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Flash of Genius wins Alfred P. Sloan award at Hamptons Fest

Wins Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award
As part of the 2008 Hamptons International Film Festival

Special Sloan/HIFF New York Premiere Thursday October 2nd at MoMA

For the 9th consecutive year, the $25,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize is presented as part of the Hamptons International Film Festival. The cash prize is awarded to a feature-length film that explores science and technology themes in fresh, innovative ways and depicts scientists and engineers in a realistic and compelling fashion.

This years recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan award is Marc Abraham’s, Flash of Genius, a Universal Pictures release, Written by Philip Railsback, based on the New Yorker article by John Seabrook and starring Greg Kinnear, Alan Alda, Lauren Graham, Dermot Mulroney and Jake Abel (one of this year’s HIFF Rising Stars). Based on the true story of a college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns' (Greg Kinnear) long battle with the U.S. automobile industry, Flash of Genius tells the tale of one man whose fight to receive recognition for his ingenuity would come at a heavy price. But this determined engineer refused to be silenced, and took on the corporate titans in a battle that nobody thought he could win.

“Kearns' story of unwavering dedication to the sanctity and innovation of his invention is just the kind of tale that we're happy to share with our audiences”, states Program Director, David Nugent. “I'm thrilled that the Sloan Foundation will again support us in bringing inspiring and enlightening films such as Flash of Genius to the Festival, and to elevating them to the platform that they deserve.”
The Hamptons/Sloan Feature Film Prize comes from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program in public understanding of science and forms part of a broader effort to stimulate leading artists in film, television, and theater to create more credible works about science and technology. Past Hamptons/Sloan Prize winners include: Julian Schnabel’s Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, Su Rynard’s Kardia and Bill Condon’s Kinsey.

"We are delighted to recognize Flash of Genius, the powerful and moving story about the inventor Robert Kearns who made an important contribution to modern life--the intermittent windshield wiper, still used in cars around the world--and then had to battle the big automakers for decades to prove patent infringement," said Doron Weber, Sloan Program Director. "With its insight into the personal roots of invention and the cost of turning the individual "flash" of discovery into a widespread technological innovation--and receiving recognition for doing so--this finely observed and psychologically compelling film shows how science and technology continue to offer a treasure trove of great stories and wonderful characters for filmmakers and the general public."

The Sloan Film program also supports the Sundance Institute, the Tribeca Film Institute, Film Independent and six of the nation's leading film schools with annual awards in screenwriting and film production.

Flash of Genius will premiere on Thursday October 2nd, 2008 – 7pm at MoMA, 11 West 53 Street, New York.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Announces Screenplay Reading and Grant Expansion

Screenplay Reading: Book of Water
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is proud to announce the Screenplay Reading of Book of Water by Bradford Tatum (standing on fishes, Salt), a participant in the HIFF/Sloan 8th Annual Screenwriters' Lab this past May. Directed by Jay Anania (2006 Festival Attendee with Day On Fire - starring Olympia Dukakis and HIFF Rising Stars Carmen Chaplin and Noah Fleiss), Book Of Water combines historical fact with a vibrant magical realist style to tell the story of the life of Leonardo da Vinci.

Tatum has numerous television acting credits since 1990 including NYPD Blue, Melrose Place, Providence, and Without a Trace. A discussion and brief Q&A will follow the reading.

Grant Expansion
The Hamptons International Film Festival is pleased to announce that our Sloan grant has been renewed and expanded for 2009 - 2011. Additional programs include:

Retrospective Dinner
The Festival will be paying tribute to the extraordinary films and filmmakers who have been selected for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize in Science & Technology by hosting a Retrospective Dinner to honor the filmmakers who have been chosen as recipients of this prize, during the 17th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival (2009).

Science and Technology Shorts
In 2010, The Hamptons International Film Festival will commission four established film directors to create a series of individual short films revolving around science and technology themes.

Discretionary Fund for Sloan Screenwriters
Every year, a number of extraordinary science and technology-themed scripts are submitted to the Hamptons International Film Festival for consideration for the Screenwriters’ Lab. In addition to organizing readings during the Festival and events where participating Sloan screenwriters are given the opportunity to network with industry professionals, the Hamptons International Film Festival and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have created an infrastructure specifically geared towards moving these inventive screenplays a step closer to production. As such, a one-time discretionary fund in the amount of $75,000 has been established, whereby a script that is mutually agreed upon by both the Foundation and the Festival is shepherded through specific stages that are deemed necessary to make its production a reality.
“The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has become one of the cornerstones in fostering new and innovative work within the Hamptons International Film Festival”, says Executive Director, Karen Arikian. “Mr. Weber’s decision to expand the support of the Sloan Foundation’s involvement within the Festival is a fantastic opportunity, both for the Festival and its filmmakers.”
The Hamptons International Film Festival was founded to celebrate independent film - long, short, narrative and documentary - introducing a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to our audiences. The festival is committed to exhibiting films that express fresh voices and differing global perspectives, with the hope that these programs will enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment for all. The 15th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival will be held October 15 through October 19, 2008.


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