Happy Birthday, indieWIRE!

By eug | eugonline July 15, 2011 at 5:50AM

Happy Birthday, indieWIRE!
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Is this what it feels like to be a parent?

I left daily duties at indieWIRE more than eight months ago when I decided to join the Film Society of Lincoln Center. While I've kept up a close relationship with my good friends at iW, I've also done my best to give them space and cheer from the sidelines. Of course, after fourteen years it was really hard to leave and since then some of my former colleagues -- Bryce, Peter, Nigel -- have taken to calling me ex-Papa. But, as I've said over and over since then, I miss the people much more than the 24 hour indie news cycle. And I love my new friends and colleagues uptown at the Film Society.

For years I told friends that my longterm goal for indieWIRE was to reach a point where it would not only survive, but thrive, in my absence. I said that I'd feel a true sense of achievement knowing that it went on without me.

Today, as indieWIRE celebrates its 15 birthday, I'm proud to say: Mission accomplished.

Not that indieWIRE was ever only about me, mind you. But, over time I became so associated with iW that people would call me "indieWIRE" or say to my face, even as I was standing alongside longtime colleagues, "But, you are indieWIRE."

Not quite. In fact, not by a long shot.

It takes a village.

Mark Rabinowitz, Cheri Barner, Roberto Quezada-Dardon, Mark Feinsod and I got indieWIRE to its first newsletter on July 15, 1996 (see it now on indieWIRE). The larger team in the first year or so also included Karol Martesko-Fenster, Brian Clark, Tim LaTorre, Anthony Kaufman, Mike Jones, Maya Churi, Diane Becker and others.

Of course, there were times over the course of indieWIRE's 15 years that its longterm survival seemed unlikely but, even during challenging times Brian Brooks, James Israel and I were a tight unit as we worked with our partners at GMD Studios and Karol to lay the foundation for indieWIRE's future. Despite various hurdles over the years, the indieWIRE team persevered and today's a major milestone for anyone who has been involved with iW over the years.

indieWIRE is strong with a bright future ahead.

SnagFilms welcomed us into their family and supported indieWIRE through an expansion that began when they acquired the company three years ago.

More than two years later, it took a couple of months after my departure for my former colleagues to name a new Editor-in-Chief, but Rick & Stephanie at Snag, with the support of Brian, James and Anne Thompson at indieWIRE, clearly made the right choice: Dana Harris. I am pretty sure that Dana was the first person to ask me for a private chat about running iW after I announced my departure last September. She talked with Mike Jones and then the two of us had a great conversation and she threw her hat in the ring.

Congrats to Dana, Brian, James, Anne, Eric, Peter, Jason, Rick, Jeff, Stephanie, Nigel, Bryce, Sophia and all my friends at indieWIRE today. I'm so excited about the ideas and plans they have for the future.

Happy Birthday, indieWIRE!

indieWIRE is celebrating its birthday with a Rooftop Films screening tonight, a free panel discussion at Lincoln Center tomorrow and an ongoing series of events at 92Y Tribeca this month.

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