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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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“To be a critic is to be a workaholic. Workaholism is socially conditioned: viewed favourably by exploiters, it’s generally ruinous to a worker’s mental health. When T.S. Eliot said criticism was as inevitable as breathing, he failed to mention that, respiratory problems notwithstanding, breathing is easy. Criticism is reflexive before reflective: to formalise/industrialise an involuntary instinct requires time, effort and discipline. The reason we seek remuneration, as opposed to the self-hatred of being a scab, is because all labour should be waged…

“Criticism, so the cliché by now goes, is dying. None of the panel discussions on its death agony, however—including those in which I’ve formally participated—come at it from the wider perspective that the problem surely needs. They defend the ways in which criticism functions in relation to the industry and to the public, but they fail to contextualise these relationships as defined by ultimately rotten and self-harming imperatives.

“Criticism was a noble profession so long as only a few could practice it for money; when the field expands, as it has with a so-called ‘democratisation’ of our practice, those few lose their political power. Competition grows and markets are undercut: publications are naturally going to start paying less. Precarity is both cause and effect of a surplus workforce: the reason you’re only as good as your last article is because there are plenty of other folks who can write the next one in your place. The daily grind is: pitch, or perish.

B”ut criticism, so a counter-cliché goes, is not dying. An irony: this is an elite sport that is no longer elite in terms of who is able to practice it, but in economic terms it’s clutching to a perverse and outmoded hierarchical structure. It’s more meritocratic than ever, now: which is to say it isn’t meritocratic at all. That’s a paradox in bad need of a resolution…”

~ Michael Pattison Manifestoes Film Criticism

“It’s easy to forget when you’re reading a critic every single week or multiple times a week, that most of us who do this job, and have been doing it for a long time, understand that this is basically a parasitic profession. I don’t mean in the sense that we’re evil bloodsucking creatures, but we couldn’t exist if we didn’t have something to analyze. And I’m always conscious of that. So whether I like or don’t like a particular thing you do, my point of view is always that of an appreciator. I just like to be in the world that you create.”
~ Matt Zoller Seitz To Sam Esmail

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