Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations. Our web guide is VOA's Art Chimes.
Smash hit movies from Hollywood, Bollywood and everyplace in between tend to crowd out smaller films and especially documentaries from your local cinema.
Now there's a new website that wants to help build an audience for these fact-based movies via the Internet.
"We are in the business of providing award-winning documentary films free to audiences worldwide, via the web, says Rick Allen, who heads SnagFilms.com, a brand new site where you can watch full-length documentaries online.
SnagFilms features a range of high quality films, not only from top producers like National Geographic and the major American public broadcasting network, PBS, but also from smaller, independent filmmakers.
"Some of them known well to indy film fans and documentarians, and they've made one or more films that are often issues-based, and so deeply of personal importance to them, and therefore we think lending themselves well to the viral distribution that SnagFilms provides."
If you're a filmmaker, you can submit your festival-quality documentary to SnagFilms. For now, most of the films on the site are from the U.S., but Allen says he hopes to expand with more international offerings.
One thing that sets SnagFilms apart is that viewers are encouraged to share the movies by posting them on their own website.
"Snag is the ability to take our films and open up your own virtual movie theater on any webpage, on your social network page – Facebook, MySpace – on your blog, so that your visitors, your friends can share the films that are important to you in the environment they're already congregating in."
You don't need to be a computer programmer to do this. It's as easy as copy-and-paste, or, for many popular sites, as easy as clicking on a widget.
One more feature; you can show your support for the filmmakers by supporting their favorite charities around the world.
A documentary film festival on your computer at SnagFilms.com, or get the link to this and more than 200 other Websites of the Week from our site, voanews.com.