FOCUS FORWARD FILMS

We’re thrilled to present our new multimedia exhibit at 92Y Tribeca in New York City. The exhibit highlights the ideas, inventions, and people featured in our film series.

Get a first-hand glimpse at the Hövding invisible bicycle helmet and Bud Frazier and Billy Cohn’s homemade continuous-flow heart device, the ultra-rare Roland TR-808 drum machine and high-schooler Aidan Dwyer’s solar tree among many other intriguing display objects, all of which stand as examples of outstanding design with a truly groundbreaking and problem-solving purpose.

FREE and open to the public until May 22nd. More info here.

Congratulations to Jack Andraka for taking home the Albert Einstein Prize for developing a revolutionary new test for pancreatic cancer at the Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation Awards.

Congratulations to Jack Andraka for taking home the Albert Einstein Prize for developing a revolutionary new test for pancreatic cancer at the Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation Awards.

During Tribeca Film Festival we teamed up with Google’s Solve For X for a memorable event focused on radical technology-based proposals for solving the world’s biggest problems. Joining us was Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal, Cinelan’s Morgan Spurlock, and Hövding founders Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin (The Invisible Bicycle Helmet), Scott Brusaw (Solar Roadways), and Immudicon’s Riley Ennis (Filmmaker Competition finalist The Red Dot). 

After the presentations, attendees brainstormed in roundtable groups to help push these inventors’ radical proposals forward. 

"As a filmmaker we’re not just recording the events, we’re not jounralists, we’re giving our own interpretations." - filmmaker Michele Ohayon during our Outside The Box event at Tribeca Film Festival.

"As a filmmaker we’re not just recording the events, we’re not jounralists, we’re giving our own interpretations." - filmmaker Michele Ohayon during our Outside The Box event at Tribeca Film Festival.

Our Future of Film panel today with Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick, General Electric’s Andy Goldberg, and filmmakers Morgan Spurlock and the Safdie Brothers.

An interesting and informative Tribeca Talks Industry: Brand New Studios discussion yesterday with GE’s Linda Boff, Red Bull Media’s Gregory Jacobs, VICE’s Danny Gabai, and ESPN’s Daniel Silver, and moderated by Tribeca Film Festival’s Nancy Schafer.

An interesting and informative Tribeca Talks Industry: Brand New Studios discussion yesterday with GE’s Linda Boff, Red Bull Media’s Gregory Jacobs, VICE’s Danny Gabai, and ESPN’s Daniel Silver, and moderated by Tribeca Film Festival’s Nancy Schafer.

We’re thrilled to be at Tribeca Film Festival this year hosting exciting week of free exhibitions, panels, screenings, and talks. Below are the events we have in store, we’d love to see you there.

Tribeca Talks Industry: Brand New StudiosLinda Boff from GE will be among the panelists, moderated by Nancy Schafer. Sunday April 21, 2013 2:30pm SVA Theater 2 (333 W. 23rd St., NYC) More info here.
Future of Film Speaker SeriesA Conversation with Nerdist Chris Hardwick, Morgan Spurlock and Andy Goldberg from GE. Tuesday April 23, 2013 12pm 92Y Theater (200 Hudson St., NYC). More Info here.
GE Focus Forward Special Screening & PanelTuesday April 23, 2013 6:30pm 92Y Theater (200 Hudson St., NYC). 
Solve for X @ Tribeca Film FestivalPresented by GE FOCUS FORWARD and Google[x] Thursday April 25, 2013 5pm Google Offices (111 8th Ave., NYC 16th St. entrance). Register here.
GE Focus Forward: “The Long and Short of Innovation”Part of Tribeca Family Festival Screenings with conversation with award-winning directors Annie Sundberg and Rick Stern. Saturday April 27, 2013 1pm Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich St., NYC). More info here.
Eyes on InnovationArt and Design from the GE FOCUS FORWARD Film Series April 17 - May 22, 2013 Open Daily 92Y Gallery (200 Hudson St., NYC). More info here.
 

