Three film projects, Unmanned, Computer Chess and Resonance, will receive financial and creative support from the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The film projects will be awarded a total of $150,000 and will be recognized at the annual Tribeca Film Festival, taking place April 18-29, 2012.
The projects, which all emphasize science and technology in their storylines, focus on subjects including a new style of war fought by remote control, tensions between human ingenuity and machines in the computer chess tournaments of the 1980s, and the impact of brain abnormalities on interpersonal relationships.
The winning projects were selected by an Award Committee made up of film and science notables including actor Ryan Phillippe (Flags of Our Fathers, The Lincoln Lawyer); actor Stephen Lang (Avatar, Public Enemies, Terra Nova); producer Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Erin Brockovich, Django Unchained); neuroscientist Joseph E. LeDoux; professor of astrophysical sciences J. Richard Gott (Princeton); and molecular endocrinologist Dr. Carter Bancroft.
Selected projects for funding:
A young Air Force drone operator struggles to balance the stresses of going to war for the first time with the challenges of being a good father and husband, as he commutes each day between suburban family life and a new style of war fought by remote control. The short version of this film received an earlier Sloan Foundation production grant and is premiering at this year’s Festival. Casey Cooper Johnson (writer/director), Casey Fenton (producer), Peter W. Singer (story by), Sevdije Kastrati (cinematographer)
This film focuses on a computer chess tournament in the 80’s, transporting viewers to a nostalgic moment when the battle of technology versus the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs. Andrew Bujalski (writer/director), Houston King (producer), Alex Lipschultz (producer)
Two damaged young men trying to reclaim their lives, push each other to the breaking point until they realize that only their friendship will save them. Portraying the crossroads of neurology and psychiatry, the film examines how the brain’s functioning affects the way we interact, and how medical science treats brain abnormalities. Dara Bratt (director/writer), Keiran Dick (writer), Andrew Fierberg (producer), Robert Gerber (executive producer)