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Sloan Science on Screen

Sloan Science in Cinema Prize: Don’t Look Up

Directed by Adam McKay

USA | 138

The live award presentation and Q&A will take place on this page, and a video recording will be posted here shortly afterward.


Film Available to Stream on Netflix

Thu, Dec 24

Live Q&A

Fri, Jan 7 at 7:00 pm PT

Sloan Science in Cinema Prize Presentation + Q&A

Guests Expected

Director Adam McKay, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and physicist Joseph Barranco are expected to participate in a live Awards Presentation and Q&A. More talent coming soon.


Don’t Look Up is the 2021 recipient of the Sloan Science in Cinema Prize, an award that celebrates the compelling depiction of science in a narrative feature film. Presented through a partnership between SFFILM and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the prize is part of SFFILM’s Sloan Science in Cinema initiative, which enhances public understanding of science through the language of film.

Adam McKay (Vice, The Big Short, Step Brothers) is back with a star-studded parody about the end of the world. Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio are astrophysicists who discover a comet that will destroy Earth; they have six months to spread the word and shake the populace from inertia and apathy. Unfortunately, the media, led by pernicious talk show hosts Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry, care more about celebrity feuds and ratings. And the President of the United States (a hilarious Meryl Streep) is more concerned with her image, while her sycophantic son and chief of staff (a very droll Jonah Hill) lusts for power at the expense of Main Street. As Lawrence and DiCaprio resort to more and more extreme measures in effort to sound the alarm, their well-intentioned efforts are overrun by bombastic cast of supporting characters including Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, Rob Morgan, Mark Rylance, and Timothée Chalamet. This bonkers film with serious undertones about the environment and polarizing politics, is sure to entertain.

Director Adam McKay

Academy Award winning writer, director, and producer Adam McKay’s most recent feature Vice, starring Christian Bale and Amy Adams, received many accolades including eight Academy Award nominations, six Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, and a DGA nomination for McKay. In 2015, McKay and Charles Randolph adapted Michael Lewis’s New York Times best-selling book, The Big Short. Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, the film went on to receive much critical acclaim as well as Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture and won the 2016 PGA for Best Picture. 

Upcoming film projects include The Menu, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult and Ralph Fiennes from director Mark Mylod for Searchlight Pictures; FRESH, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan from director Mimi Cave with a screenplay from Lauryn Kahn; and Bad Blood that will tell the story of Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes with Jennifer Lawrence starring.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio is an Academy Award® award-winning actor, producer, and activist. DiCaprio was seen most recently in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood; he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Prior to that he starred in The Revenant, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, he received the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, and the Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Actor.

DiCaprio is well known for his dedication to the environment on a global scale, producing creative projects such as the documentary, And We Go Green, The 11th Hour, and the Academy Award®-nominated Virunga, directed by Orlando von Einsiedel. Appian Way Productions, founded by DiCaprio, is in partnership with Netflix on several additional documentaries, including the critically acclaimed Struggle, The Ivory Game and Catching the Sun.

Physicist Joseph Barranco

Joseph Barranco grew up in Massachusetts, and as a child, had always wanted to be an astronaut after watching Star Wars at a drive-in theater in the mid-’70s. Joe attended Harvard University, graduating Magna cum laude in Physics, Astronomy, and Astrophysics in 1993.  He then made his way out west to attend graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a PhD in Astrophysics in 2004.  His PhD dissertation on “Theory and Numerical Simulation of Three-Dimensional Vortices in Protoplanetary Disk” won the Nicholas Metropolis Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis in Computational Physics from the American Physical Society.  Joe won a National Science Foundation Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship which allowed him to continue his research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.  In 2007, Joe joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at San Francisco State University. Since 2018, he has been the Department Chair.

Film Details

Language English

Year 2021

Runtime 138

Country US

Director Adam McKay

Producer Adam McKay, p.g.a. & Kevin Messick, p.g.a.

Writer Screenplay by Adam McKay; Story by Adam Mckay & David Sirota

Editor Hank Corwin

Cinematographer Linus Sandgren, ASC, FSF

Music Nicholas Britell

Cast Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi, Himesh Patel, Melanie Lynskey, Michael Chiklis, Tomer Sisley with Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep