Thirteen new films have recently been awarded grants–ranging from $10,000 to $100,000–by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's partnership with the Sundance Institute, SFFILM, and NYU Tisch. The projects are as follows; all are still in script stage. Check back with us for news and development updates as they move towards production.
Sundance Institute Lab Fellow:
Alyssa Loh's CHARIOT: 1958. In a purported attempt to “redeem” nuclear weapons, the American government embarks on a plan to blast a new harbor into the Alaskan coastline using five thermonuclear bombs — one of them 10 times the size of the weapon dropped on Hiroshima. A Native village next to ground zero must join forces with a young American scientist to face down the government and save their home from destruction. Inspired by true events.
SFFILM Science in Cinema Fellows:
Kiran Deol's TIDAL DISRUPTION: A starry-eyed graduate student desperately struggles to maneuver between her passion for astronomy and her charismatic mentor’s advances in this claustrophobic psychological thriller.
Jon K. Jones's LET THERE BE LIGHT: Based on the true story of African American inventor, draftsman, scientist, poet, and American Civil War veteran Lewis H. Latimer, who struggles to balance love and scientific curiosity amidst the turn of the 20th century in the United States.
SFFILM Sloan Stories of Science Development Winners:
William Moran's START A FIRE: A Calistoga artist runs an art exhibit based on the DNA sampling of his community. Unknown to the locals, he is also uploading their DNA profiles to an ancestry website with the hope of identifying a serial arsonist who started the fire that killed his wife. His actions unleash police investigations, secret DNA collections, and suspicion throughout the community.
Isabel Shill's SORT YOU OUT: It’s the Swinging Sixties in East London. A spinster opens a marriage bureau and enlists the help of the chip shop lady to design the world’s first computerized matchmaking machine.
Shawn Snyder and Jason Begue's THE FUTURIST: THE FUTURIST depicts the rise and maddening descent of a scientist once on the cutting edge but now on the outer fringes. When the scientific community abandons him, a neurologist takes matters into his own brain—using himself for cyborgian research. Recovering from experimental brain surgery, he embarks on a journey of the mind that reaches back into his personal and professional obsessions and forward into man’s distant future, all in search of connection and a lasting legacy.
Tasha Van Zandt's BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA: A world-renowned marine biologist risked his reputation and welfare on his lifelong obsessive hunt for the sea’s most elusive creature. Now, retired and far from his life of adventure, he enters a new chapter after being told he will soon lose his eyesight due to a rare degenerative condition. In a race against time, he must decide if he is willing to risk it all again and embark on one last expedition to capture the giant squid.
NYU Sloan Screenwriting Grantees:
Greg Swong's THE PRINTER: Bi Sheng is a peasant and engineering genius living in the capital city of Bianjing. Desperate to be part of the aristocracy, Bi Sheng lies about his class status in order to secure a job as head of the failing Office of Printing. However, when he comes up with the revolutionary idea of movable type, Bi Sheng enters the dangerous world of Song Dynasty politics, where success means everlasting glory, and failure means an untimely death.
Asia Khmelova's COSMONAUT: Best friends and colleagues, Efim and Dimitri used to be engineers at the National Rocket Factory where nowadays they make umbrellas. They try to enjoy their paycheck-to-paycheck life finding any use for their great inventive minds.
Steven Kreager's A LONG TIME AGO...: When a young and inexperienced SFX artist is hired to provide effects for his first Hollywood film, he must invent a new camera system to match the demands of the impossible-to-film screenplay: THE STAR WARS.
NYU Sloan Production Grantee:
Hasan Hadi's BLACKOUT: 14-year-old Iraqi, Ismail, is an excellent repairman and a die-hard soccer fan. When a blackout in his rural village jeopardizes watching the 1998 World Cup Final live, he must create a device that does not require external power (in time).
NYU Sloan $100,000 First Feature Prize Winner:
Tim Delaney's THE PLUTONIANS: When the redefinition of planethood threatens to exclude Pluto, a motley coalition of astronomers and outsiders conspires to defend it by any means necessary, challenging what it means to be special in an indifferent universe.
NYU Sloan Gaming Center Production Winner:
Jin-Young Sohn and Ricardo Escobar's LODDLENAUT: A creature-raising / survival game set on an ocean planet that is recovering from an ecological disaster. Players assume the role of an interstellar custodian sent to clean up a planet that has been polluted by a megacorporation. By cleaning up marine debris and reviving the local flora, players can reintroduce alien creatures called "loddles" back to their natural habitats and help them adapt to their new homes—with the ultimate goal of creating a sustainable aquatic ecosystem.