The 2013 Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Filmmaker Prize has been awarded to Newton’s Laws of Emotion (screenwriter Eugene Ramos and producer Andeep Singh). The project will receive a $10,000 cash prize to support the completion of the film. Newton’s Laws of Emotion follows a young Isaac Newton as he pursues the affections of a headstrong Prussian princess and seeks to uncover the principles of love using his new system of mathematics.
UCLA student Barnett Brettler is the recipient of the 2013 Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize for his screenplay Waking Hours. This annual prize celebrates the winning script from Sloan’s six film school partners—AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, and USC. The prize includes a $30,000 grant plus mentorship from scientific experts and film industry professionals, networking opportunities, industry exposure, and an extra $20,000 toward the production of the film. Waking Hours tells the story of a UK border agent who must cross into an infected zone to find the woman he loves.
Kino Lorber has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Andrew Bujalski’s comedy Computer Chess, winner of the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. CEO of Kino Lorber, Richard Lorber, said of the film, “We’re going to have a blast bringing this to cross-over audiences of geeky tech lovers, young and old, as well as the indie art house crowd, who will never have seen anything quite like Andrew’s unprecedented fusion of form and content here.” Andrew Bujalski was awarded the Sloan Development Fund at the Tribeca Film Institute. Computer Chess opens in July at Film Forum in New York City. Read a Cinema Scope interview with Andrew Bujalski here.
March 14, 2013 What can Night of the Living Dead (1968) tell us about the inner workings of the zombie brain? How did artificial intelligence research inform the “character” of HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)? These are just some of the subjects addressed in Science on Screen, a lively and inventive national [...]
108 Media and Paladin have jointly acquired worldwide rights to Valley of Saints, winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and recently nominated for Best Cinematography at the Independent Spirit Awards. Congratulations to the director, Musa Syeed, an NYU graduate who lives in the Museum’s neighborhood Astoria, Queens. Valley of Saints is Syeed’s first feature film—he previously co-produced Bronx Princess (Official Selection, Berlinale) and A Son’s Sacrifice (Best Documentary Short, Tribeca), with Valley cinematographer Yoni Brook.
Jenny Deller’s Future Weather—winner of the 2012 Hamptons Sloan Feature Prize—makes its New York premiere on March 1 at reRun Gastropub Theater in Brooklyn, followed by a discussion with special guests including Deller and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Doron Weber. Screenings continue through March 7 with nightly discussions with experts exploring some of the film’s key themes—science, youth empowerment, climate action, and independent filmmaking.
The 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the Sundance Film Festival has been awarded to Computer Chess. The comedy, set during a 1980s computer chess tournament, was written and directed by Andrew Bujalski, one of the key “Mumblecore” directors whose acclaimed previous films include Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation. The jury presented the award to the film for its “off-beat and formalistically adventurous exploration of questions of artificial intelligence and human connections.”
The winner of the 2012 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival is Jenny Deller’s Future Weather, a coming-of-age drama that explores the sorrow of saying goodbye to what we love, featuring Lili Taylor, Amy Madigan, and newcomer Perla Haney-Jardine. A panel will follow the screening on October 5, 2012.
Applications for the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund are open until November 5, 2012. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, in partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute, provides funding for narrative features that are scientifically relevant, accurate, and exciting. For more information, visit Rules and Regulations and FAQs.
Applications are open until September 7, 2012 for the Sundance Institute and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Commissioning Grant and Fellowship. Both provide a cash award to support further development of a screenplay and to retain science advisors, along with overall creative and strategic feedback throughout development.
Consider the maverick volcanologists in Journey to the Center of the Earth and Dante’s Peak—these earth-based scientists are a romanticized lot, often portrayed in movies backpacking through forbidding terrain and fighting against the wilds of nature.
Anya Meksin was awarded a Sloan Production grant at Columbia in 2009 for Temma. Her short film, about neuro-programmer Temma Baumgarten, who tries to complete a computation model of her own mind while her body succumbs to a degenerative disease, will premiere on May 6, 2012 as part of the Columbia University Film Festival.
