Dutch festival IDFA is to present Cinelan-curated global documentary initiative “Focus Forward” over the course of the first weekend of this year’s event, with filmmakers Steve James (pictured) and Morgan Spurlock on hand to discuss the project.
The 18-month initiative, which was unveiled at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and is backed by GE, will see a number of influential filmmakers creating a series of 30 three-minute nonfiction films about the power of ideas and invention.
James and Spurlock will discuss the project and their collaboration in Amsterdam on November 19, where they will also announce new filmmakers and additional partners, accompanied by project partners Karol Martesko-Fenster, Damon Smith and James Mullighan.
Documentarians already slated to produce shorts for the initiative include Joe Berlinger, Lucy Walker, Alex Gibney, Barbara Kopple, Jessica Yu, Lixin Fan, Liz Garbus and Ross Kauffmann.
As previously reported, James is to be the guest of honor this year at the festival, with a retrospective of his work being shown, as well as his 10 favorite documentaries, which include Kopple’s Fallen Champ and Robert Epstein’s The Times of Harvey Milk.
The event will also shine a light on the dos and don’ts of crowdfunding, with filmmakers Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix discussing their success in raising money online in a realscreen-moderated session at IDFAcademy, the festival’s annual training program for emerging filmmakers.
IDFA runs from November 16-27.