Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The goal of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation film school program is to influence the next generation of filmmakers to create more realistic and dramatic stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers through the visual media.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation film school program aims to help aspiring and professional screenwriters and filmmakers integrate science and technology themes and characters into their work.

This innovative program awards prizes at six leading film schools: American Film Institute; UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television; Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama; Columbia University Film Department; NYU Tisch School of the Arts; and USC School of Cinematic Arts.


Sloan Tuition Scholarship – $35,000 grant applied towards tuition for an incoming first year Fellow. Accepted incoming Fellows complete an application describing their science background and passion for making science-related films in their career. Applicants are required to write a short or feature film with science during their time at AFI. Applications are reviewed by a science advisor and the AFI administration. Finalist applications are then submitted to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation who will then to determine the recipient. (This award is open to all incoming first year Fellows.)

Screenwriting Award – One $10,000 grant for a feature length script written by a first year or second year Screenwriting Fellow. Monies are applied to tuition for first year Fellows and funds are given directly to second year Fellows. Scripts must accurately and positively feature science and/or scientists prominently. (This award is open to Fellows enrolled in the Screenwriting Program).

Production Award – One $25,000 grant for a second year thesis film. Scripts must accurately and positively feature science and/or scientists prominently. All first year Fellows are eligible to pitch an idea for their second year thesis film. (This award is open to rising second year Fellows working on thesis films. Funds are to be applied to the project costs and not to individuals.)

The AFI Sloan awards are specifically for enrolled AFI Conservatory Fellows.

Application Process:
All Fellows must work with an approve science advisor who has been assigned to them by AFI. Fellows must send a one-paragraph synopsis of their story idea, clearly explaining the field of science and/or technology that will be featured in their script, to Moran Cerf, and a science advisor will be assigned. The science advisor will be a scientist or engineer who directly relates to the science and/or technology featured in the Fellows’ synopsis.

All Fellows must submit a finished script along with their science advisor’s written report stating the science and/or technology featured in the script is both accurate and positively portrayed.

Selection Process:
Committees made up of AFI faculty and staff, film community professionals, and scientists and engineers review scripts. The finalist scripts will then be reviewed and decided on by the Sloan Foundation.

How To Apply:
Fellows interested in the Sloan Awards (Screenwriting and Production) submit their synopses in March, and completed scripts will be due in May. Attendance of the Sloan Seminar during their time of enrollment is required. Tuition Scholarships are applied for the summer before the first year of enrollment.

Deadlines Timetables For Completion:
One-paragraph synopses and requests for science advisors are due March 25 Finished scripts and science advisors’ written statements are due May 2. An AFI committer of AFI faculty/staff, film community professionals, and scientists/engineers will review applications in May through June.

To view past Sloan-winning films:
Please visit the Museum of the Moving Image’s Science and Film website.

For more information contact:
Moran Cerf
Sloan Scholar, AFI Conservatory