Film Independent today announced that the seventh triennial Sloan Film Summit will take place from April 8-10 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.
Returning after a pandemic-imposed break, the 2022 Summit will celebrate the nationwide Sloan Film Program, bringing together over 150 writers, directors and producers, as well as working scientists and representatives from leading film schools and organizations, who work to bridge the gap between science, technology and popular culture.
The Summit will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on the 8th with an opening reception, followed by a screening of Kogonada’s A24 film After Yang, which was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is the recipient of a $50,000 distribution grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The screening will be followed by conversation moderated by producer Jennifer 8. Lee with the film’s creative team, including Kogonada, and such esteemed scientists as Presidential Award recipient Maja Matarić, to explore the timely issues raised by the film relating to the connections between the human brain and artificial intelligence technology.
The program will continue on the 9th with a full day of private panels, workshops and networking sessions with industry professionals for all the Sloan-supported filmmakers and organizations. Renowned female artists and scientists, including Flight Systems Engineer Tracy Drain, will participate in a panel moderated by writer-EP Wendy Calhoun on Women In Science and On Film. Case studies will also be presented on previous Sloan-supported films, with Student Academy Award winner Rommel Villa (Sweet Potatoes) and Jason Begue (To Dust) to walk audience members through their film’s journeys from inception through development, including collaborating with science advisors, through their release. The day will conclude with a tour of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
The Summit’s final day will feature a public showcase of Sloan-winning short films, staged screenplay readings, and a keynote address from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Andrea Ghez. The day will conclude with a screening of the documentary How to Survive a Pandemic, as well as a conversation with the film’s director David France, producer Mira Chang and science experts on virology, epidemiology and public health including UCLA’s Dr. Anne Rimoin and USC’s Dr. Jeffrey Klausner.
“After twice postponing this event due to COVID-19, we’re delighted to partner with Film Independent in hosting this popular summit celebrating the Sloan Foundation’s pioneering Film Program which has resulted in over 750 science-themed film projects from some of the most innovative and exciting filmmakers in the U.S. and internationally,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Sloan’s network of a dozen film schools, six screenplay development partners and three film festivals has created a unique developmental pipeline for supporting original work that engages with science and technology themes and characters. The program has produced over 30 completed feature films and a new generation of filmmakers, including three winners, one finalist, and one semi-finalist for the Student Academy Awards since the last Sloan Film Summit in 2017.
“While showing that science can entertain as well as enlighten, the Foundation continues to champion work about scientists who are women, as well as Black, Indigenous, and people of color, through new screenplays about the lives and accomplishments of underappreciated figures such as Alice Ball, Lewis Latimer, Benjamin Banneker, Luis Miramontes, and many other hidden figures,” continued Weber. “We look forward to showcasing more great stories about such scientists at this year’s summit.”
“Film Independent is thrilled to work with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on this remarkable gathering of filmmakers, film organizations and the scientific community that is the Sloan Film Summit,” added Josh Welsh, Film Independent President. “The past few years have only clarified the importance of science and technology and the power of art to shine a spotlight on these issues and bring them into the mainstream. The Sloan Foundation’s commitment to supporting visual storytellers whose work deeply engages with themes of science and technology is more essential now than ever.”
The Sloan Film Summit, launched in 1999, forms part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Film Program under its broader effort in the Public Understanding of Science and Technology. This year’s event will highlight the ways in which art and science can support each other and work towards a common mission; acknowledging the program’s wide-ranging success supporting young filmmakers while bringing together a new group of artists and scientists.
Film Independent is behind the Spirit Awards and also looks to bolster upcoming filmmakers from diverse backgrounds through additional Filmmaker Labs (across Directing, Documentary, Episodic and Producing); its Fast Track finance market and Fiscal Sponsorship, and additional Grants and Awards, which provide over one million dollars annually to visual storytellers.
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