Launched in 1996, Sloan’s Film program has awarded grants to over 750 film projects from some of the nation’s most innovative filmmakers, and has created a film development pipeline of multiple program partners through which Sloan nurtures and develops individual projects. Over the past 20 years, the Foundation has partnered with six of the top film schools in the country 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 at the Sundance Film Institute, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Black List, SFFILM, Film Independent, and the Athena Film Festival. To gain distribution for Sloan films, the Foundation has expanded Coolidge Corner Theater’s Science on Screen effort into a nationwide program that has awarded 274 grants to 96 independent cinemas, each of which shows at least one Sloan-supported film a year.
These grants support programs at leading film schools to encourage the emerging generation of filmmakers to tackle science and technology themes in their work. Film school programs include a diverse variety of opportunities for students, including seminars that introduce students to the latest scientific discoveries, access to scientific advisors to help with science content, awards for science-themed projects, and networking events with industry insiders.
Each year, the Sloan Foundation awards a Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize to the best-of-the-best screenplay from the Foundation’s six long term film school partners and a Student Discovery Award to a screenplay written by a student from one of the following six schools: Brooklyn College Feirstein School of Cinema, SUNY Purchase School of Film and Media Studies, Florida State University, University of Texas Austin, Temple University, and the University of Michigan.
The Foundation partners with influential film festivals or prominent institutions within Hollywood to fund efforts to raise the profile of science films and develop feature-length screenplays that can be produced and released theatrically.
Grants support a diverse range of activities, including feature film prizes, screenplay readings, panels, industry receptions, filmmaker fellowships, commissioning grants, production and distribution grants, and screenwriting labs.
Grantees in this program act as a development pipeline or “farm system” for the development of high-quality science themed projects. One project may receive support from multiple partners at different stages of development.
Grantmaking focuses on helping develop science-themed screenplays into production or in helping finished science-themed films find distribution.
Grantmaking focuses on creating a thriving community of filmmakers, film-lovers, and others who are passionate about science in film.
Every three years a Sloan Film Summit brings together all participating members and helps build cohesion, facilitate networking, and engender excitement.
SFFILM spotlights science in cinema with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation at the 65th San Francisco International Film Festival
Sloan Film Summit Sets Return After 2-Year Hiatus
Announcing the Jury Members of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival
Sloan Science in Cinema Prize Presentation + Q&A
The New York Times
A Comedy Nails the Media Apocalypse
Graham Sack: The Harvard Computers
The Foundation does not accept unsolicited scripts, treatments, or pitch letters. Screenwriters or filmmakers who wish to apply for one of the various awards available through our festival or film development partners should go to the respective organization’s website for information about eligibility, application deadlines, etc.
The Foundation not currently seeking new film school or new film festival partners.