Three projects were chosen to receive $150,000 and creative support from TFI, with the goal to help them at any stage move towards completion: Casey Cooper Johnson’s Unmanned (the short version of this film will premiere at this year’s Festival.), Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess, and Dara Bratt’s Resonance.
Jenny Deller was awarded the Sloan Producer’s Grant at Film Independent in 2009 and the Sloan Development Fund at the Tribeca Film Institute in 2010 for Future Weather. Her feature will be screened as part of the Tribeca Talks on April 29, 2012, with writer/director Deller, producer Kristin Fairweather, actresses Lili Taylor, Amy Madigan, and Perla Haney-Jardine in person, and more.
Ross Cohen’s Willowbrook was awarded a Sloan Production grant at USC in 2010 and is now featured in the official selection at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. Based on true events, the short film tells the story of a young pediatrician in the 1960s who discovers that the Willowbrook State School in Staten Island is conducting Army-funded experiments on developmentally disabled children.
Grainger David is the recipient of the 2012 TFI Alfred P. Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize for a Science-Themed Screenplay. He will receive a $50,000 grant for his feature script Penny Stock, which was selected from the winning scripts at six leading film schools participating in Sloan’s National Film Program.
The festival returns with more than 40 events (May 30–June 3, 2012). The Museum of the Moving Image’s two programs explore the complex relationship between people and machines. The screenings of The Creator and Sloan winner Robot and Frank will be followed by discussions with experts in artificial intelligence and robotics.
To celebrate the ’80s classic, Tribeca Film Festival will have a special screening and conversation with director John Badham, actress Ally Sheedy, Bitcoin Technical Lead Gavin Andresen and William D. Casebeer, PhD, Program Manager, Defense Sciences Office at DARPA (USAF, retired), sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on Saturday, April 28, 2012.
A robot helps an elderly man in the “near future” of upstate New York; a rural boatman in the lake region of conflict-ravaged Kashmir learns about environmental sustainability.
Robot and Frank, directed by Jake Schreier and written by Christopher Ford, and Valley of Saints, directed and written by Musa Syeed, have each been awarded the 2012 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize and will split the $20,000 cash award by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The names of 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant recipients for screenwriting and production have been announced by Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, and USC, and added to our website. You can learn more about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation film school program here. You can also join the Sloan Community on Facebook.
Submissions are now open for the 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival’s Screenwriter Lab. In collaboration with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Lab seeks screenplays that explore science, technology, mathematics, invention, and engineering in fresh and innovative ways. Details on the application process and information on past grantees is available here.
Gathering together all the winners of Sloan awards over the past three years, the Sloan Film Summit 2011 serves to bring the finest and brightest filmmakers together for three days and nights in New York, serve them lots of wine and appetizers, and encourage them to encourage and inspire each other. For a screenwriter, the sensation is that of having fuel thrown over our small flame of a script.
My final impression is that the Sloan Summit is a wonderful, vital gathering. The content of the panels and screenings was excellent, and the chance to meet like-minded filmmakers in such a welcoming, well-catered environment was incredible, really perhaps the best part of the weekend. In fact, I’m already looking forward to next year.
Film Independent has announced the 11 filmmakers and 9 projects selected for its 11th annual Producers Lab. The 5th annual Sloan Producers Grant went to Brent Hoff and Malcom Pullinger, who are participating in the Producers Lab with their feature film project El Diablo Rojo. They will receive a $25,000 development grant.
The Cognitive Science Movie Index is a broad list of movies that showcase various themes in the Cognitive Sciences, compiled for entertainment and reference purposes. It was first created in 2005 in the Department of Cognitive Science at UCSD. If you feel that a film has been omitted, you can recommend a movie.
The winner of the 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival is Lisa Robinson and Annie Howell’s Small, Beautifully Moving Parts. In this charming comedy, a pregnant "freelance technologist" questions her readiness to become a parent. Passionate about technology, Sarah is at a loss when faced with questions lacking an empirical solution.
