Sasie Sealy and Mark Heyman to Share $100,000 Prize

The Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts has announced the 2007 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Production Fund Award will be shared by alumna Sasie Sealy ‘08 and thesis student Mark Heyman, who are both from the Graduate Film division. Their project is titled SarahN_12, a feature-length film about a cyber terrorist who goes too far and realizes her second life has become her real life. The winners receive a $100,000 cash award. The annual Sloan Feature Film Production Fund award goes to support outstanding filmmakers in creating compelling feature-length narrative projects about science and technology.

“The Tisch School of the Arts and its Kanbar Institute have had a wonderful collaborative relationship with the Sloan Foundation dating back more than 10 years,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of the Tisch School of the Arts. “First through its Sloan Writing and Production Award Program and then its Feature Film Production Fund Awards, the Foundation has given our filmmakers and writers the opportunity to engage the worlds of science and technology in a meaningful way. We are grateful for the Sloan Foundations for its continued encouragement and incentive.”

“We’re delighted to partner with NYU in supporting this exciting and innovative film,” said Doron Weber, program director of the Sloan Foundation. “We received many outstanding submissions this year, underscoring the enormous, untapped potential of science and technology as entertaining subject matter for popular narrative films.”

In 1996, the Sloan Foundation partnered with half a dozen of the nation’s top film schools in a pioneering effort to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes of scientists and engineers in commercial film and television. In 2002, the Kanbar Institute filmmakers were the first recipients of the Sloan Foundation’s new Feature Film Production Award.

The Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts provides an intensive and professional education in filmmaking. The program shared first place in recent U.S. News and World Report rankings of the nation’s film programs; since 1992, fifteen Student Academy Award gold medals have been presented to NYU student filmmakers by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. At the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, Kanbar Institute students and alumni walked away with an unprecedented seven awards in virtually every top-prize category. At the 2005 and 2006 Sundance Film Festivals, Kanbar filmmakers walked away with 10 prizes. Approximately 150 graduate and 1,050 undergraduate film students pursue degrees in film and television production, photography, cinema studies, dramatic writing, and interactive telecommunications. Distinguished alumni of the Kanbar Institute include Joel Coen, Chris Columbus, Billy Crystal, Martha Coolidge, Ernest Dickerson, Amy Heckerling, Jim Jarmusch, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Brett Ratner, Nancy Savoca, Martin Scorsese, Susan Seidelman, and Oliver Stone, among many others.

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