By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood April 23, 2012 at 12:27PM
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 to millions of viewers. FOCUS FORWARD is a supporter of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival 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, with $100,000 going to the Grand Prize Winner. The jury members will be announced in June at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival.
Qualifying films for the Filmmaker Challenge are three-minute end-to-end stories about people or organizations whose innovative efforts in medicine, computer science, robotics, engineering, green energy, or other fields of art and knowledge have had a significant positive impact on humanity. Recent, cutting-edge inventions that are changing how we live today are of special interest. A selection of Challenge films will be available online to a global audience through Vimeo and will sit alongside the first 30 films produced by FOCUS FORWARD filmmakers. As the program progresses, FOCUS FORWARD films will be distributed across cable and satellite VOD, gaming system networks, Internet Free On Demand services as well as in theaters and on DVD. The Grand Prize and Jury Award winners will be announced at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
At the special preview event, representatives for FOCUS FORWARD - Short Films, Big Ideas announced that they have also partnered with the BAFICI Talent Campus in Buenos Aires, the Los Angeles Film Festival (LA Film Fest), and Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) to spread global awareness of the Challenge and to support the initiative as a whole. The next wave of FOCUS FORWARD films will world premiere at LA Film Fest (June 14-24) and at MIFF (August 2-19). FOCUS FORWARD also announced that Shooting People, the extensive worldwide network of professional filmmakers, will be a media partner for the Filmmaker Challenge.