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Computer Chess wins Alfred P. Sloan prize


Andrew Bujakski's much lauded latest indie effort Computer Chess, out through Accent Film Entertainment in March has received the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, a $20,000 boost for independent film projects that explore "science and technology themes or that depict scientists, engineers and mathematicians in engaging and innovative ways."

Past winners of the award include Another Earth, Robot and Frank, Grizzly Man, and Primer. The Alfred P. Sloan award is a recent addition to the Sundance Film Festival.

Set in a hotel located in nowheresville, USA, circa 1980, Computer Chess is organised around a computer chess tournament in which groups of fashion challenged computer technicians and software developers pit their then innovative - and now hideously anachronistic - hefty technologies in a weekend long battle of mind and will. Debates on artificial intelligence take place as do several surreal encounters including the presence of a hippy communion suggest that the film - shot on primitive black and white video - is itself the fragments of an archive or dream itself.

The New York Times has called it a "peculiar and sneakily brilliant new film." Slant Magazine observes Computer Chess comprises "both rigid, cerebral cinema and goofy experimental playfulness, its mysteries growing stranger and deeper as it progresses."

The Australian Center for the Moving Image has scheduled an exclusive season of Computer Screen commencing December 27 through to January 19 ahead of its DVD release in March.