Mentors - Publicity
Do you need a publicist? Maybe so, and maybe no. Come get some hands-on information about the modern role of the PR person, and how that impacts filmmakers today.
Mentor session signup is open to all Film, Gold and Platinum badge holders at a first-come, first-served basis. Registrants who signed up online must check-in 30 minutes before your mentor time slot to guarantee your spot. Limited on-site signup is also available for a small number of mentor sessions spots and will begin 30 minutes before the first time slot of each session.
To sign up for a mentor session click on the link for the mentor you are interested in meeting with:
Emma Griffiths -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/135
Marian Koltai-Levine -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/171
Natalie Lent -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/136
Ngoc Nguyen -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/163
Nicolette Aizenberg -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/179
Rene Ridinger -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/133
Weiman Seid -- http://mentor.sxsw.com/mentors/134
Cynthia Swartz is the founder and president of StrategyPR/Consulting, a boutique entertainment firm started in September 2011. 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 Emilio Estevez’s “The Way,” Nicholas Jarecki’s “Arbitrage,” Sacha Gervasi’s “Anvil! The Story of Anvil,” Sidney Lumet’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” Julian Schnabel’s “The Diving Bell & the Butterfly,” Ryan Fleck’s “Half Nelson,” Armando Iannucci’s “In The Loop,” Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine,” Stephen Gaghan’s “Syriana,” Oren Moverman’s “The Messenger,” Todd Field’s “Little Children,” Kelly Reichardt’s “Wendy & Lucy,” Craig Brewer’s “Hustle & Flow,” James Toback’s “Tyson,” Cindy Meehl’s “Buck,” Carl Deal and Tia Lessin’s “Trouble The Water,” Peter Weir’s “The Way Back,” Luca Guadagnino’s “I Am Love,” Amir Bar-Lev’s “The Tillman Story,” Alex Gibney’s “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” Noah Baumbach’s “The Squid & the Whale,” James Gray’s “Two Lovers,” Ben Affleck’s “Gone Baby Gone,” and Tony Gilroy’s “Michael Clayton.” Swartz also played a pivotal role on the Oscar-winning awards campaigns for best picture winners including Paul Haggis’ “Crash," the Coen Brothers' "No Country for Old Men" and Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker.” She also represents a number of acclaimed filmmakers including Edward Norton, Tony Gilroy and David O'Russell. 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 under the leadership of Harvey Weinstein. In this role, Swartz handled national release campaigns for many of the company’s classic titles and/or also served as the company’s chief awards campaign strategist on films that included Neil Jordan’s “The Crying Game,” Jane Campion’s “The Piano,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” Anthony Minghella’s “The English Patient,” John Madden’s “Shakespeare in Love,” Roberto Benigni’s “Life is Beautiful,” Lasse Hallström’s “The Cider House Rules,” Rob Marshall’s “Chicago,” Marc Forster’s “Finding Neverland,” Ulu Grosbard’s “Georgia,” Julie Taymor’s “Frida,” Fernando Meirelles’ “City of God,” Stephen Frears’ “Dirty Pretty Things,” Stephen Daldry’s “The Hours,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown,” Douglas McGrath’s “Emma,” Denys Arcand’s “The Barbarian Invasions,” Gus Van Sant’s “Good Will Hunting,” Tom McCarthy’s “The Station Agent,” John Sayles’ “Passion Fish,” Phillip Noyce’s “The Quiet American,” Richard Eyre’s “Iris,” Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Amelie,” Sharon Maguire’s “Bridget Jones Diary,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator,” Billy Bob Thornton’s “Sling Blade,” Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway,” Michael Radford’s “Il Postino,” and Todd Field’s “In The Bedroom,” among many others. Swartz began her career working with acclaimed foreign and independent film publicist Renee Furst.
Emma Griffiths is a strategic and innovative publicity maven with over 15 years of proven experience in theatrical, unit, festival, DVD, VOD, TV, special event and industry publicity. She has managed over 100 film campaigns in their entirety during unit, theatrical, festival and award season stages.
For further information please visit: www.eg-pr.com
Marian Koltai-Levine is currently the Executive Vice President of the film department at PMK*BNC. As the department head, Marian strives to create a home for strategic ideas to intersect with marketing and communications execution. Her approach to marketing and distribution reflects the team's prior experience on both the studio and agency sides of the film industry. Under Marian’s direction, the film department at PMK*BNC has run successful campaigns for Roadside Attractions’ The Music Never Stops, The Weinstein Company’s Sarah’s Key and I Don’t Know How She Does It starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Film District’s “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” Sony Pictures Classics’ Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest and an academy award campaign for Hors-la-loi (Outside the Law), which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature. Most recently, Marian led the 2012 Sundance Film Festival campaign for Beasts of the Southern Wild which won the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. Additional clients include OWN’s Documentary Film Club, which received three Emmy nominations for Becoming Chaz.
As Marian is passionate about new voices and the global artistic community, she additionally represents various arts nonprofits including Sundance Institute and IFP. She is recognized for offering clients a complete “outsourced marketing department,” as well as theatrical distribution services.
