×

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.  

Popular on Variety

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

  • BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 21: (L-R)

    Gerard Butler, Daniel Bruhl, Tom Wlaschiha Attend Babelsberg Night in Berlin

    Actors Gerard Butler (pictured above with Soho House’s Dominic Hofer and Studio Babelsberg’s Christoph Fisser), Daniel Brühl and Tom Wlaschiha, who played Jaqen H’ghar in “Game of Thrones,” were among the guests at the Studio Babelsberg Night Friday at Berlin’s Soho House. Other actors at the party included Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Schuele, Elyas M’Barek, Iris [...]

  • Breaking through the glass

    Breaking Through The Lens Unveils Shortlist for Pitching Platform at Cannes

    Breaking Through The Lens, an initiative launched three years ago to promote emerging female directors, has unveiled the shortlist of projects vying to participate in the 3rd edition of its pitching platform set to take place during the Cannes Film Festival. The selected projects, which will be pitched to over 100 financiers and key industry [...]

  • 'Blind,' Starring Demi Moore, Alec Baldwin,

    'Blind,' Starring Demi Moore, Alec Baldwin, Goes to Germany's Tiberius (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tiberius Film, headed by Oliver Fink, has acquired rights for Germany to drama “Blind,” starring Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin, at Berlin’s European Film Market, as well as horror film “Death of Me” and action-horror movie “The Driver.” “Blind” tells the story of a writer who loses his wife and his eyesight in a car [...]

  • Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton on Harvey Weinstein: 'It Was Time for An Accounting'

    Hillary Clinton has said that the jury’s verdict in the trial of Harvey Weinstein, formerly one of her primary Hollywood donors, “really speaks for itself.” “It is obviously something that people have looked at and followed, because it was time for an accounting and the jury clearly found that,” said Clinton, who was speaking Tuesday [...]

  • Ordinary Justice

    'Ordinary Justice' Director Chiara Bellosi on Fascination With Courthouses

    Young Italian director Chiara Bellosi is at the Berlinale with “Ordinary Justice” which examines the lives of two families on opposite sides of a murder case who intersect on the benches outside the room where the case is being tried. This first work, screening in Generation14Plus, is produced by Carlo Cresto-Dina’s Tempesta which discovered Alice Rohrwacher (“The Wonders,” [...]

  • The Invisible Man

    Elisabeth Moss in 'The Invisible Man': Film Review

    These days, the horror-fantasy thriller tends to be a junk metaphysical spook show that throws a whole lot of scary clutter at the audience — ghosts, “demons,” mad killers — without necessarily adding up to an experience that’s about anything. But in “The Invisible Man,” Leigh Whannell’s ingenious and entertaining update of a concept that’s [...]

  • Nora Arnezeder

    Berlin: Wide's Thriller 'Blast' Sold to Japan, Latin America at the EFM (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Blast,” a high-concept thriller produced and represented in international markets by Paris-based company Wide, has sold to several territories at the EFM in Berlin. Vanya Peirani-Vignes’ feature debut, “Blast” takes place Parisian parking lot where Sonia finds herself trapped in her car with her son while her boyfriend’s daughter has been left outside to deal [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content