[New York, NY – October 28, 2008]  The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) has announced the selection of five film projects to receive financial and creative support from its inaugural TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Out of 130 applications submitted, the five projects chosen will receive a total of $110,000.  The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund supports narrative projects that tell compelling stories about science and technology or portray scientists, engineers and mathematicians as major characters.  


The projects were selected by a committee made up of filmmakers Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream) and Steven Shainberg (Fur, Secretary), producer Caroline Baron (Capote), producer and writer Ann Druyan (Contact), Columbia University Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Biological Sciences Darcy B. Kelley, and former Director of the National Institutes of Health, co-recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Dr. Harold Varmus.


The selected projects selected and funding are:

·                     Face Value - $40,000

·                     The Radioactive Boy Scout - $40,000

·                     Alva - $10,000

·                     A Noble Affair - $10,000

·                     Kitty Hawk - $10,000


"The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund affords us an opportunity to provide funding at a crucial time in the industry,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Chairman of the Board, TFI.  “These are projects we would like to see brought to fruition and we are happy to be able to support them with funding and our vote of confidence.”


“We are delighted to partner with the Tribeca Film Institute in supporting these five film projects that showcase the tremendous box office appeal of science and technology themes and characters,” said Doron Weber, program director at the Sloan Foundation. “We expect Face Value and Radioactive Boy Scout to be produced within the next year – there is already significant industry interest and attachments – while developing the other promising scripts for the future.”


“It was exciting to read so many interesting and compelling stories with scientific themes,” said Caroline Baron. “It makes you realize how big a role science plays in all of our lives.  The committee feels strongly that we have identified projects where Sloan funding would have the greatest impact.” 


Films funded tell stories of a screen siren’s unheralded talents as a pioneering inventor, the true story of a boy scout trying to build a nuclear reactor and win his father’s respect, the controversial life of Thomas Edison, Marie Curie’s passionate personal entanglements on the path to the discovery of Radium, and the intense family drama and intrigues behind the extraordinary achievements of the Wright brothers.


Selected projects for funding:


Face Value - The story of screen siren Hedy Lamarr's little-known vocation as an inventor and scientist. Working with avant-garde composer George Antheil, with whom she had a passionate affair, Lamarr patented "frequency hopping" to aid the US military in WWII. Little did she know, it would become a key component in most current wireless technology.

Director: Amy Redford; Producers: David Baxter, Gretchen Somerfeld;

Screenwriters: Gretchen Somerfeld, Jose Rivera


The Radioactive Boy Scout - Based on the true story of a 16-year-old Boy Scout in Michigan who, in 1995, attempted to build the core of a nuclear reactor in his backyard shed and was shut down by the Federal government.

Director/Screenwriter: Greg Harrison;

Producer: Danielle Renfrew, William Horberg;


Alva - Was Thomas Edison America's greatest inventor, or a clever thief with a pioneering acumen for marketing?  Alva explores the life of Edison from a precocious young rule breaker, to the full blown 'Wizard of Menlo Park'.

Screenwriters: Alex Lyras, Michael Dorian 


A Noble Affair - Marie Curie was one of the leading feminist figures of the scientific world, facing obstacles in her professional and personal life, both exacerbated by gender discrimination. This is the story of how she proved the existence of the element Radium, thereby paving the way for many discoveries in nuclear science and earning her a second Nobel Prize.

Producer: Anil Baral

Screenwriter: Kathryn Maughan


Kitty Hawk - The story of the Wright Brothers, the original aviation pioneers, that chronicles their journey and struggles towards the first manned flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Director/Screenwriter: Tim Kirkman

Producers: Joshua Astrachan, Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Gill Holland


Submissions for the 2009 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund open November 12, 2008 and will be accepted through January 9, 2009 (postmark deadline).  Fund recipients will be announced in the spring of 2009. Visit for further rules and information on submissions.


About Tribeca Film Institute

The Tribeca Film Institute is dedicated to creative innovation in film and media arts. The Institute creates original programs that draw on the unifying power of film to promote creativity, understanding, tolerance and global awareness. Our commitment is 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.  


For more information visit


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, the Foundation has initiated screenwriting and film production workshops at Sundance, the Hamptons and Film Independent and honored new feature films such as the recent Flash of Genius, Sleep Dealer, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Sloan is also supporting several new plays at the Ensemble Studio Theater and Manhattan Theater Club and John Adams’ acclaimed opera Dr. Atomic currently at the Metropolitan Opera. For more information, please visit

Tags: Sloan, Tribeca Film Festival