IndieWire uploads Webby kudos

Judges include Beck, Groening, Bjork, Ellison

NEW YORK — Gotham-based film newsmag IndieWire has won the Intl. Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences’ 2003 Webby Award for best Web site in the film category.

Established in 1996, IndieWire has become a respected source for independent production and distribution news and festival coverage, visited by more than 150,000 readers monthly. Award follows a radical overhaul of the site and its publishing model.

“The past seven years have been an exciting and important time in the growth and expansion of the independent filmmaking community,” said IndieWire co-founder and editor-in-chief Eugene Hernandez. “The specialty film business has matured, film festivals have cropped up around the country, and the evolution of the Internet and digital tools has welcomed new filmmaking voices,” he added.

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Online’s obit premature

“We think the best is yet to come, both for the independent film community and for independent online publishers,” said IndieWire producer and manager Brian Clark. “All the obituaries for the death of online content were premature. We really believe that digital technology will continue to open opportunities for specialty content, online and off.”

Honoring the top Web sites in 30 categories, the Webbys were announced in an online ceremony Friday. Sites are judged on content, structure, navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity and overall experience.

Judges this year included Beck, Matt Groening, Bjork, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and David Bowie.