IFC hires Frankel to put image into focus

NEW YORK: In the same week it received two Academy Award nominations, the Independent Film Channel (IFC) has appointed a new communications head charged with further establishing the brand as a player in multiple aspects of entertainment.

NEW YORK: In the same week it received two Academy Award nominations, the Independent Film Channel (IFC) has appointed a new communications head charged with further establishing the brand as a player in multiple aspects of entertainment.

Matthew Frankel has been named VP of communications for IFC and all of its divisions, including IFC on Demand, a new pay-per-view service; IFC Television; and IFC Entertainment, which includes film production unit IFC Productions and distributor IFC Films.

Frankel's goal is to create a company reputation that incorporates those varied interests into a single image.

"Our challenge from a PR standpoint is to develop the IFC brand on those multi-tier levels, and to show the strength that IFC and the independent film community have," he said. "The idea is to better broaden the IFC company as one entity."

Frankel began his tenure last week with a champagne toast to celebrate the Academy Awards' Best Original Screenplay nominations of two films distributed by IFC: Y Tu Mama Tambien and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

IFC's marketing department, along with other companies involved in the projects, has been supporting those films with awards campaigns.

"Academy campaigning is incredibly intense and time consuming," said Michelle Panzer, head of communications for IFC Entertainment. "The marketing department has put every effort into the campaigns."

Panzer is also new to IFC, and is currently charged with supporting new releases, including the documentary Lost in La Mancha and the Glenn Close picture Safety of Objects.

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