IndieWire bulletin: Docu site Snags it

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On its 12th anniversary, the premier independent film news Web site IndieWire has been acquired from GMD Studios by AOL executive Ted Leonsis' new documentary film site SnagFilms for less than $1 million.

IndieWire editor in chief and co-founder Eugene Hernandez has been named editorial vp at SnagFilms and will oversee journalistic content on both sites. He also will launch today the docu film blog Docsider.com, which provides links to online nonfiction film news, videos and filmmaker resources.

IndieWire will remain autonomous, and Hernandez's partners Brian Brooks and James Israel will remain in their roles and also work on SnagFilms editorial coverage. Longtime IndieWire publisher and GMD CEO Brian Clark plans to continue his company's often experimental multimedia work, including a series of short docus for Ford and alternate reality games. A new publisher has not yet been named.

Specifics of the financial arrangements with SnagFilms were not disclosed, but Hernandez said the purchase will expand IndieWire's editorial and 10,000-member social networking arms, including its new MySpace-style IndieLoop.

"Independent film is under assault," said Hernandez, echoing many in the industry experiencing financial hardships. "We've been writing about this crisis since Sundance (in January), but we've kept meeting ingenous filmmakers who've inspired us to think how we can keep IndieWire autonomous and independent." (partialdiff)
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