HIFF 2014: Sloan Foundation Prize Awarded to ‘The Imitation Game’

The 22nd Hamptons International Film Festival Announces the 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize will be presented to The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.


The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) is proud to announce that the 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize will be awarded to Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Mark Strong. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation chose the film for its sensitive and moving portrait of the complex, brilliant mathematician who not only created the model for the early computer and for computer language, but whose code breaking skills helped the Allies win World War II. The October 11 Festival screening will be followed by a panel discussion.

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.”

“I want to thank the Sloan Foundation and the dedicated stewardship by Doron Weber for their incredible long term support of HIFF. The Sloan Foundation has been a great supporter of filmmakers bringing the world of science to life on the big screen,” said Stuart Match Suna, Chairman of the HIFF Board.

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. The panel will include Janna Levin, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College and Columbia University, and Dan Guido, co-founder and CEO of Trail of Bits, an information security firm, and the Hacker in Residence at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. (Tickets to the film will include admission to the panel.)

“For the past 15 years, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has partnered with HIFF fostering films and filmmakers who tell stories dedicated to furthering the sciences. We are so proud that over 100 filmmakers, screenwriters and producers have been awarded cash prizes, screenwriting development and grants in support of that same mission,” said Executive Director Anne Chaisson. “Illustrious masters such as Darren Aronofsky, Julian Schnabel, Michael Apted, Lynn Hershman, Bill Condon and Alejandro Amenábar, as well as the new voices of Ryan Eslinger, Marc Abraham, Jeremy Sim and Jenny Deller have been allowed to bring to light personal scientific stories of triumph, discovery, wonder and sometimes tragedy. HIFF has been so lucky to have such a dedicated and generous partner in the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. We are honored to be a part of an important and lasting program of bringing together the arts and sciences.”

In addition to the film prize award, HIFF will present the Sloan Screenplay Readings on Sunday, October 12, at 4:00 pm. Palimpsest, written by Ben Nabors and Michael Tyburski, and Evan Schwartz’s Televisionaries are this year’s featured selections. Avram Ludwig will direct the readings with a terrific cast, including Richard Kind, Michael Nathanson, Harris Yulin, Lois Robbins, Tom Brangle and Robert Mobley. Palimpsest and Televisionaries were both selected for HIFF’s Sloan Screenwriters Lab last April.


Sloan-260The New York based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology, and economic performance.  Sloan’s program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.

Sloan’s film program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and accurate stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past decade, the Foundation has partnered with some of the top film schools in the country—including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, and USC—and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production and an annual best-of-the-best Student Grand Jury Prize that Tribeca administers.

Sloan also supports Screenplay Development Programs at Sundance, Hamptons International Film Festival, Film Independent, and Tribeca and has developed such film projects as Future Weather, a coming of age story about a young woman who finds personal meaning in science, which premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival; Valley of Saints and Robot & Frank, both of which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and shared the Sloan Feature Film Prize; A Birder’s Guide to Everything, which is in theatres in 2014; and Computer Chess, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

The Foundation awards annual Science and Technology Feature Film Prizes and has honored feature films such as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Grizzly Man, I, Origins, Agora, Decoding Annie Parker, and Another Earth. Sloan also partners with Ensemble Studio Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club in support of new science plays such as Isaac’s Eye, about the rivalry between Isaac Newton and Robert Hooke, and The Explorers Club, a witty satire about gender bias in science. For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation please visit http://www.sloan.org.

The 22nd Annual Hamptons International Film Festival, which will be held over Columbus Day Weekend, October 9-13, 2014, greatly appreciates the support from their corporate sponsors, including Delta AirlinesAltour InternationalSilvercup StudiosShowtime NetworksA&E Indie Films, NYU Langone Medical CenterThe c/o the Maidstone HotelThe Wall Street Journal, and WNBC New York.