After a long and exhaustive search, Sundance Institute’s Keri Putnam has selected New York PR veteran Sarah Eaton as her new Director of Media Relations. Eaton replaces outgoing Sundance Fest PR chief Brooks Addicott, but will be running a larger more ambitious year-round operation to raise awareness of the non-profit Institute out of Sundance’s Santa Monica offices. Eaton is a pro who cares deeply about Sundance and its independent mission; she’s a good get.
Eaton, who was senior vp of communications at the Sundance Channel for over a decade, will oversee media relations for all programs of the non-profit Institute, including the festival. She will begin November 14, reporting to Director of External Relations Jennifer Arceneaux. Eaton will help to develop, strategize and implement the Institute’s communications plan, working closely with Sundance’s development, fundraising, sponsorship and marketing teams. LA-based Media Relations Manager Casey De La Rosa and Park City, Utah-based Media Relations Manager Elizabeth Latenser will report to Eaton.
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.