By Ray Pride



New York, NY – April 24, 2013 – Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films announced today that Lauren Schwartz will head film publicity and Shani Ankori will head marketing for the company’s distribution labels, Sundance Selects and IFC Films. In their expanded roles, Schwartz will oversee the creation and implementation of national publicity campaigns, management of film festivals and talent relations for films on all platforms. Ankori will oversee all marketing aspects for the company’s theatrical, VOD and home video releases. Additionally, Michael Winton will run all film publicity and marketing efforts for sister label, IFC Midnight. Winton reports to Ankori. Schwartz and Ankori report to Sehring.

“Shani, Lauren and Michael are incredibly talented executives, whose work over the years has been invaluable to the success of our company,” says Sehring.  “Shani has been an instrumental creative force on some of the company’s top successes including Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Tiny Furniture, Buck, Pina, and In The Loop. Lauren is a seasoned publicist who has overseen strategy for some of our biggest films including Sleepwalk With Me, The Central Park Five, How to Survive a Plague, and Pina. And, Michael has done incredible work on our Midnight titles including Room 237 and The Jeffrey Dahmer Files. Collectively they will run all marketing and publicity for all three of our distribution labels.”

Schwartz, Vice President of Publicity, has been at Sundance Selects/IFC Films since 2011.  She has worked on publicity campaigns for two Oscar nominated documentaries — Pina and How to Survive A Plague, in addition to On the Road, The Central Park Five, Sleepwalk with Me, Buck and is overseeing upcoming releases including The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Dirty Wars and Frances Ha. Prior to joining the company, Schwartz worked at Donna Daniels PR handling film campaigns for Food, Inc, Two Lovers, Burn After Reading, and Lust, Caution; and served as Director of Publicity for Oscilloscope Laboratories, where she orchestrated theatrical and awards campaigns for The Messenger, Howl, Meek’s Cutoff, No Impact Man and A Film Unfinished.

Ankori, Vice President of Marketing, has been at Sundance Selects/IFC Films since 2007. She has worked oncampaigns for Oscar nominated films including Pina, In the Loop, and How to Survive a Plague; as well as on films such as Palme d’Or Winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, and Gimme the Loot, Tiny Furniture, Buck, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and The Trip; and is overseeing upcoming releases including The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Dirty Wars and Frances Ha. Prior to joining the company, Ankori was Head of Marketing at Samuel Goldwyn Films and Roadside Attractions, where she oversaw the marketing campaigns for Oscar nominee The Squid and the Whale, Super Size Me, and Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic.

Winton, Director of Marketing and Publicity, has been with the company since 2008. He has worked on release campaigns for The Pact, Kill List, Would You Rather, The Jeffrey Dahmer Files, Antiviral and Room 237, and the upcoming releases Maniac and Berberian Sound Studio. Winton started out as an assistant at Sony Pictures Classics, prior to which he was an English teacher in Marseilles, France.

Sundance Selects, IFC Films and IFC Midnight are all sister labels, owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc,.

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About IFC Films

Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of quality talent-driven independent film. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, GOMORRAH, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THELOOP, ANTICHRIST, WORDPLAY,CAIRO TIME, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE, YOUR SISTER’S SISTER, CARLOS, THE TRIP and SLEEPWALK WITH ME. Over the years, IFC Films has worked with established and breakout auteurs, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus VanSant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noe, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, as well as more recent breakouts such as Andrea Arnold, MiaHansen Love, Ben Wheatley, Corneliu Porombiou, Joe Swanberg, Barry Jenkins, Lena Dunham, Aaron Katz, Daryl Wein and Abdellatif Kechiche. Upcoming releases include Noah Baumbach’s FRANCES HA starring Greta Gerwig; Mira Nair’s THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST starring Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland and Liev Schreiber; David Lowery’s AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS, starring Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster; Sebastian Silva’s CRYSTAL FAIRY starring Michael Cera; Michael Winterbottom’s THE LOOK OF LOVE starring Steve Coogan; and Paul Schrader’s THE CANYONS starring James Deen and Lindsay Lohan.  IFC Films is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

About Sundance Selects

Established in 2009 and based in New York City, Sundance Selects is a leading U.S. distributor of prestige films focusing on American independents, documentaries and world cinema. Previous releases include Cristian Mungiu’s double Cannes Prize winner BEYOND THE HILLS; David France’s Oscar nominated documentary HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE; Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon’s THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE; Alison Klayman’s AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY; Wim Wenders’ Oscar nominated PINA;Werner Herzog’s CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS; Cindy Meehl’s BUCK; the DardennesBrothers THE KID WITH A BIKE; Abbas Kiarostami’s CERTIFIED COPY and Adam Leon’s GIMME THE LOOT.  Upcoming releases include Alexandre Moors’ BLUE CAPRICE starring Isaiah Washington; Richard Rowley’s DIRTY WARS; and Nick Ryan’s THE SUMMIT. Sundance Selects is a sister label to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.


About IFC Midnight

Established in 2010 and based in New York City, IFC Midnight is a leading U.S. distributor of genre entertainment including horror, science-fiction, thrillers, erotic art house, action and more. Some of the company’s successes have included Tom Six’s controversial horror film THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE); Johnnie To’s Hong Kong revenge thriller VENGEANCE; Ben Wheatley’s unconventional hitman thriller KILL LIST; and Rodney Ascher’s acclaimed documentary ROOM 237. Upcoming IFC Midnight releases include Neil Jordan’s BYZANTIUM; Franck Khalfoun’s MANIAC; and Vincenzo Natali’s HAUNTER. IFC Midnight is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Films, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.

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  1. Cheryl says:

    Congratulations! SHANI ANKORI sounds like he has a great track record. All the Best to you!

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon