As Deadline’s Mike Fleming revealed exclusively last month, awards season strategist Cynthia Swartz has left 42West to start her own PR firm, called Strategy PR/Consulting. The announcement comes just as awards season gets rolling with the Telluride and Toronto film festivals. Press release after the jump.
New York, NY (September 2, 2011) – Founder and President Cynthia Swartz announced today the launch of Strategy PR/Consulting, a bi-coastal full service entertainment public relations and consulting firm. The firm, which will have offices in New York and Los Angeles, will focus on national film publicity campaigns; digital entertainment strategy; unit publicity; comprehensive awards campaigns; film festival oversight with a focus on acquisition titles; as well as filmmaker relations and corporate communications. Swartz, a veteran film and awards strategist, is segueing straight from her position as a Partner at the public relations firm 42West to spearhead the new company out of the New York office. Former 42West executives Michael Kupferberg and Elena Zilberman will join the company as Vice Presidents, with Kupferberg and Zilberman based in New York, reporting directly to Swartz. Zilberman will oversee all national film campaigns, and Kupferberg will maintain oversight of festival and awards campaigns, as well as all corporate communications and new business initiatives. Additionally, the company has formed a strategic alliance with Marc Schiller’s New York-based digital marketing and publicity firm Electric Artists to manage new media, social networking and targeted online public relations efforts for select films and clients.
“I have been working in the film industry for nearly thirty years, and though so much has changed and continues to change, my passion for film and my allegiance to filmmakers remains steadfast,” says Swartz. “I am incredibly grateful to my partners at 42West for giving me this opportunity to branch out on my own, and I look forward to working with filmmakers and film lovers, on films of all shapes and sizes, as we enter the new frontier on so many levels. Aligning my new company with Mark Schiller’s incredible team at Electric Artists is just one of the many ways that we will be expanding our knowledge base as publicists and marketers to create the perfect strategy for each project.”
Strategy PR/Consulting will launch with an exciting slate of Fall films, including Emilio Estevez’s “The Way” starring Martin Sheen; S.J. Clarkson’s “Toast” starring Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore; Sam Levinson’s “Another Happy Day” starring Ellen Barkin and Demi Moore; Carl Colby’s personal CIA docu-thriller “The Man Nobody Knew”; Madonna’s “W.E.” starring Abbie Cornish and Andrea Riseborough; Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need To Talk About Kevin” starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly; and Gerardo Naranjo’s Mexican thriller “Miss Bala.” The company will also be handling PR efforts on a number of acquisition titles at the Toronto International Film Festival next week, including Oren Moverman’s “Rampart” starring Woody Harrelson and Robin Wright; and Jonathan Teplitsky’s “The Burning Man” starring Matthew Goode.
As a Partner and Co-Head of 42West’s Entertainment Marketing Division since Spring 2005, Swartz was instrumental in 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 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” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker.” 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.
Kupferberg, who has worked with Swartz for nearly ten years, joined 42 West’s Entertainment Marketing Division in May 2005. Based in New York, he managed all of the firm’s festival activities, and also worked on all of the company’s award campaign efforts, while also representing both filmmakers and corporate clients. During his time at 42West, Kupferberg worked on a multitude of festival campaigns with an eye towards domestic distribution deals, including Lisa Cholodenko’s “The Kids Are All Right,” Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” James Mottern’s “Trucker,” Tony Kaye’s “Detachment,” Dori Berinstein’s “Carol Channing: Larger than Life,” James Westby’s “Rid of Me” and Rodrigo Garcia’s “Mother & Child.” He also played an integral role on award campaigns for titles including “Crash,” “The Hurt Locker,” “The Squid & The Whale,” “Hustle & Flow,” Lee Daniels’ “Precious,” “The Messenger,” “Half Nelson,” “The Diving Bell & The Butterfly,” “I Am Love,” Aaron Schneider’s “Get Low,” John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole,” and “Gone Baby Gone.” Prior to joining 42West, he worked in the publicity department at Miramax Films in New York, where he was involved with film and awards campaigns for “Chicago,” “Frida,” “Finding Neverland,” “City of God,” and “Dirty Pretty Things.” He began his career in the Chicago office of Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations company.
Zilberman, who worked with Swartz at both Miramax and 42West, joined 42West’s Entertainment Marketing Division in March 2010. At 42West, Zilberman spearheaded campaigns for films that included Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” James Wan’s “Insidious,” Michael Winterbottom’s “The Trip,” and Cindy Meehl’s “Buck.” She also played an integral role in award campaigns for titles including Doug Liman’s “Fair Game,” and Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer.” Prior to joining 42West, Zilberman worked at both Paramount Vantage and The Weinstein Company where she managed campaigns for films including Michael Winterbottom’s “A Mighty Heart,” Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild,” Marc Forster’s “The Kite Runner,” Nanette Burstein’s “American Teen,” Ed Zwick’s “Defiance,” Duncan Tucker’s “Transamerica,” Stephen Frears’ ”Mrs. Henderson Presents,” and John Madden’s “Proof.” Zilberman began her career in the publicity department at Miramax Films.
Also joining the Strategy team are Chanelle James as a Director of National Publicity based in New York, and Katelyn Bogacki as a Manager based in New York. James spent over five years working in 42West’s Entertainment Marketing Division, where she worked on such films as Jean-Marc Valee’s “The Young Victoria,” “The Messenger,” “Insidious,” “The Trip,” Kurt Kuenne’s “Dear Zachary,” “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” and “Buck.” James began her career in the publicity department at Fox Searchlight working on films that included Zach Braff’s “Garden State,” Alexander Payne’s “Sideways,” and Jared Hess’ “Napoleon Dynamite.” Bogacki worked in 42West’s Entertainment Marketing Division on a wide variety of film publicity initiatives related to award campaigns, film festivals, corporate communications, and filmmaker representation. Prior to working with 42West, Bogacki spent three years with Terry Hines & Associates, where she participated in promotional, targeted marketing, and regional publicity campaigns for major studio clients.
New York-based Electric Artists, founded by Marc Schiller, recently developed the digital marketing strategy for Asif Kapadia’s hit documentary “Senna,” and prior to that put their stamp on the film world with their online marketing and publicity campaign for Banky’s Oscar-nominated documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” The company’s hand-crafted approaches toward reaching online filmgoing audiences online includes the use of social media, video development & distribution, online public relations, thought leadership as well as live screenings.