Montclair State University – FILM FORUM
DATE: MARCH 20, 2012,  TIME: 7PM – 9PM

Watching movies and television on the Internet is the wave of the future and it’s happening now!  MSU Film Forum presents a panel discussion on the realities of Internet Distribution for film and television.  Panelists include: Ben Relles, Head of Creative Development at YouTube, Mike Swain, Director of Acquisitions at Indiepix, and Aaron Sonnenberg, Content Operations Manager at

  • Learn about what on-line delivery can mean for your film.
  • How do you reach an audience?
  • Can you actually make money at this?
  • What kind of series and films are successful online?
  • What role does social media play?

These topics and more will be discussed on Tuesday, March 20, 7-10PM in UN1040.  Susan Skoog, Filmmaker and MSU Film Program faculty member will moderate the discussion. This event is free and open to the public .

Panelists Biographies:

Ben Relles, Head of Creative Development, YouTube Next Lab
Ben works with some of the most innovative producers in online video to help them build their audience and develop their content and creative strategy. Prior to joining YouTube, Ben was Vice President of Programming at Next New Networks where he led content strategy as the company built viewership to over two billion total views.Ben also started and oversees the comedy network Barely Political which has been viewed over one billion times since launching in 2007 and is one of YouTube’s top 10 most viewed channels of all time. Ben created Barely Political with his series of “Obama Girl” videos, which quickly became an online and political phenomenon and eventually was named by Newsweek as one of the top five memes of the decade. The Barely Political network continued to expand when Ben created a partnership with the Gregory Brothers to launch their Autotune the News series on the network. Ben also co-created the show The Key of Awesome which is currently one of the internet’s most popular shows, with over 30 million views per month.

Mike is the Director of Acquisitions for INDIEPIX FILMS, an independent film distributor specializing in both foreign and domestic art house films.  Since 2010, Mike has overseen the acquisition and distribution of dozens of titles, including the award-winning Bhopali, Anurag Kashyap’s That Girl in Yellow Boots, Echotone, and the urban sports documentary Concrete Circus.  Mike has previously assisted in the Creative Development department at MIRAMAX FILMS as well as various film production companies in Los Angeles.  He holds an M.A. from Union Theological Seminary and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.  Company info: INDIEPIX FILMS was founded in 2004 to bring film fans the very best of independent cinema.  Based in New York City, INDIEPIX is the distributor of Shirin Nestat’s Women Without Men (Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival), Paola Mendoza’s Entre Nos, Ondi Timoner’s We Live in Public, and Samson & Delilah (Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival), among many others.  INDIEPIX has also recently launched its own subscription streaming company – INDIEPIX UNLIMITED – that focuses on bringing its subscribers independent films from around the world, including the latest award-winning titles from the festival circuit, popular indie classics, foreign films, documentaries and more.

Aaron Sonnenberg, Content Operations Manager for
As the Content Operations Manager for, Aaron oversees many aspects of the content library and works with the advertising and development teams. He also manages relationships with some of blip’s top shows. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and lives in Brooklyn. Mission:  Blip’s mission is to help people to discover the best in original web series and to help web series producers make a sustainable living.Company:  Blip was founded in 2005 by five friends who fell in love with the first web series they saw. We decided to create a site that makes it easy for people to discover the best in original web series.We designed Blip to be easy to use. We structured it so that talented people with great ideas and a little determination could make a living doing what they love, while the rest of us get to enjoy it.Blip is now the largest independently owned video network in the world.Distribution:  Blip distributes series across the web, including to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to iTunes, and to the TV set through partnerships with Roku and Google TV.