Dec 17, 2021
Award Presented in Partnership between SFFILM and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Celebrates Outstanding Achievement in the Depiction of Science on Screen
San Francisco, CA – SFFILM has announced that Don’t Look Up, Adam McKay’s star-studded parody about the end of the world starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, and many more, is the 2021 recipient of the SFFILM Sloan Science in Cinema Prize, an award that celebrates the compelling depiction of scientific themes or characters in a narrative feature film. Presented through a partnership between SFFILM and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this annual award carries a $20,000 cash prize and shines a light on special achievement in rendering the worlds of science and technology through the language of film with a screening event and conversation with the film’s creators and experts in the scientific fields being depicted.
SFFILM and the Sloan Foundation will present the award on Friday, January 7 during a live online talk with Adam McKay and physicist Joseph Barranco, additional talent joining will be announced in the new year.
“It is an honor to celebrate Don’t Look Up with Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Science in Cinema award. The Sloan Foundation’s commitment to promoting science in storytelling is crucial to understanding our world, especially during these complex times,” shares Director of Programming, Jessie Fairbanks. “While Adam McKay’s film is a parody of apathy and anarchy, it also serves as a powerful reflection of current world issues and the importance of factual truth.”
“We are thrilled to partner with SFFILM to award the Sloan Science in Cinema Prize to Adam McKay’s sly, hilarious and quietly terrifying cautionary tale, Don’t Look Up,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “This meticulously researched film about two astronomers who try to warn the powers that be about impending doom is a chilling metaphor for the challenges we face today – from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change. McKay’s trenchant satire dramatizes the terrible costs of ignoring scientific evidence presented by professionally trained scientists, even when those scientists are themselves flawed, imperfect human beings just like the rest of us.”
About Don’t Look Up:
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. The film is being released by Netflix and currently in theatres, streaming on December 24.
The Sloan Science in Cinema Prize is presented annually and is a highlight of SFFILM’s year-round programming. Focusing on dramatic and entertaining films that illuminate the relevance of science and technology to our daily lives and highlight the accomplishments of scientists, engineers, or mathematicians, SFFILM and the Sloan Foundation seek to spotlight an important new film and provide a platform to enhance public understanding and celebrate science.
Live Online Talk with director Adam McKay, physicist Joseph Barranco, and others will be on Friday, January 7 at 7:00 pm PT on sffilm.org. The event is free, RSVP is appreciated.
This annual prize is a part of SFFILM’s Sloan Science in Cinema initiative, which is designed to develop and present new feature films and episodic content that portray fully-drawn scientist and technologist characters; immerse audiences in the challenges and rewards of scientific discovery; and increase public awareness of the intersection of science, technology and our daily lives. Leveraging its position in the heart of the innovation capital of the world, SFFILM seeks to forge meaningful links between Bay Area and national artistic and scientific communities through a suite of programs. In addition to the Sloan Science in Cinema Prize, the initiative includes the Sloan Science in Cinema Filmmaker Fellowship and the Sloan Stories of Science Sourcebook and Development Fund, which support filmmakers developing science-themed screenplays; and Sloan Science on Screen, a spotlight program at the San Francisco International Film Festival that debuted in 2016. For general information, visit sffilm.org.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a New York based, philanthropic institution that makes grants for research in science, technology, and economics; quality and diversity of scientific institutions; and public engagement with science. Sloan’s program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater, and new media to bridge the two cultures of science and the humanities. The Foundation works with about 20 film school and film festival partners and has supported over 700 film projects, including over 30 feature films. For more information visit sloan.org or follow @SloanPublic on Twitter or Facebook
SFFILM is a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival, SFFILM is a year-round organization delivering screenings and events to more than 75,000 film lovers and media education programs to more than 15,000 students, teachers, and families annually. In addition to its public programs, SFFILM supports the careers of independent filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond with grants, residencies, and other career development opportunities. For more information visit sffilm.org.
This press release is available online at sffilm.org/press/releases