FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Jason Berger
FILM INDEPENDENT ANNOUNCES 2022 SLOAN FILM SUMMIT
Three-Day Summit Returns April 8 through April 10 to Celebrate
the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s 750+ Science-Themed Film Projects
from a New Generation of Filmmakers
Keynote to be delivered by Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Andrea Ghez
$50,000 Distribution Grant Awarded to After Yang
LOS ANGELES, March 31, 2022 – The nonprofit arts organization Film Independent, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, announced today that the seventh triennial Sloan Film Summit will be taking place April 8 through April 10 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Returning after a pandemic-imposed break, the 2022 Summit will celebrate the thriving nationwide Sloan Film Program, bringing together over 150 screenwriters, directors and producers, as well as working scientists and representatives from leading film schools and film organizations, who work to bridge the gap between science, technology and popular culture.
The Sloan Film Summit, launched in 1999, forms part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Film Program under its broader effort in the Public Understanding of Science and Technology. This year’s event will highlight the ways in which art and science can support each other and work towards a common mission; acknowledging the program’s wide-ranging success supporting young filmmakers while bringing together a new group of artists and scientists. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Andrea Ghez will give a keynote address; the summit will also host screenings, panels and conversations between a wide range of experts in the fields of filmmaking and science.
“After twice postponing this event due to COVID-19, we’re delighted to partner with Film Independent in hosting this popular summit celebrating the Sloan Foundation’s pioneering Film Program which has resulted in over 750 science-themed film projects from some of the most innovative and exciting filmmakers in the U.S. and internationally,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Sloan’s network of a dozen film schools, six screenplay development partners and three film festivals has created a unique developmental pipeline for supporting original work that engages with science and technology themes and characters. The program has produced over 30 completed feature films and a new generation of filmmakers, including three winners, one finalist, and one semi-finalist for the Student Academy Awards since the last Sloan Film Summit in 2017. While showing that science can entertain as well as enlighten, the Foundation continues to champion work about scientists who are women, as well as Black, Indigenous, and people of color, through new screenplays about the lives and accomplishments of underappreciated figures such as Alice Ball, Lewis Latimer, Benjamin Banneker, Luis Miramontes and many other hidden figures. We look forward to showcasing more great stories about such scientists at this year’s summit.”
“Film Independent is thrilled to work with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on this remarkable gathering of filmmakers, film organizations and the scientific community that is the Sloan Film Summit,” said Josh Welsh, Film Independent President. “The past few years have only clarified the importance of science and technology and the power of art to shine a spotlight on these issues and bring them into the mainstream. The Sloan Foundation’s commitment to supporting visual storytellers whose work deeply engages with themes of science and technology is more essential now than ever.”
The Sloan Film Summit will kick off on Friday, April 8 at 5:30 pm with an opening reception followed by a screening of A24’s After Yang, which was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is the recipient of a $50,000 distribution grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. After the screening, there will be a conversation moderated by producer Jennifer 8. Lee with the film’s creative team, including director Kogonada, and esteemed scientists such as Presidential Award recipient Maja Matarić, to explore the timely issues raised by the film relating to the connections between the human brain and artificial intelligent technology.
On Saturday, April 9 the Summit will continue with a full day of private panels, workshops and networking sessions with industry professionals for all the Sloan supported filmmakers and organizations. Renowned female artists and scientists, including Flight Systems Engineer Tracy Drain, will participate in a panel moderated by writer and executive producer Wendy Calhoun on Women in Science and On Film. Case studies will also be presented on previous Sloan-supported films, including Student Academy Award-winning short film Sweet Potatoes director Rommel Villa and To Dust co-writer/co-producer Jason Begue going through their successful journeys from their inception through development, including collaborating with science advisors, through their release. The day will conclude with a tour of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
Sunday, April 10 features a public showcase of Sloan-winning short films, staged screenplay readings, and the keynote address from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Andrea Ghez. The day will then conclude with a screening of the documentary How to Survive a Pandemic and a conversation with the film’s director David France and producer Mira Chang, and science experts on virology, epidemiology and public health including UCLA’s Dr. Anne Rimoin and USC’s Dr. Jeffrey Klausner.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Film Independent are debuting a video produced by Conduit Collective, led by Film Independent Fellow, Director/Producer Elizabeth Ai and her collaborators Hannah Bernall and Lisa Vangellow, celebrating the triennial Sloan Film Summit and offering an inspiring look at the impact science has had on cinematic endeavors featuring commentary from Margot Lee Shetterly, Michael Almerayda, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Dr. Celine Gounder, Nuhash Humayun and others. The video will launch on April 6, 2022.
ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT
For over 40 years, Film Independent has helped filmmakers get their projects made and seen. The nonprofit organization’s core mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision.
In addition to producing the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the organization supports creative professionals with Artist Development programs, grants and labs. Signature mentorship program Project Involve fosters the careers of talented filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Weekly Education events and workshops equip filmmakers of all ages and experience levels with tools and resources. Global Media Makers, a cultural exchange program produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, provides career-building opportunities for international film professionals. And year-round screening series Film Independent Presents delivers monthly, unique cinematic experiences to Members in Los Angeles and beyond.
For more information or to become a Member, visit filmindependent.org.
ABOUT THE ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a New York based, philanthropic, not-for-profit institution that makes grants in three areas: research in science, technology, and economics; quality and diversity of scientific institutions; and public engagement with science.
ABOUT SLOAN’S PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING PROGRAM
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 a dozen leading film schools and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production, along with an annual best-of-the best Student Grand Jury Prize. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs with the Sundance Institute, SFFILM, Film Independent, the Black List, the Athena Film Festival, and the North Fork TV Festival, and has helped develop over 30 feature films including Tesla, Radium Girls, Adventures of a Mathematician, One Man Dies a Million Times, The Sound of Silence, To Dust, Operator, The Imitation Game, and The Man Who Knew Inﬁnity. The Foundation has supported feature documentaries such as Picture a Scientist, Coded Bias, In Silico, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, The Bit Player, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Particle Fever, and Jacques Perrin’s Oceans. It has also given early recognition to stand out films such as Don’t Look Up, After Yang, Son of Monarchs, Ammonite, The Aeronauts, Searching, The Martian, and Hidden Figures.
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 in London, as well as supporting select productions across the country and abroad. Recent grants have supported Mark Rylance’s Dr. Semmelweis, Sam Chanse’s what you are now, Charly Evon Simpson’s Behind the Sheet, Bess Wohl’s Continuity, Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes, Chiara Atik’s Bump, 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 best-selling book that became the highest grossing Oscar-nominated film of 2017, and Kai Bird & Martin Sherwin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning American Prometheus, currently being adapted for the big screen by director Christopher Nolan.
For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, visit sloan.org.