The winners were selected from 31 eligible projects on the strength of their vision and filmmaking promise. The TAA Creative Promise Award comes with a prize of $12,000 for narrative, documentary, and emerging narrative and $8,500 for screenwriting. All of the filmmakers participating in the program have scripts or documentary proposals for which they are seeking funding and/or representation.
The Four winning filmmakers are:
Narrative section prize – Pete Chatmon for his current screenplay, “$Free.99,” co-written by Candice Sanchez McClaren, which tells the story of a complicated bank heist where twelve hostages quickly realize that their captor is more than he appears.
Emerging Narrative section prize – Leigh Dana Jackson for his screenplay, “The Infinite Life of Stuart Hornsley,” with producer Moira Griffin, in which the lead character Stuart Hornsley is on a mission to travel back in time to win the girl that got away.
Documentary section prize – Gemma Cubero and Celeste Carrasco for their documentary work-in-progress, “She Wants to Be A Matador,” which portrays the challenges – both physical and societal – of being a female matador.
Screenwriting section prize – Anslem Richardson for his screenplay, “Bardos,” in which two family men are forced to continuously alternate fates after a tragic car accident.
Honorable mentions were given to:
Narrative – Rodney Evans for his screenplay, “Day Dream,” set in New Orleans at the home of Buddy Bolden, the forefather of modern jazz, and Billy Strayhorn, the openly gay composer of numerous Duke Ellington tunes.
Emerging Narrative – Shawn Ku for his screenplay, “White and Rice,” with producer Christina Piovesan, which tells the story of a 14-year-old boy who, after the death of his adopted mom, moves in with his grandmother to start his life over.
Documentary – Lisa Collins and Mark Schwartzburt for their work-in-progress, “Oscar’s Comeback,” in which a small, predominantly white town in South Dakota celebrates its most famous native son, Oscar Micheaux, with a unique, “mom-and-pop” style festival.