We’re thrilled to be at Tribeca Film Festival this year hosting exciting week of free exhibitions, panels, screenings, and talks. Below are the events we have in store, we’d love to see you there.

Tribeca Talks Industry: Brand New Studios
Linda Boff from GE will be among the panelists, moderated by Nancy Schafer. Sunday April 21, 2013 2:30pm SVA Theater 2 (333 W. 23rd St., NYC) More info here.

Future of Film Speaker Series
A Conversation with Nerdist Chris Hardwick, Morgan Spurlock and Andy Goldberg from GE. Tuesday April 23, 2013 12pm 92Y Theater (200 Hudson St., NYC). More Info here.

GE Focus Forward Special Screening & Panel
Tuesday April 23, 2013 6:30pm 92Y Theater (200 Hudson St., NYC). 

Solve for X @ Tribeca Film Festival
Presented by GE FOCUS FORWARD and Google[x] Thursday April 25, 2013 5pm Google Offices (111 8th Ave., NYC 16th St. entrance). Register here.

GE Focus Forward: “The Long and Short of Innovation”
Part of Tribeca Family Festival Screenings with conversation with award-winning directors Annie Sundberg and Rick Stern. Saturday April 27, 2013 1pm Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich St., NYC). More info here.

Eyes on Innovation
Art and Design from the GE FOCUS FORWARD Film Series April 17 - May 22, 2013 Open Daily 92Y Gallery (200 Hudson St., NYC). More info here.

 

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Director/Producer Paul Lazarus has an over 30-year award-winning career directing, producing and writing film, theater and television. Currently, he is in production on a feature documentary about inventor Dean Kamen and his work to alleviate the world’s safe water crisis. He has created numerous other short documentaries with Kamen highlighting his Segway invention and his inspiring competition for students, FIRST robotics. His short, ‘Slingshot,’ about Kamen’s water purification technology, won 3rd place in our $200,000 Filmmaker Competition.

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Lazarus directed and produced the independent feature, Seven Girlfriends, starring Tim Daly and Melora Hardin. He has directed many notable TV series including most recently Pretty Little Liars,The Middle, and Second Generation Wayans. Past shows include: Ugly Betty, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, LA Law, and Melrose Place. In the early ’90s, he served as the Artistic Director of the historic Pasadena Playhouse. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Lazarus apprenticed with the Royal Shakespeare Company in England.

Read Paul’s Q&A after the cut.

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In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life.” - Vandana Shiva, subject of Supriyo Sen’s film New Gift. Watch it here. 

In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life.” - Vandana Shiva, subject of Supriyo Sen’s film New Gift. Watch it here

Q&A With Director Jared P. Scott of The Artificial Leaf

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Director of the FOCUS FORWARD Jury Prize-winning short, The Artificial Leaf, filmmaker Jared P. Scott is a partner at PF Pictures. He produced and edited Split: A Deeper Divide—a non-partisan investigation of the US political divide. He is currently directing a film about 350.org's climate crusader Bill McKibben and co-directing & producing Requiem for the American Dream—a discussion with Noam Chomsky on inequality in America. He is also producing The Fight—a diagnosis of the dysfunction in American health care system. He directed and produced Nachos for Two on jam-band Umphreys McGee and numerous philanthropic mini-docs for NGOs and advocacy groups worldwide. Jared is a PROMAX award-nominated preditor with hundreds of on-air promos to his credit and produced segments for Planet Earth on BBCA.

A partner at PF Pictures, Kelly Nyks wrote, directed and produced Split: A Deeper Divide—which has been screened and broadcast on television in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. He is writing, directing and producing Requiem for the American Dream—on the financialization of America. Kelly is also writing, directing and producing The Fight. Kelly produced The Artificial Leaf, which will play at many Film Festivals worldwide this year.

Read our Q&A with director Jared P. Scott after the jump. 

