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TIFF and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announce a new partnership to support science on screen


The Toronto International Film Festival® is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of science on screen. The new programme, Breakthroughs: The Sloan Science on Screen Programme, puts science in the spotlight and equips screen creators with industry connections and creative support at TIFF to further their science- and/or technology-focused projects. The Breakthroughs: The Sloan Science on Screen Programme will run at TIFF from 2023 to 2024, funded by a generous gift from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This new initiative will comprise three areas of focus: the Sloan Science & Technology Project Pitch, the Sloan Science & Technology Writer Fellowship, and the Sloan Science on Film Showcase. Applications for the Sloan Science & Technology Project Pitch are now open. For more information, please visit Breakthroughs: The Sloan Science on Screen Programme.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Sloan Foundation on this exciting new programme,” said Anita Lee, TIFF Chief Programming Officer. “The intersections of art, science and technology have never been more relevant as artists and scientists seek to understand, invent and reflect the world around us.”

The three areas of focus for the Breakthroughs: The Sloan Science on Screen Programme are:

  • Sloan Science & Technology Project Pitch: The Sloan Science and Technology Project Pitch will provide four Canadian and international creators the opportunity to pitch their science- and/or technology-related film or episodic project at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. Participants will deliver a maximum 15-minute presentation in front of a live audience of industry experts and decision makers. Each creator selected for the non-competitive pitch event will be awarded $15,000 CAD to develop their project. Applications open May 1, 2023, and close June 12, 2023.
  • Sloan Science & Technology Writer Fellowship: The Sloan Science and Technology Writer Fellowship offers a project development grant ($35,000 CAD) and creative support ― including participation in TIFF Writers’ Studio in March ― for one early- to mid-career screenwriter whose feature film or episodic project explores science and technology. Applications will open in Fall 2023.
  • Sloan Science on Film Showcase: The Sloan Science on Film Showcase will spotlight two science-forward feature films per year: one Official Selection title at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and one year-round programming title at TIFF Bell Lightbox. One screening of each film will include a discussion between a member of the film team and a scientific expert. More information will be available in the coming months.

“We’re delighted to make this inaugural grant to the Toronto International Film Festival and to extend our pioneering nationwide film program to an international audience,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Sloan Foundation. “For over two decades, we have developed a rich pipeline for talented filmmakers and TIFF will give them an unparalleled opportunity to present their work in progress to industry experts and decision makers. We also look forward to showcasing two outstanding films a year and one exceptional screenwriter working on a script with a science and technology theme and/or character.”

TIFF and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation believe that film has the power to transform the way we see the world. Through this partnership, the aim is to deliver a science-focused film programme that reaches creators and the public alike. With this programme, TIFF and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will support and inspire the next generation of creators to tackle science and technology themes, and promote greater understanding and appreciation of these topics among movie-lovers.

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