By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood August 23, 2012 at 5:00AM
What better time than presidential election season for online indie distributor SnagFilms to launch "Snag the Vote 2012," a free online film festival running through Election Day? The fest will feature more than 100 documentaries highlighting ten key issues defining the 2012 presidential election, from Economy and Jobs and Health Care to Immigration, the Environment and National Security.
Among the films are ten digital premieres in October using Sang's Social Screening ™ technology that connects viewers to each other as well as filmmakers and experts. This social media-enabled viewing platform replicates the film festival experience: while people at the screening site are watching the film live in-theater, the rest of the world can watch at the same time, invite their friends to view with them, see and/or join the feeds of folks commenting, and pose questions to the director and any special guests. Any blog or media organization can pull this experience into their site.
SnagFilms' CEO Rick Allen states: “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." He adds that the recent announcement of Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan prompted both campaigns "to declare this to be an election about ideas – and like every American, we hope so.”
This initiative has potential to inform and engage audiences/citizens in a meaningful way, says Allen: "We believe smart films make for smarter politics.”
The online festival will kick-off with a Social Screening on August 23 of "The After Party," a doc that arose out of the 2004 Republican National Convention, and led to a landmark First Amendment case. The debut of a series titled "Red State Rialto" on August 25 will coincide with the 2012 Republican National Convention. The series will look at core issues through the partisan eyes of the Right. The Democrats get their turn with "Demo Docs," starting September 1 and coinciding with the Democratic Convention. It will kick-off with "Becoming Barack," an examination of Obama's road to the Presidency.
Complementing the online festival is daily commentary and journalism from both ends of the political spectrum, plus polling research and video content. Indiewire's Anthony Kaufman, of ReelPolitik, is among the contributors.
Details on the premiere titles below: