For the last few years, Submittable has partnered with the AT&T Film Awards to discover and celebrate emerging filmmakers. The AT&T Film Awards focus on the intersection of storytelling and technology, and each contest features different categories with various thematic and technological requirements. This year, the 6th edition of the AT&T Film Awards asked submitters to consider new forms of storytelling, futuristic films, and films exploring social good.
The winners of this spring’s AT&T Film Awards will be announced at AT&T SHAPE, a two day event in Los Angeles in June. Winners will have the opportunity to screen their films, get to know each other, and meet with mentors.
Last summer, Cameo Wood won an emerging filmmaker prize as part of the AT&T Film Awards—you can read more about her winning project here. She recently shared some thoughts with us about participating in the Awards and attending AT&T SHAPE.
How would you describe your experience at AT&T SHAPE?
SHAPE was beyond my expectations. Being on the Warner Bros. backlot itself was astonishing, but we felt like rockstars as we presented our film in front of a huge and enthusiastic audience.
At AT&T SHAPE, finalists had access to a mentoring session with director Ava DuVernay. What was that like?
Getting to meet with Ava was a life changing experience. She very clearly told us how she felt about our films, what she loved about them, and gave us all individual advice on our careers. I’ve been able to keep in touch with her, for which I am very grateful. I am currently working on some of the recommendations she gave me, and can’t wait to show her my next film.
Did you have a chance to talk with the other two winners of the Emerging Filmmaker Award, Bola Ogun and Jonah Ansell?
I had just met Bola Ogun about a month earlier, and had seen and loved her earlier film, The Water Phoenix, and I was ecstatic to meet her there as a finalist. Bola already knew Jonah, and I was happy to meet him as well. We had a very special chemistry, as we all honestly liked each other very much, and I would have been happy to have won or lost amongst such talented people. I am still friends with Bola and we talk regularly.
What advice would you give emerging filmmakers about submitting to contests?
I think people should make a film that they love and believe in first, and then find contests looking for what you’ve made. But the AT&T Film Awards were the most prestigious and valuable festival I attended, and Real Artists has been in over 200 of them.
Why should emerging filmmakers participate in a creative challenge like the AT&T Film Awards?
The AT&T Film Awards is a showcase for artists that have incredible talent and skill and that are about to break though. The mentorship was life changing and helped me focus my filmmaking career. I also made friends for life in Bola and Jonah, and it was a life-defining moment to be on stage loving every film that was presented and knowing mine was amongst them.
How has winning an award through the AT&T Film Awards affected your career?
Since winning the award, I’ve become closer friends with Bola, I’ve stayed in touch with Ava, and the awards helped me gain incredible distribution opportunities for Real Artists. I’m now following Ava’s advice and trying to follow in Bola’s footsteps as I make my first feature and begin to shadow TV directors. I can honestly say that this film festival made me a better filmmaker and person.
Interested in attending AT&T SHAPE in Los Angeles June 22-23? Register here with code SHAPEMITTABLE to waive the registration fee.
This announcement was sponsored by Submittable partner AT&T SHAPE. Interested in more creative calls and opportunities? Sign up for our creative opportunities email.