Heroes of Science: Breakthrough Filmmakers Challenge represents an unprecedented partnership between leading digital entertainment news outlet TheWrap and Breakthrough Prize, the world’s largest monetary science prize, as well as the coming together of two pursuits that are too often at odds in popular culture — art and science.
Through the competition, Breakthrough Prize and TheWrap hope to identify talented filmmakers who are passionate about bringing scientific ideas to life and who have the visual storytelling skill to create short films that express the beauty and significance of these ideas, as well as the characters of the scientists who discover them. Winning candidates will have the possibility of making a film for this year’s internationally broadcast Breakthrough Prize ceremony.
“The goal of the Heroes of Science: Breakthrough Filmmakers Challenge is to encourage talented, up-and-coming filmmakers to apply their skills to showcase compelling science stories and the impressive minds behind them,” said Pete Worden, chairman, Breakthrough Prize Foundation.
“TheWrap is thrilled to partner with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation to connect top-level filmmakers with the exciting innovations in science that deserve renown,” TheWrap founder and editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman said.
The competition will open for submissions on Monday, February 3, through Tuesday, March 31.
The contest will require filmmakers to submit a creative proposal for a short film about a Breakthrough Prize laureate, highlighting their character, backstory, major discovery or impact on the world. Competitors can be inspired by a choice of potential subjects who have won the Breakthrough Prize, including mathematician Terence Tao, physicists Fabiola Gianotti, Kip Thorne, Cumrun Vafa, Shep Doeleman and the Event Horizon Telescope team as well as life scientists Ed Boyden, Joanne Chory, Jennifer Doudna, Svante Pääbo and Huda Zoghbi.
The winning film will be chosen by a jury of experts in film and science.
The winner will be awarded a $5,000 prize, and will have their work considered for a spot on the small screen. If selected, the filmmaker will receive a $25,000 budget to make a film about one of this year’s Breakthrough Prize laureates, potentially for use during the live televised ceremony in November 2020.
The six winning filmmakers, or teams of filmmakers, will be selected based on a written proposal with the following criteria:
- Engagement – does the proposal capture the viewer’s interest and emotions?
- Characterization – how well is the laureate’s personality evoked?
- Creativity – does the proposal take a fresh or original approach?
- Clarity – is one aspect of the laureate’s work communicated simply and comprehensibly?
- Accuracy – is the creative proposal scientifically correct?
- Vision – is the filmmaking approach to presenting the subject matter clearly detailed and thoughtfully composed?
- Experience – does the filmmaker’s previous work successfully demonstrate an ability to thoughtfully showcase subject matter with solid production values?
The Selection Committee will be comprised of TheWrap founder and editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman, award-winning filmmaker Mark Levinson, science documentary writer and Breakthrough Prize creative director Adam Rosenthal, award-winning author Lucy Hawking, Princeton University Professor of Physics and Astrophysical Sciences Jo Dunkley and a leading filmmaker to be announced.
Winners will be announced in June at TheGrill 2020, TheWrap’s annual business conference focused on the convergence between entertainment, media and technology.
For more information please visit: https://go.thewrap.com/breakthrough-filmmakers-challenge/