Editor’s note: The term “sci-fi” was removed from the headline on Oct. 9. These awards are not intended for science fiction scripts.
Space weather. Oceanography. Dream psychophysiology. These are just a few of the sciences incorporated into scripts written by a diverse consortium of M.F.A. screenwriters at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television who have been chosen as recipients of Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Awards. Every year, approximately 50 UCLA TFT graduate students apply for Sloan fellowships, which require that they write scripts that contain real or plausible science. Ultimately, 20 are chosen by UCLA TFT faculty to move forward in the competition as semi-finalists. Then they are paired with science mentors from UCLA and elsewhere to ensure — and, prior to the final judging round, confirm — the scientific accuracy of their scripts.
To further the development of their stories, in the 2019–2020 competition, two winners in the film production category each received $30,000, while two each in the feature film and TV pilot categories received grants of $15,000.
This year’s winners were:
Matthew Johnson, “Solastagia” (suspense) and Yugandhara Muthukrishnan, “H4 Brides” (drama)
Feature film script
Marian Whitaker, “Northern Lights” (action-adventure) and Jen Zhao, “DOLPHINELLA” (period drama)
Television pilot script
Rosalind Grush, “The Home Front” (period drama) and Yashna Malhotra, “The Sleep Watchers” (period drama)
Interested in being considered for the next Sloan Foundation Fellowships? Interested in becoming a faculty mentor? First, second or third-year M.F.A. screenwriters and M.F.A. directors who will advance to candidacy in 2020–21 and faculty are encouraged to attend the mandatory Zoom colloquium taking place Saturday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. RSVP at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the full story about the Sloan fellowships on the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television website.