Rosefelt Closing Magic Lantern PR; Indiefilm Stalwart to Pursue New Interests
by Eugene Hernandez
Longtime independent film publicist Reid Rosefelt has decided to close Magic Lantern Public Relations, effective May 1st. While Magic Lantern Inc. will remain an active outfit for Rosefelt’s new pursuits, he will no longer handle release publicity for feature films and he will shut the company’s office on 57th St. in Manhattan.
Rosefelt told indieWIRE yesterday that while he will continue to handle some personal PR for key clients, he will primarily focus his attention on a number of television, documentary, and screenwriting projects that he has been developing with partners. He will also continue to pursue speaking engagements.
“This was not a decision made lightly, because I love being a publicist and am proud of what we have accomplished over the last seven years,” Rosefelt said in an email to friends and colleagues yesterday. “But I have reached the point in my life where I am enthusiastic about moving in some new directions.”
“This has been coming for a long time,” Rosefelt told indieWIRE yesterday. Continuing, Rosefelt explained that while the increasing competition for business has made times tougher for publicists who handle independent and specialty films, his primary reason for deciding to change direction was his goal to move into different areas of the film business. “The main thing is that I am trying to do some new stuff,” Rosefelt said, “My attitude is, why not?”
Asked to do the impossible and single out a few of his favorite projects at Magic Lantern, Rosefelt mentioned a number of notable indie and specialty films. A longtime friend and rep of documentarian Errol Morris, Rosefelt mentioned “Fast Cheap and Out of Control,” calling it a terrific film. He then highlighted “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” saying “You can’t talk about us without mentioning that film.” Rosefelt and his Magic Lantern team worked for a long time on the project as it soared, earning a stellar $128 million at the box office and winning four Academy Awards. Rosefelt also mentioned “The Spanish Prisoner,” a highly successful film for longtime client David Mamet, as well as Pedro Almodovar’s “Talk to Her,” a film he calls “one of my favorite films ever.” Continuing, Rosefelt mentioned “High Art” as a landmark project, launching careers for a number of active members of the New York film community, including Jeff Levy-Hinte, Dolly Hall, Susan Stover and Lisa Cholodenko. Finally, he singled out “Pollock,” saying, “Working with Ed Harris was a beautiful experience — it was so amazing, the guy is so amazing, it was the kind of thing that you just never forget.”
Rosefelt previously ran his own firm, Reid Rosefelt Publicity from 1981-1985, promoting such films as Jim Jarmusch’s “Stranger Than Paradise” and Susan Seidelman’s “Desperately Seeking Susan.” Prior to launching Magic Lantern, Rosefelt was VP of Dennis Davidson Associates in New York. He has also served as VP or Publicity for Samuel Goldwyn Company and was an account executive at PMK. Rosefelt also worked in advertising and publicity at New Yorker Films.
Current and upcoming projects for the company through May 1st include Steve James’ “Stevie,” Lisa Cholodenko’s “Laurel Canyon,” and Pedro Almodovar’s “Talk to Her.” The firm’s projects at Sundance 2003 included “Laurel Canyon,” Peter Hedges’ “Pieces of April,” Alex Steyermark’s “Prey For Rock and Roll,” Elaine Epstein’s “State of Denial,” and Scott Saunders’ “The Technical Writer.”
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