Type of site
Independent filmmaking news
Available in English
Owner Penske Media Corporation
Slogan(s) filmmakers. biz. fans.
Alexa rank 4,867 (April 2014)[1]
Commercial yes
Registration Optional
Launched Newsletter:15 July 1996 (1996-07-15)
Website:January 12, 1998 (1998-01-12)
Current status Online
Content license
All rights reserved. Use permitted with copyright notice intact.

Established in 1996, IndieWire (sometimes stylized as indieWIRE or Indiewire) is a film industry and review website. As of January 19, 2016, Indiewire is a subsidiary of Penske Media.[2] It has a staff of about 20, including publisher James Israel, and Editor-in-Chief Dana Harris.


The indieWIRE newsletter launched on July 15, 1996, billing itself as "the daily news service for independent film." Following in the footsteps of various web- and AOL-based editorial ventures, indieWIRE was launched as a free daily email publication in the summer of 1996 by New York and Los Angeles based filmmakers and writers Eugene Hernandez, Mark Rabinowitz, Cheri Barner, Roberto A. Quezada and Mark L. Feinsod.[3] Initially distributed to a few hundred subscribers, the readership grew rapidly, passing 6,000 in the fall of 1997.[4]

In January 1997, indieWIRE made its first appearance at the Sundance Film Festival to begin their coverage of film festivals. It offered indieWIRE: On The Scene print dailies in addition to online coverage. Printed on site, in low tech black and white style, the publication was able to scoop traditional Hollywood trade dailies Variety and The Hollywood Reporter due to the delay these latter publications had for being printed in Los Angeles. Due to a zealous staff that was willing to print and distribute said dailies at all hours of the day and night, often handing them out to audiences waiting on line for films, indieWIRE was soon dubbed The School Paper. While the style and look of the print dailies improved over the years, the nickname stuck.

The website launched on January 12, 1998, and indieWIRE announced it would be charging for services. While met with cautious optimism by Wired magazine,[4] the experiment failed and indieWIRE returned to a free service less than a year later.

The site was acquired by Snagfilms in July 2008. On January 8, 2009, indieWIRE editor Eugene Hernandez announced that the site was going through a re-launch that has been "entirely re-imagined."

In 2011, with the launch of a redesign, the site changed the formal spelling of its name from indieWIRE to Indiewire.

In 2012, Indiewire won the Webby Award in the Movie and Film category.


indieWIRE is said to cover lesser-known film events ignored from the mainstream perspective. In Wired, Janelle Brown wrote in 1997:

"Currently, indieWIRE has little to no competition: trades like Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety may cover independent film, but from a Hollywood perspective, hidden by a huge amount of mainstream news. As filmmaker Doug Wolens points out, indieWIRE is one of the few places where filmmakers can consistently and reliably keep on top of often-ignored small film festivals, which films are opening and what other filmmakers are thinking."[4]

In 2002, Forbes magazine recognized IndieWire, along with 7 other entrants in the "Cinema Appreciation" category, as a "Best of the Web Pick".[5] describing its best feature as "boards teeming with filmmakers" and its worst as "glacial search engine."[6]

indieWIRE has been praised by Roger Ebert,[7] Kevin Smith, James Schamus, and Tom Bernard.

Critics Poll

Year Best Film Best Performance
2006 The Death of Mr. Lazarescu Helen Mirren for The Queen
2007 There Will Be Blood Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood
2008 Flight of the Red Balloon Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler
2009 Summer Hours Tilda Swinton for Julia
2010 The Social Network Édgar Ramírez for Carlos
2011 The Tree of Life Michael Fassbender for Shame
Michael Shannon for Take Shelter
2012 Holy Motors Denis Lavant for Holy Motors
2013 12 Years a Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave
Year Best Film Best Director Best Lead Actress Best Lead Actor
2014 Boyhood Richard Linklater for Boyhood Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel
2015 Mad Max: Fury Road George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs


  1. " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  2. "Penske Media Acquires Indiewire". Variety. January 19, 2016.
  3. "Indiewire at 10 and Counting". July 15, 2006. (Press release)
  4. 1 2 3 Brown, Janelle (December 22, 1997). "Indie Film News Service No Longer Free". Wired. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  5. "Forbes Best of the Web - Cinema Appreciation". Forbes. March 25, 2002. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  6. "Forbes Best of the Web - IndieWire". Forbes. March 25, 2002. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  7. Ebert, Roger (June 1999). "Rule of Thumb: Best Indie Crossroads". Yahoo Internet Life - Summer Movies Guide. ZDNet. 5 (6). Archived from the original on 1999-11-13. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
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