2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Mentors: Publicity

#sxsw #FilmMentor

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.

Sign Up Here: http://mentor.sxsw.com.

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.



Gerilyn Shur


Brigade Marketing

Gerilyn Shur has worked on publicity campaigns for film and theater throughout the past decade.

She currently handles and oversees national publicity for film, filmmakers and festival films at Brigade. Brigade has handled campaigns for films such as “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Tiny Furniture,” “Compliance,” and “Sleepwalk With Me."

Gerilyn’s notable film campaigns include “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me,” “Your Sister’s Sister,” “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, “ “Paul Williams Still Alive,” “A Teacher, “ “Trouble The Water,” “Humpday" among others. She also handles publicity for filmmakers including Mark Duplass and Lynn Shelton.

Gerilyn worked previously at Barlow Hartman Public Relations (Broadway PR), The Weinstein Company and 42West Public Relations.

Gerilyn holds a Bachelor of Science in Theater Arts Management from Ithaca College.


Jim Dobson


Indie PR

Jim Dobson has been one of the leading entertainment publicists in the U.S. for over 30 years, implementing campaigns for countless feature films in both production and release as well as personalities.

His extensive credits have included numerous film campaigns including the winning films at every major film festival in the country including; “Circumstance”, “Valley of Saints”, “Middle of Nowhere”, “Young and Wild”,“Natural Selection”, “Weekend” “That Evening Sun” , "Citadel", "Bay of All Saints", “Incendies”, “The Topp Twins", “Marwencol” and many others


Marian Koltai-Levine

EVP, Film Mktg & Distribution


Marian Koltai-Levine currently serves as Executive Vice President of the film department at PMK*BNC. As the department head, Marian and her team seek to offer clients a unique approach which includes not only traditional PR but marketing and distribution services as well. Marian and her team’s method and tactics come as a result of many years of experience working on both the studio and agency side 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 The Artist and The Iron Lady, Film District’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Safety Not Guaranteed, Sony Pictures Classics’ Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest and academy award campaigns for some of 2012’s most notable films: Lincoln, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Sessions and Hitchcock. Most recently, Marian completed campaigns for Academy Award nominated films Beasts of the Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook which raked up 12 nominations between both films. She helped lead Beasts of the Southern Wild beginning with its Sundance Film Festival debut in 2012 where it won the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition through its theatrical release and finally finishing with an awards campaign where it was nominated for Best Picture. Marian helped represent Silver Linings Playbook through its theatrical release, awards campaign where it was nominated for 8 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Actor and won for Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence and most recently with the home video release. Most recent film departments clients include All is Lost starring Robert Redford, Anchor Bay’s Lords of Salem, Ketchup Entertainment’s Big Sur, The New York Film Festival , HBO’s Casting By, 2013 Toronto Film Festival films: Horns and Life of Crime among others and Sundance Film Festival film Life After Beth.

The film department also represents many highly regarded directors, producers and production companies including Baltasar Kormákur, (The Deep, Contraband), David Hoberman & Todd Lieberman (Mandeville Films), Red Granite Pictures and Sundance Productions.

As Marian is passionate about new voices and the global artistic community, she additionally represents various arts nonprofits including Sundance Institute, IFP and UJA. 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 2011’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 guest lecturing 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.

Rene Ridinger

VP, Ent

MPRM Communications


Sylvia Desrochers

JIMI: All Is By My Side

Sylvia Desrochers, President and Founder of Big Time PR & Marketing, has worked with some of the most celebrated filmmakers in Hollywood, including: John Ridley (12 Years a Slave and All Is By My Side), Ross Katz, Freida Mock, Sofia Coppola, Alfonso Cuaron, Mira Nair, Marc Forster, Roman Coppola, Michel Gondry, Kimberly Peirce, and The Farrelly Brothers. Feature film campaigns include: Omar, The Bling Ring, Somewhere, War Witch, The We and the I, The Iran Job, Decoding Deepak, My Reincarnation, Wonder Boys, Proof, and American Beauty. Festival experience includes Sundance, SXSW, AFI, Tribeca, LAFF, Venice, Toronto, and Cannes. Corporate clients include 108 Media / Paladin, Indian Film Festival of LA, and The Amazonas Film Festival in Brazil. Prior to founding Big Time, Sylvia honed her skills at Bumble Ward and Associates and Miramax. She is also an opera singer, with a degree in Vocal Performance from California Institute of the Arts.


Ursula Liang

Sr Publicist

The 2050 Group

Ursula Liang is a senior publicist at The 2050 Group, a public relations agency specializing in social issue documentary film. She has worked on aggressive publicity campaigns for documentaries around major film festivals, theatrical and DVD releases, broadcasts, and awards season that have led to widespread press attention for clients including HBO Documentary Films, Sundance, "Brooklyn Castle", "When I Walk", "William and the Windmill", "12 O'Clock Boys", "Our Nixon", "Return to Homs", "Prison Terminal", "Best Kept Secret", "The New Black", "The Trials of Muhammad Ali", "American Winter", "Call Me Kuchu", "Love Child", "The Waiting Room", "Wo Ai Ni, Mommy".

Ursula was a full-time journalist for over a decade and held staff jobs as a writer, reporter, editor, producer, radio host, guest booker at both elite mainstream national outlets (ESPN The Magazine, T: The New York Times Style Magazine) and local and ethnic media (the International Channel, Hyphen magazine, WPOP, WBAI).

Ursula is also a documentary filmmaker. Her films "Tough Love" (producer) and "9-Man" (director) will both premiere spring 2014.


Weiman Seid

Fat Dot

Weiman Seid is the founder and Principal of FAT DOT, the New York-based consultancy firm founded in 2004. FAT DOT offers marketing and publicity strategy consultation for clients that include corporations, films, festivals and individuals. His clients include actor Sissy Spacek, writer/director Todd Field and a number of films, documentaries and entertainment related organizations, including "The Squid and The Whale", "Little Children", "Proof", and the Academy Award-winning "An Inconvenient Truth".

Weiman started FAT DOT following 11 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".


Whitney Kimmel



A innovative communications strategist, who has represented such films as Her, Dallas Buyers Club, Django Unchained, The Artist, Paranorman, and The King's Speech among others - a proven Awards strategist whose projects have garnered 72 Academy Award® nominations and 12 Academy Award® wins. In addition to the film campaigns she leads, Whitney has also worked with a variety of digital clients including the YouTube funded comedy network JASH, and the question-and-answer website QUORA. Commitment to independent cinema, Whitney has also worked for both the Sundance Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival and is a frequent film festival jury member and guest speaker for festivals.
Whitney began her career in front of the camera as a broadcast news reporter at CBS in San Francisco and has always been passionate about new media and civic education. Her personal passion lies in the charitable sphere.

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