TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund Announces 2018 Grantees with $150,000 in Project Funding

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[New York, NY - April 5, 2018] – Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI) and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will host the world premiere of Radium Girls, executive produced by Lily Tomlin, at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 27th.  Tribeca Film Institute and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have also announced two projects, The New Miracle and The Spark, as this year’s recipients of the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, with a total of $150,000 in grants.


Radium Girls to Premiere at Tribeca

Starring Joey King (Slender Man) and Abby Quinn (Landline), Radium Girls is based on the true story of the women in the early 20th century who worked at the U.S. Radium Factory painting glow-in-the-dark watches. In order to perfect the point, the women licked their paint brushes and ultimately developed cancer. Veteran film producer Lydia Dean Pilcher (Amelia, The Darjeeling Limited) and Ginny Mohler mark their feature directorial debuts as co-directors of the film. Mohler co-wrote the script with Brittany Shaw and it received a Sloan Foundation production grant at NYU-Tisch. The film was produced by Pilcher and Emily McEvoy and executive produced by Willette Klausner, Harriet Leve, Jayne Baron Sherman, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Wagner.


Following the premiere, filmmakers Pilcher and Mohler will be joined by co-star Joey King and former EPA executive Betsy Southerland, PhD, in a discussion about the film and how the early organization of the women's movement empowered the “Radium Girls” to speak out. Their story reflects the strong history of women taking the lead in social reform addressing issues around industrialization, science, consumer health, and institutional corruption.


TFI and Sloan Announce 2018 Filmmaker Grantees

The New Miracle and The Spark are this year’s recipients of the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund. Chosen from a competitive group of submissions, by jury members Corey Stoll (House of Cards, Café Society), Wren Arthur (Olive Productions), Darcy Heusel (Neon), Anjali Tripathi (astrophysicist) and Mark Siddall (evolutionary biologist), each film will receive a $75,000 grant and will participate in the TFI Network presented by AT&T, as well as the 2018 Sloan Screenplay Reading. Select scenes will be read on Saturday, April 21st at 3pm at Spring Studios (6 St. Johns Lane, 7th floor).  To attend, please RSVP to


·       The New Miracle: Written by Gillian Weeks.  In the 1970s, three stubborn Brits successfully created the first test-tube baby in spite of public scorn, repeated failures, and predictions of doom.


·       The Spark: Directed by Eva Weber, Written by Ruth Greenberg, Produced by Sophie Vickers. In the sweltering chaos of Kanpur, India, Radha is trapped between her new life as the only woman trainee at the local energy company and her past as an electricity thief. Drawn into an escalating spiral of corruption, bribes, and theft, she has to determine her own path to power.


Each year, the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund provides filmmakers with funding and professional guidance to support innovative and compelling films that offer a fresh take on science, mathematics, and technology. Since 2003, the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund has given more than $1.6 million dollars to filmmakers, demonstrating a continued, unwavering commitment to reaching mainstream audiences with stories in which science or scientists play a central role.


Past grantees of the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund grant include, The Catcher Was a Spy (2015 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund), The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund), Computer Chess (2012 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund), A Birder’s Guide to Everything (2011 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund), and Oscar® winner The Imitation Game (2014 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund).


“Thanks to Sloan’s generous partnership, more diverse voices will have access to mentorship from science and film advisors in addition to vital project funding.  This year, we are exceptionally proud to announce that both supported projects are led by all-women teams.” said Amy Hobby, Executive Director of TFI. 


“We are delighted to continue our seminal partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute with the premiere of Radium Girls, a cautionary tale with contemporary resonance, and the awarding of two new 75k grants for developing The New Miracle, about the first test tube bay and The Spark, about a talented female electricity expert with a checkered past.” said Doron Weber, Vice President & Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  “Radium Girls also received a major Sloan production grant at NYU-Tisch as part of Sloan’s nationwide film program which has resulted in over 20 completed feature films, including several amazing stories about women in science, and To Dust, also premiering at this year’s festival.”


Another notable TFI and Sloan-supported film, To Dust from writer/director Shawn Snyder, will be premiering at Tribeca Film Festival on April 22nd, 2018, followed by a panel discussion hosted by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and TFI. The panel will feature cast members Matthew Broderick and Géza Röhrig and the film’s producers Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivolo, and Ron Perlman, as well as the film’s scientific advisor, Dr. Dawnie Steadman, PhD, Director of the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. The conversation will be moderated by Scientific American senior features editor Jen Schwartz. Shawn Snyder was the recipient of the 2016 Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize.

About Tribeca Film Institute (TFI)

Tribeca Film Institute champions storytellers to be catalysts for change in their communities and around the world. Each year, we identify a diverse group of exceptional filmmakers and media artists then empower them with funding and resources to fully realize their stories and connect with audiences. Our education programs empower students through hands-on training and exposure to socially relevant films, offering young people the media skills necessary to be creative and productive global citizens. We are a year-round nonprofit organization founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in the wake of September 11, 2001.


For more information about TFI, visit


About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, is a non-profit philanthropy that makes grants for original research and education 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 and to bridge the two cultures of science and the humanities.


Sloan's Film Program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past two decades, Sloan 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, along with an annual best-of-the best Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs with the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, the San Francisco Film Society, the Black List, and Film Independent’s Producing Lab and Fast Track program and has helped develop such film projects as Shawn Snyder’s To Dust and Ginny Mohler and Lydia Pilcher’s Radium Girls, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Matthew Brown’s The Man Who Knew Infinity, and Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter. The Foundation has also supported theatrical documentaries such as the recently released Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Particle Fever, and Jacques Perrin’s Oceans.


The Foundation has an active theater program and commissions about twenty science plays each year from the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the National Theatre, as well as supporting select productions across the country and abroad. Recent grants have supported Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes, recently at the National Theatre in London, Nick Payne’s Constellations, Lucas Hnath’s Isaac’s Eye, and Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51. The Foundation’s book program includes early support for Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, the highest grossing Oscar-nominated film of 2017 and the recipient of the Sloan Science in Cinema Prize at the San Francisco Film Society.


For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, visit




Press Contact for TFI:

Shannon Treusch / Victoria Vargas at Falco Ink.,

(212) 445-7100

5 Apr 2018

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