CRM and video publisher Cinelan are working to bring original content from award-winning filmmakers to audiences via digital distribution. Launched last year with a group of veteran documentary filmmakers including Joe Berlinger, Liz Garbus, Alex Gibney, Morgan Spurlock and Barbara Kopple, Cinelan’s “Focus Forward” is an ongoing series of three-minute nonfiction films created by these filmmakers and others to create shorts reflecting their concept of “the incredible human power of ideas and invention.” Cinelan conceived of the “Focus Forward – Short Film, Big Ideas” project in cooperation with festivals around the world including Berlin, Tribeca, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and Sundance which will premiere batches of films during their events followed by release through other partners including Vimeo. Digital distributor Cinetic Rights Management (CRM) will leverage its relationships with digital platforms including Comcast, Time Warner, iTunes, Xbox and Amazon to extend Focus Forward’s content to online audiences and beyond.

Thirty docs will gradually premiere as curated collections at partner festivals over the next year. The first five films debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last month. Founded in 2007, CRM strategically exploits content across paid, free and subscription business models. Its FilmBuff component is a digital entertainment curation service. Focus Forward is a program spearheaded by Cinelan co-founders Morgan Spurlock and Karol Martesko-Fenster.