Thursday 2 August, 2018

StepIn 2018. From the left: Diana Elbaum (Beluga Tree, producer), Nadia Dresti (Head of Locarno Pro), Marcello Paolillo (StepIn Project Manager), Matthijs Wouter Knol (European Film Market, Director), Franklin Leonard (The Black List, Founder & CEO).


© Locarno Festival

StepIn 2017 - Round table discussion


StepIn 2017: Keynote speakers Bobby Allen (MUBI), Robert Walak (Focus Features) and Tim League (Alamo Drafthouse) with Festival Deputy Artistic Director Nadia Dresti, Project Manager Marcello Paolillo, and moderator Nick Vivarelli (Variety)


StepIn 2017 Wrap up presented by the notetakers


Previous Next

Brave New World

StepIn is an interdisciplinary and international think tank where distributors, exhibitors, producers, sales agents, funding agencies, marketing professionals and streaming platforms, as well as film festivals and film markets representatives, take part in closed working sessions to discuss the state of the film industry.

A selected group of 40+ European and international industry key players, chosen among various profiles for their experience, are invited to exchange their point of view and propose practical ideas and strategies to overcome the most pressing challenges they are facing. StepIn is organized in partnership with Variety.

The event’s goal is to offer an intimate space where professionals can openly and freely share their own experience, interact, get inspired by one other, and look at how they can implement new behaviors, practices and business models.

Entitled “Brave New World” – a nod to the dystopian novel written by Aldous Huxley in 1931 and set in a futuristic world where mankind seem threatened by the great technological accomplishment of its own society – StepIn 2018 intends to tackle directly and fearlessly the seismic shift that has hit our industry.

In just a couple of years, a handful of giant super-platforms have completely changed the landscape of the film industry, overshadowing even the Major Studios with their production and acquisition budget, and radically changing the media consumption habits of audiences worldwide. Now that this is a consolidated reality, it’s time to assess what’s left of the “old” traditional world of independent cinema - and figure out how to transition to the new era.

On the bright side, independent producers can take advantage of the deal-making and content-creation potential that these global platforms represent. On the dark side, what’s at stake is the survival of the theatrical experience as we know it.  At the centre of this shift, film markets offer an interesting vantage point on where our industry is going. How are they addressing the changes? And how are they adapting to these new models?

Last but not least, changes in our business are not just economic and technological in nature. What do films say about our society on a whole from a cultural standpoint? Which kind of stories are we telling? But, most of all, which kind of stories people want to be told? Results at the box office for the past couple of years seem to paint a different picture than what it’s been assumed for decades, revealing audiences whom have been dismissed and underestimated for way too long. The future of the theatrical experience, perhaps, passes also through a better acknowledgement and understanding of our society.

The event will open with a keynote moderated by Nick Vivarelli (Variety). The keynote speakers are: Diana Elbaum (Producer, Beluga Tree), Matthijs Wouter Knol (Director of the European Film Market) and Franklin Leonard (Founder & CEO of The Black List). In four different roundtables, top international film executives will face some of the most pressing issues our industry is currently facing. Let’s see how independent producers, distributors, sales agents, exhibitors and film market professionals are ready to enter this Brave New World.

For more information, consult our Past Editions page.

StepIn is organized in partnership with Variety and with the support of Eclair, Europa Distribution, Europa International and Europa Cinemas.

Project Manager:
Marcello Paolillo,


Thursday 2 August

Hotel Belvedere (Sala Granda) 11:30 am – 12:30 pm


Open to all Press, Professional and Industry accredited

Diana Elbaum (Beluga Tree, Producer)
Matthijs Wouter Knol (European Film Market, Director)
Franklin Leonard (The Black List, Founder & CEO)

Nick Vivarelli (Variety)

2:30 pm– 4:30 pm
PRIVATE ROUND-TABLE SESSION Reserved to StepIn participants

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Open to all Press, Professional and Industry accredited

Four industry professionals present the results of the previous closed round tables session.

Nick Vivarelli (Variety)

In partnership with

In collaboration with

With the support of

Past Editions

Useful links

Follow us