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Focus Forward $200K Filmmaker Challenge Competition Extended

Filmmakers, take note! GE and Cinelan have extended their original August deadline for submissions to the Focus Forward competition to Sunday, October 7. You’ve still got time!

Summer vacation is over! Officially kicked off during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, the $200,000 Filmmaker Challenge Competition, sponsored by GE and Cinelan's FOCUS FORWARD–SHORT FILMS, BIG IDEAS program, is continuing to solicit entries from emerging filmmakers across the country.

The deadline for submissions was originally August 23, 2012, but the Filmmaker Challenge Competition team has recently announced a deadline extension for submissions to Sunday, October 7 (at 11:59 PM EST).  Cinelan co-founder (and future CNN host) Morgan Spurlock recently confirmed that the FOCUS FORWARD program is exceeding all expectations. He explained: “In the last week, we’ve seen a huge spike in submissions to our competition coming in from six continents, which is exciting for us and our partners at GE.”

While the cash prize package alone is a staggering incentive for any filmmaker (much less for an aspiring one!), the selected finalists will also receive the honor of screening their shorts online alongside those of such esteemed directors as Fredrik Gertten, Alex Gibney, Jessica Yu, Stanley Nelson, and Steve James. FOCUS FORWARD is a program that continues to cultivate and encourage the highest quality of documentary filmmaking.

The challenge is simple: Filmmakers are asked to make a 3-minute film about a person or an organization that has made a difference in the world through innovation and ingenuity in the fields of medicine, computer science, robotics, engineering, green energy, or the arts. GE and Cinelan urge filmmakers and creative types everywhere to pay special attention to the latest, cutting-edge inventions that have made drastic improvements to the quality of life for people everywhere.

The finalists will be announced at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and audiences worldwide will be able to screen the films on the Focus Forward website later this year. Such notable film industry professionals as José Padilha, Barbara Kopple, Daryl Hannah, and Joe Berlinger will ultimately determine the award winners and which lucky filmmaker will be taking home the grand prize of $100,000!

Let us dispel any notion that short films are not seen by wide audiences. Fredrik Gertten’s FOCUS FORWARD short, The Invisible Bicycle Helmet, received more than 1 million views online within 4 days of its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and its viewer numbers continue to grow.


For more about the competition, please visit the FOCUS FORWARD website. For the full rules and submission guidelines, visit the FOCUS FORWARD Vimeo page.

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