Damien Chazelle’s remarkable film First Man is the 2018 recipient of the Sloan Science in Cinema Prize, an award that celebrates the compelling depiction of science in a narrative feature film. Presented through a partnership between SFFILM and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this annual award carries a $25,000 cash prize and shines a light on special achievement in rendering the worlds of science and technology through the language of film with a screening event and onstage conversation with the film’s creators and experts in the scientific fields being depicted.
On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling team up again for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost—on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.
SFFILM and the Sloan Foundation presented the award on Saturday, December 8 at the Castro Theatre. Following a screening of the film, Academy Award winning screenwriter Josh Singer, engineer and retired NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, and JPL and NASA scientist Dr. Leon Alkalai participated in an in-depth discussion of the science behind the story and its journey to the big screen.