SnagFilms CEO Rick Allen to Present Opening Keynote at the 2008 International Film Festival Summit

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The 5th Annual International Film Festival Summit (IFFS) announced today that the opening Keynote, "Indie Films' Change Agenda", will be presented by SnagFilms Chief Executive Officer, Rick Allen for the 2008 summit taking place this December 7-9 in Las Vegas.

The 5th Annual International Film Festival Summit (IFFS) announced today that the opening Keynote, "Indie Films' Change Agenda", will be presented by SnagFilms Chief Executive Officer, Rick Allen for the 2008 summit taking place this December 7-9 in Las Vegas. http://www.filmfestivalsummit.com

Mr. Allen's opening Keynote will take place Sunday December 7th, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. in Las Vegas.            

"The SnagFilms business model represents an exciting new opportunity for festivals, filmmakers and audiences to share and enjoy content. With recent shake ups surrounding independent film, Rick's keynote will shed light on new ideas and innovative approaches to the future of independent film and the role festivals play," said Waco Hoover, President and Co-Founder, IFFS.        

Rick is the CEO of SnagFilms, a new digital distribution company founded by AOL Vice-Chairman EmeritusTed Leonsis, and backed by Leonsis, AOL founder Steve Case and others. Launched in July, 2008, SnagFilms gives everyone the latest in web tools to find, watch and share great documentary films and then engage in the causes, charities and communities these films spotlight. SnagFilms offers filmmakers an effective method of reaching the broadest global audience at a time when the traditional distribution methods for independent movies have largely broken down.

Rick previously was President and CEO of Sporting News, the country's oldest sports media company, leading a revitalization that saw it named twice to Adweek's annual "Hot List" as a top-10 media property. Earlier, he served as President and CEO of the for-profit arm of the National Geographic Society, responsible for television and film; interactive products, websites and e-commerce; maps; travel; retail; catalog; and consumer products. Under his leadership, the National Geographic Channel was launched and became one of the fastest growing cable channels in recent history. Before coming to National Geographic, Rick was a senior executive at Discovery Communications, parent of the Discovery Channel, where he extended the company's brand into filmed entertainment, education, technology and retail. He also served in the White House as a Deputy Assistant to President Clinton, helping to establish AmeriCorps (the domestic Peace Corps).

"It is an honor to join with film festival professionals at a pivotal time in our industry," Allen said. "So many of our greatest independent films find their first audience and most fervent supporters at festivals -- without them, there would be no independent cinema. We are coming to Vegas as fans and allies -- convinced of the power of digital platforms to extend festivals' efforts. This year's Conference will truly inaugurate a 2009 season of new growth and innovative approaches for film festivals and the filmmakers we all serve."

Some of this year's participants include: AFI Fest Presented by Audi, Mill Valley International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Bside, Starz Denver Film Festival, FilmThreat, Palm Springs International Film Festival, River Run International Film Festival, San Diego Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Gen Art, San Diego Asian Film Festival, DC Shorts Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, AFI Dallas International Film Festival, SXSW, Variety, Withoutabox and many, many more.

The 2008 IFFS Presenting Sponsor is Withoutabox. Platinum sponsors include B-side with Gold sponsors Enta USA and The NEB. Other sponsors include: Agile Ticketing, Eyesoda.com, inticketing, Festival Media Corporation, Filmfestivals.com, FilmMaker Magazine, FilmThreat, MovieMaker, NAMAC Production Hub and Variety.    

About International Film Festival Summit (IFFS):
The International Film Festival Summit is the only annual conference and trade show for professionals from the film festival industry. The IFFS provides a platform for the community to explore ways to collaborate and promote the advancement of the film festival industry. This is a place to dialogue with your peers, share insights and gain knowledge that will help you grow your film festival and foster sustainability. The IFFS is dedicated to providing resources, information and avenues of communication for industry professionals and the entertainment industry. For IFFS Europe visit http://www.iffseurope.com. For IFFS North America visit http://www.filmfestivalsummit.com.

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