TAA 2013 Creative Promise, Alumni Grants & Sloan Filmmaker Prize Announced

Presented at a ceremony last night, our Tribeca All Access® program announced its Creative Promise Awards and the TAA Alumni Grants. And for the first time, the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Prize was awarded to one of the current grantees from the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund program.

2013 TAA grantees, the narrative The Lobbyists, by director Terence Nance and documentary (T)ERROR (pictured above), by Lyric R Cabral, were selected from 11 current grantees based on the strength of their vision and filmmaking promise. Each project received $10,000 to help bring their films to completion. While TAA alumni grants and fellowships, which furthers our support of TFI alumni, total $90,000 in funds.

The 2013 TAA Creative Promise narrative jurors were Ruben Blades, John Forte and Tea Leoni. The award’s documentary jurors were Shola Lynch, Sol Guy and Rachel Dratch

The winner of the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Prize, Newton's Laws of Emotion (Eugene Ramos, screenwriter; Andeep Singh, producer), recevied a $10,000 cash prize that will be used to help bring the film closer to completion. The film follows a young Isaac Newton as he pursues the affections of a headstrong princess and seeks to uncover the principles of love using his new system of mathematics.

The 2013 jury members included actors Clark Middleton, Ron Livingston, Dean Winters, Helen Fisher, PhD, biological anthropologist; and John Quackenbusch, Harvard professor of computational biology and bioinformatics.

Below are more details on the Creative Promise winners and the recipients of the alumni grants/fellowships.

This year’s Tribeca All Access Creative Promise winners were:

Narrative Award Winner:
The Lobbyists
A conman with no past and a former CIA agent join forces to “lobby” politicians by blackmailing them into voting for progressive legislation.
Directed by Terence Nance; Produced by Chanelle Pearson and Andrew Corkin

Documentary Award Winner: 
(T)ERROR captures the spectacular unraveling of an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation, and the dramatic aftermath that occurs when the target of the investigation realizes that a government informant is setting him up.
Directed & Produced by Lyric R Cabral and David F Sutcliffe

Special Jury Mention (Documentary):
Time is Illmatic
Time Is Illmatic is a feature length documentary film, told through the lens of rapper NAS and his bluesman father OLU DARA, which deconstructs
Nas' indelible rap album Illmatic and the socio-economic and cultural conditions that inspired it.
Directed and Produced by One9; Produced by Erik Parker

TAA’s programming and support for alumni this year included grants and fellowships for past TAA projects in development or new works by program alumni. The following grant recipients were announced:

TAA Alumni Documentary Grants
Support made possible by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for TAA alumni that display a palpable creative vision in the execution of their story, and undertake a riveting journalistic approach in their film’s subject matter.

Turn it Around
Despite the odds being stacked against them, Joe, Deprece, and Sergio undertake the arduous process of becoming classroom teachers with grace and courage by enrolling in an ambitious experiment in public education in California. Hoping to revitalize a system and a society that has only ever failed them, Joe, Deprece, and Sergio seek to break the cycle of high teacher turnover and outsider teachers in their communities’ schools.Produced and Directed by Dawn Valadez; Produced by Katherine Saviskas

Untitled Colorado Documentary
The film follows a landmark case in Colorado, where a 6-year-old male-to-female transgender girl is banned from using the girls’ bathroom at her elementary school.   Produced and Directed by Eric Juhola; Produced by Jeremy and Randy Stulberg; Edited by Jeremy Stulberg
TAA Alumni Feature Narrative AwardsGrants to support TAA alumni that display creative vision in the execution of their scripted story and undertake a compelling cinematic, stylized, or dramatic approach to their characters.

A Pebble of Love in the Shoe of My Life
An anti-coming of age drama about a young couple figuring out love and loyalty as they organize a rally in support of immigrant rights.
Written and Directed by Hossein Keshavarz; Produced by Chad Burris

Untitled Colombia Project
A story following three women whose interlocking stories shed light on the horrific reality of sexual assault in the context of Colombia’s decades long armed conflict.
Written and Directed by Paola Mendoza; Written by Gloria La Morte; Produced by Joseph La Morte and Liz Manne

TAA On-Track Grants
Grants to further assist TAA alumni with the completion of their past TAA project or further the development of a new work-in-progress.

Evolution of a Criminal (Documentary)
Ten years after robbing a Bank of America, filmmaker Darius Monroe returns home to examine how his actions affected the lives of family, friends... and victims.
Directed by Darius Clark Monroe; Produced by Jen Gatien; Executive Produced by Spike Lee

Los Valientes (Narrative)
Struggling to find work and recover from a break-up, Felix, a gay and undocumented Mexican, leaves San Francisco for a small town in Pennsylvania where his undocumented sister promises steady work and the comfort of family.  Once there, alienated by the town's newly proposed anti-immigration law and forced into silence around his sexuality, Felix finds unexpected solace in the company of one person, his sister's husband.
Directed and written by Aurora Guerrero
TAA Adrienne Shelly Foundation Filmmaker Grant
A grant to aid in the advancement of talented women filmmakers to further their projects towards completion or distribution.

Afia Nathaniel - Director/Writer/Producer
Dukhtar (based on her TAA screenplay formerly "Neither the Veil nor the Four Walls")
A mother goes on an extraordinary journey to save her ten year old daughter from an arranged marriage.

TAA Marketing & Web Fellowship
A collaboration between TAA and Push Creative, a full service branding agency, to encourage audience development – including a newly-designed website.
Oscar’s Comeback
Through the lens of an annual mom-and-pop film festival in rural South Dakota --beleaguered amidst escalating racial and economic tensions -- witness an 8-year behind-the-scenes chronicle of how worlds collide for a motley band of dreamers, as their dwindling all-white small-town champions their unsung black ‘native son’: early 1900s homesteader-turned-unlikely-film-pioneer, Oscar Micheaux -- known to some as the “Godfather of Independent Cinema.”
Directed and Produced by Lisa Collins and Mark Schwartzburt

Tribeca Hacks TAA/Games 4 Change
Tribeca Hacks Games 
In partnership with Games 4 Change, TAA filmmakers will be selected to participate in a special game-design workshop during the Games for Change Festival in June as part of the Tribeca Hacks initiative.

TAA Packaging the Pitch Grants
Grants to support alumni who need assistance developing a visual-based pitch for their project (i.e. trailer, location shooting, sample scene).

The Odyssey of Al Sharpton (Documentary)Al Sharpton tells his story and takes us on a journey through his colorful  life – and through that journey, the viewer experiences the shifting river of American race relations and how racial politics have transformed. 
Produced and Directed by Yoruba Richen

Hound Dog (Narrative)
A 50’s heartthrob plays Russian Roulette, killing himself and the crossover dreams of R&B mogul Don Robey.  Police investigate the tragedy exposing adultery, betrayal, libel, larceny and other vices leaving the police and fans asking, “who killed Johnny Ace?”
Written and Directed by Crayton Robey; Written and Produced by Letitia Guillory

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