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By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

Sundance Institute Announces Sarah Eaton as Director of Media Relations

For Immediate Release

October 25, 2011, Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute today announced the appointment of Sarah Eaton to Director of Media Relations. Eaton will oversee media relations for all programs of the nonprofit Institute, including the annual Sundance Film Festival. She will begin November 14, reporting to Director of External Relations Jennifer Arceneaux.

Eaton was previously Senior Vice President of Communications for Sundance Channel, where she worked from 1999 through 2011. At Sundance Channel she created, executed and managed network communications strategy and media and public relations activities across all business initiatives. She served as strategist on all communications matters for Sundance Channel and developed and executed Awards campaign strategy. Since spring of 2011 Eaton has been a freelance public relations consultant on films and to organizations including the New York Film Festival, Cinema Arts Festival Houston and the Provincetown International Film Festival.

Prior to joining Sundance Channel, Eaton was Vice President of Public Relations for October Films, leading a bi-coastal team responsible for all media and public relations activities for the specialized theatrical film distributor. There, she executed campaigns for films including Robert Altman’s Cookie’s Fortune, Mike Leigh’s Career Girls and Topsy Turvy¸ Robert Duvall’s Oscar-nominated The Apostle, and Oscar-winning documentary The Last Days by James Moll. She was previously Executive Director of Field Publicity for Fine Line Features, where she developed and executed all field publicity and promotional efforts.

At Sundance Institute, Eaton will raise awareness of the year-round work of the Institute. Her role will include developing, integrating and implementing components of the Institute’s strategic communications plan and coordinating efforts with Development and Marketing to support fundraising activities, sponsorship programs, advertising and earned income efforts.

Eaton will oversee day-to-day operations of the Institute’s media relations department, including Los Angeles-based Media Relations Manager Casey De La Rosa and Park City, Utah-based Media Relations Manager Elizabeth Latenser. De La Rosa supports the development and execution of national and international media relations and manages a team of seasonal publicists for the Festival. Latenser serves as the media relations liaison for all Utah-based press and is responsible for the operations and logistics of the Press Office hosted during the Festival.

For nearly three decades, Sundance Institute has promoted independent storytelling to inform and inspire audiences across political, social, religious and cultural differences. Through labs, funding, special projects with key partners and the Sundance Film Festival, the Institute serves as the leading advocate for independent artists worldwide.

Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America, and through its New Frontier initiative, has brought the cinematic works of media artists including Pipilotti Rist, Doug Aitken, Pierre Huyghe, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Matthew Barney. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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