The Hamptons International Film Festival was the first film festival to partner with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to give an annual cash prize to a film that features a realistic and compelling portrayal of science and technology. 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 creating more credible works about science and technology. The 2014 winner received a $25,000 cash prize.
2014 Sloan Prize Winner: The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum
Benedict Cumberbatch delivers a monumental performance as British mathematician Alan Turing in Morten Tyldum’s stirring historical drama. Told via flashback, The Imitation Game tracks the young, brilliant, and socially awkward Turing in the early days of World War II as he applies for a top-secret position tasked with decoding the “unbreakable” Nazi cipher machine called Enigma, used to encrypt all military radio transmissions. His work was famously labeled by Winston Churchill as “the greatest single contribution to victory,” but after the war he suffered great personal and professional turmoil as he dealt with his homosexuality in a time when it was illegal. The Weinstein Company will release the film on November 21, 2014.
“We are delighted to join our wonderful partners at HIFF for our fifteenth year together to award the 2014 Sloan Feature Film Prize to Morten Tyldum’s moving film about the pioneering—and persecuted—Alan Turing, The Imitation Game,” said Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Turing was a brilliant mathematician and logician who made seminal contributions to computer science and artificial intelligence and whose remarkable skills as a cryptanalyst helped win World War II, yet he was also a victim of discrimination who died tragically. Many people have tried to bring this important story to the screen, but The Imitation Game, which Sloan previously supported in its post-production phase and features a bravura lead performance, is the first to succeed and we are thrilled to honor this impressive cinematic achievement.”
The October 11 Festival screening of The Imitation Game will be followed by a panel discussion about the use of cryptography and computer science in a historical context, as well as Turing’s impact in the field.
♦ Janna Levin, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College and Columbia University
♦ Dan Guido, Hacker in Residence at NYU Polytechnic and CEO of Trail of Bits
♦ Radu Sion, Stony Brook University; Director, National Security Institute; CEO, Private Machines Inc.
♦ Moderated by Bilge Ebiri, Film Critic at New York Magazine
Tickets to the film will include admission to the panel.
ALFRED P. SLOAN FEATURE FILM PRIZES 2000-2014
2014: The Imitation Game, by Morten Tyldum
2013: Decoding Annie Parker, by Steven Bernstein
2012: Future Weather, by Jenny Deller
2011: Small, Beautifully Moving Parts by Annie Howell and Lisa Robinson
2010: Beneath Hill 60 by Jeremy Sim
2009: Agora, directed by Alejandro Amenábar
2008: Flash of Genius, directed by Marc Abraham
2007: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, directed by Julian Schnabel
2006: The Fountain, directed by Darren Aronofsky
2005: Kardia, directed by Su Rynard
2004: Madness and Genius, directed by Ryan Eslinger
2003: Kinsey, directed by Bill Condon
2002: Teknolust, directed by Lynn Hershman
2001: Enigma, directed by Michael Apted
2000: Songcatcher, directed by Maggie Greenwald
SLOAN SCREENPLAY READINGS
At the annual HIFF Screenwriters’ Lab in April 2014, several participating scripts selected explore science and technology in fresh and innovative ways. These screenplays will be read at the annual Sloan Screenplay Readings during the Festival. Guest actors will attend the Festival to participate in the reading, with a notable filmmaker directing.
This year, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Screenwriters’ Lab chose two science- and technology-themed screenplays to honor, presenting table readings of selections from these scripts.
Palimpsest is based on the Sundance award-winning short film ‘Palimpsest‘ and examines the subtle forces at play in our urban lives. Peter, a successful House Tuner who calibrates the sounds of interior spaces for optimal living, meets Ellen, a client whose problem he can’t solve. Peter’s failure, and Ellen’s unique mystery, threatens his grandiose theories about human behavior.
Televisionaries is an inspirational drama about obsession, deception and the controversial birth of the most influential invention of our time. While rooted in science and technology, this deeply human story illuminates the seldom-seen dark side of the process of creativity and innovation.