Christopher Ford was awarded a Sloan Production grant at NYU in 2003 for Robot and Frank now an comedy directed by Jake Schreier, featuring Liv Tyler, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon, Liev Schreiber (as the voice of the robot), and Frank Langella. The story follows Frank, an old man who is starting to forget things. One day his son brings him a special surprise, a caretaker robot.
The Sundance Institute and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation offer an annual commissioning grant, including a cash award, a stipend for a science advisor, and creative support, to a science or technology-themed narrative project at an early stage (full treatment or screenplay draft). Deadline for submissions is September 9, 2011. More details can be found here.
On Friday June 3rd, the Museum of the Moving Image will host a special screening of Another Earth for the World Science Festival, followed by a Sloan Science and Film Dialogue with Brit Marling (Co-writer and Actress), Mike Cahill (Director and Co-writer), and Brian Greene (Columbia University).
The 4th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival will be held in New York City from October 14-21. Submissions are open until August 15. Films compete for the $2,500 Nature Scientific Merit Award, the $1,000 Nature Audience Award, and the $1,000 AAAS Scientist Award. The opening night will be held at the Museum of Moving Image.
The Tribeca Film Institute and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have awarded $140,000 to six projects that dramatize science and technology. Out of a total of 121 applicants, the recipients will receive year-round mentorship from science experts and members of the film industry with the goal to help their projects move towards completion.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is sponsoring three events during the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival: a tenth anniversary screening of A Beautiful Mind; a celebration of the projects selected to receive $140,000 in grants from the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, at the TFI Awards Ceremony; and a presentation of the Sloan Works-in-Progress, featuring select scenes from grantee projects.
The names of 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant recipients for screenwriting and production have been announced by Carnegie Mellon University, NYU, UCLA, and USC, and added to our website. You can learn more about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation film school program here. You can also join the Sloan Community on Facebook.
The 2011 Sloan Prize at the Sundance Film Festival has been awarded to Another Earth, directed by Mike Cahill and co-written by Cahill and Brit Marling. The sci-fi drama was selected “for its original use of a subtly rendered scientific concept—the sudden appearance of an alternate Earth where everyone may be living parallel lives and destinies—to explore the themes of remorse and forgiveness.”
Film Independent has awarded its 4th annual Sloan Producers Grant to Nicholas Bruckman for his feature film project Valley of Saints. Written and directed by Musa Syeed and produced by Bruckman, Valley of Saints tells the story of a young Kashmiri boatman who tries to flee his war-torn, environmentally devastated homeland.
The Hamptons and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation presented the 2010 Feature Film Prize to Jeremy Sim’s war drama, Beneath Hill 60, a true story of Australian mining engineers instrumental in changing the course of World War I. Visit the film website for more information on when you can see it in a theater near you.
The tagline of Christopher Nolan’s new blockbuster Inception claims that “the dream is real.” But is the science? Anthony Kaufman talks to dream scholars about lucid dreaming and recent developments in dream research. Read more at our sister site Moving Image Source.
The Sloan Foundation and the Tribeca Film Institute will present a 10th anniversary screening of Christopher Nolan’s Memento on Saturday, April 24, followed by a panel discussion featuring actors Guy Pearce and Joe Pantoliano, writer Jonathan Nolan, neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin, and psychology professor William Hirst. Read more about Memento and memory at Moving Image Source.
The new BBC documentary Life, the follow-up to the hugely successful Planet Earth, offers unique access to nature through state-of-the-art innovations that reveal behavior invisible to the human eye. Read more about the technology and the spectacle of Life at Moving Image Source.
Transcendent Man, a documentary about the inventor Ray Kurzweil, raises questions about the science of artificial intelligence. Anthony Kaufman asks, how far are we from the Singularity and a future of superhuman machines?
Diane Bell’s Obselidia, the story of an encyclopedia salesman, a film projectionist, and a reclusive scientist, won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The prize, which carries a $20,000 cash award, is presented annually to an outstanding feature focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist as a major character.
In revealing the all-too-human aspects of Charles Darwin’s life, the new movie Creation explodes the stereotype of the cold, closed-off scientist. John Anderson talks to John Collee, the doctor-turned-novelist and screenwriter who wrote the film.
