[New York, NY – April 15, 2010] – The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) today announced the films that will receive financial and creative support from the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This year, of 128 applicants, six projects will be awarded a total of $140,000 to help filmmakers both create and distribute their films. In addition, grant recipients will also receive year-round mentorship from science experts and members of the film industry. The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund awards grants to narrative film projects that dramatize science and technology themes in film or that portray scientists, engineers, or mathematicians in prominent character roles.
The winning projects were selected by a committee made up of Julie Goldstein (Producer, Proof), Dr. Martin Chalfie (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Professor of Biological Sciences at Columbia University), Dr. Patricia Bath (Opthamalogist and Founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness), Anne Carey (Producer, Adventureland) and Dr. Gabriel Cwilich (Professor of Physics at Yeshiva University).
Doron Weber, Vice President of Programs at the Sloan Foundation, and select committee members will present the awards to winning filmmakers during the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) at the TFI Awards on April 23, 2010. The following projects were selected for funding: The Devil’s Teeth, Future Weather, Haber, Map of the Universe, Midnight Sun and Obselidia. The films tell a broad range of stories including a journalist uncovering the truth about great white sharks, a young girl’s emotional connection to global warming, the partnership between an astronomer and an eccentric enthusiast, a librarian’s chronicling of obsolete things in a changing world, and the complications, both moral and marital, faced by the scientists who developed chemical warfare and the atomic bomb.
“For the past nine years at Tribeca, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has made vast contributions to the film community by providing essential funding for works with scientific themes as well as availing filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their work to industry executives,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Chairman of the Board, TFI. “This year, through the Sloan Filmmaker Fund, we are pleased to continue our commitment to developing and promoting projects illustrating the importance of science and technology in cinema.”
“We are thrilled to join Tribeca for the 9th consecutive year in supporting screenwriters and directors who tackle science and technology themes and characters in innovative ways,” stated Doron Weber, Sloan Vice President. “The impressive body of work by this year’s winners shows us how entertaining and unexpected the world can look when seen through a lens enlivened by scientific insight and understanding. “
Selected projects for funding:
The Devil’s Teeth – On a forbidding island off the coast of San Francisco, a journalist finds purpose when she joins two scientists in their struggle to protect the world's most misunderstood predator: the great white shark. Based on a true story.
Director: Paul Atkins
Screenwriter: Brett Wagner
Producers: Grace Atkins, Nicolas Gonda
Executive Producer: Terrence Malick
Future Weather – When she's abandoned by her eccentric single mom, a 13-yr-old loner grows fixated on environmental disaster, forcing her and her grandmother to confront each other and the things they can't control.
Director/Screenwriter: Jenny Deller
Producer: Kristin Fairweather
Executive Producers: Jennifer Dubin and Cora Olson
Cast Includes: Perla Haney-Jardine and Lili Taylor
Haber – The true story of how the father of modern agriculture became the father of chemical warfare.
Director/Screenwriter: Daniel Ragussis
Producer: Bogdan Tomassini-Büchner
Cast Includes: Christian Berkel and Juliane Köhler
Map of the Universe – An astronomer is poised to make scientific history in his quest to find an outer solar planet – until his findings are disputed by a prodigiously talented, but eccentric, teenaged star spotter.
Screenwriters: Tim Firth and Dan Futterman
Producers: Nick Barton and Suzanne Mackie
Midnight Sun – The story of Los Alamos and the creation and testing of the atom bomb, as seen through the eyes of two young scientists drafted into service, and their wives.
Director: Christopher Eigeman
Produced by Dana Brunetti with his and Kevin Spacey's company, Trigger Street Productions.
Cast Includes: Jesse Eisenberg and Kate Bosworth
Obselidia – On his quest to create an encyclopedia of obsolete things, a librarian joins forces with a silent film projectionist, and together they journey to Death Valley to interview a maverick scientist who is predicting the end of the world.
Director/Screenwriter: Diane Bell
Producers: Chris Byrne and Matthew Medlin
Cast Includes: Michael Piccirilli, Gaynor Howe and Frank Hoyt Taylor
TFI Sloan Filmmaker Works-In-Progress
In addition to financial and year-round ancillary support, TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund grant recipients will receive exposure to industry executives, financiers and producers during the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) at the invitation-only Sloan Works-In-Progress showcase, a presentation of the grant-winning film projects. The five projects in development will have scenes performed by an esteemed cast, and a clip will be screened from Obselidia, which is receiving distribution support. The Sloan Works-In-Progress showcase will take place on the morning of April 22, and those interested in attending should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to its support of the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund and the Works-in-Progress reading, the Sloan Foundation is also sponsoring a 10th anniversary retrospective screening of Christopher Nolan’s Memento at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, followed by a panel discussion on the science of memory with screenwriters, scientists and cast members.
About the Tribeca Film Institute (www.tribecafilminstitute.org)
The Tribeca Film Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to creative innovation in film and media arts. The Institute supports year-round initiatives that provide financial support and professional opportunities for filmmakers as well as youth film enrichment and educational programs. TFI has a commitment to educate, entertain and inspire filmmakers and audiences alike, while strengthening the artistic and economic fabric of New York City and its Lower Manhattan community.
About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The New York based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology, economics and the quality of American life. Sloan’s program in public understanding of science and technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and the Internet to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.
Sloan’s partnership with Tribeca forms part of a broader national program by the Sloan Foundation to stimulate leading artists in film, television and theater to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past ten years, Sloan has partnered with six of the top film schools in the country—AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA and USC—and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production. In addition to the Tribeca/Sloan Screenplay Development Program, which has initiated such film projects as Face Value, the Hedy Lamarr story, slated for shooting this fall, the Foundation has sponsored screenwriting and film production workshops at Sundance, the Hamptons and Film Independent and honored new feature films such as the forthcoming Agora by Alejandro Amenabar and Obselidia by Diane Bell as well as films by such acclaimed directors as Werner Herzog, Darren Aronosky, Michael Apted, Bill Condon and Julian Schnabel. Sloan is also a longtime supporter of new science plays at the Ensemble Studio Theater and Manhattan Theater Club, of the Philip Glass opera Kepler and of the upcoming third annual World Science Festival. For more information, please visit www.sloan.org.
About Tribeca Film Festival:
Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture.
The Festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors.
The Tribeca Festival has screened over 1100 films from over 80 countries since its first festival in 2002. Since its founding, it has attracted an international audience of more than 2.3 million attendees and has generated an estimated $600 million in economic activity for New York City.
About the 2010 Festival Sponsors:
As Founding Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, American Express is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of film making, bringing business and energy to New York City and offering Cardmembers and festival-goers the opportunity to enjoy the best of storytelling through film.
The Festival is pleased to announce the return of its Signature Sponsors: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Apple, Bloomberg, Brookfield, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Delta Air Lines, Heineken USA, NBC 4 New York, NCM Media Networks, New York Nonstop, The New York Times, RR Donnelley, and Vanity Fair. The Tribeca Film Festival is also honored to welcome the following new Signature Sponsors: Caesars Atlantic City, Stolichnaya Vodka, and Time Warner Cable.