Sloan Projects at TIFF

The Sloan Science & Technology Pitch is part of a new partnership between the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Taking place as part of the Festival, the Pitch offers four filmmakers from around the world the opportunity to present their science or technology-related narrative films to a panel of industry experts in front of a live audience. The pitch is non-competitive, so each writer also receives $15,000 CAD to further develop their project.

Two of the four selected pitch projects have received previous Sloan development funds—Alyssa Loh’s CHARIOT and Cole Smith’s SILO. SILO is a narrative thriller based on the true story of a nuclear weapons incident that took place near Damascus, Arkansas in 1980. Loh's CHARIOT is also inspired by true events. It is set in the 1950s in Alaska during an attempt by the American government to blast a new harbor using nuclear weapons, and the outrage that followed. James Brown's AUTHOR A is the story of a writer who uses AI technology to publish her first novel, and the consequences that ensue. Lastly, Jasmin Tenucci and Maggie Briggs' THE SMALLEST WHALE IN THE WORLD is a comedy that follows a marine biologist at a career low-point, sent to an obscure town that is home to the smallest whale in the world.

These projects received feedback from Searchlight Pictures's Zahra Phillips, Dylan Leiner from Sony PIctures Classics, NEON's Laurel Charnetsky, Matt Code from Wildling Pictures, and Dan Berger from Oscilloscope Laboratories.

The Sloan Foundation’s partnership with TIFF also includes a prize for a feature film. This year, the winner is FITTING IN. Directed by Molly McGlynn, the film made its world premiere at SXSW and is making its Canadian premiere at Toronto. One of the screenings will be followed by a conversation between McGlynn and Dr. Greta Bauer, Profeesor and Director of the Eli Coleman Institute for Sexual and Gender Health in the University of Minnesota Medical School, where she holds the endowed academic chair in sexual health.