×

Tribeca Film Institute Announces 2019 Sloan Foundation Winners

The Tribeca Film Institute has announced this year’s Sloan Foundation winners.

Anderson Cook, a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, was recognized with the Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize for his screenplay, “James Thomas Thinks The Earth is Flat.” The film follows a 12 year-old aspiring physicist, Noah Roberson, who forms an unlikely partnership with NBA All-star James Thomas (known for his infamous flat-earth conspiracy theories) to convince the young boy’s neighbors to care more about science.

The Student Grand Jury prize celebrates the “best of the best” screenplays submitted by six of the leading film schools as part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s nationwide program that encourages student filmmakers to create science and tech-based films.

“This year’s winners represent new storytellers integrating scientific themes into the most urgent subjects of the day that inform the cultural conversation,” said Doron Weber, VP and program director at the Sloan Foundation.

Andrew Rodriguez, currently in his final year in the Film Conservatory at SUNY Purchase, was awarded the Sloan Student Discovery Award for his series, “Plus.” Like Cook’s film, Rodriguez’s story is also a coming-of-age story. His movie follows a queer person of color college student Zaire Ruiz in New York City as he struggles with a sudden HIV diagnosis and the condition’s attached social stigmas. Rodriguez is the first student to be awarded with the Student Discovery Award, which launched this year in the Sloan Foundation’s efforts to find more stories from diverse backgrounds and voices.  

Jamil Munoz, current MFA candidate in directing at Columbia University, was recognized with the Sloan Student Honorable Mention for his series, “Baretia.” It tells the true story of Jeanne Baret, the first woman to successfully endeavor on a circumnavigation of the world  — all while disguised as a man.

Each recipient was chosen by a jury of seasoned science and industry veterans, including Anne Hubbell, VP of Motion Picture at Kodak; Janna Levin, the director of sciences and chair of the science studios at Pioneer Works, and also the Claire Tow professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia.

In addition to awards, the programs provides film students with grants up to $20,000. The Sloan Foundation has awarded more than $4.75 million in grants to students nationwide to date.

More Film

  • 'Tomb Raider' Star Simon Yam in

    'Tomb Raider' Star Simon Yam in Hospital After Stabbing

    Hugely popular Hong Kong actor, Simon Yam was stabbed while on stage Saturday at a presentation in Zhongshan, Guangdong province in southern China. He is in hospital recovering. The incident happened at the opening of a branch of the Beijing Easyhome building materials company, where Yam was a guest. A man was seen rushing on [...]

  • Brazilian President Jair Bolosnaro attends the

    Bolsonaro Threatens Brazil’s Central Film Fund with Censorship or Closure

    In typical shoot-from-the-hip remarks, Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has declared that Ancine, Brazil’s powerful state-backed federal film agency, should accept “filters”or face closure. “If it can’t have a filter, we’ll close Ancine, or privatize it,” Bolsonaro added, attacking Ancine, which plows some $300 million a year into Brazil’s film and TV industries, for supporting [...]

  • TSOM-MASK

    Director Sara Gouveia on ‘Looking At Resilience Through Art’

    DURBAN–The Mapiko dance of Mozambique’s indigenous Makonde people was long used as a tool for social commentary. But during the colonial era it became an act of political resistance, prompting the Portuguese to stamp it out during Mozambique’s 10-year war for independence. Decades later, the art has been revived as a celebration of freedom. For [...]

  • Don Edkins

    Documentary Filmmaker Don Edkins on ‘Creating an African Voice’ 

    DURBAN–For the 10th Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, a new strand was created to look at the unique challenges and opportunities facing documentary filmmakers in Africa. The two-day program, Durban Does Docs, offers a series of conversations, seminars and workshops with an intensive focus on the aesthetics, funding, distribution [...]

  • A Faithful Man

    Film Review: 'A Faithful Man'

    French actor Louis Garrel has been married twice, first to Iranian talent Golshifteh Farahani, and now to model-cum-actress Laetitia Casta. He has also directed two features, the first a free-wheeling love-triangle comedy called “Two Friends” in which Garrel plays the cad who comes between his best friend and the object of his obsession (played by [...]

  • LGBTQ Film Festival Outfest Opens With

    LGBTQ Film Festival Outfest Opens With Documentary About Gay Porn Shops Circus of Books

    Granted, the red carpet at the opening night of Outfest in DTLA may not have been the most star-studded but it was without a doubt the most diverse, inclusive and, yes, fabulous. “I’ve never been here before,” admitted “RuPaul’s Drag Race” vet Trixie Mattel, who stars in the documentary “Moving Parts.” “It’s supposed to be [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Russ Tamblyn's Career Had Legs After Childhood

    With an acting career that spans work for Cecil B. DeMille and Joseph Losey to Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch, Russ Tamblyn’s creativity and longevity is proof that there’s life after child stardom. In Tamblyn’s case, there’s also been a bounty of juicy film and TV roles long after his legendary legs no longer kicked [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content