ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION

PREVIOUS AFI AWARD WINNERS

2012

Hanna Västinsalo – Tuition Award

APP
Production Award
Alexander Berman – Director/Screenwriter
Robert Phillips – Co-Screenwriter
Edouard de Lachomette – Producer
Edward Salerno Jr – Cinematographer
Jeremy Lerman – Editor
Matthew Novak – Production Designer

After making a terrible mistake as a teenager, Paul, a brilliant engineer, has created the perfect personal assistant app. A venture capitalist demands an immediate demonstration and challenges Paul to seduce a woman, Zoey, at a Silicon Valley bar. As the app digs through her own dark past for Paul, he becomes caught between his dream of redemption and Zoey's vulnerability. Can Paul resist the promise of an app that knows him better than he knows himself?

2011

Erica Leung – Tuition Award

SEND MORE CHUCK BERRY
by NR Miller – Screenwriting Award
World renowned astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan has to juggle the end of his marriage and the start of a new romance, all while leading a team of scientists to create the Voyager Gold Discs.

FIRST IN FLIGHT
Production Award
Brandon Hess – Director/Screenwriter
Tara Tucker – Producer
Petr Cikhart – Cinematographer
Eugenio Richer – Editor
Whitney Donald – Production Designer

Two bicycle mechanics from Dayton Ohio, Orville and Wilbur Wright, dared to believe they could fly. Their dream was so big it launched them into the skies. Now, these brothers are about to face their most difficult day: May 30th 1912. Orville spends his final moments by his brother's deathbed, reflecting on their lives–the joys and pains, friendships and betrayals, successful flights and fateful crashes. Though they have taught the world to fly, they have made enormous sacrifices along the way. With years of partnering about to end, they are haunted by the question, "Was it worth it?"

2010

Jenna Curry – Tuition Award

PROJECT ALPHA
by NR Miller – Screenwriting Award
In 1979 scientist Peter Phillips was given a grant to study psychic phenomenon. Magician and skeptic James Randi offered his services to help root out trickery. However Phillips believes he cannot be fooled and dismisses Randi's offer. To prove his point Randi recruits teenagers Steve Shaw and Michael Edwards to infiltrate the tests. They are chosen as the only two subjects and soon become the buzz of the parapsychological community. The two are torn between their loyalty to Randi and new friendship with Phillips.

UNMANNED
Production Award
Casey Cooper Johnson – Director/Screenwriter
Casey Fenton – Producer
Sevdije Kastrati – Cinematographer
Matthew Horn – Editor
Danielle Lee – Production Designer

A young Air Force drone pilot, operating airstrikes in Afghanistan remotely from a base in California, deals with the detached human cost of remote control warfare and pressures at home.

2009

Michael Baltazar – Tuition Award

WHALE WATCHER
by Jessica Ellis – Screenwriting Award
Twice-divorced whale researcher Joan Silesse, 30, returns to her family in Maui and discovers a deadly illness scourging the whale population that only she can cure. When her Greenpeace activist sister brings national media attention to Joan's research, the battle between scientist and activist threatens to destroy their family.

BLAME IT ON MY YOUTH
by Olive Gallagher – Screenwriting Award
When a repressed, almost-40-year-old geneticist's new anti-aging drug hits a snag six weeks before its release, she decides the only quick solution is to test it herself — the good news is she regains her figure, sex drive and the ardent attentions of a new man; the bad news is she loses her maturity, judgment and self-control. Or, maybe not such bad news?

PARACUSIA
Production Award
Christopher Dreisbach – director
Brian Miller – writer/Producer
Kenton Drew Johnson – Cinematographer
Arndt Peemoeller – Editor
Brittany Hauselmann – Production Designer
Kevin Rice – Story Editor

A strange audio phenomenon is plaguing the four inhabitants of a small outpost on Mars. When the sound intensifies; breeding paranoia and threatening the lives of the crew, it's up to their leader, Sarah, to abort the mission. However, none of them are prepared for what's outside.


2008

Justin LaForge – Tuition Award

EVERYBODY GOOD
by Stephen Leggitt – Screenwriting Award
A controversial government vote in Zambia on whether to allow shipments of genetically modified food aid from America draws an American agronomist, a community leader from Guinea and an American social worker to protest the vote. Their paths cross while attending the peaceful protest rally, and when it turns deadly, they must rely on each other to survive and help influence the vote.

VOLITION
by Samantha Manahan – Screenwriting Award
In this political thriller, the CIA recruits renowned immunologist Lucy Welker to spy on her estranged father, a corporate scientist suspected of helping Iran develop a bioweapons program. With the world on the brink of a virulent epidemic, Lucy must operate on her own, forging a relationship with her father and his second family to unravel an international plot of terror.


2007

Anna Hauger – Tuition Award
Courtney Stephens – Tuition Award
Martin Stitt – Tuition Award

LIFE IN A BOX
by Nidhi Verghese – Screenwriting Award
An orphan boy, Apu, who lives in a cardboard box on the streets of Bombay, discovers his home has been stolen and goes on a quest to find it. Fate leads him to Ravi, a teen with a passion for Physics, who takes him into his upscale home. Apu idolizes Ravi and is devastated when Ravi leaves to attend university abroad. Back on the streets, Apu must decide whether he wants to go back to being a nobody in a box or make something of himself, armed with nothing but a passion for physics.

