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Ryan Knighton launches new career as a movie producer

Capilano University English instructor, Ryan Knighton, is the recipient of a $40,000 award from the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Out of 138 applications submitted to the Tribeca Film Institute, only five projects were chosen to receive development assistance and mentorship from film and science experts. The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund supports feature-length narrative projects that “tell compelling stories about science and technology or portray scientists, engineers and mathematicians as major characters.”

Ryan will use the money to produce a film based on his highly acclaimed memoir, Cockeyed. The story is tough, tender, and darkly comic as Ryan crashes into life while going slowly blind, and trying to save his brother Rory from drugs, alcohol, and a really bad girlfriend. In the end Ryan finds his own way forward and a wonderful woman who makes him stronger by refusing to pity his tangled life and loss of sight.

“We are delighted to join with Tribeca for the eighth year and to support these five outstanding film projects which span such a wide range of subject matter, character and genre,” said Doron Weber, Sloan program director, in a statement. “This is one of the best crops of science films we’ve seen, demonstrating once again that science and technology offer fertile ground for filmmakers willing to dig beneath the surface and find the common human stories and passions that drive us to understand ourselves and improve our lot in the world.”

The projects were selected by a committee made up of Marc Abraham (director, Flash of Genius), Dr. Bonnie Bassler (molecular biologist, Princeton University), Sarah Green (producer, The Tree of Life), Famke Janssen (actress, X-Men), Dr. Eric Kandel (Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine), Dr. Robert Engle (Nobel Prize in Economics), and John Hart (producer, Revolutionary Road).

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