Sloan Science on Screen Prize: “BlackBerry”
BlackBerry is the SFFILM Festival recipient of the Sloan Science on Screen Prize, a recognition 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.
Mon, Apr 17 at 7:30 pm
1 Letterman Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129
7:30 pm: Screening
9:30 pm: Prize Presentation + Conversation
Matt Johnson perfectly captures the heady creative period of the mid-’90s with this exuberant depiction of the rise and fall of the BlackBerry, the first smartphone.
This prize presentation will include a post-screening Q&A with Matt Johnson, scientist Joel Moore, moderator Jessie Fairbanks, and others.
Sloan Science on Screen Prize
Presented through a partnership between SFFILM and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Sloan Science on Screen Prize is a recognition that celebrates the compelling depiction of science in a narrative feature film.
The person who puts a computer inside a phone will change the world,” avers company founder Mike Lazaridis (impeccably played by Jay Baruchel) in Matt Johnson’s exuberant depiction of the rise and fall of BlackBerry. The film begins in 1996 with the founding of a small Canadian company focused on using quantum science to provide secure communications and mobile productivity resulting in the launch of a handheld device that soon took the world by storm … until competitors took the technology one step further. Johnson’s film perfectly captures the heady creative period of the mid-’90s as groups of nerdy engineers and innovators gorging on snacks and sci-fi flicks intersect with the high-powered and demanding world of financiers and venture capitalists. The terrific supporting cast includes Cary Elwes, Michael Ironside, and Rich Sommer. This year’s winner of the Sloan Science on Screen Award. Expected Guests: Director Matt Johnson, and cast
Canadian writer/director/actor Matt Johnson burst forth as a feature director in 2013 with The Dirties, winning the best film prize at Austin Fantastic Fest and the grand jury best narrative feature award and the Spirit of Slamdance Award at the Slamdance Film Festival. For his second feature, the mockumentary Operation Avalanche (2016), he infiltrated NASA. BlackBerry is his third feature.
Joel Moore is Chern-Simons Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley and a senior faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. His theoretical work seeks to explain how electrons in solids combine to produce a variety of remarkable and useful properties with applications ranging from quantum computing to energy-efficient electronics. He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences (2022) and fellow of the American Physical Society (2013). He previously served as a Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics founded by Mike Lazaridis of BlackBerry fame. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2001 and joined UC Berkeley and LBNL in 2002 after a postdoctoral position at Bell Labs.
Director Matt Johnson
Executive Producer Adrian Love, Jay McCarrol, Noah Segal
Producer Matthew Miller, Kevin Krikst, Niv Fichman, Fraser Ash
Writer Matt Johnson, Matthew Miller
Editor Curt Lobb
Cinematographer Jared Raab
Cast Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Cary Elwes
Closed Captions Closed Captions are not currently confirmed and will be updated soon.
Audio Description Audio Descriptions are not currently confirmed and will be updated soon.
American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation American Sign Language Interpretation is not currently confirmed and will be updated. For any questions about accessibility at SFFILM Events, please email ADA@SFFilm.org.