresented Category


Are We Good Parents? movie posterComedy: Are We Good Parents?
Category: Best Emerging Filmmaker
Bola Ogun created a short about a couple who has preconceived notions about their daughter’s sexuality and wonders whether or not they’ve raised her with acceptance. Ogun wanted to create a forum to talk about where she feels we are as a society now or rather where we can be.
Creators: Filmmaker Bola Ogun, producer Tatiana Olsak, writer Hailey Chavez, editor Meaghan Wilbur, and DP Ludovica Isidori are all based in Los Angeles.
Co-Winner for Best Emerging Artist Category


Real Artists movie posterSci-Fi/Thriller: Real Artists
Category: Best Emerging Filmmaker
Real Artists is a glimpse into a world where the future of work is sometimes dependent upon our ability to work with AI in artistic endeavors. It also addresses questions of morality in corporations, and what working relationships between women might be like in a future animation studio where women have positions of authority.

Creators: The San Francisco-based team includes Cameo Wood, Alexa Fraser-Herron, Ryon Lane, Tamlyn Tomita, and Tiffany Hines
Co-Winner for Best Emerging Filmmaker Category


Moose movie posterAnimation/Drama: MOOSE
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, MOOSE asks the question: can you see another as your brother? The animated short follows a teenage moose who watches his father get killed by hunters. The moose treks to the hunters’ cabin to steal their rifles and ammunition so he can save the rest of his tribe.
Creator: Jonah D. Ansell
Co-Winner for Best Emerging Filmmaker Category





A special thanks goes out to the following organizations for their support of the AT&T Film Awards:

  • Submittable: for powering the AT&T Film Awards submission platform, including supporting the review of films and the creation of promotional trailers.
  • Vidiots: the iconic L.A. video store-turned film non-profit, founded and helmed by women, will re-launch as an expanded, inclusive film space in Los Angeles — for providing programming and film reviews of the 1,500 short film entries.
  • ShortsTV: for offering a distribution channel option for finalist’s short films via the shorts.tv channel.

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