Welcome Todd McCarthy!

It’s in the official press release (see page two), but let me write it again here: I’m thrilled to be working with Todd McCarthy. It’s truly an honor for all of us at indieWIRE and SnagFilms.

I’ve gotten to know Todd personally over the past few weeks, but I feel like I’ve actually known him for years. For as long as I can remember, his views on film have offered the first critical take on a new movie, whether it’s one about to open in theaters or a movie debuting at a major film festival. You don’t need me to tell you that he’s a smart and passionate cinephile.

For more than three decades Todd was Variety’s leading critical voice and it will not be silenced in the wake of his sudden departure.

At Todd McCarthy’s Deep Focus, we will work with Todd to build an even larger audience for his work: reviews and dispatches on film from his home in Los Angeles and at festivals around the world. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Todd joins a sharp and seasoned roster of writers here at indieWIRE, from our top notch editorial staff to Anne Thompson & Leonard Maltin who came on board last year and our own critic Eric Kohn. Others will join us this year while we continue to build new sites with terrific journalists.

Film critics matter, now more than ever. More than four years of cost-cutting at leading newspapers and magazines has left so many vital voices facing tough challenges. At indieWIRE, we’re committed to building a new home for top writers. More and more films are available and a wider array of screens large and small. And as audiences find new ways to share movies with each other, we believe that film critics will stoke the conversations about films.

Congratulations Todd and a warm welcome to his old and new readers. I’ll be right there with you waiting for his next dispatch.

— the complete press release is on page two —


Todd McCarthy Joins SnagFilms’ indieWIRE from Variety

Washington, DC and Los Angeles — April 30, 2010 — SnagFilms announced that Todd McCarthy, chief film critic and columnist at Variety, where he worked for 30 years, has joined the indieWIRE network, beginning today. McCarthy brings to indieWIRE unparalleled insight, respect and experience having reviewed thousands of films over three decades at Variety.

In his new blog Todd McCarthy’s Deep Focus (www.toddmccarthyreviews.com) at indieWIRE, McCarthy will bring his sharp critical eye and historical perspective to bear on important new film releases and major international film festivals. At the same time, he will provide commentaries on older pictures, film life in Hollywood and around the globe, and cinema personalities of the present and past. McCarthy joins journalist Anne Thompson (a fellow Variety veteran), noted film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, and critic Eric Kohn as recent additions at indieWIRE.

“All of us at SnagFilms and indieWIRE are excited to welcome Todd into our family,” said Rick Allen, CEO of SnagFilms LLC, which owns and operates indieWIRE. “Film matters now more than ever, culturally and financially. Timely insight is prized by those in the business and film fans alike – and while others are cutting back on coverage, indieWIRE is doubling down. That’s what it means to add top talent like Todd – and we are especially pleased to bring the King of Cannes’ insight from next month’s Festival via indieWIRE.”

Todd McCarthy was the chief film critic and columnist for Variety, where he worked from 1979 until recently, with a hiatus to work on documentaries. He won an Emmy Award for writing the documentary “Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer,” while “Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography,” which he wrote and co-directed, won awards for best documentary of 1993 from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics. His most recent documentary, “Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient,” debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. His books include “Kings of the Bs: Working Within the Hollywood System,” which he co-edited with Charles Flynn; the biography “Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood,” and “Fast Women: The Legendary Ladies of Racing.”

“I am excited to be joining the indieWIRE world with my new film site, Todd McCarthy’s Deep Focus. This venture will give me the opportunity to continue reviewing major new films and cover several of the most important international film festivals in the way I have for 30 years,” McCarthy said. “But I very much look forward to the new freedom the format will provide for me to write about other film-related issues in a more personal manner, be they older pictures, personalities I know or encounter, film history, life in Hollywood and other experiences that reflect, or are informed by, the films that surround us or are in our heads. I expect it to be a great deal of fun, as hope it will be for my readers.”

“Changes in the media business have hit the critical community especially hard, threatening the reach of some of the strongest voices in film,” said indieWIRE Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder Eugene Hernandez. “Yet we are committed to making it an incredibly vibrant moment for film criticism, harnessing the power of the web to link leading writers with a broader audience. We are thrilled to be working with Todd to build an even bigger readership for his reviews and other film writing starting this year in Cannes and continuing year round.”

About SnagFilms
SnagFilms features free ad-supported viewing of more than 1300 award-winning titles from some of the greatest names in documentary film production and distribution. All films are fully shareable anywhere on the web. Since its launch in July 2008, SnagFilms’ library has been featured on over 2 billion web pageviews, via more than 80,000 web pages, and is distributed throughout AOL channels, and the websites of The Washington Post, 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 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 13 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.

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