Adam, a love story between an engineer with Asperger’s Syndrome and a woman who moves into his building, won the Sloan Prize at Sundance and is currently in theaters. Anthony Kaufman talks to writer-director Max Mayer about the process of creating a romantic leading man with this little-understood neurological disorder.
Max Mayer’s Adam, a love story between a man with Asperger’s Syndrome (Hugh Dancy) and a woman who moves into his building (Rose Byrne), won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was selected “for its credible and moving portrayal of an engineer with Asperger’s Syndrome whose passion for science helps him in his struggle to achieve a meaningful relationship.”
The Sloan Film Summit introduced grant winners to scientists, scientists to film professionals, film professionals to budding filmmakers and playwrights, in a kind of melding effort that mirrored the Sloan mission itself—the integration of an accurate and engaging portrayal of science in the popular arts.
Writer-director Alex Rivera and co-writer David Riker discuss their Sloan award-winning feature, Sleep Dealer, a mix of sci-fi speculation and social realism.
Writer and director Leeson, winner of a Sloan award for Teknolust (2002), discusses her new feature, a drama-documentary hybrid that chronicles the ongoing case of Steve Kurtz, an art professor and activist who became a bioterrorism suspect while working on a project on genetically modified food.
Danny Boyle’s new film, about a manned mission to the dying sun, borrows its plot from cutting-edge particle physics and was made with the help of a leading experimental physicist. But how plausible is it?
The science of robotics has developed at a rapid clip. But the most realistic robots can still be found in the science fiction classics of the ’70s and ’80s, not in the fanciful likes of Transformers.
An interview with David Freeman, whose A First Class Man is this year’s winning screenplay in the Tribeca/Sloan Screenplay Development Program. A First Class Man examines the life of Indian mathematician and untutored genius Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887–1920).
Every episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation deals with the use of science in law enforcement. A member of the TV show’s writing staff offers an inside look at how real science is depicted on the hit series.
Hollywood embraced the biopic in the heyday of the studio system, and many early films in the genre portray the lives of well-known research scientists. The genesis of these early biopics shed light on the history of entertainment and popular science in the 1930s and ’40s.
Satoshi Kon’s animated feature Paprika concerns a sleep researcher whose alter ego investigates criminal cases by entering her subject’s dreams. David Schwartz moderates this discussion with Harvard scientist Dr. Robert Stickgold, renowned for his work on sleep and dreaming, and film scholar Gilberto Perez, author of The Material Ghost.
The Fountain, a Sloan prizewinner at the 2006 Hamptons International Film Festival, tells the story of a doctor trying to cure his wife’s cancer. Aronofksy and his writing partner Handel, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, discuss how they balance their interest in science with the demands of cinematic storytelling.
The directing-producing team of Howard and Grazer has made more than 25 films since they founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986. They discuss their collaborative working process and movies, including Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind, two of the most popular recent films that depict the lives and work of scientists.
Breaking into Hollywood as a writer is hard, and for writers attracted to stories inspired by science or mathematics, it can feel impossible. Screenwriter Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz offers a personal account of the 2005 Sloan Film Summit.
The key to making a compelling movie about science is often to focus on the scientist as much as on the scientific process. Bill Condon’s Kinsey, winner of the 2004 Sloan prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival, incorporates the scientist’s investigative process into its narrative.
Does a film about alternative explanations for the creation of life undermine biologists’ accepted theory of evolution? And is a science museum justified in refusing to screen such a film?
Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man represents the culmination of many of the filmmaker’s longstanding themes: a fascination with madness, the use of the natural environment as protagonist, and the questioning of man’s fundamental relationship to nature.
Shane Carruth’s debut, an ingenious sci-fi thriller about a fraternity of innovators who develop a time-travel technology, won the Grand Jury prize and the Sloan prize at Sundance in 2004. David Schwartz moderates this discussion with writer-director Carruth, independent film producer George van Buskirk, and Jerome Swartz, inventor of bar-code scanning technology.