Sundance Institute and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation revealed the winners of $60,000 worth of grants today, and Michael Almereyda’s Marjorie Prime won the Feature Film Prize. Jon Hamm, Geena Davis, Lois Smith and Tim Robbins star in the film set in a near-future time of artificial intelligence. Marjorie is 86 and has a handsome new companion who looks like her deceased husband and is programmed to feed the story of her life back to her.
Jamie Dawson and Howard Gertler’s Untitled Smallpox Eradication Project took the Sloan Commissioning Grant, and Darcy Brislin and Dyana Winkler’s Bell received the Sloan Lab Fellowship.
Here is the complete list of Sloan Foundation grant recipients, with descriptions provided by the Sundance Institute:
Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize ($20,000)
Marjorie Prime / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Almereyda) — In the near future — a time of artificial intelligence — 86-year-old Marjorie has a handsome new companion who looks like her deceased husband and is programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? Cast: Jon Hamm, Geena Davis, Lois Smith, Tim Robbins.
Sundance Institute / Sloan Commissioning Grant ($12,500).
Untitled Smallpox Eradication Project (U.S.A.) / Jamie Dawson (Writer) and Howard Gertler (Producer)
In 1965, the World Health Organization orders a massive operation to eradicate the deadly smallpox virus from the human population. A ragtag band of very different personalities — from ashram hippies to tenacious scientists to tactical bureaucrats — clash and collaborate as they fight to pull off the impossible.
Sundance Institute / Sloan Lab Fellowship ($15,000)
Bell (U.S.A.) / Darcy Brislin (Co-Writer) and Dyana Winkler (Co-Writer)
At a pivotal point in history, hearing society began a golden age of communication with the advent of the telephone, while deaf society plummeted into a dark age with the eradication of sign language and spread of eugenics. At the helm of both trajectories stands a single man—Alexander Graham Bell. This project was the recipient of the 2016 Sundance Sloan Commissioning Grant.
Sundance Institute / Sloan Episodic Storytelling Grant: Levittown ($12,500)
Levittown (U.S.A.) / Adam Benic (Writer, Creator)
A one-hour drama series about visionary WWII veteran, Lieutenant William Levitt, who on his 40th birthday broke ground on the largest private construction project in American history. Alongside his attorney father and architect brother, Will fights against an antiquated industry to fill the massive postwar housing need, thus building the world’s first mass-produced suburb, Levittown, Long Island.