$140,000 Awarded to Four Projects that Dramatize Science and Technology Themes in Film

Actor Ron Livingston and Helen Fisher, Human Sex, Love and Marriage Specialist,
Among Experts in Film and Science on Award Committee

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New York, NY – (April 5, 2013) –The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) today announced the projects that will receive financial and creative support from the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  This year, four projects which were chosen from 127 applicants from around the world, will be awarded a total of $140,000 and will be recognized at the annual Tribeca Film Festival, taking place April 17-28, 2013.  The winning films are: 2030, Newton’s Laws of Emotion, Oldest Man Alive and The Doctor.  The projects, which all integrate science and technology themes and characters into their story lines, focus on subjects ranging from climate  change and genetic engineering to physics, medicine and invention.

The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund bestows grants to narrative film projects that dramatize science and technology themes in film or that portray scientists, engineers, or mathematicians in prominent character roles. Grant recipients also receive year-round mentorship from science experts and members of the film industry in order to complete their projects.  2013 marks the 12th year of the partnership between TFI and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a founding sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival and TFI.  The Sloan Foundation will also present a 20th anniversary retrospective screening and discussion of the internationally acclaimed AIDS film And the Band Played On during the Festival.

The winning projects were selected by a jury composed of film and science luminaries including actors Clark Middleton (Kill Bill: Vol. II, Sin City), Ron Livingston (Office Space, Band of Brothers), Dean Winters (“Oz,” “30 Rock,” “Rescue Me”), Helen Fisher, PhD, biological anthropologist; and John Quackenbusch, Harvard professor of computational biology and bioinformatics.

In addition to financial and year-round ancillary support, TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund grant recipients will receive exposure to industry executives, financiers and producers during the Tribeca Film Festival. Grant recipients will have the opportunity to present their projects to industry executives during one-on-one pitch sessions at TFI Industry Meetings. The additional support gives winners and their projects unparalleled access and visibility.  2011 grantee, A Birder’s Guide to Everything (Rob Meyer, director, screenwriter; Luke Matheny, screenwriter; Paul Miller, producer), starring Academy Award® winner Ben Kingsley, will have its world premiere during this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.  Last year’s grantee, Computer Chess, premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Sloan Feature Film Prize, and has been acquired by Kino Lorber.

Additionally, this year TFI will launch the TFI Professional Partnership, an initiative that will continue TFI's commitment to supporting the careers and projects of their grantees, including those involved with the Sloan Filmmaker Fund. The initiative will partner leading media companies with a pool of talented filmmakers. The partnership will allow these filmmakers to translate their filmmaking skills into areas such as television, web, marketing, and education. The TFI Professional Partnership will kick off with a professional development panel during the Festival.  After the panel, each partnering company will select at least two grantees for further one-on-one development and consideration for their business needs. Partnering companies include NBC Universal and Warner Bros.

“For the past 12 years, TFI has worked in conjunction with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to nurture and promote new projects that merge science and character-driven storytelling in a way that is unique in the industry,” said Tamir Muhammad, Director of Feature Programming, TFI. “In addition, this year marks the fifth anniversary of the Sloan retrospective screening at TFF and this year’s film, And the Band Played On, is a great example of the blending of science and human interest on screen that the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund champions.” 

“We are thrilled to partner again with Tribeca in supporting filmmakers who engage with science and technology themes and characters in innovative ways,” said Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  “Three completed feature films – Future Weather, Computer Chess and A Birder’s Guide to Everything – have already emerged from this pioneering partnership and we look  forward to seeing this year’s winning film in theaters in the coming years.“

Selected projects for funding:

In a near future Vietnam where seawater has buried a large part of the land and cultivation has to be done on floating farms, a strong-willed woman has to make a critical decision about her ex-lover, a geneticist who could be her husband’s murderer.  Nghiem-Minh Nguyen-Vo (Screenwriter, Director), Bao Nguyen (Producer)

