Groundbreaking Sci-Fi Film ‘Love Me’ Receives Prestigious Award at Sundance

PARK CITY, UTAH – Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun attended the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2024, for the premiere of the film “Love Me” directed by Sam and Andy Zuchero. The filmmakers were recognized with the juried film prize from the Sundance Institute and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Science-In-Film initiative. Their film, which explores the theme of science and technology in a post-human Earth, received acclaim for its inventive portrayal and engaging performances.

The Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, accompanied by a $25,000 cash award, is given to outstanding feature films that focus on science or technology or depict scientists, engineers, or mathematicians as important characters. The prize is selected by a jury of film and science professionals. Joining this year’s jury were Dr. Mandë Holford, Dr. Nia Imara, Matt Johnson, Theresa Park, and Courtney Stephens.

The Zucheros wrote and directed “Love Me,” which tells the story of two machine-learning “life forms” searching for a cure to loneliness in a post-human world. The film was produced by Kevin Rowe, Luca Borghese, Ben Howe, Shivani Rawat, and Julie Goldstein.

In addition to the Zucheros’ recognition, three artist grants were announced to support projects in development. Writer Emily Everhard received a $17,000 cash award for “Tektite” through the Sundance Institute and Sloan Episodic Fellowship. Writers and directors Sara Crow and Daniel Rafailedes were honored with a $17,000 cash award for their project “Satoshi” through the Sundance Institute and Sloan Development Fellowship. Writer-director Lizzi Oyebode was awarded $25,000 for “Inverses” through the Sundance Institute and Sloan Commissioning Grant.

During a Sloan Foundation-sponsored event called “The Big Conversation: Screen of Consciousness,” the winners participated in a panel discussion moderated by neuroscientist and clinical psychologist Dr. Heather Berlin. The conversation focused on the portrayal of artificial intelligence in cinema.

Sundance Institute CEO Joana Vicente emphasized the ongoing partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, stating that it allows for a deeper exploration of the connection between art and science. Doron Weber, the vice president and program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, praised the film “Love Me” for its originality and imaginative approach to exploring human identity and our connection to each other in a post-human world mediated by artificial intelligence. Weber also highlighted the significance of awarding screenwriting fellowships to writers who showcase the obstacles and contributions of exceptional women in science and technology.