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StepIn 2021 — Envisioning a healthier workplace in the film industry


After nine successful years in existence, StepIn – Locarno Pro’s think tank – is back in the physical space. Once again, the initiative will allow for a free-flowing exchange of ideas between selected industry professionals and a host of prestigious speakers, all joining together on Thursday August 5th, during the Locarno Film Festival.
A proactive environment in which accredited professionals from diverse backgrounds can openly share their experiences with their colleagues, along with access to a broad space in which all manner of industry ideas can be trialed, tested, and workshopped among some of the most prominent names in the business.
This year, with the possibility of a physical reunion before us, the StepIn initiative will frame the state of the industry in a different way. As the different sectors of our industry are trying to get back on track and rush to go back to normal, we strongly believe we should take some time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to. Because clearly there were a few dysfunctional things going on in our industry which the pandemic, if anything, has made even more evident. And since, in a way or another, all the sectors of our industry have been forced to reset, reboot, and restart, we might as well take this opportunity to do it with the right foot. So, what, in the wake of the upending of so many of our normal ways of working, should we keep and what should we rethink? And how can the film industry absorb better work practices, make provisions for economic fairness, gender equality, and true diversity, and take an account of the past year’s effect on the mental health of those who work in film?
StepIn 2021 will comprise keynotes and working sessions with a variety of special guests, ranging from A-list producer Gale Anne Hurd (recipient of Locarno’s Raimondo Rezzonico Prize 2021) to Allison Hironaka, CAA agent in the Media Finance Department; from Katherine Dennis Gonzalez, Psychologist and Mental Health Consultant, to Diego Hangartner, founding director of the Institute of Mental Balance and Universal Ethics.
As Marcello Paolillo, StepIn Project Manager, puts it: “The purpose of our think-tank is to help envision a better future. We are aware that it might sound counter-intuitive, in a period where many sectors are financially struggling, to tackle topics that might seem, at a first glance, far away from our business “as usual", but studies prove that the health of our working environment has a direct impact on results and productivity. Moreover, during the past year we have all been compelled to reconsider our lives and priorities, and that includes also our working environment. Carving out a space for dialogue and reflection, now of all times, when the desire for our industry to rush back to normalcy is overwhelming, gives us the opportunity to imagine a better way of doing things for the future."   
The day-long event will comprise an out-of-the-box introduction, an opening keynote, a private roundtable and a wrap-up session. The program is by invitation only. Nevertheless, Industry badgeholders can find the live streams of the Opening Keynote and Wrap up session on the Locarno Pro Reserved Area.
StepIn is organized with the support of Eurimages, in partnership with Variety and in collaboration with Europa Cinemas, Europa Distribution and Europa International. 
Locarno Pro is possible thanks to the support of the Federal Office of Culture / MEDIA Desk Suisse.



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