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Announcing the Winners of the 2019 AT&T Film Awards


The AT&T Film Awards enters its 7th edition this year and continues its mission to recognize new and emerging filmmakers who are shaping the future of entertainment.  

They are rewarding winning filmmakers with $60,000 in cash and prizes, featured screenings during SHAPE at Warner Bros. Studio in June 2020, funds to attend the 2020 summer filmmaking program at USC Cinematic Arts, and the opportunity to network with industry executives. 

Previous winners have gone on to receive official selection at Sundance Film Festival, awards from Tribeca Film Festival, and airtime on HBO. 

The 2020 contest features five film categories: Spanish-Language, Youth Film Concept, Virtual Reality, Merged or Augmented Reality, and Mobile/360/Drone. The deadline for most categories is April 30, 2020 (Spanish-language films are due December 16, 2019 and youth category entries are due January 24, 2020). The winners of the 6th edition of the AT&T Film Awards were announced during SHAPE held at Warner Bros. Studios. 

2019 AT&T Film Awards Winners

Shot on Mobile Films

Awarded to the top short film shot on smartphone, tablet, or drone. Advances in mobile video technology has made filmmaking more accessible and affordable for aspiring creators. We are encouraging filmmakers to share their short films shot using mobile video technologies. 

1st Prize – $10,000

Ascension of Ava Delaine by Tonya Kay

An experimental female-empowerment fantasy voyeuristically following a woman through the decades of her life.

Runner Ups – $2,500

Heads Up by Chris Castor

A man longs to fly like the birds, but his drone might not exactly accomplish what he’d hoped.

Cardboard Cadet by Chris Castor

A young boy builds a cardboard airplane and departs for adventure. Will he be home for dinner?

New Forms of Storytelling Films

Awarded to the top projects demonstrating new and innovative forms of storytelling.

1st Prize – $10,000

Fragile by Ramon Faria

After years of loneliness, Mr. Nakashima decides to get a helper robot for daily chores. Things go crazy once a strange creature visits Mr. Nakashima to take away his soul into the afterlife.

Runner Ups – $2,500

Black Girl Poem by Daryl Bright

Black women take a surrealist approach in confronting the power dynamic of sexual harassment within the African American community.

Things That Fall by Sy Huq

Alove story about outsiders – one deaf and one who hears voices – who find each other. Alex, haunted by the auditory hallucinations of schizophrenia, retracts from connecting to others and uses music to drown the voices out. It’s until he comes across Carly, a deaf classmate, who needs help in a library that he must decide to take a risk to reach out and connect.

Futuristic Films

Awarded to the top short films incorporating one of the following futuristic themes: Sci-Fi, future of technology, future of entertainment, or future of communications.

1st Prize – $10,000

The Chef by Hao Zheng

In a time when work is done by robots, a traditional Chinese chef is forced to train a Caucasian humanoid to cook Chinese food, but a former protégé of the chef makes this harder by joining an anti-robot riot group.

Runner Ups – $2,500

Storm by Will Kindrick

In a not so distant future, relationship compatibility is determined by an advanced algorithm enforced by the federal government. Participation is mandatory and users must be paired with (or reassigned) to their ideal partner within one year or be transitioned to a permanent single lifestyle facility.

In Full Bloom by Maegan Houang

A surrealist short film about overcoming the loss of a partner within the parameters of living as a female Vietnamese immigrant. 

Social Good Films

Awarded to the top short films highlighting social good as a primary theme. 

1st Prize – $5,000

Shoot for the Moon by Lauren Hoekstra

At summer camp, a girl realises a dream when she gets to design a rocket. But her delight is dampened when her older sister excludes her from her circle of friends.

Runner Ups – $2,500

The Coin by Sigi Song

In Chinese New Year holidays, finding the coin inside the dumplings means having a blessed year ahead. A young woman loses a jar on her journey to a new country, which contains the lucky coins she has been collecting growing up. Her new life begins with a search to find the coin. 

Black Flag by Lucy Houlihan

Sydney is from Georgia. Deja is from Detroit. These two new dorm-mates are excited to start their freshman year together. That is, until Sydney decides to decorate their room with a little piece of ‘Southern pride.’ 

Underrepresented Filmmakers

Awarded to encourage the growth and development of creators from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. Eligible creators include people with disabilities, LGBTQ, women, and people of color.

Winner – $5,000

Sojourn by Jonathan Lewis

While on a self-enlightening journey home, a young black man struggles with confronting deep mental and emotional hurdles surrounding race.


Read the full contest guidelines and submit your short film.

Looking for some inspiration before you get started on your piece? Check out our interview with previous Spanish-language winner, Miguel Soliman. He talks about the origin of his passion for filmmaking, what it was like to win the award, and advice for prospective entrants.

This announcement was sponsored by Submittable partner AT&T Film Awards. Interested in more creative calls and opportunities? Sign up for our creative opportunities email.

Abby Lessels

Abby Lessels moved to Missoula, Montana, by way of a small town in Western Massachusetts. She enjoys writing and photographing for publications like Edible, drinking Constant Comment tea, and compulsively quoting The Office.