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SnagFilms' indieWIRE To Offer Complete Coverage Of Cannes Festival Adds Sydney Levine To Roster Of Preeminent Film Critics And Journalists

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Less than two weeks after announcing that former-Variety chief film critic Todd McCarthy had joined indieWIRE, SnagFilms today announced that Sydney Levine, FilmFinders' founder and prominent writer on the international film business, is moving her "SydneysBuzz" blog to indieWIRE in time to join its complete team coverage of the Cannes Film Festival and the associated Marche du Film (Cannes Film Market.) The Festival de Cannes runs from May 12th to May 23rd.

Beginning today, indieWIRE's complete coverage of Cannes will be anchored by Founder and Editor-in-Chief Eugene Hernandez and Managing Editor Brian Brooks, Todd McCarthy, Anne Thompson, Eric Kohn and now Sydney Levine, whose "SydneysBuzz" blog (http://blogs.indiewire.com/sydneylevine) has joined the IW Blog Network.

"indieWIRE continues to expand the most comprehensive coverage of the independent film industry, with Sydney Levine joining Todd McCarthy, Anne Thompson, Leonard Maltin and Eric Kohn as members of the SnagFilms family," said SnagFilms CEO Rick Allen. "Eugene Hernandez has done an incredible job building indieWIRE's traffic, breadth of coverage, and relevance, and creating a new online journalism model offering complete coverage of a festival such as Cannes, which just a year ago would have seen team coverage only from major mainstream media outlets." Sydney Levine has three decades of experience in the film industry in international studio acquisitions, distribution, and sales, and "SydneysBuzz" has carved an important niche in coverage of the international independent film business.

"I've been an admirer of indieWIRE and what Eugene has been building since it first emerged as the go-to read on the independent film industry," Levine said.

"It's a great honor to join forces with friends and colleagues like Eugene, Todd, Anne and Leonard at Cannes and beyond. Between offering more than 1350 documentaries for free streaming and snagging online, and the support it is giving indieWIRE to grow its coverage and audience, SnagFilms has become one of the most exciting companies in the independent film business. I'm really excited to join the SnagFilms family." The comprehensive coverage of Cannes begins today, as indieWIRE's editors Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks work with an experienced and informed team of top-notch critics, journalists and industry experts. Here are some of the beats each will cover: -- International sales veteran Sydney Levine says, "I'm going to be watching the global market in licensing rights to the 150 or so films in the Festival and perhaps 3,500 others in the Cannes Marche market. These films and projects are changing hands from countless producers, some 400 international sales agents and 2,500 distributors, to the tune of $1 to $3 billion." -- Variety veterans Anne Thompson and Todd McCarthy will be on the Croisette with indieWIRE for the first time. McCarthy will be weighing in with insight on festival films and an inside look at the event from his unique vantage point as a festival veteran long connected to leading international filmmakers. As McCarthy notes, "The Cannes Film Festival is where you always get the strongest indication of what the year in international cinema is going to be like, and I look forward to quickly getting the word out about this year's discoveries and surprises as the festival unfolds during the next two weeks." -- Anne Thompson has a long history covering the celebrity and business sides of the event. For 2010, Thompson says: "I'm going to screen and review films, interview talent, cover breaking news and acquisitions, and provide color about what's going on in and around the Cannes Festival, market and parties. While I can't wait to see Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, Oliver Stone's Wall Street Never Sleeps and Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, I am most keen to see Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Biutiful, Doug Liman's Fair Game and Stephen Frear's Tamara Drewe." -- Also joining the indieWIRE team is critic Eric Kohn, a leading voice from a new generation of writers. Kohn is a former critic from the New York Press and was a Museum of the Moving Image Institute Fellow in 2008. "Cannes is one of the few events that truly elevates cinema to the same level of prestige allotted to theater, literature, painting and other cornerstones of the classic arts," Kohn observes. "I will be sifting through every section of the Cannes program, from the dense collection of international auteurs to the smaller discoveries of Directors Fortnight and Critics Week, to bring indieWIRE readers a close-up look at the highs (and, potentially, the lows) of the lineup. Cannes tends to be a wildly polarizing experience, with buzz flying all over the place, so I hope to sift through the chaos and bring some clarity to the festival." Additionally, and for the second year, indieWIRE is sponsoring the American Pavilion in Cannes, the leading gathering point for U.S. festival attendees.

indieWIRE is hosting a series of conversations at the seaside venue in the Festival's International Village, including the annual American Directors in Cannes panel and an on-stage Q & A with documentary filmmaking legend Frederick Wiseman.

Journalists seeking color and commentary on events at Cannes and wishing to speak to any of the six indieWIRE members covering it may contact Noah Black at SnagFilms (Noah@SnagFilms.com).

About SnagFilms SnagFilms features free ad-supported viewing of more than 1300 award-winning titles from some of the greatest names in documentary film production and distribution. All films are fully shareable anywhere on the web. Since its launch in July 2008, SnagFilms' library has been featured on over 2 billion web pageviews, via more than 80,000 web pages, and is distributed throughout AOL channels, and the websites of The Washington Post, the Miami Herald, the Chicago Reader, IMDb; portals like Hulu and Fancast; hundreds of non-profits, special interest sites and blogs; and thousands of social network pages. OVGuide has twice named SnagFilms a Top Site and MovieMaker Magazine named SnagFilms to its annual list of "50 Best Websites for Moviemakers." The company was founded and is majority owned by digital entrepreneur, documentary film producer, professional sports teams' owner and philanthropist Ted Leonsis, and is additionally backed by AOL co-founder and Revolution LLC Chairman, Steve Case; philanthropist and former digital executive Jean Case; operating executive and philanthropic venture capitalist Miles Gilburne; a group led by Ted and Jim Pedas, founders of Circle Films; and the John S. and James L.

Knight Foundation.

The SnagFilms family also includes indieWIRE, for more than 13 years the web's top source of news, reviews and information about independent film.

About indieWIRE indieWIRE is the leading news, information, and social networking site for the international independent film community, including comprehensive coverage of indie, documentary and foreign language films, as well industry news, film festival reports, filmmaker interviews, and movie reviews. Its website includes special sections for high-profile film festivals, the new indieLOOP community site, filmmaker and industry weblogs, as well as resources and tools for emerging and established filmmakers.

Awarded the Webby for best film website, indieWIRE was lauded as a "must read" by Variety, branded the "online heartbeat of the world's independent film community" by Forbes, dubbed "best indie crossroads" by film critic Roger Ebert and praised as "everything you need to know about independent film" by CNN.

indieWIRE has become the online home for top Hollywood journalists like Anne Thompson, Leonard Maltin and Todd McCarthy.

SOURCE: SnagFilms CONTACT: SnagFilms Noah Black, 202-295-8797 noah@snagfilms.com Copyright Business Wire 2010 -0- KEYWORD: United States

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