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Paley Center to Team with SnagFilms

By Tom White

The Paley Center for Media, the New York and Beverly Hills-based nonprofit media arts center, and SnagFilms, the Web-based documentary distribution initiative, are teaming up to help docmakers find their audiences, and, in the process, helping them generate new financial resources.

As models for distribution become increasingly informed by the Web 2.0 world, with traditional means having succumbed to economic realities, SnagFilms is one of several Internet entities that have launched in the past year or two, but this collaboration with the Paley Center seems to infuse Web infrastrcuare with nonprofit managerial know-how. The Paley Center for Media and SnagFilms will work 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.

"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, in a statement. "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," said Rick Allen, CEO of SnagFilms. "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."

The Paley Center, which formerly operated as the Museum of Television and Radio, hosts numerous live documentary events throughout the year including the annual PaleyDocFest in New York, as well as screenings, seminars, workshops, and receptions.

Mitchell has extensive experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors, having worked as executive in charge of original productions at CNN for eight years prior to taking the helm at PBS, where she served for six years as President and CEO