ABOUT SLOAN SCIENCE & FILM
Sloan Science & Film, an initiative of the Museum of the Moving Image, examines the intersection of science and cinema. Publishing weekly, the online publication features interviews with filmmakers and scientists, news about goings on in the world of science and film, and original articles exploring the cinematic depictions of scientific ideas and the science of film. Sloan Science & Film's "Peer Review" commissioning series publishes original writing by scientists on topics in current film and television. On the website, over 60 science-themed short films are available to stream any time, all of which have received grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for their depictions of scientific themes and characters. These films are part of the over 700 film projects that have been supported by the Sloan Foundation that Sloan Science & Film catalogues with loglines and filmmaker biographies.
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The Sloan Science & Film initiative also encompasses Museum of the Moving Image's ongoing Science on Screen series. Science on Screen combines screenings of rarely-seen films with conversations between scientists and filmmakers. Films span from the silent era through those made for the Internet; subjects range from seahorses to robotic clones. The series has featured the work of such filmmmakers as Isabella Rossellini, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Barbara Hammer, and Alex Rivera, who have discussed topics including marine organisms, reproductive biology, and human-robot interactions with scientists including Mandë Holford, Fabien Cousteau, and Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello.
To directly support filmmakers, the Sloan Science & Film initiative administers the Sloan Student Grand Jury and Discovery Prizes, which celebrate two outstanding feature film or scripted series screenplays annually—from those nominated by twelve top graduate film programs—that integrate science or technology themes and characters into a realistic, compelling, and timely story. Two winners, selected by a jury of esteemed film and science professionals, receive a $20,000 prize and are provided industry exposure, feedback, and year-round mentorship from a science advisor and film industry professional. These prizes aim to support film development and advance the careers of diverse, emerging filmmakers interested in science and technology as they transition out of graduate school and into the film industry.
Sloan Science & Film has published two freely available education guides to short and feature science-related films. All of these films have been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for their depiction of scientific themes and characters.
The Sloan Science & Film Short Film Teacher's Guide
is a guide to 50 short, science-related films that can be streamed on this website or our Vimeo channel. Each film is indexed by scientific subject matter, correlated with National Next Generation Science Standards, and offers discussion questions as well as vetted links to scientific resources for further engagement. The Guide can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF.
The Sloan Science & Film Feature Film Companion Guide
accompanies 46 science-based feature films (such as Hidden Figures
) catalogued by scientific subject matter, correlated for age appropriateness, and accompanied by discussion questions and vetted resources for continued engagement. The Companion Guide can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
has been awarding production and screenwriting grants to filmmakers since 1997. The Sloan Film Program aims to influence the next generation of filmmakers to tackle science and technology themes and characters, to increase visibility for feature films that depict this subject matter, and to develop new work that can be produced and released theatrically.
The Foundation gives annual screenwriting and production grants to students at six of the nation's leading film schools: the American Film Institute; Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama; Columbia University School of the Arts; NYU Tisch School of the Arts; University of California, Los Angeles's School of Theater, Film and Television; and the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. Sloan Science & Film hosts the only comprehensive catalogue of these film projects.
The Sloan Foundation develops feature-length science-themed screenplays through partners such as the the Sundance Institute, the Tribeca Film Institute, SFFILM, the Black List, the Athena Film Festival, and Film Independent. The Foundation also awards annual Science and Technology Feature Film Prizes and has honored such films as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
, Grizzly Man
, I Origins
, The Imitation Game
, Marjorie Prime
, Hidden Figures
, and The Martian
The Sloan Foundation has supported more than 600 film projects, including Andrew Bujalski's Computer Chess
, which received Sloan development funding through the Tribeca Film Institute, and won the Sloan Feature Film Prize at Sundance before opening theatrically in 2013; Robot & Frank
, originally a $20,000 Sloan production-grant winner at NYU that opened theatrically in 2012 starring Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon; Musa Syeed's Valley of Saints
, shot in Kashmir, which was awarded three Sloan development grants; Jenny Deller's Future Weather
, featuring three generations of women, which was developed through multiple Sloan grants and toured internationally as part of the American Film Showcase; Rob Meyer’s A Birder’s Guide To Everything
, which features Sir Ben Kingsley and opened theatrically in 2014; Michael Almereyda's Experimenter
, starring Peter Sarsgaard as Stanley Milgram which was awarded three Sloan grants and was distributed by Magnolia; The Man Who Knew Infinity
which received Sloan funding via two awards and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival; and The Imitation Game
, the first Sloan film to win an Oscar, which was awarded a Sloan post-production award from Tribeca and a Feature Film Prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Sloan Science & Film hosts the only comprehensive database of these 700+ film projects.