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The AT&T Entertainment Project began by seeking imaginative, undiscovered short films from aspiring filmmakers and students.

Over the course of six weeks, filmmakers from all across the United States submitted their short films to tell their stories and have a chance at a piece of $43,000 and have their film shown on DIRECTV's AUDIENCE network.

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AT&T 2017 Entertainment Project Official Selections

Professional Selections:

Student Selections:

Winner AT&T Entertainment Project


Caleb Hermann - Director of Dispatch

Inspiration can come from the most unassuming places. After reading about a 911 call, Director Caleb Hermann was inspired to create a story to bring awareness to the emergency communications/dispatch community. As Caleb researched deeper into what dispatchers face daily, he knew their story needed to be told. Today, dispatch centers from around the country have contacted Caleb to use Dispatch as a training tool, due to the realistic portrayal of his characters.

Dispatch is a thriller/docu-drama that focuses on a rookie 911 dispatcher who receives a bizarre phone call, plunging him into a horrific waiting game. The short by Caleb Hermann is based on a true story.

Learn more about Caleb Hermann and watch the AT&T 2017 Entertainment Project Winning entry, Dispatch.

Interview with Caleb Hermann, Director of Dispatch

AT&T 2017 Entertainment Project Winner, Dispatch

Official Selection AT&T Entertainment Project

Para Mi Mamá – A Letter to My Birth Mother

Caleb Hermann - Director of Dispatch

Ever since Director Lexi Hiland learned her Foster mother existed, she wondered if there was more of a story to tell. It wasn’t until Lexi was interning as an Editor with a documentary company in New York City that a fellow Director gave her the needed push to create her story as a short film.

Para Mi Mamá – A Letter to My Birth Mother is a documentary that follows the adoption of Lexi Hiland and a journey that led her to unexpectedly meet the woman who was responsible for saving her life. Twenty-three years after Lexi was abandoned at a hospital in Colombia, she returned to look for her birth mother. However, on a single day back in Colombia, her path led her to her foster mother — a woman she never knew existed. Her foster parent kept her baby picture and first pair of shoes dating back to 1992 hoping to one day see Lexi again. Spoken in the words that so many adoptees wish they could convey, comes the combination of Lexi’s redemptive story, threaded with her work as a filmmaker.

The short film is currently in post-production on its way to becoming a feature-length documentary. Lexi plans to use Para Mi Mamá to promote the feature-length film, La Lotería de la Vida (The Lottery of Life).

Learn more about Lexi Hiland and watch Para Mi Mamá - A Letter to My Birth Mother below.

Interview with Lexi Hiland, Director of Para Mi Mamá - A Letter to My Birth Mother

AT&T 2017 Entertainment Project Official Selection, Para Mi Mamá - A Letter to My Birth Mother

Official Selection AT&T Entertainment Project

Bug Man

Iqbal Ahmed - Director of Bug Man

Iqbal Ahmed wanted to make a really visual short documentary that would feel strongly tonal and immersive to build an intense world through the photography, music and sound design. Visually, Bug Man is simple but unrelenting--compounding the intensity with slow push-ins, and then break into a magical world with the insects. Ahmed wanted thee bugs to be characters themselves. Which meant getting up close with a macro lens and getting over our fears of creepy crawly things!

Bug Man is a short documentary that peeks into the creepy and misunderstood world of Steven Kutcher. A strange child, Steven turned to insects for companionship. You'll never guess how that evolved. The short documentary by Iqbal Ahmed explores how one man found friends in the unlikeliest of places.

Learn more about Iqbal Ahmed and watch Bug Man below.

Interview with Iqbal Ahmed, Director Bug Man.

AT&T 2017 Entertainment Project Official Selection, Bug Man.

Student Winner AT&T Entertainment Project

5 Windows

Adam Cooper - Director of 5 Windows

Brothers Adam and Daniel Cooper grew up conducting simple magic tricks and learning about the great magicians of the past. The filmmakers used their hobby and set out to not only create something unique, but also to create something that questions reality through the lens of an unconventional film experience. Recent graduates from Columbia College Chicago and NYU, these brothers intend to use 5 Windows as a "proof of capability" to propel themselves toward feature films.

5 Windows is a deceptive short film intended to put the convention of "narration" on trial. Enter the mind of an eccentric assassin as he leads his respected enemy down a trail of deception and illusion. It soon becomes clear however that his rival is not the only one being deceived. The psychological thriller experiments with the relationship between sight and sound, and the idea that our perceptions are unreliable.

Learn more about the Cooper brothers and watch Five Windows below.

Interview with Adam Cooper and Daniel Cooper, Co-Directors of 5 Windows.

AT&T 2017 Entertainment Project Student Winner, 5 Windows.

Student Selection AT&T Entertainment Project


Adam Wexberg - Director of Exes

Adam Wexberg wrote and directed this film as his undergraduate thesis project at the University of Texas at Austin. His principal collaborators – DP Nickolas Grisham and Producer Paige Smith – were enrolled in the thesis class with him and the rest of the crew were comprised of UT students pursuing careers in their respective departments, all volunteering their time and energy. The cast is made up of professional actors from the Austin scene.

Exes, is a slice-of-relationship film that portrays how old wounds and hidden feeling holdup the production of a clickbait online relationship video. Wexberg wanted his characters to have real, specific histories and futures that exist outside the confines of the short drama and what we see is just a sliver of their lives unfolding.

Learn more about the exes.

Cast and crew of Exes

Cast and crew of Exes.

AT&T 2017 Entertainment Project Student Selection, Exes.

Student Selection AT&T Entertainment Project

One Good Pitch

Parker Hill - Director of One Good Pitch

Director Parker Hill met my entire team in college at New York University. She had worked with every one of the crew several times before on other various student films. Hill believes that short films are an entirely different beast than any other kind of storytelling--that you can suspend people in an idea, a moment, a feeling, a character, or a situation for five to ten minutes, and the audience will buy it because they want to see where you're going to lead them. That being said, you can't waste their time, not even for a frame. Hill finds shorts incredibly challenging to write, but sometimes the most satisfying to watch.

One Good Pitch is a short film about a son, Andrew, who hopes to reconnect with his father over a baseball catch. Hill made this short drama as her undergraduate thesis film at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. What started out as a little league movie about 'the participation trophy generation,' turned out to be the exact opposite. However, she did succeed in creating a strong scene that depicts how parenting and sports are so closely related.

Learn more about the Parker Hill and watch One Good Pitch below.

Cast and crew of One Good Pitch

Cast and crew of One Good Pitch.

AT&T 2017 Entertainment Project Student Selection, One Good Pitch.





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