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$50,000 Alfred P. Sloan Student Screenwriting Prize Goes to 'Survival of the Fittest,' by UCLA's Laura Alsum

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood February 27, 2014 at 12:52PM

The Tribeca Film Institute has revealed the recipient of the 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Student Grand Jury Prize for Screenwriting. “Survival of the Fittest” by Laura Alsum, a UCLA film student, was selected as winner from the science-themed scripts submitted by six leading film schools participating in Sloan’s National Film Program.
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The Tribeca Film Institute has revealed the recipient of the 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Student Grand Jury Prize for Screenwriting. “Survival of the Fittest” by Laura Alsum, a UCLA film student, was selected as winner from the science-themed scripts submitted by six leading film schools participating in Sloan’s National Film Program.

Alsum, a Denver native, will receive a $30,000 cash prize. The award then includes an additional $20,000 administered by TFI towards year-round support, including mentorship and guidance from scientific and film industry professionals, networking opportunities and industry exposure over the course of the year.

Alsum will also get to attend this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, running April 16-27.

Here’s the screenplay’s official synopsis:

In Survival of the Fittest, a feature screenplay, twelve-year-old Charlie just wants to play baseball and be a star athlete, but when he is sidelined due to his progressive neuromuscular disease, he must prove to his school that he still belongs by winning the last competition of the year – the science fair.

This article is related to: News, Tribeca Film Institute, News, Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.