As a young Isaac Newton pursues the affections of a headstrong princess, he seeks to uncover the principles of love using his new system of mathematics. However, his equations start to break down when her former lover enters the scene.  Eugene Ramos (Screenwriter), Andeep Singh (producer)

A suicidal 88-year-old inventor finds a reason to live in the young Romanian woman who saves him from drowning. But when she moves into his Manhattan townhouse, it upsets his son and daughter-in-law, who have waited decades to inherit the multi-million dollar dwelling.  Antonio Tibaldi (Screenwriter, Director), Ryan Brown (Screenwriter)

Salim, a disgraced young doctor from India, will do anything to get back into medicine. But when he takes a job at an illegal clinic in New York, he finds more danger than redemption.  Musa Syeed (Screenwriter, Director), Nicholas Bruckman (Producer)

On Monday, April 22, the grant-winning film projects will have scenes from their screenplays performed by an esteemed cast at the invitation-only Sloan Work-In-Progress Readings at The Crosby Hotel.  

The Sloan Foundation and TFI will present a Sloan 20th anniversary retrospective screening of the film And the Band Played On followed by a panel that explores the science of AIDS through the arts and features prominent figures in film and science. The panel will examine the science of AIDS and the social politics surrounding the AIDS epidemic from the 1980’s until the present, and analyze how the AIDS crisis has inspired storytelling that engages scientists, artists and politicians as part of “Tribeca Talks: After the Movie.”

And the Band Played On – Sloan Retrospective Screening and Panel 
Saturday, April 27 at SVA Theater, 3:30 p.m.
Celebrating its twentieth anniversary, And the Band Played On premiered at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the early ‘90s.  The film examines the facts surrounding the deadly disease and debunks many of its myths.  The film won three Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie.  Topping the incredible ensemble cast is Matthew Modine, who received Emmy and Golden Globe-nominations for his poignant portrayal of a doctor who heads an American research team. 

About the Tribeca Film Institute:
The Tribeca Film Institute is a 501(c)3 year round nonprofit arts organization founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in the wake of September 11, 2001. TFI empowers filmmakers through grants and professional development, and is a resource and advocate for individual artists in the field. The Institute’s educational programming leverages an extensive film community network to help underserved New York City students learn filmmaking and gain the media skills necessary to be productive citizens and creative individuals in the 21st century. Administering a dozen major programs annually, TFI is a critical contributor to the fabric of filmmaking and aids in protecting the livelihood of filmmakers and media artists.

For more information and a list of all TFI programs visit

Follow us on Twitter @TribecaFilmIns.  Join the conversation #scienceandfilm.

About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation:
The New York based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology, and economic performance.  Sloan’s program in public understanding of science and technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience. 

Sloan’s film program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and accurate stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past decade, the Foundation has partnered with some of the top film schools in the country – including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, and USC – and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production and an annual best-of-the-best Student Grand Jury Prize that Tribeca administers. Sloan also supports Screenplay Development Programs at Sundance,  Hamptons International Film Festival, Film Independent and Tribeca  and has developed such film projects as Future Weather, a coming of age story about a young woman who finds personal meaning in science, starring Lili Taylor and Amy Madigan (which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival); Valley of Saints and Robot and Frank both of which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and shared the Sloan Feature Film Prize; A Birder’s Guide to Everything which will premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival; and Computer Chess, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and will be released in theatres this summer.

The Foundation awards annual Science and Technology Feature Film Prizes and has honored feature films such as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Grizzly Man, Obselidia, Agora and Another Earth. Sloan also partners with Ensemble Studio Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club in support of new science plays such as Isaac’s Eye about the rivalry between Isaac Newton and Robert Hooke and the upcoming world premiere of The Explorers Club, a witty satire about gender bias in science.  For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation please visit  


Sunshine, Sachs & Associates for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Adam Berkowitz: 212.691.2800 or

Rubenstein Communications for Tribeca Film Institute
Emily Vicker: 212.843.8078 or

Tribeca Film Institute
Tammie Rosen: 212.941.2003 or 


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