Film Student Emily Everhard Wins Sloan Episodic Fellowship

Josephine Simonian
February 02, 2024

Film student Emily Everhard just won the 2024 Sundance x Sloan Episodic Fellowship for her TV pilot, Tektite, and accepted the award at the Sundance festival last week. The Sundance Institute and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation join together each year with their Science-In-Film initiative to support films-in-development that explore scientific themes. Everhard's pilot, along with the three other projects awarded, “dramatizes the unique obstacles and underappreciated contributions of exceptional women in science and technology,” according to Sloan Foundation Vice President Doron Weber. 

"I heard a comedian joke that NASA sent Sally Ride to space with 100 tampons for 6 days—I thought it was hilarious, until I learned that it was true,” said Everhard. The anecdote inspired her to research the history of women in NASA and led her to discovering “the untold story of the Tektite—a habitat 50 meters underwater in the Caribbean and the home of NASA's first all female mission.”

Everhard developed the pilot “with the help of many Columbia writing professors, including [former adjunct] Beth Schacter '04, [Professor] Trey Ellis, [Adjunct Assistant Professor] Courtney Barons, [Professor] Blair Singer, and [her] incredible classmates,” seeking to write “an alternate history inspired by these true events.” 

Tektike is a story about discovering the unknown," said Everhard, "personal sacrifices for professional ambition, and how women are stronger together than we are against each other. The show explores queer storylines that challenge heteronormativity and the gender binary.” 

“Personally, I draw inspiration from the bravery and bad-assery of the female aquanauts," added Everhard, "as I navigate my career in a male-dominated industry.”

Through Sundance and the Sloan Foundation, Everhard will receive “invaluable resources and mentorship to continue developing Tektike as a TV series," including a $17,000 cash award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Emily Everhard is an actress, writer, and director. After studying History at Dartmouth College, Everhard worked on documentaries for Netflix, AMC/Sundance TV, and PBS. Emily’s narrative projects are inspired by true stories told through a queer, female perspective. She is completing her MFA in Screenwriting at Columbia University.