GE and CINELAN today announced the simultaneous multi-platform release of 10 films for its FOCUS FORWARD – Short Films, Big Ideas initiative at a special event at the Ritz-Carlton Residences during Film Independent’s Los Angeles Film Festival. Beginning July 9, in an unprecedented rollout for short films across traditional and nontraditional distribution channels arranged in partnership with Cinetic Rights Management, FOCUS FORWARD films will be distributed across numerous cable and satellite VOD services, gaming system networks, and Internet Free On Demand platforms. Earlier this month, the program unveiled a slate of films first premiered at the 2012 Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Sony PlayStation, CinemaNow, and Vudu. The July 9 launch will bring FOCUS FORWARD films to Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Verizon and Rogers.
Also announced at the event, four new 3-minute films by award-winning filmmakers Eddie Schmidt (Twist of Faith), Liz Garbus (Bobby Fischer Against the World), Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman (Gerrymandering), and Supriyo Sen (Hope Dies Last in War) will world premiere in the official program at the 2012 LA Film Fest. Two films will be paired with features in the Documentary Competition and Summer Showcase, respectively, and two others will screen in the Short Film Competition. As part of the ongoing day-and-date release strategy, all four of the three-minute films will premiere online on Monday, June 18, at noon EST at www.vimeo.com/focusforwardfilms. These films will eventually be added to others currently live on the multi-platform FOCUS FORWARD distribution network.
“As our program progresses, we’re finally seeing the full blossoming of what’s possible for short films in the digital era,” said CINELAN co-founder Karol-Martesko-Fenster. “Getting films seen has always been the toughest obstacle for short-form storytellers, so we’re proud that the ambitious distribution strategy we’ve developed at CINELAN for FOCUS FORWARD has been met with such enthusiasm by our partners and participants.” Douglas Dicconson, CINELAN’s Managing Director, added, “It was always our goal to put these films in front of as many people as possible—these stories are meant to inspire and engage the world in conversation. Now on-demand viewers and broadband consumers alike can experience FOCUS FORWARD films for free on virtually any platform available.”
Between January 24 and April 11, the first five FOCUS FORWARD films that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival received 1.1 million unique views online and were shared 3.5 million times by audiences around the world.
“We’re thrilled to be the first to present the latest FOCUS FORWARD films to our audience and support these talented filmmakers,” to a wider array of media outlets,” said Sean Mc Manus, Co-President of Film Independent, which produces the Los Angeles Film Festival. “The films we selected play well on big and small screens, and embody our core values of diversity and innovation for the greater good—the same spirit that’s driving this incredibly forward-thinking program.”
FOCUS FORWARD – Short Films, Big Ideas is a series of 30 three-minute nonfiction films, inspired by GE’s vision of innovative people being the catalyst for world change. Produced by leading documentary filmmakers, the films explore the incredible human power of ideas and invention and will screen at prestigious film festivals globally, followed by day-and-date distribution online and via additional platforms to millions of viewers. FOCUS FORWARD is a supporter of this year’s LA Film Fest and has brought along award-winning filmmakers to inspire emerging talents and encourage submissions to the $200,000 FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Challenge, first announced at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top five entries in the professionally juried Challenge (http://www.focusforwardfilms.com/challenge), with $100,000 going to the Grand Prize Winner. The jury members will be announced this summer.