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.
EXCLUSIVE: Cynthia Swartz, who became a partner at PR powerhouse 42West six months after Leslee Dart exited PMK to form her own company in late 2004, is negotiating her exit. Swartz, who spent 13 years working for Harvey and Bob Weinstein at Miramax before joining 42West in May 2005, is an important Oscar-season strategist and skilled launcher of independent film campaigns. Last year, her Oscar-season clients included The Social Network. Swartz is working with the 42West brain-trust to come up with a workable exit plan so that she can form her own PR shingle. I’m told that her longtime partners are being supportive and that it is expected they will collaborate on future projects. The exit should happen shortly, and we’ll have more on this as it unfolds. The timing is interesting, since awards season gears up again with the Telluride and Toronto festivals.
When Emilio Estevez launched The Way at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival, reaction was encouraging for the film he directed and which stars his father, Martin Sheen, as a grieving dad who walks The Camino de Santiago to honor his dead son. The movie’s good, but it is also the kind of well-intentioned picture that often slips through the cracks. Estevez has found a way to escape the straight-to-DVD fate that befalls many such films. He and Elixir Films’ David Alexanian have partnered with John Sloss and Bart Walker’s Producers Distribution Agency and Trevor Drinkwater’s ARC Entertainment to open the film exclusively in AMC Theaters in 15 markets on Oct. 7 for its first week, before broadening to 15 markets the following week and then expanding to 500 screens across the country.
The release will be overseen by a team of distribution vets that includes Dennis Rice, Richard Abramowitz and Cynthia Swartz. Appropriate for a film about a road trip, Estevez and Sheen will conduct a bus tour for eight weeks prior to the film’s wide release to drum up awareness. They’ll be gassing up the bus for a late August start.