Reader Robin tells me that Clarion Fund, producers of Third Jihad, have scored a mini-coup by snagging a deal to distribute their film online (for free) with Snag Films. The company is producing an election themed online film festival with such serious titles as Inside the Bubble, Relentless, and Nightmare in Jamestown. Snag Films was founded by AOL alumni Steve Case and Ted Leonsis and describes its mission:
SnagFilms is committed to finding the world‘s most compelling documentaries, whether from established heavyweights or first-time filmmakers, and making them available to the wide audience these titles deserve.
SnagFilms.com is a website where you can watch full-length documentary films for free, but we’re also a platform that lets you “snag” a film and put it anywhere on the web. With a library of over 300 films, and rapidly growing, you’re bound to find films that resonate with your interests. We make it easy for you to find a film that shines a light on a cause you care about. You can then open a virtual movie theater on any web site, so any one can watch your favorite SnagFilms for free.
They appear to be attempting to be a guerrilla distribution outlet for indie documentaries. Getting picked up by Snag is a real coup for Third Jihad and lends it that much more legitimacy as a credible documentary, which it isn’t. I invite you to visit the site and express your feelings in the film’s comment section and provide feedback to the company executives. My own comment appears to have gotten caught in the comment filter because I used the word “turd” in describing the film. So I guess you have to be more polite than I was. But do express yourself.
By the way, in interviews Clarion staff deny their films are intended to have any political impact and that the premiere of Third Jihad during election season has any significance. This claim is given the lie by the fact that Snag is including the “documentary” in Snag the Vote: Election 08 Film Festival, about which it says:
We are in the final stretch of perhaps the most consequential election in recent history. For years, most Americans have felt that election coverage and candidate carping obscured issues and confused decision-making. So we’re taking a different approach — we want to illuminate the topics that consistently top voters’ concerns…
Here we present over 60 films mapped to the ten issues that have consistently topped national polls during this election cycle…
Pick the issue below that matters most to you and start there. Instead of 30-second ads or sound bites, you will see long-form, substantive, and high-quality documentaries…Time is short, the stakes are high.
“High quality??” I’d say Snag has gotten itself snagged in the wily subterfuge of Clarion’s stealth marketing campaign on behalf of its pro-McCain film series.