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SFFILM, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, has announced the recipients of the Sloan Science in Cinema Filmmaker Fellowships. Two filmmakers have been selected, with the fellowships supporting the development of their narrative feature screenplays.
Microchip engineer-turned-filmmaker Temi Ojo was selected for his screenplay A Man With a Missing Face, which tells the story of an elderly Black man undergoing a face-transplant surgery. The script is inspired by the true story of Robert Chelsea, the first Black man (and oldest person) to receive a face transplant.
Mark Ingber was also selected for his script titled Terroir, which follows a female biochemistry PhD candidate who returns to her family’s failing wine vineyard in an attempt to save the family business.
Ojo and Inger will receive will receive a $35,000 cash grant and a two-month residency at FilmHouse, SFFILM’s suite of production offices for local and visiting independent filmmakers. In addition to receiving artistic mentorship and office space, the fellows will be connected to a scientific advisor whose expertise in their screenplay’s subjects will strengthen their films’ portrayal of science or technology.
The SFFILM Sloan Science in Cinema Initiative was launched in 2015 to celebrate and highlight cinema that brings together science and the art of storytelling, showing how these two seemingly disparate areas can combine to enhance the power of one another. The selections are meant to immerse a broad public audience in the challenges and rewards of scientific discovery, as well as to engage members of the scientific community.
“The scientific process, much like filmmaking, requires patience, vision, crucial support at the early stages, and celebration when experiments and projects come to fruition,” SFFILM Executive Director Anne Lai said in a statement. “We are so proud to be in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for our Science in Cinema Initiative. Through these programs are able to support filmmaking fellows as they hone their stories, and we get to elevate the impact of science with our movie-going audiences. We are grateful for this meaningful partnership and the material impact it has on filmmakers and audiences alike.”
“We are thrilled to partner with SFFILM to announce the 2022 winners of the Sloan Science in Cinema Filmmaker Fellowships, part of our nationwide program to support films depicting scientific themes or characters and to highlight the contributions of underrepresented groups,” added Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “This year’s two terrific winning projects, a social comedy about winemaking in the south of France and a harrowing drama about the first Black man to undergo face transplant surgery in the U.S., showcase not just the range and diversity of subject matter in this program but the ways science and technology are redefining and remaking reality in contemporary life.”
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