Pierson new SXSW topper
EmptyAustin-based indie film vet Janet Pierson is taking over as South by Southwest Film Festival producer as Matt Dentler exits the role and heads east to join Cinetic Media's digital arm.
Pierson has served as a producer rep and investor on more than two dozen indie films for more than two decades with husband John Pierson, including "She's Gotta Have It," "Slacker" and "Clerks." The couple joined Kevin Smith as executive producers of a documentary feature about their family, "Reel Paradise."
Dentler will work with another established rep, John Sloss, as head of marketing and programming operations at Cinetic Rights Management, a unit of Cinetic Media. This company works with clients to help them manage their digital rights and representation.
When asked in February about his plans, the 28-year-old wunderkind ruled out working at any other fest but SXSW, which he began producing in 2004. But he tellingly added that "as technology continues to develop and exhibition continues to evolve, the lines are blurring between exhibitors, distributors and programmers," a description that seems to align with his new job (HR 2/28).
Pierson also co-created and executive produced the late-1990s IFC series "Split Screen." In 2004, Pierson and her family moved to Austin, home of SXSW. She starts immediately and will report to SXSW Film co-founder and senior director Louis Black.