news Sloan Film Summit Sets Return After 2-Year Hiatus, Honors Kogonada’s ‘After Yang’

Non-profit arts organization Film Independent, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, has announced that the Sloan Film Summit is officially returning this year after a pandemic-imposed delay. IndieWire exclusively shares the news here.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation supports films and filmmakers with a science focus. Kogonada’s “After Yang” was awarded the Sloan prize $50,000 distribution grant at Sundance 2022. Past supported filmmakers include Damien Chazelle and Aneesh Chaganty.

This year’s Summit will take place April 8–10 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, and will feature screenings, workshops, and panels for artists, featuring filmmakers and scientists as they discuss the way art and science interact and can benefit each other. A special keynote address will be delivered by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Andrea Ghez.

The seventh triennial Summit will celebrate the thriving nationwide Sloan Film Program, bringing together over 150 screenwriters, directors, and producers, as well as working scientists and representatives from leading film schools and film organizations, who work to bridge the gap between science, technology, and popular culture.

Launched in 1999, the Sloan Film Summit 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, bringing together top artists and scientists.

The Sloan Film Summit will kick off on Friday, April 8, at 5:30 p.m. PT with an opening reception followed by a screening of Kogonada’s “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.

After the screening, there will be a conversation with the film’s creative team, who will be joined by esteemed scientists, including Presidential Award recipient Maja Matarić and moderated by producer Jennifer 8. Lee, to explore the timely issues raised by the film relating to the connections between the human brain and AI technology.

On Saturday, April 9, the Summit will continue 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 and executive producer Wendy Calhoun on Women In Science and On Film.

Case studies will also be presented on previous Sloan-supported films, including Student Academy Award–winning short film “Sweet Potatoes” from director Rommel Villa and “To Dust” co-writer/co-producer Jason Begue going through their successful journeys from their 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 final day of the Summit, April 10, will feature a public showcase of Sloan-winning short films, staged screenplay readings, and a screening of the documentary “How to Survive a Pandemic,” which will be followed by a conversation with the film’s director David France and producer Mira Chang and science experts on virology, epidemiology and public health including UCLA’s Dr. Anne Rimoin and USC’s Dr. Jeffrey Klausner. The day will then conclude with a keynote address from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Andrea Ghez.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Film Independent are also debuting a video produced by Conduit Collective, led by Film Independent Fellow, director-producer Elizabeth Ai and her collaborators Hannah Bernall and Lisa Vangellow, celebrating the triennial Sloan Film Summit and offering an inspiring look at the impact science has had on cinematic endeavors featuring commentary from Margot Lee Shetterly, Michael Almerayda, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Dr. Celine Gounder, Nuhash Humayun and others. The video will launch April 6.

For more information, click here.