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The Paley Center for Media and SnagFilms Announce Alliance To Offer New Outlets for Documentary Filmmakers and Enthusiasts

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New York, NY—The Paley Center for Media (formerly The Museum of Television & Radio) and SnagFilms announced today a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a leading cultural media institution and an Internet start-up to help documentary producers break down the barriers to reach fresh audiences for their films. Through a shared passion for expanding access to documentaries, the Paley Center, an important convener of the documentary film community, and SnagFilms, a groundbreaking Internet documentary distribution platform, are working together to help filmmakers discover alternative opportunities for getting their creative works in front of an expanded audience around the world, while in the process, helping them generate new financial resources.

Today only a small fraction of the documentary films produced receive theatrical distribution. Thousands are submitted to festivals but only a relative handful actually pop-up on the cultural radar. The resulting gridlock means many films are “invisible” to documentary enthusiasts. The Paley Center and SnagFilms are committed to promoting new pipelines for documentary makers and documentary lovers.

“The Paley Center for Media is continually seeking out new ways that we can support and strengthen the documentary community,” said Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of The Paley Center for Media. “Our relationship with SnagFilms is particularly exciting since they are on the cutting edge of bridging the divide between filmmakers and fans worldwide who have an appetite for high quality documentaries but have very limited access through theaters and television. As our organization continues to expand our role as a ‘media connector,’ we are pleased to be able to help filmmakers better understand and become familiar with options for reaching ever larger audiences through innovative Internet services like SnagFilms.”

“SnagFilms was created to address the bottleneck in distribution for quality documentary films.  By joining with the Paley Center, we help our audience gain greater exposure to both established and emerging documentary filmmakers, and provide them access to an even greater diversity of films,” said Rick Allen, CEO of SnagFilms. “It’s an honor for us to become the online documentary collaborator with the Paley Center—and especially appropriate, since they had originally encouraged us to launch our service to provide new ways audiences could find, snag, share, and support first-rate nonfiction filmmaking.”

The Paley Center for Media, which hosts numerous live documentary events throughout the year including the annual PaleyDocFest in New York, is increasingly “the place” where all participants in the documentary field—established filmmakers, up-and-coming artists, fans and distributors—come together to build the community through screenings, seminars, workshops, and receptions. Likewise, the SnagFilms platform, conceived by founder and Chairman Ted Leonsis, with venture funding from Leonsis, AOL cofounder Steve Case, and Miles Gilburne, provides new fans and revenue for established and emerging documentarians alike; facilitates the sharing of films via virtual theater widgets across the Internet; and connects viewers to the charities and communities associated with each documentary. The Paley Center for Media and SnagFilms are working together to raise awareness of important new distribution outlets  for documentarians whose films may not have traditional theatrical distribution, or who have personal film libraries that are not currently available to the public.

About The Paley Center for Media

The Paley Center for Media, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public. Drawing upon its curatorial expertise, an international collection, and close relationships with the leaders of the media community, the Paley Center examines the intersections between media and society. The general public can access the collection and participate in programs that explore and celebrate the creativity, the innovations, the personalities, and the leaders who are shaping media. Through the global programs of its Media Council and International Council, the Paley Center also serves as a neutral setting where media professionals can engage in discussion and debate about the evolving media landscape. Previously known as The Museum of Television & Radio, the Paley Center was founded in 1975 by William S. Paley, a pioneering innovator in the industry.  For more information, please visit