THROUGH THE AIR TO CALAIS
Production Award
Joe Mauceri – Director/Screenwriter
Seth Kamphuijs – Producer
Andrew Zeiderman – Cinematographer
Meghan Hernandez – Editor
Jennifer Bash – Production Designer
Jonathan Eisen – Story Editor

The story of the first balloon flight over the English Channel in the winter of 1785. On board are the eccentric French inventor Jean Pierre Blanchard and the American financier Dr. John Jeffries. Their winged gondola is weighed down with the first bag of international mail, their scientific instruments and a bottle of cognac to celebrate their historic first flight. Self-aware and confident, these enlightened pioneers are determined to conquer gravity, but in order to write their page in history, they'll need to first survive the crossing...


2006

Matthew Ackley – Tuition Award

RELATIVE STATE
by Luc Des Groseillers – Screenwriting Award
A brilliant graduate student on the verge of a breakthrough in his work on quantum mechanics begins to question his sanity when memories and people in his life start to change or disappear completely from existence.


2005

Scott Cunningham – Tuition Award

MATATORO: THE BULL KILLER
by John Baker – Screenwriting Award
A South American herpetologist goes to a small southern town in search of a giant snake terrorizing locals. But when he befriends a local girl, he learns there's more to fear in the South than a giant snake.

DHARINI
Production Award
Anu Pradhan – Director/Screenwriter
Sandra Valde – Cinematographer
John Brookins – Editor

Taking place over the sixteen days of the ill-fated Columbia space shuttle mission of 2003, DHARINI delves into the world of an imaginative young woman whose personal tragedy seems somehow linked to the greater cosmos. When a sudden accident forces her to confront questions she cannot answer, Dharini struggles to overcome a numbing grief and begins to grasp the vastness and mystery of a universe that cannot be fully explained.


2004

Sang Kyu Kim – Tuition Award

SOLI2D
by John Baker – Screenwriting Award
A convicted computer hacker, recruited by the FBI to track a cyber terrorist, uncovers a cyber super-weapon that sparks international chaos and threatens her own life.

THE PROS AND CONS OF BREATHING
Production Award
Seth Manheimer – Director
Christopher Aagaard – Producer
Bill Balas – Screenwriter
Christopher Ekstein – Cinematographer
Andrea Trillo – Editor
Brandi Hugo – Production Designer

A young man with a terminal condition embraces a criminal lifestyle, taking to the streets like a new age Doc Holliday, determined to go out in a blaze of glory. The only flaws in his plan are the prospect of a life-saving transplant operation and Stacey, the girl he loves.


2003

THE MONSTER AND THE PEANUT
Production Award
Franklin jin Rho – Director
Brian Udovich – Producer
Albert Crim – Screenwriter
Darren Genet – Cinematographer
David Kashevaroff – Editor
Arjuna Imel – Production Designer

Bo Hunzinger, a high school physics teacher on the edge of a nervous breakdown, is searching obsessively for a scientific explanation for traffic jams. When someone from his past pays him an unexpected visit, Bo is no longer able to hide in his fragile world of traffic models and mathematical formulas and is forced to confront the monster within.

SKYLAB
Production Award
Mark Landsman – Director/Screenwriter
Shoshana Rotkovitz – Producer
Young-Rho Kim – Cinematographer
Brad Schwartz – Editor

Twelve-year-old Benjamin Handle is convinced a falling space station is on a collision course with his house...and his mother's wedding in the backyard.


2002

MRS. EINSTEIN
by Sylvia Mulholland – Screenwriting Award
During her whirlwind romance, and tempestuous marriage to Albert Einstein, Mileva Maric, dedicated physicist and mathematician, had to make the same difficult choices facing women today in their desire to successfully juggle career, husband and children.

TATIANA
by Craig Horning – Screenwriting Award
Ninety-five-year-old Vasily Yushkoff, a former WWI hero, accompanies a team of forensic experts to Ekaterinburg, Russia to locate the unmarked grave of Tsar Nicholas and his family. During the search, Vasily tells a fascinating story of his attempt to rescue the Imperial Family from the Bolsheviks in 1918.


2001

BRUISES
by Allan McDonald – Screenwriting Award
14 year-old Nick Mascola hires tough girl Riley Frost to protect him from the school bully, Dustin Greer. Nick soon falls hard for Riley, but discovers she has a crush on Dustin. On top of all this, Nick hurries to complete a rocket project for the school science fair.

JOSHUA TREE
Production Award
Jonathan Messer – Director
Petra Erikssen – Producer
Chris Raymond – Screenwriter
Kevin Krupitzer – Cinematographer
Byron Smith – Editor
Kristy Thomley – Production Designer

A burgeoning friendship between a lonely little girl and her new neighbor, a widowed environmental scientist; and a meditation on how the heavens have inspired both scientific inquiry and imaginative flight.


MORE INFORMATION
For a complete list of Student Film Awards from all six of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation funded film schools, please visit the Museum of the Moving Image.

AFI Membership
AFI honoring the year best in television and film