AT&T and Tribeca have chosen “Color Book” as the winner of the 2023 AT&T Presents: Untold Stories event. Writer/director David Fortune and producer Kiah Clingman competed amongst four other finalists to win $1 million and receive year-round mentorship to produce their feature film.
The film concerns a devoted father learning to raise his son — who has Down Syndrome — following the passing of the family matriarch. While adjusting to their new reality, the duo embark on a journey through Metro Atlanta to attend their first baseball game. The Atlanta-set picture is like Fortune’s prior films in that it finds power in normalizing the themes of compassion and intimacy set in inner-city communities.
The event took place at this year’s Tribeca Festival giving emerging filmmakers including David Fortune, Maria Mealla, Miguel Angel Caballero, Moon Molson and Selyna Warren and Marissa Read, the opportunity to present their stories to an expert jury comprised of renowned industry talents and professionals, such as actor Derek Luke (“Antwone Fisher”), Mo McRae (“The First Purge”), Michael Michelle (“How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days”), AT&T Chief Marketing and Growth Officer Kellyn Smith Kenny and 2021 Untold Stories Winner, for “Land of Gold,” Nardeep Khurmi.
While David Fortune took home the top honor, the four finalists were also each awarded a $15,000 grant to further develop their ideas. Untold Stories is a mentorship program between AT&T and the Tribeca Film Festival which is intended to connect rising filmmakers from underrepresented demographics with resources and support to further their craft.
“Crowning a new winner of Untold Stories is one of the most inspiring moments to be a part of. We not only get to shine a light on important, authentic, untold narratives but get to witness someone’s life and career change before our eyes,” said Kenny. “It is because of this program and our longstanding relationship with the Tribeca Festival that we are able to connect underrepresented filmmakers like David Fortune to greater possibilities and create positive impact.”
A graduate of Morehouse College and Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television, David Fortune finds purpose in capturing the themes of intimacy based in inner-city communities. Over the years, he has been selected for numerous directing fellowships such as the Village Roadshow Entertainment Emerging Talent Program, Indeed/Hillman Grad’s Rising Voices Program, Netflix/Film Independent Amplifier Fellowship, and ViacomCBS – ViewFinders Directors Program where he shadow-directed two episodes of Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.”
Fortune was also named a winner of the Netflix Content Creator’s Program for his film, “Us,” and premiered his short “Shoebox” at the Tribeca Film Festival. He is currently focused on working with non-profit organizations to raise awareness about individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities through documentary films.
I’m honored and humbled to win this award and to tell a story that represents the city of Atlanta and the disabled community,” stated David Fortune. “Thank you, AT&T and Untold Stories, for believing in the power and vision of this intimate father-son story.”
Howard Graduate. Corporate Consultant. The Underdog of Indie Filmmaking. In 2020 Kiah Clingman gave up the safety net of job security. She traded in a salary for “net 30” promises and pursued storytelling full-time. Those first few years consisted of “labor of love” projects (no pay, all passion), but the love of craft sustained her.
That pushed her in 2019 to write and produce her own SAG short, “Eavesdropping on the Elders.” That short film received 17 Official Selections, won “Best Film” in two Film Festivals, and can be seen on Revolt and Kweli TV. Through her production company, KiahCan Productions, she aims to uplift the voices of the unheard and highlight topics that are often ignored and misunderstood.
Kiah recently produced two feature films, “The Comeback” starring Taye Diggs, and “Boxed In 2,” both airing on Peacock Fall 2023. She is also a 2020 Southern Producers Lab Fellow.
“All of these untold stories offered dynamic perspectives, moved us emotionally and we believe deeply that all of these films demand to move from untold to told,” read a statement submitted by the jury. “The well-crafted presentations you shared today began to take us on a journey we wanted to keep watching. But we can only choose one.”
“After living with your scripts, reviewing the supplemental materials and experiencing today’s pitches… we’ve chosen our 2023 winner. This film is an epically beautiful story powered by an endlessly talented filmmaker with a crystal clear vision. The green light committee loved the purity, artistry, and tenderness of our winning film’s vision.”
Past recipients of this award have garnered notable success on the festival circuit, appearing at over 75 festivals around the world, including this year’s U.S. Narrative Competition at Tribeca. The 2021 winner “Land of Gold” has appeared at 15 festivals and secured twelve awards since its debut at last year’s Tribeca Festival. Untold Stories films have also been granted widespread exposure on all other major streaming platforms.
More information is available at ATT.com/pages/untold_stories.