SFFILM's Sloan Stories of Science Development Fund has chosen two screenwriters–Christopher Au and Jonathan Sethna–to be the 2021 recipients of a $10,000 prize and a two-day development retreat that SFFILM organizes. To qualify for the Sloan Stories of Science Development Fund, feature film screenwriters must cite inspiration or directly adapt a story from a pre-selected sourcebook of recent scientific discovieries.
Christopher Au, whose previous work includes writing, directing, and producing the Amazon Prime comedy series BULGE BRACKET, won for his feature film AIRBORNE. The film follows a group of research scientists trying to counter prevailing narratives about COVID-19 and convince the public that the virus is airborne. Jonathan Sethna, a writer who focuses on technological breakthroughs, won for his feature FISHES & PHAGES, about an outbreak of antibiotic resistant Vibrio Bacteria threatening Long Island fisheries.
Previous winners of SFFILM's Sloan Stoires of Science Development Fund include Shawn Snyder and Jason Begue (TO DUST) for their film THE FUTURIST, about a vanguard neurologist working on brain-computer interface who uses himself as experimental subject.