Tribeca tabs scribe duo

Program aids Somerfeld's 'Face,' Baxter's 'Code'

Gretchen Somerfeld and David Baxter are the winners of this year’s Tribeca/Sloan Script Development Program.

Somerfeld’s winning script, “Face Value,” tells the story of screen sex goddess Hedy Lamarr and her invention for “frequency hopping,” a remote control guidance system for torpedoes and a forerunner to wireless communication. Baxter’s “The Broken Code” is based on Anne Sayre’s book “Rosalind Franklin & DNA,” which brought to light Franklin’s contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA.

The purpose of the program, which began in 2002, is to help fledgling scribes develop scripts with science or technology themes by giving the writers advisers and financial support. It is a collaboration between the Tribeca Film Institute, a Gotham nonprofit linked to the Tribeca Film Fest and Tribeca Prods., and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which was founded in 1934 to support scientific research and enhance public understanding of science through the arts and other means.

The writers will be assisted by a scientific advisory committee consisting of Dr. Alison McInnes of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Nobel Prize-winning cancer researcher and former National Institute of Health topper Harold Varmus, and Col. (Ret) David R. Hughes, an expert on a contemporary version of frequency hopping called spread spectrum radio.

A scene reading and discussion of the scripts will be held May 2 at the Tribeca Grand Hotel.

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