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Focus shifts to website

FilmInFocus to be 'haven for film lovers'

In partnership with Filmmaker magazine and publishing houses Faber and Faber and Random House, Focus Features has launched the website FilmInFocus.

The company calls the venture “a destination point and a haven for film lovers around the world.”

The site is aiming to go beyond promos and trailers, cultivating a community of cinephiles through original content and discussion of film. Links to other sites and articles will be embedded throughout.

While such a strategy is not unprecedented in the film biz, it is rare for a movie distrib to sponsor a site with such ostensibly nonsales-related goals.

Of course, marketers in entertainment have long sought to blur the lines between ads and content so that loyalty to content eventually can be converted into revenue for the main sponsor’s product. And Focus concedes the site will definitely have a promo element.

Original editorial content and feature stories are being “curated,” as Focus puts it, by Peter Bowen, Scott Macaulay and Nick Dawson of Refresh Content. The latter are editors and writers at Filmmaker magazine.

Faber will supply its nearly 80-year-old archive, which has long been heavy with cinema-related books, with work from editors and authors Walter Donohue and Richard T. Kelly, who will consult on and generate content. Random House’s film division, headed by Peter Gethers, already has a production partnership with Focus and also will play a role in the site.

“In visiting and spending time on movie-related websites over the years, we realized that there was no one easy-to-navigate place for grown-up movie lovers to participate in genuine dialogues about the joy of movies and the admiration of great filmmaking,” Focus prexy James Schamus said. “We want FilmInFocus to not only market our own films — there is plenty of Focus-related content — but more importantly to actively encourage and celebrate the diversity of opinions and interests that make moviegoers such a vibrant community all over the world.”

Film historians, bloggers and talent will participate in FilmInFocus, many of them with exclusive content and/or interviews with Bowen, Macaulay and Dawson. Participating actors and moviemakers will include, but never be limited to, those making films with Focus.

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