Sat. Feb 4th, 2023

Directed by Sophie Barthes, “The Pod Technology” stars Emilia Clarke and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

“The Pod Technology” has garnered the primary award on the 2023 Sundance Movie Competition.

Sophie Barthes directed the sci-fi movie, which stars Emilia Clarke and Chiwetel Ejiofor as mother and father whose youngster is being grown in a pod. The darkish comedy took dwelling the Alfred P. Sloan Basis and Sundance Institute Science-in-Movie initiative high money prize of $20,000. The prize is chosen by a jury of movie and science professionals and introduced to an excellent function movie specializing in science or expertise as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a significant character. The 2023 jury for Alfred P. Sloan Characteristic Movie Prize included Dr. Heather Berlin, Jim Gaffigan, Dr. Mandë Holford, Shalini Kantayya, and Lydia Dean Pilcher.

The jury shared that it chosen “Sophie Barthes’ futuristic romantic comedy, ‘The Pod Technology,’ for its daring, visually-arresting depiction of a courageous new parenthood through which AI and synthetic wombs present technological advantages on the expense of our relationship to nature and to our personal humanity, and for a lady artist’s exploration of shifting gender roles dissociated from biology.”



Learn IndieWire’s evaluation of “The Pod Technology” right here.

A Belgium, France and U.Okay. co-production, “The Pod Technology” is produced by Geneviève Lemal, Yann Zenou, Nadia Kamlichi, and Martin Metz, and screened inside the Premieres part of the Competition lineup. A Columbia College graduate, director Barthes is a Franco-American filmmaker. Her directorial debut, “Chilly Souls” with Paul Giamatti and Emily Watson, was launched by Samuel Goldwyn after premiering in competitors at Sundance. Barthes can also be a Sundance Screenwriters & Administrators Lab alumna. Her second function, “Madame Bovary “with Mia Wasikowska, was launched in 2015 after premiering at Telluride.

For the Alfred P. Sloan Basis, three extra artist grants for a trio of tasks in improvement have been additionally feted at a reception following the Urge for food for Building panel at Filmmaker Lodge.

The 4 filmmakers obtained a complete of $70,000 in funding by the Prize and three artist grants for tasks: Benjy Steinberg for “The Professor and the Spy” obtained the Sloan Episodic Fellowship, Cynthia Lowen for “Gentle Mass Power” obtained the Sloan Improvement Fellowship, and John Lopez for “Incompleteness” obtained the Sloan Commissioning Grant.

“We’re in a world second the place arts establishments should acknowledge in actionable methods the significance of science in media and leisure, and Sundance Institute is deeply appreciative that the Sloan Basis has partnered with us over twenty years to nurture that connection,” Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente stated in a press release. “It’s a pleasure to return to Park Metropolis to honor our Characteristic Movie Prize winner and grantees after an enticing chat with our panelists in regards to the shiny aspect of science and the moral framework scientists and storytellers alike convey to the thought of progress.”

Doron Weber, vice chairman and program director on the Alfred P. Sloan Basis, added, “We’re delighted to honor Sophie Barthes’ ‘The Pod Technology,’ an unique, futuristic-looking romance that engages with modern points about reproductive expertise and its impression on evolving gender roles and what it means to be a father or mother within the age of AI.”

Weber continued, “On the identical time, we’re immensely happy to award three screenwriting fellowships to 3 excellent writers – John Lopez, Benjy Steinberg, and Cynthia Lowen – who discover scientific historical past and revisit the position of nice males of science by the angle of ladies and maverick sensibilities. This yr’s winners are great additions to the nationwide Sloan movie program and additional proof of the vitality of our pioneering, two-decade partnership with Sundance.”

Benjy Steinberg, Cynthia Lowen, John Lopez, and Sophie Barthes


Steinberg will obtain a $10,000 money award from the Alfred P. Sloan Basis at this yr’s Sundance Movie Competition for “The Professor and the Spy” by the Sundance Institute / Sloan Episodic Fellowship. The “Professor and the Spy” is about Maria Mayer, Columbia College’s bold first feminine physics professor, who joins the Manhattan Venture – solely to find that her analysis accomplice is a infamous Soviet spy. As Maria cooperates with the FBI to counterspy on her colleague, she should query the ethics of her nation, and thus her personal ethical fiber. Steinberg was raised by teachers in Northern California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. His work approaches the crime, thriller and horror genres from unconventional angles, resembling science, sexuality and faith. Steinberg most lately was a employees author on Season 3 of ABC’s “Huge Sky.”

