The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival is still a couple days away from kicking off, but in lower Manhattan on Monday, one of the films set to premiere in the 2020 edition of the festival was selected.
Kate Tsang’s Marvelous and the Black Hole was selected as the winner of the third annual Untold Stories live pitch event, giving Tsang a $1 million grant from AT&T to go toward her film and earning the pic a slot in next year’s fest. Marvelous will also run across AT&T’s video platform.
Tsang’s coming-of-age comedy, which impressed a greenlight committee of industry leaders and film experts who selected this year’s winner after hearing pitches from five finalists, follows teenage delinquent Sammy Ko as she and a surly children’s party magician embark on an adventure that helps her grapple with her tumultuous home life and inner demons.
“We are convinced that the five filmmakers we heard today will all be making their films — because of their determination, forthrightness and vision,” said AT&T communications chief brand officer Fiona Carter on behalf of the greenlight committee. “We were struck by Kate Tsang’s command of story and subject. We admire her film’s universal appeal and singular imaginative concept. It has a lively spirit, a nuanced balance of humor and emotion, and is a perspective you don’t normally see on screen.”
This year’s committee included Carter, director-producer Haifaa Al Mansour, HBO Films president Len Amato, actor-director-producer LisaGay Hamilton, actor-director-producer Katie Holmes, director-producer Mira Nair and actor-producer Kal Penn.
AT&T and Tribeca will work with Tsang on a distribution strategy. The other four finalists each received $10,000.
Additionally, finalist Kaliya Warren won the film fan favorite award, based on Twitter votes, which gives her an additional $40,000 grant to produce her movie Expatriates. More information about this year’s all-female group of filmmakers selected as this year’s finalists is available here.
Last year’s Untold Stories winner, Lucky Grandma by Sasie Sealy and Angela Cheng, will have its world premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival, which is set to run Wednesday through May 5 in New York.