A slate of six science-centric, in-the-works pics have been selected to receive grants from the Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Filmmaker Fund, including one produced by Darren Aronofsky and Rachel Weisz.
The grant program from TFI, the nonprofit affiliated with the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation hands out coin to narrative film projects that dramatize science or tech issues, or feature scientists in central roles.
Aronofsky, Weisz and fellow producer Ari Handel team on scribe Anna Ziegler’s “Photograph 51,” based on her own play about Rosalind Franklin’s role in determining the double-helix structure of DNA.
Also snagging funds is “Televisionaries,” writer Evan I. Schwartz’s look at two of television’s founding figures, Philo T. Farnsworth and David Sarnoff, based on Schwartz’s book “The Last Lone Inventor.” There’s also “A Birder’s Guide to Everything,” about a teen birdwatcher on the hunt for an extinct duck, from director and co-screenwriter Rob Meyer and co-scribe Luke Matheny, who picked up the narrative short Oscar earlier this spring.
Additional TFI Sloan grants will go to writer-director Lara Shapiro’s “Talking Book,” about a 1970s tech company hawking a computer that reads books out loud to the blind; “El Diablo Roja,” a true story of a swarm of squid from writer Brent Hoff; and Marie Curie tale “A Noble Affair” from a script by Anil Baral and Kathryn Maughan. Honorable mention went to another brewing Curie pic, “Radiant,” and “Blackwood,” about an amateur botanist.
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Grant recipients will be part of a works-in-progress showcase, with filmmakers set up with meetings in the industry. Projects were selected by a team of scientists and film bizzers including Matthew Broderick and James L. Brooks. Awards will be presented at a luncheon April 28.
Fest runs April 20-May 1.