SnagFilms SummerFest 2010 Features Sneak Peek First Showings of Award-Winning Documentaries

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July 18th, 2010

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SnagFilms SummerFest 2010 Features Sneak Peek First Showings of Award-Winning Documentaries

WASHINGTON-- Building on the success of last year’s inaugural run of free, on-demand web streaming of award-winning and world premiere non-fiction films, SnagFilms today released its second annual SummerFest lineup. The SnagFilms SummerFest 2010 films, which will be available to online audiences between July 16 and September 2, include:

The Age of Stupid
Shooting Robert King
Disco and Atomic War
Videocracy
A Fighting Chance
The Socalled Movie

Each film will debut for a sneak peek two week run on SnagFilms.com and be available throughout the company’s distribution network, including AOL.com, Hulu.com and Fancast.com for two weeks, as they head toward theatrical or television distribution. This unique program allows SnagFilms to open up new distribution channels and build a fan base for documentary filmmakers.

“Summer is a time for long days, cookouts, surfing, – and watching some of the best non-fiction films for free via SnagFilms. Our SummerFest 2010 lineup promises to entertain and educate viewers, and inspire their action. Now some of the best new films are reaching their broadest audience first and free on the web,” said SnagFilms CEO Rick Allen. “Since our launch two years ago, SnagFilms’ more than 1,500 documentaries have been seen tens of millions of times by online audiences.”

“SnagFilms continues to grow and fulfill our boldest dreams. Exactly two years ago we set out to address the bottleneck in distribution for quality documentaries that left many great films unable to reach their potential audience or to provide a viable financial return. We have succeeded by amassing the web’s broadest distribution network of more than 90,000 affiliates with SnagFilms widgets on their pages -– in essence creating hundreds of virtual movie theaters for every real screen showing documentary films,” said SnagFilms Founder and Chairman Ted Leonsis.

“From raising a million pounds from our 'crowd-funders' (ordinary people turned film investors) to premiering the film to a million people in 63 countries – and not forgetting launching our '10:10' campaign which now runs in 40 countries - we’ve done everything and anything possible to get people watching and arguing about both the film and what we’re going to do about climate change. So we’re loving SnagFilms’ plans and wish them much mischief making,” said Franny Armstrong, director of “The Age of Stupid.”

"Modern distribution ducks the middle men and potentially brings the filmmaker directly into contact with the audience. With the film and TV world reeling from financial cutbacks and greater and greater emphasis on profitability, it’s a great opportunity to get rid of some of the fat of the industry and help bring remuneration back into the much depleted pockets of filmmakers who often seem to be putting heart and soul into something merely for the love of it. In the long run this could help talent flourish and bring a wealth of new subjects and points of view into the homes of the audience. Surely a welcome eventuality,” said Richard Parry, director of “Shooting Robert King.”

“‘Videocracy’ is a documentary that is more fantastical than any fiction film I’ve seen in a long while. Its online premier with SnagFilms SummerFest guarantees that Americans, who also adore their reality TV and juicy sex scandals, will have access to a cautionary tale of greed, decadence and privilege that’s transforming a democracy into a media circus,” said Richard Lorber, CEO and Co-President of Kino Lorber.

“We’re excited to bring this advanced look at ‘A Fighting Chance’ to the broad audience the web provides,” said Takashi Doscher and Alex Shofner, directors of the film. “Kyle Maynard’s accomplishments and character have won him a shelf of awards and inspired a legion of fans – now his story can reach a new audience in the most far-reaching of all film festivals: SnagFilms’ SummerFest.”

“As an independent documentary filmmaker, I'm always looking for new audiences for my work. SnagFilms represents the cutting edge of online distribution. They are positioning themselves as a new home theatre for quality documentaries ‘The "Socalled" Movie’ celebrates the creative process of a globally inspired, ghetto blasting musical wizard. What a privilege and opportunity for his story to be included in SnagFilm's SummerFest,” said Garry Beitel, director of “The "Socalled" Movie.”

The Age of Stupid
Launched at world’s biggest live film event which reached a million people in 63 countries. Led to the “10:10” climate change campaign - now in 42 countries Winner, Grierson Documentary Award, 2008. Nominated, Best Documentary, British Independent Film Awards.

Runaway climate change has ravaged the planet by 2055. Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite plays the founder of The Global Archive, a storage facility located in the (now melted) Arctic, preserving all of humanity's achievements in the hope that the planet might one day be habitable again. Pulling together clips of archive news and documentaries from 1950-2008 to build a message showing what went wrong and why, Pete's exploration surfaces compelling footage and complex issues facing us in our world today. He asks: Why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance? From Director Franny Armstrong (McLibel) and Oscar-winning Producer John Battsek (One Day In September.)

