Nonfiction short films get new home


BERLIN -- Makers of nonfiction short films around the globe are about to get a home courtesy of a new company called Cinelan.

The brainchild of filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, branding guru David Wales and Arts Alliance managing partner Thomas Hoegh, the company -- set to be launched Thursday at the Berlin International Film Festival -- is dedicated to building a library of professionally produced three-minute nonfiction films for syndication.

Calling itself a film content publisher, the company hopes to reach audiences through its relationships with major online and offline distribution partners, including Guardian News & Media, Picturehouse Cinemas and the Vizumi Network.

"We've seen a tremendous growth in demand for high-quality, irresistible short films as online video moves beyond YouTube, and audiences crave more crafted and thoughtful companion video," Cinelan CEO David Schrieberg said. "Through our unique delivery process and the power of our content, we can leverage our library to help partners and filmmakers reach audiences everywhere."

Films will be syndicated through Internet media partners, digital cinemas, TV and mobile devices. A key goal of the company is to maximize filmmakers' revenue while generating new audiences for three-minute films.

In addition to Spurlock, Cinelan's founding filmmakers include a variety of Oscar and Sundance prizewinners, such as Steve James ("Hoop Dreams"), Eugene Jarecki ("Why We Fight"), Ross Kauffman ("Born into Brothels") and Jessica Yu ("Breathing Lessons"). They will be on Cinelan's advisory board and also make films for the company.

Joining Schrieberg as key company executives are COO David Laks, veteran film industry executive Karol Martesko-Fenster and digital strategist Wai Mun Yoon. Cinelan's filmmaker relations team features Kiki Allgeier, Jeremy Boxer and Mark Rabinowitz.

Cinelan will have offices in Luxembourg, London and New York.