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Penny Stock by Grainger David of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts was selected as the “best-of-the-best” screenplay, and the recipient of the 2012 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Student Grand Jury Prize for Screenwriting $50,000 grant from the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI).

Grainger David from Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina will receive a $30,000 cash prize, as well as an additional $20,000 to be used in direct support of the project.  The award includes year-round support from TFI, including mentorship and guidance from scientific and film industry professionals, networking opportunities, and industry exposure.

Penny Stock is a feature screenplay about a community college geology professor, who risks everything on a bold new theory in the race to discover an epic diamond pipe in the Northwest Territories. Becoming a mining prospector was never in the professor’s plans – or his family’s – but he feels that he is on the cusp of discovering something great, and he’s willing to risk everything to prove it.

Last year’s inaugural prize went to Robert Cohen of NYU for his work Bystander, which is based on the 1964 rape and murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens. Though the attack lasted over 30 minutes, none of the 37 witnesses called the police or intervened until she was already dead.  Four years later, a groundbreaking psychological study on the “Bystander Effect” explained the inaction of the witnesses. Though a fictional account of the attack’s aftermath, the scientific research and theories in the script are historically and psychologically accurate.  Since winning, Cohen has been paired with an industry mentor, producer Alexis Alexanian (Pieces of April, Tadpole), who has helped him with re-writes and feedback on option agreements he has received. TFI is also providing a social psychologist who will serve as a mentor to help Cohen maintain the authenticity of the science.

The Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize was created to recognize the very best student screenplay in the nation that uses science and technology themes or characters to tell an engaging story.

The award was presented at an evening reception in New York City on Thursday, April 5, 2012.

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