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Science Sandbox seeks a Managing Producer to help build and oversee its growing documentary film portfolio - as part of a mission-driven initiative that draws from a philanthropy/commercial model for supporting excellence in nonfiction science storytelling.
The Managing Producer will cultivate, track and report on all Science Sandbox documentary film projects from development to production, and through release and possible impact campaigns.
The ideal candidate should have hands-on filmmaking experience, strong industry contacts, a deep understanding of the independent film landscape (from acquisitions to distribution pipelines), and a respect for factually accurate scientific media as well as a genuine passion for mission-driven documentary and innovative science storytelling.
Role and responsibilities:
- Identifying new mission-aligned documentary film projects for funding and co-production consideration.
- Screening regular cuts of active projects, providing relevant notes that reflect Science Sandbox's aims, and coordinating review of materials from internal and external stakeholders as well as consolidating feedback into a cohesive and actionable direction.
- Maintaining a log of all potential projects, and tracking projects across all stages of development through production and postproduction.
- Facilitating distribution partnerships (theatrical, broadcast/network, digital, VOD) with key partners and consultants, ensuring projects reach and engage a broad audience at maximum potential.
- Maintaining productive relationships with key production and distribution partners.
- Helping to negotiate, track and finalize contracts and term sheets as well as overseeing and tracking budgets.
- Coordinating scientific reviewers and external supervising producers/researchers for all film projects.
- Researching and attending relevant film festivals, markets and co-production markets.
- Overseeing and evolving Science Sandbox's partnership with Sundance Institute.
- Creatively pursuing projects that address underreported areas of research, especially in basic science.
- Actively seeking collaborators from diverse backgrounds and experiences, with a deep commitment to gender balance and inclusivity, both in front of and behind the lens.
Required skills and experience:
- 8-10 years combined relevant experience with independent nonfiction filmmaking (as a director, hands-on producer or editor) and/or experience in acquisitions or programming in the film industry (sales, distribution, festival or production).
- Demonstrated interest in science and creative science storytelling.
- A high standard for artfully produced documentary film and a deep understanding of what makes for powerful science storytelling, with the ability to assess and clearly articulate the strengths/weaknesses a project.
- Strong industry contacts, in particular with distribution partners, film festival programmers and acquisitions executives.
- Ability and enthusiasm to learn about the film business and its environment (should not be afraid of numbers and legal language).
- Ability to prioritize and adapt to the demands of particular projects, while meeting deadlines across all active projects and remaining flexible, calm and focused.
- Ability to efficiently multitask and track projects while traveling domestically and internationally.
- Strong communication and organizational skills, with a specific focus on attention to detail; high emotional intelligence and practical negotiation skills; ability to speak comfortably and confidently with filmmakers/producers, scientists and industry executives.
- Enthusiasm about the initiative's mission and good networking skills mandatory.
- Bachelor's degree required; science background a plus.
Required application materials:
- A résumé is required. In addition, please submit a link to representative work samples and/or IMDb listings and include a cover letter stating your interest in the position
About Science Sandbox
Science Sandbox is a portfolio of strategic grant-making at the Simons Foundation, focused on outreach and engaging new audiences with science. We believe that one efficient avenue for making science relatable and for inspiring the otherwise science-ambivalent is through powerful storytelling and rich narrative - and in particular through artfully produced nonfiction film.
Nonfiction films supported by Science Sandbox should communicate high-level science to general audiences in compelling ways and resonate with individuals who don't usually seek out science content. Emphasis is placed on projects that incorporate innovative storytelling techniques and highlight diversity in science - especially those that feature topics, subjects or disciplines that broaden and rebrand what it means to be a scientist or to do science. Projects should highlight basic research or topics in science that don't usually get the attention of major production studios and teams. Films should inspire viewers with the actual process of science and humanize the pursuit of discovery in relatable ways for diverse points of view. Priority is also given to feature-length films intended for festival consideration, a theatrical release and wide distribution.
Simons Foundation's Diversity Commitment
Many of the greatest ideas and discoveries come from a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds and experiences, and we are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment. The Simons Foundation provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under federal, state and local law.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply