Lucy Walker, Stanley Nelson sign up for “Focus Forward”

The short doc initiative from Cinelan and GE has also put out an open call to non-North American filmmakers for treatments based on the theme of ideas and innovation.
October 27, 2011

Five more filmmakers have signed on to take part in Cinelan and GE’s “Focus Forward” short film initiative, which celebrates ideas and innovation.

Lucy Walker (Waste Land), Eddie Schmidt (producer, Twist of Faith), Phil Cox (The Bengali Detective), Leslie Iwerks (The Pixar Story) and Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders) will contribute three-minute short docs to the project, joining the pre-existing roster of Joe Berlinger, Lixin Fan, Liz Garbus, Alex Gibney, Steve James, Barbara Kopple, Ross Kauffman, Morgan Spurlock and Jessica Yu.

The 30 films will premiere as curated collections at the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals and at major festivals in Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, South America, and the Middle East beginning in 2012. The films will also be available online to millions of viewers via Vimeo.

Cinelan has also issued an open call to filmmakers from outside North America to submit brief treatments for stories around the “Focus Forward” theme. For more information, contact

“The more filmmakers we talk to about ‘Focus Forward,’ the more we hear passionate feedback that the three-minute format is ideal for storytellers who want to inspire audiences with an innovative idea,” said Douglas Dicconson, Cinelan’s managing director for special projects. “With GE’s support, Cinelan is moving this concept to the next level so that professional filmmakers everywhere can get involved. We are thrilled with the partners we have on board and are looking forward to adding more.”

Key Cinelan execs, including co-founder Morgan Spurlock, Damon Smith, director of content strategy and acquisitions, and Dicconson are attending the Doha Tribeca Festival to explore possible partnerships with non–North American filmmakers.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.