In its 20 year partnership with the Sundance Institute, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars directly to filmmakers to develop projects and to celebrate outstanding feature films that integrate science or technology themes and characters. Recognized films include Mike Cahill's ANOTHER EARTH, Andrew Bujalski's COMPUTER CHESS, Michael Almereyda's MARJORIE PRIME, and Ciro Guerra's EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT. At the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, Sloan announced $70,000 of support towards four new projects.
Winner of the Sloan Feature Film Prize, Kogonada's AFTER YANG premiered in the Festival's Spotlight section. We spoke with Kogonada about the film's themes of Artificial Intelligence, human-robot interactions, and envisioning a post-apocalyptic world.
The Sloan Episodic Fellowship was awarded to the series OUR DARK LADY, written by Kathryn Lo. "After James Watson trashes scientist Rosalind Franklin in his memoir on the discovery of DNA’s double helix, a friend seeks to uncover the theft of her data by investigating two labs in 1950s England — where Rosalind emerges as the centerpiece of the most important scientific breakthrough of the modern era."
The Sloan Lab Fellowship was awarded to writer/director Nuhash Humayun for his feature MOVING BANGLADESH, which also received support through the Sloan Foundation's partnership with Film Independent in 2021. "Stuck in traffic and in life, a struggling Bangladeshi entrepreneur creates an app that may change transport in developing countries forever, but must first overcome his skeptical family." The film has Arifur Rahman and Bijon Imtiaz attached to produce.
The Sloan Commissioning Grant was awarded to the writing duo Shawn Snyder and Jason Begue for their feature THE FUTURIST. Snyder also plans to direct. The film previously received Sloan support in 2020 through a partnership with SFFILM. "When the scientific community abandons him, a renowned neuroscientist attempts to rectify his complicated past and to author a more auspicious future by using his own brain for cyborgian experimentation. THE FUTURIST takes place inside that brain. Inspired by true events."