Sundance Names Alfred P. Sloan Award Winner 'Computer Chess'; Lab Fellowship Recipient Nicole Kassell for 'Prodigal Summer'

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by Sophia Savage
January 24, 2013 3:41 PM
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Sundance announces the winner of its tenth annual Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the fest's 2013 edition: "Computer Chess," from director Andrew Bujalski. Sundance's Keri Putnam states that the prize "recognizes projects grounded in the exploration of math, science and technology. Advances in these fields are constantly altering our world, and we are proud to be able to provide an outlet for artists developing scripts pursuing these critical themes.”

The award includes a $20,000 cash prize. A jury of both film and science professionals (including Darren Aronofsky and Scott Z. Burns) selected the film, recognizing its "off-beat and formalistically adventurous exploration of questions of artificial intelligence and human connections, unfolding during an early computer chess tournament.”

"Computer Chess" stars Patrick Riester, Myles Paige, James Curry, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary and Wiley Wiggins.

Past winners of the award include "Valley of Saints" (2012), "Another Earth" (2011), "Grizzly Man" (2005) and "Primer" (2004).

The recipient of the Sundance Institute/Alfred P. Sloan Lab Fellowship is also announced: It is Nicole Kassell's "Prodigal Summer," based on her own novel about three unexpected love stories woven together during a summer in southern Appalachia. Kassell's first feature was 2004's festival darling "The Woodsman." Most recently she directed "A Little Bit of Heaven."

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