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by Austin Dale
April 12, 2012 2:36 PM
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2012 TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund Recipients Announced

"Unmanned" is one of three TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund Recipients

The Tribeca Film Institute has announced the three films that will receive a total of $150,000 in support from the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Fund supports film projects which tell stories emphasizing science and technology. This is the 11th year of partnership between TFI and the Sloan Foundation.

“For the past 11 years, Tribeca has collaborated with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to support compelling film projects with science and technology themes and help them reach a wider audience,” said Tamir Muhammad, Director of Feature Programming, TFI. “Programs like theTFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, the Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize for Screenwriting, and this year’s retrospective screening and panel of WarGamesat the Festival showcase our longstanding partnership. We look forward to the continued success of the program, and to working with this year’s deserving grantees.” 

The winning films are:

Unmanned
Casey Cooper Johnson (writer/director), Casey Fenton (producer), Peter W. Singer (story by), Sevdije Kastrati (cinematographer)
A young Air Force drone operator struggles to balance the stresses of going to war for the first time with the challenges of being a good father and husband, as he commutes each day between suburban family life and a new style of war fought by remote control. The short version of this film received an earlier Sloan Foundation production grant and ispremiering at this year’s Festival.  

Computer Chess
Andrew Bujalski (writer/director), Houston King (producer), Alex Lipschultz (producer)
This film focuses on a computer chess tournament in the 80’s, transporting viewers to a nostalgic moment when the battle of technology versus the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs.

Resonance
Dara Bratt (director/writer), Keiran Dick (writer), Andrew Fierberg (producer), Robert Gerber (executive producer)
Two damaged young men trying to reclaim their lives, push each other to the breaking point until they realize that only their friendship will save them.  Portraying the crossroads of neurology and psychiatry, the film examines how the brain's functioning affects the way we interact, and how medical science treats brain abnormalities.

Full press release reprinted below:

TRIBECA FILM INSTITUTE AND THE ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE 2012 TFI SLOAN FILMMAKER FUND RECIPIENTS

$150,000 Awarded to Three Projects that Dramatize Science and Technology Themes in Film

Award Committee Includes Ryan Phillippe, Stephen Lang, Neuroscientist Joseph E. LeDoux, Professor of Astrophysical Sciences J. Richard Gott, and Other Film and Science Experts

[New York, NY – April 12, 2012] – TheTribeca Film Institute (TFI) today announced the films that will receive financial and creative support from the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  This year, three projects, chosen from 130 applicants from around the world, will be awarded a total of $150,000 and will be recognized at the annual Tribeca Film Festival, taking place April 18-29, 2012.  The winning films include: Unmanned,Computer Chess andResonance. The projects, which all emphasize science and technology in their storylines, focus on subjects including a new style of war fought by remote control, tensions between human ingenuity and machines in the computer chess tournaments of the 1980s, and the impact of brain abnormalities on interpersonal relationships.

The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund awards 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 receive year-round mentorship from science experts and members of the film industry with the goal to help their projects at any stage move towards completion.  2012 marks the 11th year of the partnership between TFI and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a founding sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival and TFI. 

The winning projects were selected by an Award Committee made up of film and science notables including actor Ryan Phillippe (Flags of Our Fathers, The Lincoln Lawyer); actor Stephen Lang (Avatar, Public Enemies, Terra Nova); producer Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Erin Brockovich, Django Unchained); neuroscientist Joseph E. LeDoux; professor of astrophysical sciences J. Richard Gott (Princeton); and molecular endocrinologist Dr. Carter Bancroft.

“For the past 11 years, Tribeca has collaborated with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to support compelling film projects with science and technology themes and help them reach a wider audience,” said Tamir Muhammad, Director of Feature Programming, TFI. “Programs like theTFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, the Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize for Screenwriting, and this year’s retrospective screening and panel ofWarGamesat the Festival showcase our longstanding partnership. We look forward to the continued success of the program, and to working with this year’s deserving grantees.” 

“We are very proud to celebrate our long standing partnership with Tribeca, which has helped produce an exciting array of film projects, readings and panels that present new ways to think about science and technology,” said Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “This year’s talented filmmakers and their diverse range of stories —from a new style of war fought with drones, to the ongoing struggle between humans and machines to the complexities of our own brain — attest to the growing appeal of movies that engage our minds as well as our hearts.”

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