Six film projects, selected from this year’s pool of 121 applicants, will receive financial and creative support from the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) Sloan Filmmaker Fund. The projects will be awarded a total of $140,000 and will be recognized at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival (April 20- May 1, 2011).
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 an Award Committee made up of luminaries in film and science including: Alexis Alexanian (Producer, The Hottest State, Pieces of April, Tadpole); Matthew Broderick (Tony Award-winning actor: Election, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, On Stage: The Producers, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying); James L. Brooks (Oscar-winning Writer/Director/Producer, How Do You Know, As Good As it Gets, Terms of Endearment); Andrew Fierberg (Producer, Broken English, Fur, Secretary); Dr. Stuart Firestein (Professor of Biological Science & Department Chair, Columbia); Dr. Janna Levin (Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Barnard) and Robin Swicord (Oscar-nominated Writer/Director, The Jane Austen Book Club, Memoirs of a Geisha, Matilda).
The selected projects for funding include:
A Birder’s Guide to Everything
Still reeling from the recent death of his mother, and on the eve of his father’s remarriage, teen birdwatcher David Portnoy convinces his friends to join him on a road trip to find what he believes is an extinct duck.
Rob Meyer (Director, Screenwriter)
Luke Matheny (Screenwriter)
Paul Miller (Producer)
El Diablo Rojo
Called down to investigate a mysterious disappearance of fish in the Sea of Cortez, a marine biologist and his team discover a super swarm of “El Diablo Rojo” squid and must risk their lives to prevent a looming ecological catastrophe. Based on true events.
Brent Hoff (Screenwriter, Producer)
Malcolm Pullinger (Producer)
Todd Hagopian (Producer)
A Noble Affair (also a 2008 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund recipient)
As Marie Curie is nominated for a Nobel Prize for her groundbreaking work in chemistry, her affair with a married man creates a scandal that ruins her reputation, causes her to flee France, and becomes the obstacle to the prize that will prove her a scientist in her own right.
Anil Baral (Screenwriter, Producer)
Kathryn Maughan (Screenwriter)
Neda Armian (Producer)
A poignant retelling of Rosalind Franklin’s involvement in the controversial race for the double helix in the 1950s, and of the discovery that truly shaped her: the beating of her own romantic heart.
Anna Ziegler (Screenwriter)
Darren Aronofsky (Producer)
Ari Handel (Producer)
Rachel Weisz (Producer)
NOTE: This is an adaptation of Ziegler’s Sloan-awarded stage play of the same name.
A technophobic, newly divorced woman falls into the chaotic world of a 1970’s hi-tech startup company. She joins forces with an eclectic group of programmers, the visionary Ray Kurzweil, and musician Stevie Wonder to sell the Kurzweil Reading Machine, a computer that reads books out loud for the blind.
Lara Shapiro (Screenwriter, Director)
In an epic battle of wits between two of the 20th century’s most influential figures, a genius inventor faces off against a shrewd tycoon for control over a world-changing new technology. Based on the book “THE LAST LONE INVENTOR: A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television” by Schwartz.
Evan I. Schwartz (Screenwriter)
Jonathan Sheldon (Producer)
Honorable Mentions include:
Radiant, written by Bonnie Kimberly Taylor & Alexander Baxter, tells the story of Marie Curie. It will be produced by Baxter, Laurent Buffi and David Baxter, with executive producer Rose Ganguzza. Sylvie Testud is attached to portray Curie, and Blackwood, written by Lisa Hoppe and Emily Ballou, to be directed by Samantha Lang, and produced by Barbara Grummels and Lizette Atkins – about amateur botanist Georgiana Molloy.