The North Fork TV Festival announces the second annual Alfred P. Sloan Science + Tech Pilot Script Competition, which aims to encourage screenwriters to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination.
Writers are invited to submit pilot scripts for a television series rooted in science and technology. The panel of independent judges includes accomplished television professionals as well as noted scientists and technologists. In evaluating scripts, they will prioritize unique, character-driven material ending with a cliffhanger or twist that invites a series. Award-winning director Elias Plagianos will work with the creators of the winning script to turn it into an episodic pilot, supported by a grant from the prestigious Sloan Foundation. The pilot will premiere this fall at the 2020 North Fork TV Festival.
The panel of eight independent judges includes Dr. Jeffrey Friedman, Dr. Jessica Leighton, Dr. Heather Lynch, Dr. Jeffrey Reid, studio executive Andrew Nissen, showrunner David Greenwalt, actress Rachel Bay Jones, and producer Tom Russo.
“Last year, Maxwell Pitagno’s award-winning pilot ‘Distemper’ dramatized the incredible story of pioneering pathologist and LGBT icon Dr. Louise Pearce,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “We’re excited to partner with the North Fork TV Festival for a second year with an expanded production budget for an episodic series pilot centering around the lives, loves, and scientific passions and conflicts of a rich array of characters in dramatic settings, part of our nationwide film program now numbering over a dozen great partners.”
“Distemper” was a story about Dr. Pearce’s work to find the first drug for African Sleeping Sickness. Plagianos worked with its creator to create a pilot starring Abigail Hawk and Chiké Okonkwo. It has won awards and was named an official selection at several top film and TV festivals.
“Scientists and their work play a more critical role in today’s society, and yet there are many important untold stories about science,” added festival Founder Noah Doyle. “The 2019 competition introduced us to a powerful one: the pioneering work of Dr. Pearce. Looking ahead to the 2020 competition, I very much look forward to meeting the next set of scientists and engineers and the ways they’ve changed our world,”
Script submissions are now open and cannot include science fiction or fantasy, must be between 20 and 48 pages in length and can be submitted at northfork.tv/submit-a-script/. Additional information on this year’s festival will become available in the weeks ahead at northfork.tv/.
Now in its fifth year, The North Fork TV Festival celebrates the evolution of television and independent television while convening the innovative minds of executives, directors, writers, and actors alike. Held annually in Greenport, the festival supports independent program development and embraces exciting, innovative voices from around the world.
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