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After two decades of work by the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation, documented in Kim Munsamy’s Filmmaker Competition award winning short Bones Don’t Lie And Don’t Forget, victims of the genocide by military dictator, Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt find justice. Learn more via The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/XjvY6V

After two decades of work by the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation, documented in Kim Munsamy’s Filmmaker Competition award winning short Bones Don’t Lie And Don’t Forget, victims of the genocide by military dictator, Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt find justice. Learn more via The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/XjvY6V

Each Autumn, Open House New York sponsors tours of locations around NYC that ordinarily, the public would never get in to see, and in the fall of 2009, filmmaker David W. Leitner took a tour of the Newtown Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant (NCWWTP). “I was stunned by what I call the majesty of the architecture,” says Leitner.” Leitner goes on, “I went up on top and it’s a magnificent view and I said ‘this is incredible! 

Flash forward to 2011 when Leitner saw the New York Times piece announcing the Focus Forward series and thought “that’s kind of interesting.” He submitted an idea that had been “kicking around” his head since the tour, and Focus Forward and GE accepted.

"I wanted to showcase an infrastructure project that was done right, with the right spirit…. I think infrastructure should be embraced," says Leitner. "The neighborhood seems to have embraced the project as well, avoiding the ‘not in my backyard’ reaction that many projects like this get. The amount of ‘feel good’ out there is amazing."

Leitner was also impressed at how seriously New York City takes its “Percent for Art” law, which dictates that 1% of the budget for eligible City-funded construction be dedicated to creating public artworks. As a result of the law, the NCWWTP was not just a place where sewage is cleaned up. He was intrigued by how that law was applied in this case. “I wanted to know more [about the origins of the project] and why these world-class architects were involved. 

"The lobby of the visitor’s center—how many wastewater treatment plants have a visitor’s center?—was designed by Vito Acconci, and landscape artist George Trakas designed the Waterfront Nature Walk. Then they got probably the greatest lighting designer in the world, Hervé Descottes of L’Observatoire International, to come in and light the things. The eggs themselves have this very special texture called peening and it gives it a silvery texture. When the sun sets, it doesn’t go into your eyes, it looks satin-y. That attention to detail really got to me."

"In other cities they hide plants like this out of sight," says Leitner, "but this is Greenpoint, Brooklyn. You can’t hide these, they’re too darn big. So architect Richard Alcott basically said, ‘We’re going to showcase them. Were going to make them beautiful. Were going make shiny objects that the eye will be attracted to.

While the NCWWTP is a rather remarkable achievement in urban architecture and infrastructure, the entire area has what Leitner refers to as “an overhanging irony” to it. In 2010, due to well over 150 years of industrial pollution and a massive underground oil spill in the 1970s, Newtown Creek was declared a Superfund site by the EPA and is one of America’s most polluted waterways.

A Chat With Director Rafel Duran of Cyborg Foundation

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Rafel Duran was born and educated in Barcelona, Spain, where he earned degrees in audiovisual communication and journalism. Rafel has worked in Miami, Florida, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, editing for major Spanish-language television networks and collaborated with a human rights NGO in Colombia on the group’s communications. He also worked on the postproduction of the upcoming feature film,White Shadow. On January 22, 2013, his 3-minute short, Cyborg Foundation, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize of $100,000 in the FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition.

We sat down with Duran to discuss his winning film…

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“Solar Roadways” director Michèle Ohayon served on the “Future is Short: Storytelling in the Digital Age” panel during the Tribeca Film Festival 2012.  In addition to bestowing advice to aspiring filmmakers, she premiered her three minute documentary film during our “Short Films, Big Ideas” screening. In the film we meet Scott and Julie Brushaw, a couple currently developing roads and parking lots to serve as solar power sources.

We had the opportunity to speak with Michèle at the premiere, and discussed the town in Idaho she features in the film. 

“It was like the Silicon Valley of science. Every single person I met was a scientist! I swear, if you sat down at the dinner table there would be no conversation of the past, or even talk about the present. This town lives and breathes for the future.” 

Watch the film via the below link and then send your thoughts to Twitter with the hashtag #SolarRoadway.

Viewers who submit #SolarRoadway tweets will be featured on our dialogue panel which is shown beneath the film.