Film/video publisher Cinelan unveiled a multi-year collaboration with the International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) over the weekend. The aim is to partner on their worldwide initiative, "Focus Forward - Short Films, Big Ideas," a series of "3-minute nonfiction films about the incredible human power of ideas and invention."
The group also added more names to its roster who will create 3-minute mini-docs on the theme of invention. Eventually, there will be 30, which will group together in a ninety minute film which will culminate at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Filmmakers joining the list include Nelson George ("Brooklyn Boheme"), Fredrik Gertten ("Bananas"), Katy Chevigny ("Election Day"), David W. Leitner (DP, "A Jihad for Love"), Gary Hustwit ("Helvetica"), Jessica Edwards ("Seltzer Works"), and Michele O'Hayon ("Colors Straight Up").
The Focus Forward films will premiere as curated collections at the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, as well as at a number of film festivals around the world. Cinelan has invited festivals worldwide, especially those with a documentary emphasis, to inquire about possible partnerships and reiterated an open call to non–North American filmmakers to explore contributing to the Focus Forward effort. The first five films in the series will screen January 23 at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
"We're thrilled that our friends at CINELAN are supporting IDFA this year," commented Ally Derks, Director of IDFA in a statement. "And [we] are delighted they'll be returning in 2012 for our 25th anniversary with an integrated program to celebrate documentary film."
Vimeo is partnering with Cinelan to promote the 3-minute docs via its portal, which will premiere the films simultaneously online with their festival roll outs. Cinelan, which is funded by General Electric, is licensing the films, which the filmmakers will retain ownership rights, according to Cinelan's Karol Martesko-Fenster who along with colleague Damon Smith, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and Vimeo's Jeremy Boxer, made the announcement in Amsterdam over the weekend.