The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Partners with TIFF

Continuing its support of representations of science in film, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has announced its newest partner: the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Sloan’s existing network of film partners includes Museum of the Moving Image, Film Independent, Sundance Institute, The Black List, the Athena Film Festival, and universities nationwide to create a pipeline that supports filmmakers at every stage of development.

TIFF and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s new initiative, known as The Breakthroughs: The Sloan Science on Screen Programme is comprised of three areas of focus: the Sloan Science & Technology Project Pitch, the Sloan Science & Technology Writer Fellowship, and the Sloan Science on Film Showcase.

Sloan’s inaugural grant will fund the program from 2023 to 2024, incorporating events and prizes at the 48th edition of Toronto Film Festival in September 2023, and year-round. TIFF announced the following details:

  • The Sloan Science and Technology Project Pitch will provide four Canadian and international creators the opportunity to pitch their science- and/or technology-related film or episodic project at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. Participants will deliver a maximum 15-minute presentation in front of a live audience of industry experts and decision makers. Each creator selected for the non-competitive pitch event will be awarded $15,000 CAD to develop their project. Applications are currently open and close June 12, 2023.

More information and application details can be found here.

  • The Sloan Science and Technology Writer Fellowship offers a project development grant ($35,000 CAD) and creative support ― including participation in TIFF Writers’ Studio in March ― for one early- to mid-career screenwriter whose feature film or episodic project explores science and technology. Applications will open in Fall 2023.
  • The Sloan Science on Film Showcase will spotlight two science-forward feature films per year: one Official Selection title at the Toronto International Film Festival, and programming title shown at another time of year at TIFF Bell Lightbox. A screening of each film will include a discussion between a member of the film team and a scientific expert. More information will be available in the coming months.

As the press release states, Sloan’s Vice President and Program Director Doron Weber says "We're delighted to make this inaugural grant to the Toronto International Film Festival and to extend our pioneering nationwide film program to an international audience. For over two decades, we have developed a rich pipeline for talented filmmakers and TIFF will give them an unparalleled opportunity to present their work in progress to industry experts and decision makers. We also look forward to showcasing two outstanding films a year and one exceptional screenwriter working on a script with a science and technology theme and/or character."

Check back here for more coverage on the 48th Toronto International Film Festival, the Breakthroughs initiative, and the science and technology-themed projects that emerge from it.

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