University of Arizona
University of Arizona

PROFILE

Mia A. Farrell

School of Theatre, Film & Television

Mia A. Farrell is the Director of the Hanson FilmTV Institute. She comes to Arizona from having most recently worked in London at the British Film Institute, where she served as PR Manager, BFI Festivals across the Institute’s two biggest film events: the BFI London Film Festival and BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival. In her time at the BFI, she was also the Programme Manager for the BFI London Film Festival Critics Mentorship Programme, which trained mentees from underrepresented communities in the art and business of film criticism and writing and opened the door to their getting paid work in media and achieving their first bylines. 

With over 25 years experience in the entertainment industry, Mia has worked on numerous international publicity campaigns and has represented films screening at festivals such as the Berlinale, Festival de Cannes, Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, San Sebastián, Toronto and Venice, amongst others.  Born and raised in Los Angeles, she worked in non-fiction TV production and development until she became interested in PR.  She started working in personal publicity at Susan Geller & Associates before turning her focus to international film publicity at the global public relations firm DDA for nearly ten years, and then as Vice President of International Publicity at Paramount Pictures.

She worked on hundreds of titles from the best filmmakers in the business, spearheading worldwide tours for such films as Michael Mann's ALI and Bill Condon's DREAMGIRLS and participating in international tours for blockbusters such as Peter Jackson’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS, DreamWorks Animation's popular hit SHREK THE THIRD and David Yates' HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 & 2.

In London, Mia developed theatrical release campaigns for the United Kingdom for THE HUNGER GAMES, THE EXPENDABLES 2, FRIENDS WITH KIDS, THE LAST STAND, THE PAPERBOY and THE ICEMAN whilst serving as a consultant with Lionsgate UK.  She also worked as a unit publicist and served as a Senior Festival Publicist and PR Manager in the official press offices for the Sundance, Tribeca and BFI London Film Festivals, which led her to develop a particular expertise in the film festival landscape and enabled her to advise documentary and narrative filmmakers on how best to navigate it.  Her knowledge and representation of short films at major film festivals gave her the opportunity to work on many titles that garnered awards, including two she looked after at SXSW 2021 that went on to be nominated for BAFTAs. 

Having always held a special place in her heart for documentaries, Mia handled the audience favorite STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN in Toronto and Stanley Nelson's Special Jury Prize-winning THE MURDER OF EMMETT TILL in Sundance. She also had the opportunity to work with Michael Moore on his political documentary FAHRENHEIT 9/11. Most recently, she has worked with the Academy Award-winning documentarian Orlando von Einsiedel's Grain Media across numerous titles, including his latest feature CONVERGENCE: COURAGE IN A CRISIS for Netflix.

Favorite film projects come from a wide range of genres and backgrounds: Ang Lee’s BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN premiere in Venice, David Robert Mitchell's THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER and Hou Hsiao-hsien's THREE TIMES, both in Cannes. Other festival highlights include working with directors Gaspar Noe, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Larry Clark, Richard Prince, Matthew Barney, Marco Brambilla and Marina Abramovic on their controversial film DESTRICTED in Sundance and Cannes, which led to Mia looking after Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Palme d’Or nominated short film LOVE YOU MORE in Cannes a few years later. She also had the pleasure of representing Jim Chuchu's Teddy Award-winning anthology film STORIES OF OUR LIVES, which screened in the Berlinale's Panorama section and is based on true stories collected from persons identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex in Kenya.  This turned out to be one of her most cherished projects.

Mia took a two-year sabatical from the entertainment industry and worked as an Artist Liaison Manager for Oxfam Great Britain and as VIP Engagement Advisor for Plan UK. During this time, she worked on campaigns to fight inequality, violence against women and child marriage; as well as to raise awareness of humanitarian emergency response campaigns for Typhoon Haiyan, South Sudan and the Ebola outbreak. For those campaigns, Mia travelled to Honduras with Paloma Faith, Zambia with Emeli Sande, Malawi with Alexa Chung and South Sudan with Keira Knightley.

In collaboration with other consultancies, she has acted as an advisor to bring together high profile individuals with international NGOs and to support their campaigns and emergency calls-to-action. This experience allowed Mia to help her filmmaker clients facilitate social impact activities related to their independent film projects and to identify her strongest personal area of interest, at the intersection of film, art, humanitarianism and social justice activism.