SnagFilms.com is a brand new website (I believe it was launched in the last 24 hours since news of their purchase of indieWIRE.com flooded online press pages) where you can watch full-length documentary films for FREE.
With a library of 250 films, and rapidly growing, you’re bound to find films that resonate with your interests. You can even embed films and put anywhere on the web, like your website or blog, for example, as YouTube and several other video sharing sites currently allow.
However, you cannot download any of the films onto your hard drive or upload to any portable devices like a video-enabled iPod. I'm guessing that might change eventually.
I browsed through the documentary films the site currently offers, and found several that I'd like definitely to watch - a few I've previously seen, including Super Size Me, Dig, and State Of The Union.
I watched about 45 minutes of Super Size Me on Snag earlier this afternoon, just to get a sense of a image quality, sound, etc... And while it's certainly not the sharpest image, I was able to watch without feeling like I was being robbed of some visual essence. You are provided with video quality options (from low to high bandwidth), as well as size - you can watch it in what looks like a 640X480 screen within the page, or switch to full-screen mode. The sound quality is more than adequate.
Since film screenings are FREE, the site's got to make money somehow, so, of course, there are video ads that occur about ever 15 minutes, which, if you think about it, is almost like watching a film on a network TV station - except in SnagFilm's case, you're subject to only one 30-second commercial for about every 15 minutes of viewing. Fine with me! I wasn't annoyed by them. I just tuned out for 30 seconds and returned when the commercial was over. Of course you can't fast-forward, or skip through the commercials.
Overall, not the best way to watch a film of any kind, even a documentary, but I can say that I'll definitely use the site because I saw a few titles of interest that I've never watched before. In fact, I'll be watching one of them tonight! So, check out SnagFilm.com for free full-length documentary film screenings. There's no registration necessary, no signing up of any kind. You simply go to the site, find what you want to watch, and watch it!
The site: SNAGFILM