NEW YORK, NEW YORK — IndieWIRE is a daily news site and online resource that covers all aspects of specialty and independent film. Founded in 1996, the site is known for its dogged coverage of film festivals around the world and its efforts to support the independent filmmaking community itself. The site’s multifaceted approach to film coverage has earned it a following among fans and industry professionals alike.
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“We sort of look at our audience as a three-legged stool,” says indieWIRE’s managing editor, Brian Brooks. Those legs are the film industry (which is to say film distributors and publicists), independent filmmakers looking to connect with the first group, and what the site calls discerning or smart film fans. “These are people who want to know about films, who are curious about what’s coming out at film festivals before [films] hit theaters,” says Brooks.
Other film journalism outlets have almost always focused on one of these audiences to the exclusion of all others, but indieWIRE’s holistic approach to coverage makes it unique in capturing the many aspects of the film industry, from the details of how a film gained funding to a review of that same film’s premiere years later. The site’s acquaintance with all aspects of filmmaking has also benefited the way it covers each one individually.
“One criticism, that I think is kind of fair, is that indieWIRE’s coverage has been a bit parochial, a bit New York inward,” says Brooks, which makes sense, considering that the site’s based there. To help address that concern, and to continue broadening the site’s scope, editor-in-chief Dana Harris is now based out of Los Angeles. Perhaps more importantly, since 2009 indieWIRE has hosted a wide-ranging blogging network, an initiative that has greatly expanded the scope of the site’s coverage. The network is small, but carefully curates its selection of contributors, including critic Leonard Maltin, director Peter Bogdanovich, industry insider Anne Thompson, and fan site The Playlist. “They operate as their own entities,” says Brooks. “But the network as a whole is more attractive than each individual blog.” IndieWIRE shares advertising revenue with the network’s contributors, and garners hits by putting the most interesting articles from the network on its own front page.
indieWIRE has become important not just as a publication, but as a part of the independent filmmaking world in general, an example of how a publication can truly affect and become a part of the industry it covers. Yet despite its acquisition by SnagFilms in 2008, indieWIRE’s editorial staff remains as autonomous and independent as the movies it celebrates. The network’s strong connections with film, coupled with its continued search for new ways of covering it, has made it one of the most valuable resources on the Internet for film lovers, regardless of which side of the camera its audience is on.
City: New York, N.Y.
Principal Staff: Dana Harris, editor-in-chief; Eugene Hernandez, founder and columnist.
Affiliations: Acquired by SnagFilms in 2008.