One of the best moments two years ago at the Sundance awards ceremony came as filmmaker Guinevere Turner was announcing the winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Prize, which gives an award of $20,000 to "… the outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major character." Turner broke off from the prepared script to say " … and I have one thing to say to my fellow filmmakers: Dude, put a robot in your movie! This is 20 grand cash!"
Well, this year, the Sloan Prize goes to House of Sand, which – and I'm quoting the press release here – " ..is the story of a woman across three generations. In the remote dunes of Brazil, Maria spends her life while an entire century passes by her, her house, and sand.%uFFFD The film, which screened in this year’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition section, was recognized for its 'poetic meditation on the physics of time and the biology of human variation in a story of an isolated family's search for meaning against the backdrop of a half-century's scientific and technological evolution.'"
Last year's Sloan Prize winner was Grizzly Man; the low-budget, high-smart time travel flick Primer won in 2004; the Sloan prize went to Dopamine in the inaugural year.