GE and Cinelan, a strategic media company, just announced the five Jury Prize winners of its $200,000 Focus Forward Filmmaker Competition. And the winners are. . .Callum Cooper (Mine Kafon), Kim Munsamy (Bones Don’t Lie And Don’t Forget), Paul Lazarus (Slingshot), Jared P. Scott & Kelly Nyks (The Artificial Leaf) and Rafel Duran Torrent (Cyborg Foundation). The Grand Jury Prize of $100,000 will be announced at a live awards ceremony on January 22 during this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
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. Made by today’s leading documentary moviemakers, the films explore the incredible power of ideas and invention. These shorts revolve around visionaries—in some cases, everyday folks—whose cutting-edge advancements in medicine, computer science, robotics, engineering and green energy have made a significant impact on humanity, and reshaped our world in the process. The Focus Forward films will be featured at prestigious film festivals globally, followed by online distribution and via cable TV services (including Video On Demand) across the world, as well as additional platforms.
The jury for this year’s competition includes Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer Caroline Libresco, actress Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill), and award-winning moviemakers Barbara Kopple (Harlan County U.S.A.), José Padilha (Elite Squad), Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost), Floyd Webb (Daughters of the Dust) and Peter Wintonick (Manufacturing Consent). During the awards ceremony, the winners of the competition will be receive their prizes, and their five acclaimed films will be screened. The winning films are also available to view for free on the Focus Forward website, along with the 15 other Filmmaker Competition finalists.
In addition, two new films by renowned documentarians Albert Maysles (The Secret of Trees) and Morgan Spurlock (You Don’t Know Jack), created specifically for the Focus Forward series, will make their world premiere as part of Sundance’s Shorts Competition, and will also be paired with select features in the U.S. Documentary and World Cinema Documentary sections. They will have their global online premiere on Tuesday, January 22, at 12pm EST on Vimeo.com, and will be shown at a special public screening in Park City, alongside three new Focus Forward films from directors Lucy Walker (The Crash Reel), Senain Kheshgi (Project Kashmir), and David White & Paul Wedel (I Kill).
“Sundance Institute shares with Focus Forward a commitment to facilitating and supporting the creation and exhibition of short-form films,” said John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival. “Two films supported by Focus Forward, from directors Morgan Spurlock and Albert Maysles, both of whom are Sundance alums, are strong additions to the Short Film Competition at our Festival this year.”
“It is an honor and a pleasure to collaborate with Sundance on the Focus Forward project for GE,” said Cinelan Managing Partner Douglas Dicconson. “Their commitment, energy and unwavering support has inspired us
to continue to find new ways to work together in the future.”
For more information, please visit www.focusforwardfilms.com.