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Focus Forward Documentary Winners Announced, Watch All 5 Including the $100K Grand Prize Film

It was announced all the way back in February 2012, but the Focus Forward documentary short film competition has finally come to a close, and they’ve announced the winners at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The contest, sponsored by General Electric and Vimeo, and in partnership with Cinelan, has awarded $200,000 in prize money to five short films around the theme of invention or innovation. Check out all of the winners below, plus a new short film from Morgan Spurlock.

If you need a refresher, here is the introduction to the contest from documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock:

$100,000 Grand Prize Winner: Cyborg Foundation – Rafel Duran Torrent

2nd Place: The Artificial Leaf – Jared P Scott and Kelly Nyks

3rd Place: Slingshot – Paul Lazarus

4th Place: Bones Don’t Lie and Don’t Forget – Kim Munsamy

5th Place: Mine Kafon – Callum Cooper

There were plenty of other great videos in the competition, which included 20 finalists, so be sure to check out the rest of the tremendous entries. In addition, five other documentary short films have been posted online from some of the industry’s biggest names which are just now receiving their world premiere. Here is one of them, Morgan Spurlock’s You Don’t Know Jack:

You can find links to the other films from the competition as well as the other 4 films that are just premiering below.

What do you guys think? Which ones were your favorite?



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  • Some very interesting little documentaries. Joe, thanks for posting.

  • on 01.23.13 @ 9:54AM

    Congrats to the winner. Hopefully the money won will offset the cost of production and afford the possibility of doing another film.

  • Really great work. I liked the winner but Mine Kafon left the biggest impression. Spurlock’s shined as well.

  • That Artificial Leaf one was incredibly well done.

  • Congrats to the winners, some great entries there!

    If you guys are curious, my film was a Finalist (although it did not win).

    View it here –

  • There is a lot that I like about the winning entry as far as story-telling techniques go, but at the end of it all I couldn’t even figure out what that camera is communicating to him, whether it is playing music or just saying out loud the name of the color that he is seeing. It is clear to me that the competition had more to do with production and less to do with story being told.

    (honest opinion, not sour grapes because my short film didn’t make the top 100.. though it really didn’t)

    The Artificial Leaf has my vote.

  • You dont know jack was a ripper !!

  • Awesome stuff all around. Loved these.

    7 comments here, 114 comments on the black magic MFT post. Sigh… What’s wrong with this picture?