The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) today announced the projects that will receive financial and creative support from the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This year, four projects which were chosen from 127 applicants from around the world, will be awarded a total of $140,000 and will be recognized at the annual Tribeca Film Festival, taking place April 17-28, 2013. The winning films are: 2030, Newton’s Laws of Emotion, Oldest Man Alive and The Doctor. The projects, which all integrate science and technology themes and characters into their story lines, focus on subjects ranging from climate change and genetic engineering to physics, medicine and invention.
The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund bestows grants to narrative film projects that dramatize science and technology themes in film or that portray scientists, engineers, or mathematicians in prominent character roles. Grant recipients also receive year-round mentorship from science experts and members of the film industry in order to complete their projects. 2013 marks the 12th year of the partnership between TFI and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a founding sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival and TFI. The Sloan Foundation will also present a 20th anniversary retrospective screening and discussion of the internationally acclaimed AIDS film And the Band Played On during the Festival.
The winning projects were selected by a jury composed of film and science luminaries including actors Clark Middleton (Kill Bill: Vol. II, Sin City), Ron Livingston (Office Space, Band of Brothers), Dean Winters (“Oz,” “30 Rock,” “Rescue Me”), Helen Fisher, PhD, biological anthropologist; and John Quackenbusch, Harvard professor of computational biology and bioinformatics.
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. Grant recipients will have the opportunity to present their projects to industry executives during one-on-one pitch sessions at TFI Industry Meetings. The additional support gives winners and their projects unparalleled access and visibility. 2011 grantee, A Birder’s Guide to Everything (Rob Meyer, director, screenwriter; Luke Matheny, screenwriter; Paul Miller, producer), starring Academy Award® winner Ben Kingsley, will have its world premiere during this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Last year’s grantee, Computer Chess, premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Sloan Feature Film Prize, and has been acquired by Kino Lorber.
Additionally, this year TFI will launch the TFI Professional Partnership, an initiative that will continue TFI’s commitment to supporting the careers and projects of their grantees, including those involved with the Sloan Filmmaker Fund. The initiative will partner leading media companies with a pool of talented filmmakers. The partnership will allow these filmmakers to translate their filmmaking skills into areas such as television, web, marketing, and education. The TFI Professional Partnership will kick off with a professional development panel during the Festival. After the panel, each partnering company will select at least two grantees for further one-on-one development and consideration for their business needs. Partnering companies include NBC Universal and Warner Bros.
“For the past 12 years, TFI has worked in conjunction with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to nurture and promote new projects that merge science and character-driven storytelling in a way that is unique in the industry,” said Tamir Muhammad, Director of Feature Programming, TFI. “In addition, this year marks the fifth anniversary of the Sloan retrospective screening at TFF and this year’s film, And the Band Played On, is a great example of the blending of science and human interest on screen that the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund champions.”
“We are thrilled to partner again with Tribeca in supporting filmmakers who engage with science and technology themes and characters in innovative ways,” said Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Three completed feature films – Future Weather, Computer Chess and A Birder’s Guide to Everything – have already emerged from this pioneering partnership and we look forward to seeing this year’s winning film in theaters in the coming years.“
Selected projects for funding:
In a near future Vietnam where seawater has buried a large part of the land and cultivation has to be done on floating farms, a strong-willed woman has to make a critical decision about her ex-lover, a geneticist who could be her husband’s murderer. Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo (Screenwriter, Director), Bao Nguyen (Producer)
•Newton’s Laws of Emotion
As a young Isaac Newton pursues the affections of a headstrong princess, he seeks to uncover the principles of love using his new system of mathematics. However, his equations start to break down when her former lover enters the scene. Eugene Ramos (Screenwriter), Andeep Singh (producer)
•Oldest Man Alive
A suicidal 88-year-old inventor finds a reason to live in the young Romanian woman who saves him from drowning. But when she moves into his Manhattan townhouse, it upsets his son and daughter-in-law, who have waited decades to inherit the multi-million dollar dwelling. Antonio Tibaldi (Screenwriter, Director), Ryan Brown (Screenwriter)
Salim, a disgraced young doctor from India, will do anything to get back into medicine. But when he takes a job at an illegal clinic in New York, he finds more danger than redemption. Musa Syeed (Screenwriter, Director), Nicholas Bruckman (Producer)
On Monday, April 22, the grant-winning film projects will have scenes from their screenplays performed by an esteemed cast at the invitation-only Sloan Work-In-Progress Readings at The Crosby Hotel.