Today Tribeca Film Institute announced the winner of this year's Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize, an annual award given to an outstanding science themed screenplay from one of the six Sloan partner film schools. This year's winner is Savannah Reich from Carnegie Mellon University, for her screenplay Deep Sea Divers of 1929. Reich was first recognized for her script with a Carnegie Mellon Sloan Screenwriting Grant in 2014.
In today's press release, the Sloan Foundation's Doron Weber said, "We are delighted to honor Deep Sea Divers of 1929, Savannah Reich’s sophisticated and affecting script about a trio of fearless inventors and explorers who pushed the frontiers of our knowledge about the ocean." TFI's Ryan Harrington concurred, saying, "We look forward to awarding more creative and aspiring screenwriters, like Savannah Reich, with funding, mentorship and professional guidance to help them to accelerate their careers. It is an exceptional time for films with an underlying science theme, and we are proud to help Savannah continue to grow into the professional storyteller that she already is.”
Reich, who is primarily a playwright, told Sloan Science and Film, "I am thrilled and a bit shocked to be selected as the Grand Jury Prize winner - Deep Sea Divers is the first screenplay I have ever written. I'm so grateful to Sloan for the continuing support. I am really looking forward to the guidance from TFI as I learn more about the industry and hopefully find a way to turn this script into a film."
Deep Sea Divers of 1929 was selected by an awards committee comprised of Franklin Leonard (Founder of The Black List); actress Rosemarie DeWitt; writer, director and producer, Cherien Dabis; cognitive neuroscientist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. Heather Berlin; and postdoctoral fellow and writer, Carl E. Schoonover.