Three films in script-stage have won a total of $35,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of its program with Carnegie Mellon University’s graduate dramatic writing program. All three writers are also accomplished playwrights whose work has been produced around the country.

First prize went to SHEEPISH, based on the true story of a scientist studying so-called gay sheep. As writer Daniel Hirsch describes, “[the endocrinologist's] research focuses on hormonal processes that correlate with male-oriented breeding behavior and physiological differentiation in domesticated rams. However, accuracy gets thrown out the window when drunk college kids kidnap one of his sheep subjects and a media frenzy ensues.” This is the second Sloan prize that Hirsch has won. Hirsch's 2016 television pilot TRAITOROUS is based on the life of Robert Noyce, who invented the microchip.

Percy Spencer was an American inventor who specialized in radar, was employed by the military during World War II, and is best known as inventor of the microwave oven. Second prize went to Jess Honovich for her script PERCY SPENCER AND THE RADARANGE, based on Spencer’s life.

Third prize went to Whitney Rowland for her script THE BUZZBOTS. The story is about a roboticist trying to lead a kid robotics team to victory.

Stay tuned to Science & Film for more as these three scripts develop.