Cast & Crew
Director: Avram Ludwig
Born into a theatrical family, Avram’s first job was as an assistant to Mike Nichols on the play Hurlyburly. He has since directed numerous shorts, political commercials (for Obama), and issue-based films. He has also directed a number of theater productions, and has produced over a dozen films. Avram serves on the Board of Directors of the Actors Studio.
Casting director and producer: Asli Coker
Richard Kind is a film and theatre actor whose Broadway credits include The Big Knife (Drama Desk Award Winner for Best Supporting Actor and nominated for a Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play), The Producers., and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Countless acting credits include the films Argo, A Serious Man, The Visitor, and The Station Agent, and series roles on Spin City and Mad About You.
Chella Ferrow was born in Cape Town and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she began acting at the age of 12. Now based in New York City, she has appeared in Law & Order, Ugly Betty, and Gossip Girl. Chella recently won two Best Actress awards for her role as ‘Sussie’ in the film adaptation of African Gothic, an iconic apartheid work by South African playwright Reze de Wet. As a professional fashion model, she has worked for such top clients as Tommy Hilfiger and Vogue.
Lois Robbins is a native New Yorker and an accomplished actress. Best known for her roles on daytime television, additional television credits include appearances in Sex And The City and Law & Order. On the stage Ms. Robbins has starred in My History of Marriage, A Time for Love, and Cactus Flower. Upcoming films include Blowtorch, Juvie, and Ithaca, directed by Meg Ryan.
James Fraser is a Cape Town, South Africa native. He is an actor, artist and financial professional who will be making his debut in a screenplay reading and is very excited to be a part of the HIFF 2014 Sloan Foundation Program. James currently lives in New York City.
Michael Nathanson is a film and television actor who can currently be seen as ‘Dr. Levi Zinberg’ on the HBO/Cinemax series ‘The Knick’, directed and produced by Steven Soderbergh. Films include Side Effects, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Young Adult.
Robert Mobley is a theater and film actor who was last seen performing in The Head Hunter(Casmir), written by Mark Borkowski, The Seagull (Trigorin), Manipulationat The Cherry Lane Theater, Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer (George Holly), and in the critically acclaimed LA stage production of Names, as screen legend John Garfield. A Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio, Robert currently plays electric bass guitar for the rock band Test Pattern.
Tom Brangle is a theater and film actor who was last seen on stage as Eli in Edward Allen Baker’s Free Gift Inside at The Actors Studio, where he is a lifetime member. Films include Down to the Bone, and the forthcoming Boy Wonder and Local Tourist. Tom recently shot the film The Last Godfather, starring Harvey Keitel, and is playing the role of the sheriff in Coffeeville Mississippi. Tom is a cofounder of Create Urlife LLC.
Joe Pallister is Bob Ewell in Bay Street’s upcoming production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Recent stage work: God of Carnage (Michael Novak), The Foreigner (Rev. David Marshall Lee), The Drawer Boy (Morgan), Other People’s Money (Coles), Good People (Mike Dillon). Film: Refuge, Dark Was The Night. TV: recurring roles on Another World, One Life to Live and Guiding Light. He has also appeared in several mildly humiliating skits on Late Night With Conan O’Brien.
Born and raised in La Rioja, Spain, Laura Roche developed a passion for acting as a teenager. She was first cast in a play in Austria, where she acted from 2011-2014. Her commercial acting has taken her around the world to cities such as Dublin, Toronto, Brussels, Cairo and Amman. She is now based in New York, where she is further developing her craft at the world-renowned Susan Batson Studio.
Harris Yulin is a theater and film actor whose latest film, A Short History of Decay, premiered at HIFF last year. His most recent stage appearance was as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He has numerous film, TV, radio and theatre credits, with a couple of films awaiting release. Yulin has taught at the Juilliard School for the past eight years.