First-time director ShaneCarruth collected the Alfred P Sloan Prize at Sundance on Saturday (24) for histhriller Primer.

The prize carries a $20,000award and goes to a film that either focuses on science or technology as atheme or depicts a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major character.

This year's jury, comprisingNeil LaBute, Mark Decena (who won the prize in 2003 for Dopamine), Contactproducer and screenwriter Ann Druyan, MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratoryco-founder Marvin Minski and Minority Report advisor and MIT alumnusJohn Underkoffler, chose Primer for its "artistic rigour and imaginationin dramatising the passion of engineers working at the frontiers of technology".

Primer centres on a discovery by a group of engineers thatchanges their world forever when it exposes them to a hugely empowering sourceof knowledge.

The New York based Alfred PSloan Foundation was founded in 1934 and makes grants in science, technology and economic performance.