National Grant Will Bring Science on Screen® to The Tull Family Theater

Nov. 15, 2017

The Tull Family Theater has secured its first national grant, with the goal of promoting interest and knowledge in STEM fields with programming that couples select films with discussions involving top experts.

Among a record number of Science on Screen® applicants nationwide, The Tull Family Theater was one of only 15 cinemas chosen as first-time participants, becoming one of only 36 cinemas to be included in this year’s award. The widely known Science on Screen program is funded by the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation in the Boston area, home to the highest number of physical and life scientists in the U.S., with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York.

The theater received the maximum $8,500 grant, which will inaugurate the program that is part film festival and part speaker series. The four-film series will be shown in March through June 2018, coupled with speakers and panels of top experts to provide context and insights. The theater will announce the films and speakers early in 2018.

“The Tull Family Theater is honored to be among the select theaters nationwide participating, and the only theater in the tri-state area,” said Executive Director Carolina Pais-Barreto Thor. “This award supports the part of our mission committed to strengthening educational opportunities in the region and allows the theater to bring current, relevant information for all ages.”

Science on Screen was initially established in 2005 for Coolidge Corner Theatre audiences. In 2011, the Sloan Foundation partnered with the theatre to take Science on Screen nationwide. To date, the Sloan Foundation has awarded more than $1.8 million to support the program, including the creation of a website ( where information on these programs and archived videos of the speakers’ presentations are available to the public.

“From 2017’s acclaimed, Sloan–supported hits such as Hidden Figures and the award-winning Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story to upcoming films such as The Current War, Radium Girls and The Catcher was a Spy, this creative pairing of entertaining films with science and technology experts has enthralled growing and diverse audiences across the country,” said Doron Weber, vice president and program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

“The continuing expansion of Science on Screen is rewarding and exciting, and we are grateful for the Sloan Foundation’s ongoing support of this program,” says Katherine Tallman, executive director and CEO of the Coolidge Corner Theatre. “The level of interest demonstrated by attendance, as well as the record number of applicants for new grants, affirms the growing interest in science by the public across the nation. Fostering that interest is a privilege, and the commitment and creativity demonstrated by the grantees is an inspiration.”

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The New York based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology, and economic performance. Sloan’s program in Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.

Sloan’s Film Program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination.  Over the past 15 years, Sloan has partnered with some of the top film schools in the country—including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA and USC—and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production, along with an annual best-of-the best Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs with the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, the San Francisco Film Society, the Black List, and Film Independent’s Producing Lab and Fast Track program and has helped develop such film projects as Lydia Pilcher and Ginny Mohler’s upcoming Radium Girls, Ben Lewin’s upcoming The Catcher Was a Spy, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Mathew Brown’s The Man Who Knew Infinity, Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter, Rob Meyer’s A Birder’s Guide to Everything, Musa Syeed’s Valley of Saints, and Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess.

The Foundation also has an active theater program and commissions about 20 science plays each year from the Ensemble Studio Theater and Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as supporting select productions across the country and abroad. Recent grants have supported Luck Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes, currently at the National Theatre in London, Leigh Fondakowski’s Spill, Nick Payne’s Incognito, Frank Basloe’s Please Continue, Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Informed Consent, Lucas Hnath’s Isaac’s Eye, and Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51. The Foundation’s book program includes early support for Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, now the highest grossing Oscar nominated film of 2017 that was also awarded the San Francisco Film Society Sloan Science in Cinema Prize in December 2016. For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, visit Contact: Ben Austin,, 914.236.4433

The Coolidge Corner Theatre
The Coolidge Corner Theatre is located in Brookline, Massachusetts and is one of the nation’s most prominent independently operated movie theatres, run by the not-for-profit Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation. A beloved movie house, the Coolidge has been engaging audiences with the best in cinematic entertainment since 1933. In addition to premiere theatrical engagements of independent film and art house releases, the Coolidge presents numerous special programs including: Science on Screen®, high-definition live broadcasts from London’s National Theatre and world renowned opera and ballet companies, Big Screen Classics, midnight screenings, The Sounds of Silents®, and weekend kids’ programs. The Coolidge has won numerous awards and honors for its creative programming. For more information, visit Contact: Beth Gilligan,, 860.778.3588

The Tull Family Theater, a 501(c) (3) Pennsylvania nonprofit, is a film-based arts organization created to strengthen cultural, educational and entertainment experiences in the region northwest of Pittsburgh. Supported by diverse revenue streams from private, public, corporate and foundation funding, the theater counts among its donors Allegheny Regional Asset District, Huntington Bank, Esmark and the Bouchard Family, more than 500 individuals and its patrons. Their support helps to sustain and expand programming at an independent cinema in Sewickley offering two screens and an event/performance space. TheTullFamilyTheater.orgContact: Karen Ferrick-Roman,, cell 412.671.1456