Sloan Distribution Grant

The Sloan Distribution Grant is a $50,000 grant awarded by Film Independent to a film that is entering its distribution phase. Eligible films must depict themes, stories and characters grounded in real science, technology or economics.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be the producer of a narrative fiction feature film.
  • The film should prominently feature science, mathematics and/or technology in the story and/or have a leading character that is a scientist, engineer or mathematician.
  • Films with innovative marketing and distribution plans are encouraged to apply.
  • All submitted films must be at least 70 minutes in length.
  • Applicants must be legal residents of the United States.
  • Film must be entering its distribution phase.

For more information on the application deadline please visit our applications page.

About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants 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.

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 plus six new film schools this year –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, SFFILM, the Black List, the Athena Film Festival, the North Fork TV Festival, and Film Independent’s Producing Lab and Fast Track program and has helped develop over 25 feature films such as Jessica Oreck’s One Man Dies a Million Times, Michael Tyburski’s The Sound of Silence, Shawn Snyder’s To Dust, Ben Lewin’s The Catcher Was a Spy, Melissa Finell’s Sensitivity Training, Logan Kibens and Sharon Greene’s Operator, Mathew Brown‘s The Man Who Knew Infinity, Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Marni Zelnick’s Druid Peak, Musa Syeed’s Valley of Saints, and Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess. The Foundation’s book program includes support for Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, adapted into an Oscar-nominated box office hit in 2017.

For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, please visit www.sloan.org or follow the Foundation at @SloanPublic on Twitter and Facebook.

How to Apply

To be considered for the Alfred P. Sloan Distribution Grant, qualifying filmmakers must submit and online application on the Film Independent website during the application period. The online application includes:

  • Cover letter explaining your interest in the grant.
  • Project status and history.
  • A proposal for the distribution and marketing strategy based on current status of the film; including any sales, offers or ongoing negotiations.
  • Bios of key cast and crew, including sales agent and publicist if applicable.
  • A link to view the film online.
  • Logline and synopsis.
  • Non-refundable application fee ($45 for Film Independent Members, $65 for non-Members)

Selection Process

Film Independent will review all submissions and select a maximum of three (3) finalists. Film Independent will require more detailed proposals from the finalists, detailing how they would use the grant funds to add value to their distribution options or support an alternative distribution strategy. The winning filmmaker must become a Film Independent Member.

Selection Criteria

Film Independent employs the following guidelines in making its selections:

  • Uniqueness of vision
  • Original, provocative subject matter
  • Economy of means
  • Percentage of financing from independent sources
  • Well-conceived plan for how to use the grant funds to maximize the audience for one’s film

Overseeing the Award

Film Independent staff will oversee the distribution of funds to the winning filmmaker and will monitor the way(s) in which those funds are used.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Jennifer Kushner, Director of Artist Development: jkushner@filmindependent.org.