What does the Cold War space race, computer pioneer Alan Turing and an astrophysicist's love story have in common? They are all subjects in films selected to this year's TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund.
Today we're happy to announce the three projects selected to the fund, which provides funding and professional guidance in support of innovative and compelling films that offer a fresh take on science, mathematics and technology.
The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund has now given more than $1 million to filmmakers, a benchmark demonstrating the continued success of this creative collaboration. This year recipients will receive a total of $150,000 in grants; the filmmakers will be honored at this year’s TFI VIP reception during the Tribeca Film Festival. TFI and Sloan will also be screening Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for their yearly retrospective during the festival on April 26 at 3pm.
Past recipients include 2030 (premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February), Computer Chess (premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 and was also nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards), A Birder’s Guide to Everything (premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013, was purchased for distribution by Focus World and premiered in theaters in March).
This year's projects were chosen by a jury of arts and science professionals that included actors John Slattery (Mad Men, director of God’s Pocket) and Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail), writer Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight, Dark Knight Rises, The Prestige), Heather Berlin, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine and John Quackenbush, Harvard Professor of computational biology and bioinformatics.
The 2014 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund grantees are:
Afronauts (Director/Screenwriter Frances N. Bodomo) – March 1965. The US and the USSR race to put a man on the moon. Thousands of kilometers away, a recently-disgraced group of Zambian exiles is also attempting a mission into Space. Inspired by the true story of the Zambia Space Academy. Frances Bodomo is a Ghanaian filmmaker who grew up in Ghana, Norway, California, and Hong Kong before moving to New York to study at Columbia University (BA, Film Studies) and the Tisch School of the Arts (MFA, Film).
The Imitation Game (Director Morten Tyldum) –The life of British mathematician and logician, Alan Turing, who cracked the German "Enigma" Code to change the direction of WWII and is heralded as the pioneer of modern day computing. Benedict Cumberbatch stars with Keira Knightley, Mark Strong and Matthew Goode. Morten Tyldum was nominated for a 2013 BAFTA award for Norway's all-time top grossing film, Headhunters, based on Jo Nesbø's novel. His first full-length feature, in 2003, was Buddy, winner of Best Film at Norway's Amanda Awards. Screenwriter Graham Moore is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian, a mystery novel, which has been published in 16 countries and translated into 13 languages. His script for The Imitation Game topped the 2012 Black List, Hollywood’s list of best unproduced screenplays of the year and was the highest scoring script in the Black List's decade-long history.
Venus Transit (Screenwriter Giulia Corda) – Iris, an old astrophysicist, needs to reach Palomar to keep the promise she made her late husband to watch the transit of Venus. She finds a driver and eventually an unexpected friend in Hannah, a fortysomething chick-lit novelist going through a marriage crisis. Giulia Corda graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. She then pursued her screenwriting education in both Rome and Milan. After an early career working for RAI, the Italian national TV channel, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and moved to Los Angeles to attend the M.F.A. screenwriting program at the University of Southern California.