For Press Inquiries regarding the 2014 Sloan Film Summit:

Rachel Walker

Alia Quart Khan

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“Film Independent, Sloan Foundation Team Up for 2014 Summit, Distribution Grant. You might also call it a star-studded, science spectacular.”




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“So with The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything and Interstellar all hitting theaters in the next few weeks, the Sloan Foundation has picked an appropriate time for its 2014 Sloan Film Summit, one component of which sports the title ‘Science and the Art of Storytelling.'”





“The Summit will bring together 150 screenwriters, directors and producers, as well as reps from film schools and film orgs, ‘who work to bridge the gap between science and popular culture.'”




Beau Willimon (HS)


“Beau Willimon to Be Keynote Speaker at 2014 Sloan Film Summit”






“This month, science is really big at the movies.  It’s perfect then that Film Independent is linking science and movies with their upcoming Sloan Film Summit.”





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“How Sloan is Bringing Science to the Cinematic Mainstream (Whether You Realize It Or Not)”







“Sloan Summit: celebrating science in the movies.  A three-day downtown cinema celebration lauds big ideas on the big screen.”






The 2014 Sloan Summit brings together science and the art of storytelling”





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“This past weekend at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, the Sloan Foundation partnered with Film Independent to bring together scientists, artists, producers and leading representatives from film associations and schools.”








Alia Quart Khan, Film Independent,
Rachel Walker, Film Independent,

Peter Axtman, Sunshine Sachs,
Jason Lee, Sunshine Sachs,


Showcasing The Sloan Foundation’s Flourishing Science In Entertainment Program
Works in Progress Screenings, Panels, Workshops and Public Screenings
Including The Theory of Everything and Imitation Game
Keynote Speech by Beau Willimon
New $50,000 Sloan Distribution Grant Announced

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 8, 2014) — Film Independent announced today that it is producing the 2014 Sloan Film Summit taking place November 14 – November 16 at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles.  The Summit, co-hosted by Film Independent and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, will celebrate the thriving nationwide Sloan film program, bringing together 150 screenwriters, directors and producers, as well as representatives from leading film schools and film organizations, who work to bridge the gap between science and popular culture. To date, Sloan has awarded $4 million in direct grants to film students in support of over 500 projects. The Sloan Film program was launched in 1997 and forms part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s broader effort in Public Understanding of Science and Technology.

“The 2014 Sloan Film Summit marks a watershed moment for the Sloan Foundation’s pioneering science and technology Film Program and for science themed films in general as they begin to move into the cinematic mainstream. The Foundation has developed over a dozen theatrically released feature films through its own pipeline since the last Summit in 2011,” said Doron Weber, Vice President at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Three of 2014’s major Oscar-winning films—Gravity, Her and Dallas Buyers Club –and at least two early 2015 contenders—Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game—exemplify the kind of work long championed by Sloan. The Imitation Game has already received two Sloan awards this year. We are thrilled to host this summit with our partners at Film Independent and to celebrate the achievements of so many talented new voices, in theater and television as well as film, who have turned a fundamental but little understood driver of modern life into the raw material of new art.”

Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent, said, “Film Independent and the Sloan Foundation have a long and strong history of supporting independent voices in the creative field.  A large number of the projects we have supported with Sloan grants in the past few years have gone through production and been released – from Jenny Deller’s Future Weather to Musa Syeed’s Valley of Saints to the upcoming Basmati Blues, directed by Dan Baron. Hosting this prestigious Summit is an honor and we look forward to getting to know all the Sloan supported filmmakers and seeing their work.”

For the first time in Sloan Film Summit history, a limited number of seats to select events will be released to the public on a first come first serve basis. RSVP information will be available November 3rd at

The Sloan Film Summit will kick off on Friday November 14 at 7:30 pm with a public screening of Academy Award-winning director James Marsh’s new movie The Theory of Everything, followed by a Q&A with the Focus Features film’s stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones and Professor of Physics David Kaplan.

On Saturday, November 15, the Summit will continue with a full day of private panels, workshops, and networking sessions with esteemed scientists and industry professionals for all the Sloan supported filmmakers and organizations gathered in Los Angeles for this special event. Among the highlights will be presentations by four eminent scientists from the Science and Entertainment Exchange followed by four Sloan-winning artists responding with short, original pieces.

On Sunday, November 16, the Summit will be open to the general public for a full day event titled “Science and The Art of Storytelling,” a celebration of Sloan-winning works that will include a Keynote by Sloan-supported playwright and screenwriter Beau Willimon (House of CardsThe Ides of March), a shorts program, staged readings, and a sneak peek at soon to be released Sloan films Basmati Blues (starring Scott Bakula, Brie Larson and Donald Sutherland); The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel); and Experimenter (starring Peter Sarsgaard, Taryn Manning, Winona Ryder and Kellan Lutz), featuring exclusive footage and a discussion with the films’ producers.

The weekend long conference will conclude with a preview screening of Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, the recipient of this year’s Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, and recently picked up the People’s Choice Award at TIFF after bowing at the Telluride Film Festival. The film was previously supported by the Sloan Foundation as part of its partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute. The film will be released by The Weinstein Company on November 21, 2014.

New this year, Film Independent and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation are launching an initiative that supports the distribution of finished films with a science and technology theme.  A $50,000 Sloan Distribution Grant will be awarded for three years by Film Independent to eligible finished films entering the distribution phase, with the requirement that the money be spent on standard P&A expenses (creative marketing, advertising, etc.) for the film’s release. Film Independent and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have a long history of collaboration including the annual $30,000 Sloan Producers development grant and the $20,000 production grant to support a participant at Film Independent’s Fast Track, a film financing market taking place during the Los Angeles Film Festival.

About Film Independent

Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional, or a film lover.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.  For more information or to become a member, visit

About the Sloan Film Program

The New-York based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology, and economic performance. Sloan’s program in public understanding of science and technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.

The Foundation’s Film Program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and accurate stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past 15 years, Sloan has partnered with some of the top film schools in the country – including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, and USC – and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production, along with an annual best-of-the best Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs at Sundance, Tribeca, Hamptons International Film Festival and Film Independent’s Producer’s Lab and has developed such film projects as Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Rob Meyer’s A Birder’s Guide to Everything, Musa Syeed’s Valley of Saints, and Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess. The Foundation has partnered with the Coolidge Corner Theater and the Art House Convergence to take Science on Screen, a program that creatively pairs film screenings with expert speakers, and expand it to include new films developed by Sloan or awarded Sloan prizes to be shown at nonprofit cinemas nationwide.

The Foundation also has an active theater program and commissions over a dozen science plays each year from the Ensemble Studio Theater and Manhattan Theatre Club as well as supporting select productions across the country. For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, visit