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Cinema is the dream factory. However, there are situations where the line between dream and nightmare can be thin. Being Pro means being able to analyze, understand and plan ahead of the issues of an undoubtedly complex and varied professional universe like the film industry. And being Pro in Locarno means doing so with a special regard for the new generation of professionals.
This is the scenario that Locarno Pro, the strand of the Locarno Film Festival devoted to film professionals, and the Berlinale’s European Film Market, one of the core moments for the life of the international media market, had in mind when they organized two roundtables to discuss, understand and deal with the topics of mental health, access, and eco-stability in the film industry.
Having first been broached during the 2021 edition of StepIn, Locarno Pro’s international Think Tank, the topic of mental health and wellbeing in the film industry workplace was brought back as part of a specific podcast we told you about last fall (à link), and then a second time, in depth, on February 11 during the EFM days at the Berlinale. Precious moments to create awareness and come up with practical solutions for issues like gender equality, job precarity, unpaid internships and work, individual support for workers, coaching, and co-responsibility.
Industry Access and Eco-stability
On February 12, during the Berlinale, Locarno Pro dealt with the subject of industry access. That is to say, how young people can be part of the gears of that dream factory and survive those same gears. How can we guarantee access to those who don’t have the means to afford an unpaid internship? How do we preserve the work-life balance on nights and weekends? How do we guarantee assistance to a worker once they’re in the industry? How do we help smaller companies with the creation of a network? How do we promote shared work policies and greater transparency with contract terms? These are important questions, and the Pro universe, in Locarno and Berlin, is working on the necessary answers, to improve the sector of “making cinema”, because we may be talking about professionals, but above all they’re workers.
Pro for the Future
For Locarno Pro, working at the heart of the industry means working with and for the new generations who are sketching the future of that industry. They’re the subjects of the Industry Academies and the U30 and Match Me! Projects, in parallel with the vital activity of Open Doors and the Festival’s entire Young universe, from BaseCamp to Locarno Kids. And, alongside all emerging film workers, they’re the subject of Think Tanks and roundtables like these, from which we will emerge stronger, united and – crucially – with concrete ideas.