Student Jon K. Jones Receives 2020 Sloan Science in Cinema Fellowship

BY Felix van Kann, January 26, 2021

Jon K. Jones

Student Jon K. Jones has been selected by SFFILM to receive a Sloan Science in Cinema Filmmaker Fellowship for his project Let There Be Light. The fellowship comes with a $35,000 cash grant alongside support for further development of his feature screenplay. Jones will participate in virtual residencies at SFFILM’s Film House, gain access to SFFILM’s Artist Development programs, and receive connections to a science advisor and others in the Bay Area science and tech communities.


Let There Be Light is based on the true story of African American inventor, draftsman, scientist, poet, and American Civil War veteran Lewis H. Latimer, who struggles to balance love and scientific curiosity amidst the turn of the 20th century in the United States.


“I am so grateful to have been selected by the San Francisco Film Science in Cinema Fellowship. It’s exciting to be able to tell the Incredible story of Lewis H. Latimer, inventor, engineer and patent draftsman, whose remarkable contributions are significant to scientific discovery as well as American history,” Jones commented on his selection.


New York-based writer and director Jon K. Jones earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Brooklyn College with a dual concentration in Screenwriting and Film History and a Master of Fine Arts at Columbia University School of the Arts in pursuit of his passion for story. His personal mission is to bring quality, entertaining, and original stories to life in television, fiction writing, and motion picture by combining socially poignant storytelling with transportive and imaginative aesthetics. In 2020, Jones completed a coveted year-long internship at Saturday Night Live and was the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Award for his short screenplay Let There Be Light, a small snapshot of the life of African American inventor Lewis H. Latimer. Jones was interviewed for the Diversity in Film series last year


Produced in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Sloan Science in Cinema Filmmaker Fellowships are part of the organization’s efforts to support programs that cultivate and champion films exploring scientific or technological themes and characters. A longstanding element of the artist development programs offered by SFFILM Makers, this fellowship is designed to ensure that narrative feature films that tell compelling stories about the worlds of science and technology continue to be made and seen.