HIFF and The Sloan Foundation Announce 2013 Feature Film Prize Winner

Director Steven Bernstein to receive the $25,000 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize for his feature film Decoding Annie Parker.

The Hamptons International Film Festival and The Sloan Foundation are thrilled to announce that the recipient of the $25,000 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize is director Steven Bernstein. His feature film Decoding Annie Parker stars Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Samantha Morton (John Carter, The Messenger) and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad).

On October 11, a screening of the film will be followed by a panel discussion about cancer research and the ethics surrounding genetic trademarking. (Find tickets.)

Helen Hunt in 'Decoding Annie Parker'

Helen Hunt in ‘Decoding Annie Parker’

Founded in 1934, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a non-profit philanthropy that makes grants in science, technology and economic performance. The Foundation’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.

“We are honored to partner with the Hamptons International Film Festival in awarding Steven Bernstein’s powerful new film, Decoding Annie Parker, this year’s Alfred P. Sloan Foundation-Hamptons International Film Festival Feature Film Prize,” said Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

He continued, “In its unsparing, clear-eyed depiction of the scourge of breast cancer on one remarkable woman’s life and its role in helping another remarkable woman make a major scientific discovery, this film shows how stories of science and technology cut to the heart of our human ability to triumph over the most overwhelming odds.”

Samantha Morton in 'Decoding Annie Parker'

Samantha Morton in ‘Decoding Annie Parker’

Decoding Annie Parker

East Coast Premiere
Director: Steven Bernstein
Cast: Helen Hunt, Samantha Morton, Aaron Paul

Annie Parker (Samantha Morton) finds our she has breast cancer, a devastating blow to a woman who’s already lost her mother and sister to the same disease. Mary-Claire King (Helen Hunt) is a geneticist researching the still unknown link between DNA and cancer in the wake of skeptical colleagues and funding challenges. The journey of these two woman meet in Steven Bernstein’s powerful new film. Based on a true story, Bernstein’s film catalogues Annie’s and Mary-Claire’s personal and emotional struggles with delicacy and humor, crafting an inspiring human story at the center of a monumental breakthrough in medical science.

For its searing dramatization of one woman’s personal heroism and another woman’s scientific dedication that led to groundbreaking 1990 discovery of the BRCA1 gene responsible for many breast and ovarian cancers, and for several exceptional performances, the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival goes to Steven Bernstein‘s powerful feature film, Decoding Annie Parker.

After the screening on October 11, join Annie Parker, the film’s subject; director Steven Bernstein; Susan Solomon, Executive Director of New York Stem Cell Foundation; Barron Lerner, New York Times blogger and author of Breast Cancer Wars; and Dr. Robert Benezra  a Member of Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for a post-screening panel discussion about the history, themes, and issues in Decoding Annie Parker. (Please note: tickets to the film will also provide access to the panel.)

Find tickets.

Steven Bernstein headshotSteven Bernstein is an award-winning cinematographer who began his career in the UK in music videos and commercials. A winner of the Cannes Golden Lion, Bernstein’s career spans three decades; his work on groundbreaking projects includes the multi-award winning feature Like Water For Chocolate and the Oscar-winning film Monster, starring Charlize Theron. As an author, his textbook on filmmaking, Film Production, was the largest selling book about film production for over a decade, and has been translated into several languages and is still used in universities around the world. Bernstein designed the unique distribution model used for the launch of Decoding Annie Parker, and with charity partners the film has raised money for cancer research while screening worldwide. Decoding Annie Parker will be released in theaters this fall in the US, as Steven Bernstein begins production as a writer and director on his next film, Dominion, about the life and final day of the poet Dylan Thomas.


  1. Congratulations Steven Bernstein! Well deserved!

  2. Steven, You have worked long and hard to bring this vision to reality. You’ve done an amazing job and persevered against countless obstacles yourself to get this extraordinary film made. It is as much a tribute to your human spirit as anyone else’s. Your screenplay is brilliant and witty–just the right blend of all human emotions–including humor. Somehow, you have created characters that represent every woman who has faced this dread. You inspired and directed remarkable performances that are already award-winning, and your debut as a Director is a huge success. CONGRATULATIONS! You have made the world better and warmed hearts with your efforts.

  3. Congratulations, Steven! And HIFF, so dear to my heart…thrilled to have been part of the journey

    Rolanda (Annie Parker Narrator)

  4. Lenora Shortt says

    Steven, you have been a great mentor to me in life and I am thrilled that you still speak directly to the human spirit. Well done Steven and I wish you all the best in future endeavours!


  1. […] Festival with quite a pedigree. The film has received the 2013 $25,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize, which encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and accurate stories about science and […]