Short Films, Big Ideas
FOCUS FORWARD - Short Films, Big Ideas is an award-winning series of 30 three-minute stories about innovators—people who are reshaping the world through act or invention—directed by the world's most celebrated documentary filmmakers. The films have been viewed in 150 countries and screened to audiences on all seven continents.
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Can mushrooms save the world? In this infectious short by Oscar winner Leslie Iwerks, celebrated mycologist Paul Stamets demonstrates how fungi can "eat" radioactive waste, boost intelligence, and possibly treat disease such as smallpox and the flu.
A who's who of international documentary filmmakers drawn from every corner of the globe, FOCUS FORWARD directors are the most distinguished nonfiction storytellers working in contemporary independent cinema today. Many have won Academy Awards for their shorts and features; others have earned their laurels at world-renowned festivals and at the box office.
FOCUS FORWARD films have screened at film festivals and events all over the world
(yes, even Antarctica).
Whether in Sundance, Tribeca, Los Angeles, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Melbourne, Dubai or Guangzhou, audiences have been inspired and moved by these stories of innovation.
More to Come
Here they are, the winners of the $200,000 FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition, including the $100,000 Grand Prize winner. Congratulations, filmmakers!
See all Finalists
Neil Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, a rare condition that causes complete colour blindness. In 2004, Harbisson and Adam Montandon developed the eyeborg, a sensory device that translates colours into sounds, which Harbisson, the world’s first officially recognized cyborg, wears at all times.
Short Films, Big Ideas
The series celebrates innovators–those who are hard at work, making the world a better place.
A partnership between GE and cinelan, FOCUS FORWARD commissioned 30 three-minute films from an impressive roster of award-winning international filmmakers. The creative brief was simple: tell a story about an innovator or a world-changing idea, and do it in about 180 seconds.
The films premiered in 2012 and 2013 at film festivals across six continents as they also went live online. The films have now been viewed and shared in 150 countries on seven continents (a special screening was arranged for science conference in Antarctica).
The same creative brief was offered to filmmakers everywhere during the FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition. Astounding entries came in from 69 countries. A jury of renowned film industry professionals selected five winners at Sundance 2013, who shared $200,000 in cash prizes, the largest ever awarded to short non-fiction films.
The series has been honored by the Clio, Webby and Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards. The films continue to reach new audiences and receive invitations from festivals around the globe. An even greater measure of their success is the way these stories make people feel–inspired.