Here are some more details about the panel and the panelists.
The Ins & Outs of Film Festival PR
Film festivals are a very effective way to build awareness for a film. And the film festival circuit can be a key step in a film distribution. But creating a successful film festival PR campaign for your project is an art form in itself. Hear from leading PR executives hot off the film festival circuit and film awards season. They'll share their insights and experience on what film festival PR entails, plus the most appropriate and strategic time to enlist a publicist or PR agency. They'll also offer a variety of perspectives on how filmmakers, producers and actors can take PR into their own hands and get buzz for their film. The discussion will also cover the role of social media and online marketing in today's film market.
Clare Anne Darragh and Lina Plath, formerly of New Line Cinema, officially formed FRANK PR in October 2008. They have a team of publicists at the company with a diverse and wide-range of publicity experience. They have led national film and award campaigns on such movies as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Sex and the City, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, and The Cabin In The Woods. Recent publicity campaigns include Focus Features' Promised Land, HBO Documentary Films Ethel & The Crash Reel, and Magnolia Pictures V/H/S/2.
Sophie Gluck & Associates is a New York-based film publicity agency specializing in theatrical publicity campaigns (New York and national) of feature films for distribution companies, including Sony Pictures Classics, Cohen Media Group, Music Box Films, Focus Features, Strand Releasing, and Samuel Goldwyn Films. Sophie Gluck & Associates handles publicity on films at festivals, including Toronto, Cannes and Berlin, and is the U.S. representative of the European Film Academy and its annual European Film Awards. The firm has worked on the New York and national theatrical campaigns of numerous films, including 2013 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film Amour, 2012 Oscar winner A Separation, and 2007 Oscar winner The Lives of Others.
Omar Gonzales is the Vice President of National Publicity at PMK*BNC in New York. Gonzales spearheads marketing and communications campaigns across theatrical and VOD platforms. He recently worked on the release, awards and/or festival launch of Una Noche, Silver Linings Playbook, Milkshake, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Safety Not Guaranteed, Quartet, the 50th New York Film Festival, and Netflix's House of Cards. Gonzales previously worked at Focus Features, where he developed and executed strategic national publicity, awards campaigns and special projects. Among the films that he worked on from pre-release through awards runs were the Oscar-winning Milk and Atonement, as well as other award winners such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Kids Are All Right, Jane Eyre, Beginners, In Bruges, Babies, Eastern Promises, the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man and Burn After Reading and the animated film Coraline. Prior to joining Focus Features, Gonzales was a publicist at DreamWorks SKG, working both the press and awards efforts on behalf of two of the first Best Animated Feature Academy Award winners, Shrek and Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, as well as such hit films as Catch Me If You Can, Match Point, Collateral, House of Sand and Fog and The Ring movies.
Cynthia Swartz is the founder and president of StrategyPR/Consulting. Prior to that, she was a Partner and Co-Head of 42West's Entertainment Marketing Division. Swartz has been responsible for creating, implementing, and overseeing film release campaigns, film awards campaigns, film festival launches, and publicity initiatives for a wide array of studios, financing and production companies, and filmmakers and talent. Swartz worked on the release, awards and/or festival campaigns for films including The Way, Arbitrage, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly, Half Nelson, In The Loop, Blue Valentine, Syriana,The Messenger, Little Children, Wendy & Lucy, Hustle & Flow, Tyson, Buck,Trouble The Water, The Way Back, I Am Love, The Tillman Story, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, The Squid & the Whale, Two Lovers, Gone Baby Gone, and Michael Clayton. Prior to joining 42West, Swartz spent several years as an Executive Vice President of Publicity at Miramax Films, overseeing national publicity and awards campaigns for theatrical releases. In this role, Swartz handled national release campaigns for many of the company's classic titles including The Crying Game, The Piano, Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Life is Beautiful, The Cider House Rules, Chicago, Finding Neverland, Georgia, Frida, City of God, Dirty Pretty Things, The Hours, Jackie Brown, Emma, The Barbarian Invasions, Good Will Hunting, The Station Agent, Passion Fish, The Quiet American, Iris, Amelie, Bridget Jones Diary, The Aviator, Sling Blade, Bullets Over Broadway, Il Postino, and In The Bedroom, among many others. Swartz began her career working with acclaimed foreign and independent film publicist Renee Furst.
Michele Stephenson is the co-producer and co-director of American Promise. A graduate of McGill University and Columbia University School of Law, Stephenson uses her background in critical race studies, and human rights to inform her documentary work. Her Panamanian and Haitian heritage has also fueled her passion to tackle stories on communities of color and social justice. An early pioneer in the Web 2.0 revolution, Stephenson used video and the internet to structure human rights campaigns and train people from across the globe in video internet advocacy. Her work has appeared on PBS, Showtime, MTV and other outlets.