Appears on the SnagFilms network Friday, July 16, 2010 – Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shooting Robert King
Winner of the Rob Tibbet Excellence in Filmmaking Award at Indie Memphis, screened at Toronto Film Festival, SXSW, SilverDocs and San Francisco Documentary Festival. Nominated for two Cinema Eye Awards.

Sarajevo, 1993, Robert King is 23-years-old, fresh out of Art College and prepared to dodge bullets on the front line with dreams of a Pulitzer Prize. His dreams prove elusive. Occasionally comic, frequently touching, often dark, Shooting Robert King, is the tale of war photographer Robert King, a unique and personal journey which follows him over 15 years and through three wars. It is a story, which forces Robert to inevitably question why he chose a profession, which involves an endless trail of death and destruction. Described by Peter Bergen, terrorism analyst for CNN as, “darkly comic, as if ‘Scoop’ was re-imagined for the 21st century as a gonzo acid trip through some of the most hellish wars in memory."

Appears on the SnagFilms network Friday, July 23, 2010 – Thursday, August 5, 2010

Disco and Atomic War
Screened at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival, 2010 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival and named best documentary at the 2009 Warsaw International Film Festival.

Did disco cause the collapse of the Soviet Union? According to this lighthearted and informative film, nighttime soap operas and disco-dancing footage had as much to do with the Soviet’s demise as did any political movement. Disco and Atomic War tells the story of a strange kind of information war, where a totalitarian regime stands face to face with the heroes of popular culture. Praised by indieWIRE, as “a deadpan-comic document of how filmmaker Jaak Kilmi and other grade schoolers in early-80s Estonia had their lives altered by illegally-intercepted Finnish TV broadcasts of Western hallmarks like Dallas, disco dance shows and the original Emmanuelle, Disco’s great gift is a total deconstruction of the notion of “soft power” — essentially, a nation’s attempt to assert and maintain its dominance through not violent but viral means, including media and public relations.”

Appears on SnagFilms network Friday, July 30, 2010 – Thursday, August 12, 2010

Videocracy
Screened at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival.

In Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy, if you’re not on television, you’re nobody. In Videocracy, director Erik Gandini reveals the seedy underbelly of the country’s high-glitz, lowbrow, celebrity-obsessed culture promulgated by the near-monopoly of Berlusconi’s media empire. Gandini gains unparalleled access to the halls of power, following a fascistic TV agent, narcissistic paparazzi, glassy-eyed reality “stars”, and the young men and scantily-clad women auditioning to debase themselves on camera. All yearn to be FOB (friends of Berlusconi), from the “Italian Van Damme” to white-suited billionaires, eager to please the president by actively shaping public opinion to his financial and political benefit. Utilizing a wide variety of damning footage, including a trivia show striptease, local TV girl auditions (they dance but are not allowed to talk), and a garish election campaign video (“Thank God for Silvio”), Gandini proves that Italy invests new meaning into the term “boob tube.”

Appears on the SnagFilms network Friday, August 6, 2010 – Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Fighting Chance
Available by special arrangement with ESPN, which will air the film this fall.

A Fighting Chance is the vivid, character-driven story of Kyle Maynard, born a quadruple amputee, who becomes a nationally-ranked wrestler, strength record-holder, ESPY award-winner, motivational speaker and best-selling author. When Kyle seeks an official Mixed Martial Arts match against an able-bodied fighter – a highly controversial and life-threatening goal - the film raises questions of the nature of disability and the limits of physical achievement.

Whether fighting in the MMA cage or extending his No Excuses philosophy to the rehabilitation of severely wounded military veterans, Kyle Maynard proves that warriors come in all sizes.

No chance? No limits. No Excuses.

Appears on the SnagFilms network Friday, August 13, 2010 – Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Socalled Movie
Screened at Hot Docs and SXSW.

Socalled is the supreme klezmer hip hop artist in the world. A pianist, singer, rapper, accordion player, and magician, he is a demented Renaissance man and a multi-cultural mixmaster. The Socalled Movie is a kaleidoscopic portrait that compiles 18 short films that display his electrifying craft and deep-rooted sense of history. Combining klezmer, funk, rap and everything in between, his tunes are densely layered tapestries of dizzying complexity. His encounters with legendary trombonist Fred Wesley (a key member of James Brown’s bands) and klezmer hero David Krakauer are revelatory meetings of the mind, while his re-discovery of pianist Irving Fields turns the elder statesman into a YouTube phenomenon. With offbeat wit, intimacy and virtuoso performances, The Socalled Movie is an enthralling documentary that shows how music can break down the boundaries that divide our world.

Appears on SnagFilms network Friday, August 20, 2010 – Thursday, September 2, 2010

About SnagFilms

SnagFilms features free ad-supported viewing of more than 1500 award-winning titles from some of the greatest names in documentary film. 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 90,000 affiliates, and is distributed throughout AOL channels, and the websites of 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 14 years the web’s top source of news, reviews and information about independent film.

 
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