Sloan Student Grand Jury and Discovery Prizes
Museum of the Moving Image and Sloan Science & Film, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, award the annual Sloan Student Grand Jury and Discovery Prizes to emerging filmmakers from select schools across the nation. The winners are honored at an awards ceremony at MoMI, with work-in-progress presentations featured as part of the Museum’s annual First Look Festival.
The Sloan Student Grand Jury and Discovery Prizes celebrate two outstanding feature film or scripted series screenplays annually—from those nominated by twelve top graduate film programs—that integrate science or technology themes and characters into a realistic, compelling, and timely story. Two winners, selected by a jury of esteemed film and science professionals, receive a $20,000 prize and are provided industry exposure, feedback, and year-round mentorship from a science advisor and film industry professional. These prizes aim to support film development and advance the careers of diverse, emerging filmmakers interested in science and technology as they transition out of graduate school and into the film industry.
The Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize, first established by the Tribeca Film Institute and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2011, will be awarded through a nomination process conducted by the six leading university film schools that partner year-round with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. They are: American Film Institute; Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama; Columbia University Film Department; NYU Tisch School of the Arts; UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television; and USC School of Cinematic Arts. Each school will nominate one screenplay or scripted series pilot from those that have been recognized for its realistic and compelling depictions of science and technology themes or characters. The Grand Jury Prize is awarded to the best-of-the-best from these program partners.
The Sloan Student Discovery Prize, established in 2019, expands the pool of applicants to nominations from six public universities with established graduate film programs. The schools are: Brooklyn College Feirstein School of Cinema; Florida State University; SUNY Purchase School of Film and Media Studies; Temple University; University of Texas at Austin; and University of Michigan. Each school nominates one screenplay or scripted series pilot for consideration by the jury.
About the Prizes:
- Applications are accepted by nomination only.
- Applicants can submit a feature film screenplay or a pilot with series treatment.
- Scripts should prominently feature science, engineering, mathematics, or technology in the story.
- Finalists will be expected to go through one round of notes with an assigned writing mentor and then submit a revised screenplay with a formal application in fall to be reviewed by a jury of science and film industry professionals.
- Each award comes with a $20,000 prize and year-round mentorship from a science and film industry advisor.
- The winners will be celebrated at a public awards ceremony at Museum of the Moving Image.
- The winning screenplays will be showcased at MoMI's annual First Look Festival with a session dedicated to screenplay readings and feedback.
- MoMI staff will oversee the distribution of funds to the winning filmmaker and will monitor the ways in which those funds are used.
Previous Grand Jury and Discovery Prize Winners:
Samantha Sewell, Until Then We Keep Breathing (2022 Grand Jury Prize)
Gerard Shaka, Woodside (2022 Discovery Prize)
Marisa Torelli-Pedevska, Starlight (2021 Grand Jury Prize)
Juli Jackson, Delta (2021 Discovery Prize)
Zoe Fleer, Clamming (2020 Discovery Prize)
Matthew Jackett, White Coffins (2020 Grand Jury Prize)
Anderson Cook, James Thomas Thinks the Earth Is Flat (2019 Grand Jury Prize)
Andrew Rodriguez, Plus (2019 Discovery Prize)
Jeremy Palmer, The Valley of Dry Bones (2018 Grand Jury Prize)
Annie Pulsipher, The Glowing Gene (2017 Grand Jury Prize)
Shawn Snyder & Jason Begue, To Dust (2016 Grand Jury Prize)
Savannah Reich, Deep Sea Divers of 1929 (2015 Grand Jury Prize)
Laura Alsum, Survival of the Fittest (2014 Grand Jury Prize)
Barnett Brettler, Waking Hours (2013 Grand Jury Prize)
Grainger David, Penny Stock (2012 Grand Jury Prize)
Robert Cohen, Bystander (2011 Grand Jury Prize)
To learn more about the Sloan Film Program and browse all previous winners, visit scienceandfilm.org/projects
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