By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

April 3, 2017 | 7 min read

The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T and The Atlantic (through its in-house content studio, Atlantic Re:think), has announced the 10 finalists for the second annual Tribeca X Award, a juried award for storytelling supported by a brand recognizing the intersection of advertising and entertainment.

Nine short films and one virtual reality project were selected from a field of 600 entries, representing the best in advertising-entertainment storytelling from the past year (January 2016-March 2017). The award highlights excellence in creative, original and authentic storytelling that is sponsored or underwritten by a brand.

The selected projects were created by acclaimed filmmakers in partnership with a wide-ranging array of brands, including Apple, Beefeater, BMW, Chanel, Diageo North America, Kenzo, Red Bull, Square, Visit Seattle, and Yeti Coolers.

The finalists include a futuristic short film with an A-list cast and action-packed driving stunts, a VR experience of an immersive play by “La Despensa” that follows the journey of Ulysses, a short film about a deaf choreographer who experiences and shares music and dance through waves of sound, five short films highlighting the creative uniqueness of Seattle, and a short film that follows a bold woman’s climb to the tops of the Seven Summits.

The selected projects can be viewed in a special section on, created by Atlantic Re:think.

The winner will be announced during the Tribeca Film Festival at a celebration and screening of the work on Monday, April 24.

“Having partnered with some of the world’s most creative brands, Atlantic Re:think is an established arbiter of standout branded content,” said Hayley Romer, SVP and publisher of The Atlantic. “It’s exciting to now have the opportunity to celebrate the best of the best across the industry – and bring this work to our audience, which has long embraced and engaged with brand storytelling.”

Tim Perell, founder of Process Media, and producer of the finalist Five by Five series for Visit Seattle said: "Process is thrilled to be a finalist for the Tribeca X Award – the other projects look amazing and we’re honored that our five unusual films are considered among them!”

Eligible projects included scripted and documentary work for film, TV, digital, social, and virtual reality and/or augmented reality, in both feature and short length. The winner will be chosen by a jury that includes Joanna Coles, CCO at Hearst; Jae Goodman, CCO and co-head of marketing of CAA; Tim (Heidecker) & Eric (Wareheim), comedy duo and directors at Prettybird, founders of Abso Lutely; Jenna Lyons, president and creative director of J.Crew; Eli Pariser, CEO of Upworthy; and a proprietary A.I. solution developed by Celtra, providing quantitative creative analysis based on performance data and insights from hundreds-of-thousands of video advertising campaigns powered by Celtra’s creative management platform.

The 10 finalists for the Tribeca X Award are:


Brand: Beefeater

Directed by Jesús Hernandez NYSU, Future Lighthouse

BeefeaterXO is an interactive experience inside the creative mind of the 3-Michelin-starred chef Dabiz Muñoz, where the viewer travels through four different cities in order to find the secrets behind the most avant-garde cocktails ever made.

Chris Fonseca: Keep It Moving

Brand: Diageo North America

Directed by Zachary Heinzerling

Deaf people are anything but disabled, and this film featuring the real story of deaf dancer Chris Fonseca proves it. Born profoundly deaf, Chris challenges the perceptions of disability as a social barrier by teaching his deaf students how to express themselves on the dance floor, inspiring self-confidence within them and pure awe in all of us.

The Escape

Brand: BMW

Directed by Neill Blomkamp

BMW Films were a groundbreaking series of eight short, online films released in 2001, starring Clive Owen as an enigmatic driver for hire who used a BMW for his thrilling exploits. To celebrate the film’s 15th anniversary, “The Escape” is a modern homage to the originals, with Clive Owen reprising his role as the driver and also starring Jon Bernthal and Dakota Fanning.

Five by Five

Brand: Visit Seattle

Directed by Terence Nance, Martha Stephens, Clea DuVall, Drew Christie and Ian Cheney

Five films by Five Filmmakers each exploring and celebrating Seattle through the lens of one of the five senses. Each film was conceived and directed by a celebrated independent filmmaker. The films cross genres including documentary, experimental, animation and scripted.

For Every Kind of Dream: Yassin Falafel

Brand: Square

Directed by Mohammad Gorjestani

Yassin Terou fled Syria with a suitcase and a few hundred dollars. He knew no one in Knoxville, Tennessee, and he spoke no English, but he went there to rebuild his life and pursue his dream of perfect falafel anyway. Every business starts with a dream, and Square exists to serve them — every kind of dream. “Yassin Falafel” is Square's first short film chronicling their remarkable sellers and their tireless pursuit of their dreams.


Brand: Chanel

Directed by Alma Har'el

JellyWolf is a feminine-spiritual coming of age story told through notes of scent. Chanel N°5 L’Eau speaks to a new woman, who are often portrayed as beautiful creatures whose only desire is to be desired. This film is to inspire young women to remember their voice and to see each other.

Mavens: Jocelyn Cooper

Brand: Red Bull

Directed by Salima Koroma

Jocelyn Cooper left the top of music industry to start a movement. She is a partner in Afropunk, a festival that unifies people through music, film, skate, and art. She inspires perseverance and empowers an underserved population, and that's what makes her of a true maven.

The Realest Real

Brand: Kenzo

Directed by Carrie Brownstein

With social media ever more present in our lives, blurring the barriers between ordinary and insta-famous, Kenzo invited writer and director Carrie Brownstein to take a look at the invisible digital walls that separate us from our favorite stars, and the curious conceit of a dream come true.


Brand: Apple

Directed by Sean Kusanagi

As the first Bangladeshi to scale the Seven Summits, Wasfia Nazreen doesn't just climb for the thrill; she climbs for the women of her country. Lyrical and poetic, this short documentary explores what it means to pursue the unknown.

Yeti Presents

Brand: Yeti Coolers

John Shocklee: A Fairy Tale

Directed by Ryan Heffernan and Grayson Schaffer

Refusing to act his age has worked out well for John Shocklee. The 52-year-old has devoted his life to doing what he loves. Powered by old school hip hop and fresh powder, Shocklee makes turns down untamed slopes with the freedom of a man half his age.

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