Terence Nance, Darius Clark Monroe, Yoruba Richen, Lisa Collins, Lyric R Cabral, Crayton Robey Are TAA Award Winners

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 24, 2013 9:22 PM
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"Evolution of a Criminal."

The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) announced the winners of the 10th Annual Tribeca All Access (TAA) Creative Promise Awards presented by the Time Warner Foundation at a ceremony earlier tonight. 

The Institute also announced this year’s TAA alumni grants and fellowships. The grants, all presented at tonight’s event, total over $90,000 in funds. 

TAA was created to help foster and nurture relationships between film industry executives and filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented communities. Past TAA-supported films have gone on to premiere at premier film festivals all over the country, received distribution deals and garnered critical acclaim.

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

The hundreds of filmmakers who have participated in our Tribeca All Access program over the past ten years make up a very strong community of artists,” said Beth Janson, Executive Director of TFI.  “We are grateful to all of our partners for helping us continue our support of these diverse voices and help bring stories of their communities to life.

Look for individual highlights of Diaspora projects in future posts. In the meantime, this year’s Tribeca All Access Creative Promise winners are:

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

(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 Awards

Grants 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

During this year’s Tribeca Film Festival (April 17-28), TFI filmmakers from TAA participated in one-on-one industry meetings on Tuesday, April 23 and Wednesday, April 24 to network with film industry executives, potential investors, development executives, producers and agents.

TAA is made possible  with major support from the Time Warner Foundation and additional support from, Heineken, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), New York State council on the Arts (NYSCA), The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The National Endowment forthe Arts.
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