Tribeca Film Institute and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced the winners of their 2020 Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize and Sloan Student Discovery Awards on Thursday, which have been awarded to Matthew Jackett for his screenplay “White Coffins” and Zoe Fleer’s “Clamming,” respectively.
The Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize has supported 15 student filmmakers nationwide with more than $450,000 in grants and professional development services since its inception in 2011. The program honors aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters from the six leading film schools supported by the Sloan Foundation and focuses on screenplays with science and technology themes. The Sloan Student Discovery Award offers grants for students from six additional public film schools who write screenplays on similar themes. Up to $20,000 in grant aid will be distributed to the filmmakers along with $20,000 worth of industry and scientific mentoring.
Jackett’s “White Coffins” follows a female health inspector in 1907 New York City as she pursues Typhoid Mary and grapples with her sexuality. Jackett attends New York University and studies dramatic writing in the MFA program. Fleer’s “Clamming” focuses on Bella, a researcher in a fishing town in Long Island, who studies how rising water temperatures affect her local scallop population. Fleer currently attends Brooklyn College CUNY Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema.
Other Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize and Discovery Award honorable mentions include Mrittika Sarin’s “Scarce” about a software engineer in Bangalore and Drew A. Metcalf’s “In The Black” about a math wiz who becomes an accountant for a drug dealer.
The screenplays were judged by a panel of industry and science professionals.
“We’re thrilled to honor these original student screenplays which highlight women scientists in different fields working in different times and different settings,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Sloan Foundation in a statement. “The Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize and Discovery Awards showcase the most promising young filmmakers in the country who are integrating science and technology themes and characters into compelling and timely dramatic tales.”