Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game will be honoured for its “sensitive and moving portrait” of the mathematician Alan Turing as portrayed on screen by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Turing led the British team that cracked the Nazi’s Enigma Code. His work led to eventual victory in WWII and by some estimates shortened the war by two years. The Imitation Game will screen on October 11 in the festival’s Spotlight strand.
“We are delighted to join our wonderful partners at HIFF for our fifteenth year together to award the 2014 Sloan Feature Film Prize to Morten Tyldum’s moving film about the pioneering – and persecuted – Alan Turing, The Imitation Game,” said Doron Weber, vp of programmes at the Alfred P Sloan Foundation.
“Turing was a brilliant mathematician and logician who made seminal contributions to computer science and artificial intelligence and whose remarkable skills as a cryptanalyst helped win World War II, yet he was also a victim of discrimination who died tragically.
“Many people have tried to bring this important story to the screen, but The Imitation Game, which Sloan previously supported in its post-production phase and features a bravura lead performance, is the first to succeed and we are thrilled to honour this impressive cinematic achievement.”
In addition to the film prize award, HIFF will present the Sloan Screenplay Readings on October 12: Palimpsest written by Ben Nabors and Michael Tyburski and Televisionaries by Evan Schwartz are this year’s featured selections.
Meanwhile festival top brass said the event will close with the US premiere of Julianne Moore starrer Still Alice and open with St. Vincent. Among other highlights, Patricia Clarkson, star of Spotlight selection Learning To Drive, will take part in an on-stage conversation. For further information about the programme click here.
HIFF runs from October 9-13.