Prior to her current position, Marian was the Founder and President of Zipline Entertainment, which launched in April of 2009. Zipline Entertainment became a leader in the evolving world of content and distribution and joined the PMK*BNC family in August, 2010. Some of Zipline's notable successes include: Is Anybody There?; Bass Ackwards; the award-winning documentary Racing Dreams; Focus Features' The Kids Are All Right; the new cable channel EPIX; and last year's Independent Film Summit in conjunction with MOMA and IndieWIRE. In addition, Zipline Entertainment has represented MOMA/Film Society of Lincoln Center's “New Directors/New Films Festival.” Marian has established herself as an expert on marketing and distribution, speaking on panels at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, IFP, and the Producers Guild conference, as well as teaching courses at Columbia, Yale and New York University.
Marian was named one of the hundred most powerful women in Hollywood by The Hollywood Reporter. She is a featured speaker at the Produced By Conference, Sundance Institute, Independent Film Project, Variety Marketing Conference, and several others.
As the Director of Digital Strategy at ID, Natalie Lent uses her more than 7 years of being at the frontline of social media to help ID's clients navigate the social and digital media landscape, in addition to seeking opportunities for strategic partnerships in this space on their behalf. Natalie also spearheads ID’s representation of select digital clients for strategic branding, marketing and public relations campaigns.
Natalie's clients include Stand Up to Cancer, Alicia Keys, Katie Couric, Fast Company, Pee-wee Herman, Ben Stiller, Universal, Maker Studios, TV Guide Network, YouTube and Sean Penn's J/P Haitian Relief Organization.
Natalie began her career at Creative Artists Agency and subsidiary The Intelligence Group before working at Fanscape, a leading digital and viral marketing agency focused on entertainment clients including MTV, Clear Channel, FX and A&E. Prior to joining ID, Natalie headed up the marketing team for the multi-award-winning Burma: It Can't Wait project - a May/June 2008 campaign to help to free Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi. Natalie has been featured in both VARIETY'S Hollywood's New Leaders 2011 and FORBES’ 30 under 30 list. She is a graduate of Harvard University.
A former biology studies major, Ngoc Nguyen fell into the movie industry by happenstance. Her first ever introduction to entertainment was as a volunteer for this very festival. She was eventually hired on staff at South by Southwest and also spent a few years working at Austin Film Festival. Wanting to spread her wings in the City of Angels, Ngoc moved westward to L.A. in 2001. Her first job was at Miramax Films where, ironically, she ended up splitting her time between Los Angeles and Austin, working closely on Robert Rodriguez's films for the studio.
After Miramax, Ngoc worked for three years at Creative Artists Agency in Corporate Communications. She has spent the last six years as a publicist at Paramount Pictures where she has worked on films such as Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Rango, The Fighter, Star Trek, Super 8 and Cloverfield. When she's not working, she's a sports enthusiast who is obsessed with making it to all of the tennis grand slams. And, forever a Texan at heart, she tries to get back to Austin as much as possible for that BBQ she actually never liked while she lived there.
Nicolette Aizenberg joined 42West in June of 2009 and has handled various film, festival, and personal campaigns. Previous festival titles include: THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, CORMAN’S WORLD, FOR A GOOD TIME…CALL, and SIMON KILLER. She also handled YouTube’s LIFE IN A DAY campaign from the initial announcement, through Sundance, and theatrical release. Other film campaigns have included GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD, THE KILLER INSIDE ME, LIFE DURING WARTIME, GREENBERG, JULIE & JULIA, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, and several others. She also works with directors such as Darren Aronofsky, Rob Marshall, and Stephen Daldry. Prior to 42West, Aizenberg ran Field Publicity and Promotions at Miramax Films. Films included NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, GONE BABY GONE, ADVENTURELAND, THE LOOKOUT, and DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY. Prior to Miramax, Aizenberg was Manager of Field Publicity at Samuel Goldwyn Films where she worked on such films as THE SQUID & THE WHALE and SUPER SIZE ME. Aizenberg began her career at Palm Pictures.
As the head of MPRM’s film practice, Ridinger oversees comprehensive film publicity, taking many projects from unit publicity though successful release campaigns and developing unique publicity models for alternative distribution, including digital and cable VOD platforms. Since joining MPRM in 2009, Ridinger has managed campaigns for Focus Features, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate, Magnolia Pictures, Roadside Attractions and NBC Universal.
Weiman Seid is the founder and Principal of Fat Dot. Weiman started Fat Dot in 2004 following eleven years at Miramax Films, where he rose to Senior Vice President and worked on more than 150 features as well as numerous Academy Award campaigns, from In the Bedroom, City of God and The Station Agent to Dimension Films hits Scary Movie and Scream 3.
Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Fat Dot provides PR and strategic marketing support to an array of entertainment industry, corporate, and individual clients. Fat Dot has worked with creative projects and people ranging from studio films, independent films and documentaries to new media projects, television, and film festivals.
Fat Dot specializes in preparing films for the U.S. film festival marketplace and managing theatrical campaigns. With an eye on how a particular project fits in to the news of the moment, our campaigns include the best in entertainment and celebrity publicity as well as news-driven stories that reach the best –and broadest possible – audience.
Fat Dot frequently collaborates with film studios such as 20th Century Fox, Miramax, and The Weinstein Company. The firm also serves as personal publicist to clients including Sissy Spacek, Todd Field, and Schuyler Fisk. Films Fat Dot has handled include Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, The Day the Earth Stood Still, An Inconvenient Truth, and The Squid and the Whale.
Fat Dot’s company name derives from a Chinese phrase that translates to “wealth and success.” We are a group that specializes in service that is personal while also professional, and our public relations are highly customized according to the needs and opportunities that are special to each project. To learn more about us, visit fatdot.net.