IndieWire has added two key new members to its team ahead of this year’s New York Film Festival. Christian Blauvelt will serve as the new managing editor for the site, overseeing film and television news, and will have a strategic role in helping IndieWire achieve broader organizational goals. IndieWire is also bringing on veteran writer and filmmaker Tambay Obenson as a staff writer covering African-American film and television.
Blauvelt will be based in IndieWire’s New York offices, and Obenson will be moving from New York to Los Angeles. Both will report to Eric Kohn, who has been promoted to Executive Editor and Chief Critic from Deputy Editor and Chief Critic. Kohn now oversees the New York office’s editorial operations.
“We are thrilled to be adding two impressive and accomplished journalists in Christian Blauvelt and Tambay Obenson to our IndieWire team,” said IndieWire Editor-in-Chief Dana Harris. “Both Christian and Tambay have built careers rooted in a passion for the film and television industries, and will lend their considerable talents to IndieWire as the leading voice for creative independence.”
Added Harris, “Eric is an invaluable member of our team, providing strategic insight as well as critical perspective. His promotion is well deserved.”
Blauvelt comes to IndieWire from BBC Culture, where he has held the role of deputy editor for the past five years. During his time with BBC Culture, the site won two Webby Awards — Best Cultural Website in 2017 and Best Arts & Culture Social Media in 2018 — and he spearheaded the site’s annual “100 Greatest Films” lists. Blauvelt also arranged a programming partnership with Turner Classic Movies to air a lineup of movies drawn from the comedies list, which he also co-hosted.
A familiar fixture in New York film and television circles, Blauvelt has regularly appeared on CBS New York as an on-air analyst for major awards shows and is a regular awards season moderator for BAFTA New York and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.
He is the author of two books, “Star Wars Made Easy: An Introductory Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away” and “Be More Yoda and Be More Vader.”
Prior to BBC Culture, Blauvelt worked at Entertainment Weekly and Hollywood.com. In 2016, he was named to Cablefax “Overachievers Under 30” list.
Obenson is a New York-based writer and filmmaker. In 2005, he founded independent film distributor Voyager Film Company, focusing on the distribution and promotion of independent film by and about people of African descent. The company distributed features that included “Beautiful Things” (2005) — which Obenson wrote, directed, and co-starred in — and “The Man Who Couldn’t” (2006).
He was a co-founder and the chief editor and writer of Shadow and Act, a popular blog covering all aspects of African-American cinema, and is also co-founder and co-curator of the annual New Voices in Black Cinema Festival, held at BAMCinematek in Brooklyn, NY and now in its eighth year.
In 2010, he co-founded joint venture Shadow and Act Films LLC, a film financing and production initiative that focused on backing artistically inspired, culturally relevant films by black filmmakers.