The push was announced Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival. Focus Forward was launched last year at the Toronto Film Festival as part of an exclusive distribution pact with video-sharing site Vimeo as a project of 30 three-minute docus, to be directed by leading filmmakers from around the world — with a focus on exploring ideas and invention.
Cinelan and GE said Saturday that distribution, arranged in partnership with Cinetic Rights Management, will include numerous cable and satellite VOD services, gaming system networks, and free on demand platforms. Earlier this month, the program unveiled a slate of films that premiered at Sundance and Tribeca on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Sony PlayStation, CinemaNow, and Vudu.
The July 9 launch will bring the Focus Forward films to Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Verizon and Rogers.
The announcement also touted four new 3-minute films by Eddie Schmidt (“Good Bread”), Liz Garbus (“Robot”), Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman (“Remote Area Medical”) and Supriyo Sen (“New Gift”) that are premiering in the official program at the Los Angeles Film Festival and will premiere online on Monday on Vimeo and be added to the Focus Forward distribution network.
“As our program progresses, we’re finally seeing the full blossoming of what’s possible for short films in the digital era,” said Cinelan co-founder Karol-Martesko-Fenster. “Getting films seen has always been the toughest obstacle for short-form storytellers, so we’re proud that the ambitious distribution strategy we’ve developed at Cinelan for Focus Forward has been met with such enthusiasm by our partners and participants.”
The announcement noted that between Jan. 24 and April 11, the first five Focus Forward films that debuted at Sundance received 1.1 million unique views online.