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Martesko-Fenster new Managing Director of the Babelgum Online Film Fest

Babelgum, the free, independent web TV platform, today announced the appointment of Karol Martesko-Fenster as General Manager & Publisher of the company’s Film Division. Martesko-Fenster will oversee all aspects of the film offering on Babelgum, expanding programming acquisitions and partnerships and global film industry and festival activities.

Karol will also assume the role of Managing Director of the annual Babelgum Online Film Festival working closely with creator Stefania Valenti and Jury Chairman Spike Lee. He will be based in Babelgum’s New York office headed by Ethan Podell, President of Babelgum US.

A long time veteran of independent film, publishing and the Internet, Martesko-Fenster joins Babelgum after having most recently collaborated with filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, to launch the pioneering 3-minute stories film publisher, CINELAN. “Babelgum’s film programming is mainly focused on people who are passionate about indie film”, said CEO Valerio Zingarelli, “and Karol’s passion for this material is just what we need to build a vibrant independent film community on the Babelgum platform”.

"The people behind Babelgum have consistently championed independent programming and have established the public beta of Babelgum as a premier alternative online destination," commented Martesko-Fenster. "I am looking forward to working with the international team to position Babelgum as a market leader amongst the international independent filmmaking and emerging creative community."

Martesko-Fenster was previously General Manager/Head of Film for Palm Pictures and President of Palm’s RES Media Group. During his tenure he oversaw the release of Doug Pray’s Scratch and Julio Medem’s Sex & Lucia. He also handled operations for Palm's RES business unit, expanding its offerings from a small, local digital film festival into a global touring event to over 19 countries and 40 cities worldwide (RESFEST). Prior to Palm, Martesko-Fenster served as President & Publisher of the Silicon Alley Reporter and Digital Coast Reporter magazines.

Martesko-Fenster has extensive experience launching premier print and online ventures and producing films and television specials. He co-founded and launched indieWIRE.com, FILMMAKER Magazine, RES Magazine, the Virtual FilmFestival and filmmag.com. He produced the feature films Scenes From The New World and Vienna 1900 and collaborated on Wetlands Preserved and Before Sunrise. Martesko-Fenster served as the Market Director for the seminal 1989 Independent Feature Film Market and in 1990, as Executive Director of the Independent Feature Project, he restructured the nation's leading film service organization and initiated the inaugural Gotham Awards.

Martesko-Fenster began his career at WNET/Thirteen, where he spent two years as a producer for Great Performances, Music. He received a B.A. from SUNY Purchase, N.Y., and an M.F.A. from Columbia University with a concentration in entertainment law, theater management and film production.

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Chatelin Bruno
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