|SnagFilms, by Ted Leonsis, Steve Case, and Rick Allen. Internet Resource. Reviewed in 2010aug CHOICE.
[Visited May’10] SnagFilms is an ambitious project that is making hundreds of documentary films available for viewing on the Web at no charge. The growing collection of some 1,000 films features a wide range of topics from a variety of filmmakers. Some titles have been widely distributed, and many others are only available through this Web site. The broad collection is searchable, and browsable by subject, channel, or alphabetically. Although most films are recent, the documentaries included represent a range of more than 30 years of filmmaking. The production dates are clearly listed. An icon shows whether the film is available for viewing worldwide or limited to specific countries (usually USA only). The content is excellent, especially considering the normally high costs of educational films. Along with a brief summary, pages for individual films may feature supplementary material including Credits, Q&A, Related from SnagFilms, or Related Articles (links to other Web sites). The trade-off for the free access is that the site is heavily supported by advertising. This makes it questionable as an addition to the library catalog. Nevertheless, the numerous documentaries are a rich resource to recommend to faculty seeking topical content. Librarians will find SnagFilms useful as a previewing tool for collection development. If a film is available for purchase on DVD, a link to the distributor is displayed. If an instructor is comfortable with the included advertising, films can be embedded into a course Web site for students to view. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. — B. J. Bergman, Minnesota State University, Mankato