SnagFilms Warmly Thanks Departing IndieWire Founder/Editor Eugene Hernandez, And Pledges To Build On IndieWIRE's Momentum

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 - SnagFilms today announced that Eugene Hernandez, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of indieWIRE is leaving the leading news, information, and networking site for independent-minded filmmakers, the industry and moviegoers alike, to take on what he describes as "a dream job" as Director of Digital Strategy at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Hernandez will continue his responsibilities at indieWIRE through October, managing the transition to new, as yet unnamed leadership.                                        Hernandez founded indieWIRE in 1996, and has been Editor-in-Chief throughout the site's near 15-year history. He will leave his current position October 29th, but maintain ties to indieWIRE as a contributor. IndieWire was acquired by SnagFilms in 2008. Providing non-fiction movies on an increasing array of platforms , SnagFilms offers viewers access to more than 1600 award-winning titles from some of the greatest names in documentary films.

"Eugene leaves huge shoes to fill," said SnagFilms CEO Rick Allen, "but he also leaves us with tremendous momentum. All of us at SnagFilms and indieWIRE are grateful for Eug's consistent accomplishments. We are sad to see our friend go, but we couldn't be happier that Eugene is going to take on a job that builds on his tremendous knowledge of film, his strengths as a digital media entrepreneur, and which takes full advantage of his passion for the medium. Fortunately, Eugene leaves indieWIRE in very strong shape, and his relationship with us and indieWIRE readers will continue. So too will our growth plans continue for indieWIRE itself, as we will announce in the days ahead."

Over the past 18 months, indieWIRE has assembled a veritable dream team of writers and bloggers, including Anne Thompson, Todd McCarthy, Leonard Maltin, Peter Bogdanovich, and Sydney Levine. At a time when resources devoted to independent film by major publications has been significantly diminished, indieWIRE's coverage has dramatically increased, including having the most complete coverage of the most important film festivals in the world.

"I am sad to leave indieWIRE, though I'm thrilled to be taking the next step in my career, and I'm leaving indieWIRE on a tremendous high," said Eugene Hernandez. "This year in particular has been incredible for indieWIRE. The launch of our new Filmmaker Toolkit, the growth of criticWIRE, deeper film festival coverage and, of course, the dramatic expansion of the indieWIRE Blog Network have laid the foundation for even more exciting developments to come. On top of it all, our traffic is many times what it was just two years ago when we were acquired, and our revenue has grown more than commensurately. We've been working all summer to enhance our site, and we're looking forward to sharing our new homepage soon. In short, I'm leaving indieWIRE as a thriving and unique part of the indie film landscape."

About SnagFilms

SnagFilms features free ad-supported viewing of more than 1600 award-winning titles from some of the greatest names in documentary film. All films are shareable across the web. Since its launch in July 2008, SnagFilms' library has been featured on over 2 billion web pageviews, via more than 100,000 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.

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.


Jessica Schultz