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Site of the Week – Cinematical

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Let’s say you love the classics on AMC but want to see an indie film. On that occasion, Cinematical, can point you in the right direction. “We push to cover as much about indie film as we possibly can, while balancing that with the mainstream stuff that draws the traffic,” says Kim Voynar, the site’s managing editor. (The site is owned by AOL and connected with Moviefone.) The mix satisfies the site’s summer movie crowd while introducing them to a whole other scene. “The reader who comes there to read about Dark Knight may just stick around and read about some obscure foreign film we’ve fallen in love with, or a great horror film we caught at a fest,” explains Voynar.

When they say they advocate for off-beat films, they’re not just talking about some Sundance coverage and a few foreign film reviews. “We cover more independent film than just about any other major film site,” says Voynar. They even post a (Mostly) Indie Film Calendar, that provides a weekly look at indie theatrical releases and “what’s cool and happenin’ beyond the multiplexes of North America.” Where else can you find out about a massive celebration of the movie Troll 2 taking place in Morgan, Utah?

Voynar makes it clear that AOL doesn’t decide what they cover — the reader’s do. “Cinematical Sevens were offered due to readers wanting more fun content; the annual Halloween Film Costume Contest, one of our most popular events, was born of a reader suggestion; we added the Geek Beat
in response to our fanboy audience wanting something that focused on
them.” Over the year’s Cinematical assembled a highly skilled team of
writing experts that, frankly, know way too much about movies.” James Rocchi
was brought on to add his experience as a film critic,” says Voynar and
he does their podcast. (If the name sounds familiar it’s because he
just started writing a feature for AMC called Now and Then.)

They must be doing something right because Erik Davis, the site’s editor in chief, is on the San Diego Comic Con Masters of the Web
panel later this month. “I’ve been surprised more than once to learn
that this or that big Hollywood name reads our site regularly,” says
Voynar. (She also learned that they have a lot of rabid Keanu Reeves
fans after she described his acting as “a bit wooden.”) What’s it like
to work on a website that reaches so many and covers so much? Voynar
describes it this way: “Picture us as a gang of wildly diverse people
all chained together through our computers, like a bunch of geeks
playing World of Warcraft 24/7, only we’re film geeks writing about film.”

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