By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire August 23, 2012 at 5:0AM
View before you vote.
That is the message that digital indie-film distributor SnagFilms hopes to hammer home to all politics and film junkies in the lead-up to the presidential election in November. With a goal of helping Americans educate themselves on the biggest issues facing the candidates and their constituents, SnagFilms has launched Snag the Vote 2012, a comprehensive online film festival of award-winning documentaries that can be streamed for free through Election Day.
Shepard Fairey, whose “Hope” poster of Barack Obama became ubiquitous during the 2008 election cycle, took inspiration from Antonino D’Ambrosio’s “Let Fury Have the Hour” (a Snag the Vote premiere and Fairey collaboration) to create a half dozen original designs that illustrate and define the Snag the Vote campaign, such as the one below.
“The recent naming of a Republican Vice Presidential nominee led both campaigns to declare this to be an election about ideas — and like every American, we hope so,” said SnagFilms CEO Rick Allen. “Snag the Vote 2012 brings the election’s big issues to life in the most compelling and thoughtful way — with great films from noted directors.”
Using polling data that indicates which issues are most important to voters this year, SnagFilms will screen ten films in each of ten categories — Economy and Jobs, Health Care, Immigration, the Environment, Foreign Affairs, Energy, National Security, Education, Civil Liberties, and the Political Process — for a total of 100 free movies designed to add context and depth to viewers’ knowledge of the issues. The films screened run the political spectrum in terms of showing the work of filmmakers with ideological approaches from the left, right and center.
“We invite Americans to ‘view before you vote,’ courtesy of SnagFilms,” said Allen. “You may agree or disagree with each of these 100 films, but after watching you’ll come away more informed and engaged. We believe smart films make for smarter politics.”
The program includes films such as “Harlan County USA,” “No End in Sight,” “Windfall,” “Climate Refugees,” “The After Party,” “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?” and “Becoming Barack.” Throughout, SnagFilms will mix in the digital premieres of 10 films from the Snag the Vote line-up that have never seen national distribution. Five of those films will be shown live in theaters using Snag Social Screening technology that will allow viewers streaming the film elsewhere to interact in real time with other viewers, the audience at the physical screening and filmmakers and experts involved with the film through social media.
Additionally, other sites will be able to pull any film from the series and embed it with the SnagFilms player. The full list of films can be found at www.snagthevote.com. (SnagFilms is the parent company of Indiewire.)
Pegged to the major parties’ national conventions, Snag the Vote will also feature bundles of films named “Red State Rialto” (Republican party focused) and “Demo Docs” (Democratic party focused). ReelPolitik blogger Anthony Kaufman — part of the Indiewire network — will provide commentary throughout, and the site will feature additional related journalism. The comprehensive effort to bring filmmaking to bear on the political process is in line with SnagFilms’ “filmanthropy” mission.