Introducing Our 2019 Sloan Filmmaker Fund Grantees

Our partnership with Alfred P. Sloan Foundation continues with the announcement of this year’s annual TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund Grantees. Filmmakers from Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Jamaica, Chile and Nepal will receive grants totalling $150,000 among the three projects.

Past TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund grantees include the Oscar®-winning film, The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, Computer Chess (2012), A Birder’s Guide to Everything (2011), The House of Tomorrow (2015), One Man Dies A Million Times (2017) and The Catcher Was A Spy (2015).


Chosen from a competitive group of submissions, the film ASIA A, from filmmaker Andrew Reid, portrays a college basketball player, who after suffering a spinal cord injury, struggles between hoping for recovery and accepting his new life as a paraplegic. The short film version has won the Jury Award at the 2018 DGA Student Awards and was a Semi-Finalist for the 45th Student Academy Awards. It has screened at LA Shorts, HollyShorts and over 20 other film festivals.


From Venezuelan Director/Writer Juan Avella and Producer Diego Nájera from Guadalajara, Mexico, BOLICHICOS, a film inspired by true events, tells the story of a privileged 20-year-old in Venezuela, who recruits the maid’s straight-laced son to carry out a currency exchange scam, earning them millions by exploiting the country’s poorest.


WIRING UTOPIA tells the story of a wealthy British cybernetician, in 1971, who gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he is invited to create an “electronic nervous system” — the world’s first internet — in socialist Chile. The dream team of filmmakers include Director/Writer, David Barker (Daylight, the upcoming Netflix release of The Edge of Democracy) and Chilean co-writer Jerónimo Rodriguez (Much Ado About Nothing), with producers Jay Van Hoy (American HoneyBeginners, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) and Deepak Rauniyar (White Sun), who The New York Times recently described as one of “The 9 New Directors You Need to Watch”.

Huge thanks to our esteemed jury of science and entertainment professionals who selected this years grantees, including physicist and musician Stephon Alexander;  Professor of Neural Science and Psychology Wendy Suzuki; actor, director, producer Jennifer Morrison and film, television and digital content producers Laura Turner Garrison and filmmaker Warrington Hudlin.


Want to join the science and film fun at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival? Our partners at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation are hosting a panel discussion with cast and crew from the new THE HOT ZONE series, following its world premiere on April 30th. Sloan provided a grant to bestselling author Richard Preston to support the research and writing of the book “The Hot Zone”.

The panel will include showrunners and executive producers Kelly Souders, Brian Peterson, and Lynda Obst, author Richard Preston, technical supervisor Dr. Michael Smit, epidemiologist Dr. Wan Yang and cast members Julianna Margulies and Liam Cunningham.

THE HOT ZONE is inspired by the true story about the Ebola virus origins and its arrival on U.S. soil in 1989. When this killer suddenly appeared in monkeys in a scientific research lab in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., there was no known cure. A heroic U.S. Army scientist working with a secret military specialized team put her life on the line to head off the outbreak. Get your tickets here!

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