The Mentorship Program

The AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program is all about the next generation of storytellers. It pairs entertainment industry leaders with aspiring filmmakers from groups traditionally underrepresented in entertainment as they create films showcasing authentic stories. Our year one filmmakers debuted their short films on the Hello Lab channel on DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW on Dec. 1st, 2017.


Year One


Mentee Bios

Gabby Shepard Director Mentorship program

Gabrielle Shepard | Candid

Gabrielle Shepard is a Writer, Director and Producer based in Los Angeles, California. She earned an Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Television Producing at Chapman University where she also studied Screenwriting and Directing. Her projects have been programmed in various film festivals including: Austin Film Festival, Cannes Short Film Corner, Long Beach Comic Con, Cleveland International Film Festival and Pan African Film Festival. Gabby earned a B.A. in English Literature with a concentration in Film and Africana Studies at Agnes Scott College. She now pursues her passion for fresh, bold, and dynamic projects to bring to life. She’s worked at various production companies, studios and agencies in the production, marketing, and management departments. She is now in the festival circuit on her projects “Queen” and “Candid” as a part of the AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program under the mentorship of Octavia Spencer.

Neil Paik

Neil Paik | The Lost

Neil M. Paik is a filmmaker from Los Angeles. After graduating with a film degree from UCLA, where he was editor of the Daily Bruin, he filmed a documentary on the ground in the Middle East analyzing differing perspectives in the conflict zone. Since, he has worked in development and production at Warner Bros. Pictures, Color Force, and WME and as a director's assistant. As part of AT&T Hello Lab’s Mentorship program, where he was mentored by Rick Famuyiwa (DOPE), Neil wrote and directed THE LOST, a short about the events surrounding a highly publicized protest altercation that are recalled from differing points of view. THE LOST stars Suraj Sharma (LIFE OF PI), Chiké Okonkwo (THE BIRTH OF A NATION), Brent Antonello (HIT THE FLOOR), and Karen Fukuhara (SUICIDE SQUAD). The film qualified for Academy Award consideration and is currently playing festivals.

Sara Shaw

Sara Shaw | Tooth and Nail

Sara Shaw is a director and editor. Last year, she was selected to participate in the AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program, where she co-wrote, directed and edited her short film, TOOTH AND NAIL (SXSW '18), which also won the Audience Awards at Outfest '18 and at Fusion Film Festival While attending NYU's graduate film program at the Tisch School of the Arts, her film BALLARAT GHOST TOWN won the Grand Prize and Audience Award at the Fusion Film Festival. She has edited a number of feature films, including Desiree Akhavan's APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR (Sundance '14), Adam Leon's TRAMPS (Toronto '16), Theresa Rebeck's TROUBLE (SIFF '17), and Desiree Akhavan's THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST (Sundance '18 - Grand Jury Prize Winner).

Matthew Castellanos | Yoshua

Matthew Castellanos is a Mexican-American filmmaker from South Central, Los Angeles. He has produced and directed twelve digital series on artist Tyler, The Creator's network and app GOLF MEDIA. Matthew's first linear television show NUTS + BOLTS (2017) premiered on VICELAND, which he served as executive producer and director. Last year, he was one of five filmmakers in the AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program, where he was mentored by Nina Yang Bongiovi (FRUITVALE STATION). As part of the program, he wrote and directed YOSHUA, a short film about a group of outcast teens that must flee their hometown of South Central to protect their big blue alien friend from a ban against its kind. YOSHUA has screened at several prominent film festivals including Cinequest, HollyShorts Film Festival, Minneapolis International Film Festival, and won best international short film at the Manchester International Film Festival. Matthew plans to adapt YOSHUA into a scripted series.

Nefertite Nguvu | The Last Two Lovers At The End of The World

Nefertite Nguvu is a graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts, where she obtained a B.F.A in Film. Her thesis project at SVA won the award for outstanding screenplay. Nefertite is an award-winning writer/director and producer whose work includes, several narrative and documentary shorts, a host of web based programming, and a feature film entitled In The Morning which is currently available worldwide via Video on Demand. Last year, she was selected to participate in the AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program, where she was mentored by Common and wrote and directed her short film, THE LAST TWO LOVERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD.


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