Sundance Film Festival announced the artist grant recipients for the Sundance Institute Science-in-Film initiative at the twentieth annual Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize Reception, where the 2022 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize winner – Kogonada, After Yang, was honored.
After Yang was awarded the 2022 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize and received a $20,000 cash award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Prize is selected by a jury of film and science professionals and presented to an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major character.
The jury stated, “For its exquisitely crafted and deep poetic meditation on how technology can help us reflect on our humanity, and the ways our brains navigate memory, loss, and connection — even while it poses new challenges to our privacy, security, and identity — the 2022 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the Sundance Film Festival goes to Kogonada’s After Yang.”
After Yang / U.S.A. (Director and Screenwriter: Kogonada, Producers: Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan, Paul Mezey, Theresa Park) — In the near future, a father and daughter try to save the life of Yang, their beloved robotic family member. Cast: Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith. Justin H. Min, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, Haley Lu Richardson. North American Premiere. Fiction.
Koganada’s debut film, Columbus, starring John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. He wrote and directed his second feature, After Yang, starring Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith, for A24.
The grantees received a total of $70,000 in funding for their projects in development through the Sloan Episodic Fellowship (Kathryn Lo, Our Dark Lady), Sloan Development Fellowship (Nuhash Humayun, Moving Bangladesh) and Sloan Commissioning Grant (Shawn Snyder and Jason Begue, The Futurist).
“The Science-In-Film Initiative is turning 20 and we are thrilled to gather and celebrate After Yang and our grantees. With the importance of this initiative becoming clearer every year, it’s with gratitude that we mark two decades of the Sloan Foundation providing material support and recognition for filmmakers whose work engages with science and technology in an entertaining, meaningful way” said Festival Director Tabitha Jackson.
Sundance Institute / Sloan Episodic Fellowship
Kathryn Lo (writer) will receive a $10,000 cash award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for Our Dark Lady. Previous winners include: The Harvard Computers, Higher, and DELTA-V.
Our Dark Lady: After James Watson trashes scientist Rosalind Franklin in his memoir on the discovery of DNA’s double helix, a friend seeks to uncover the theft of her data by investigating two labs in 1950s England — where Rosalind emerges as the centerpiece of the most important scientific breakthrough of the modern era.
Working in print, radio, television and online, Kathryn Lo relishes storytelling of all forms. She spent 10 years curating the Emmy-winning documentary series Independent Lens, and oversaw a 450-hour program pipeline at PBS. After a career of championing others’ work, Kathryn is excited to pursue her own curiosity and projects.
Sundance Institute / Sloan Development Fellowship
Nuhash Humayun (writer and director) will receive a $15,000 cash award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for Moving Bangladesh. Previous winners include: Chariot, Tidal Disruption, and Goliath.
Moving Bangladesh: Stuck in traffic and in life – a struggling Bangladeshi entrepreneur creates an app that may change transport in developing countries forever, but must first overcome his skeptical family.
Nuhash Humayun is a Bangladesh-based writer/director with a focus on the intersection of genre and Asian identity. His credits include Sincerely Yours, Dhaka (world premiere at Busan 2018, acquired by Netflix). Nuhash’s upcoming feature Moving Bangladesh has received support from Film Independent, Cannes Marche du Film, Locarno Open Doors and Film Bazaar.
Sundance Institute / Sloan Commissioning Grant
Shawn Snyder (co-writer and director) and Jason Begue (co-writer) will receive a $25,000 cash award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for The Futurist. Previous winners include: Pharmacopeia, The Plutonians and Challenger.
The Futurist: When the scientific community abandons him, a renowned neuroscientist attempts to rectify his complicated past and to author a more auspicious future by using his own brain for cyborgian experimentation. The Futurist takes place inside that brain. Inspired by true events.
Shawn Snyder’s first feature, the Sloan/Sundance supported To Dust, won the Best New Director Award and Audience Award at Tribeca 2018 and was nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards. Having studied Religion at Harvard and Filmmaking at NYU, Shawn never imagined making movies about science. He stands corrected.
Jason Begue is a Latinx filmmaker known for To Dust, which he co-wrote with Shawn Snyder and co-produced alongside Alessandro Nivola, Emily Mortimer and Ron Perlman. He is currently completing studies at NYU Grad Film, while the writing duo continues to develop a larger slate of projects – including Baby-Face, Jason’s first feature.