Cannes Lions

Untold Stories

COURAGEOUS STUDIO, New York / AT&T / 2022

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Case Film

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Our mission was to find an original way to engage our audience and bring attention to AT&T’s efforts to recognize excellence and achievement for people of ethnic diversity both within its ranks and outside. Partnering with the Tribeca Film Festival, Untold Stories was a way to put that excellence on full display.

Loren Hammonds, VP of Immersive Programming at the Tribeca Film Festival said of this focus at Tribeca: “We are aiming to uplift and amplify the voices of today’s most exciting Black storytellers, artists, and creators and also to pay homage to those who have come before them.”

The Untold Stories program and one of the resulting film series “Forces of Change,” were a key part of bringing that focus to life.

Idea

Untold Stories was a partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival and AT&T to put underrepresented talent in roles as filmmakers, producers, and production crew. Part of Untold Stories was a series called Forces of Change, a two-part series with AT&T highlighting Bell Labs during the 1970s and 1980s. We look at how initiatives started then are continuing to impact today. And to drive more impact across the US, AT&T funded community-led initiatives across the US that give young people with an interest in entertainment the opportunity to be both in front and behind the camera.

Strategy

The target audience of Untold Stories was a broad range of viewers: adults 18-49 years old, interested in Civil Rights, technology, and diverse storytelling. We also built upon AT&T’s continued efforts to promote racial, gender, and economic equity by funding community led organizations, chosen by their employees, to help inner-city kids build up the experience needed to get jobs in the entertainment industry.

Execution

With Untold Stories, we removed the barriers to creation for ethnically diverse luminaries by giving them the funds, mentorship, and resources to turn their ideas into thought-provoking stories used to inspire their communities and beyond. Unlike other filmmaking development programs, the participants walked away with a finished film they could promote and use to build their careers.

In addition to the resulting films, perhaps the biggest impact is that many of the program participants are now working in the industry. Untold Stories gave them the boost they needed to have their talent recognized and put to work.

Outcome

Most prominently, the Untold Stories partnership with Tribeca Film Festivals just premiered its first film in theaters nationwide.The films have generated 34 million impressions and 1.4 million video views. These films also outperformed the VCR benchmarks and showed 100% positive sentiment on Facebook. The initiative has provided over 2,300 scholarships worth a total of $11.5M.

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