Author-director Lowen will obtain a $15,000 money award from the Alfred P. Sloan Basis at this yr’s Sundance Movie Competition for “Gentle Mass Power” by the Sundance Institute / Sloan Improvement Fellowship. “Gentle Mass Power” is the story of Mileva Marić Einstein, who confronted rampant discrimination to develop into one of many first girls in physics and a vital contributor to the idea of relativity. As limitations to her profession overwhelm her, Mileva battles psychological sickness and her personal exclusion from historical past. Lowen is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and author. She’s the director/producer of “Battleground” (STARZ) and “Netizens” (HBO) and is the producer/author of “Bully” (Netflix/PBS). Lowen can also be the winner of the Nationwide Poetry Sequence for her assortment “The Cloud That Contained the Lightning” in regards to the making of the atomic bomb. Lowen can even take part within the upcoming Characteristic Movie Program Screenwriters Intensive to additional develop her script.

Author Lopez will obtain a $25,000 money award from the Alfred P. Sloan Basis at this yr’s Sundance Movie Competition for “Incompleteness” by the Sundance Institute / Sloan Commissioning Grant. Tailored from Rebecca Goldstein’s e-book, “Incompleteness” takes place within the run-up to World Warfare II, when logician Kurt Gödel falls in love and discovers two mind-bending proofs that shake arithmetic and philosophy to their cores. Nevertheless, in surviving an period of collapsing motive, Gödel’s personal thoughts quickly turns in opposition to him with solely his spouse Adele to maintain him.

Lopez began his profession masking movie and the humanities for Grantland, Vainness Truthful, and Enterprise Week. He was an affiliate producer on Hossein Amini’s adaptation of “The Two Faces of January” and has written for Paramount +’s “Unusual Angel,” Netflix’s “Seven Seconds,” and Showtime’s “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” Lopez was additionally a Writing Fellow on the Institute’s Episodic Lab.

For over 20 years, the Science-in-Movie initiative has supported rising filmmakers whose work heightens public consciousness of science in our tradition, portrays the complete vary of humanity engaged in scientific and technological pursuits, illustrates the very important and distinctive position of scientists and their work in our society, and highlights the particular prospects of speaking by unbiased movie. Along with the prize, the Sloan-funded initiative underwrites the event of tasks with science and expertise themes by the Sloan Commissioning Grant, the Sloan Episodic Fellowship within the Sundance Institute Episodic Program, and the Sloan Improvement Fellowship within the Sundance Institute Characteristic Movie Program. Fifty scripts have been developed or are presently in improvement by this program, with quite a few function movies produced and launched theatrically. The initiative additionally expands public discourse about science and cinema by a devoted panel on the Sundance Movie Competition. Panelists and jurors over the previous 21 years have included Alan Alda, Paula Apsell, Darren Aronofsky, Kerry Bishé, Mike Cahill, Sean Carroll, Antonio Damasio, Ann Druyan, Brian Greene, Clark Gregg, Tenoch Huerta, Clifford V. Johnson, Margaret Leone, Flora Lichtman, Brit Marling, Marvin Minsky, Jonathan Nolan, Sev Ohanian, Alex Rivera, Octavia Spencer, Shawn Snyder, and John Underkoffler.

Current previous recipients of the Alfred P. Sloan Characteristic Movie Prize embody Kogonada’s “After Yang” (2022), Alexis Gambis’s “Son of Monarchs” (2021), Michael Almereyda’s “Tesla” (2020), Chiwetel Ejiofor’s “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (2019), and Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian’s “Looking” (2018).

The Alfred P. Sloan Basis is a New York-based, philanthropic, not-for-profit establishment that makes grants in three areas: analysis in science, expertise, and economics; high quality and variety of scientific establishments; and public engagement with science.

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