Press Releases  ·  31 | 07 | 2019

"What Are We Afraid Of?"

“What Are We Afraid Of?” The 2019 edition of StepIn addresses some of the fears haunting the film industry: the interdisciplinary think tank will involve 40 key film professionals, selected for their experience, inviting them to contribute with their own views and best practices towards defining ideas and strategies for successfully taking on present and future challenges.

This year’s keynote speakers are Bob Berney (Marketing and Distribution Executive), Rita Dagher (CEO & Producer at Señorita Films) and Maren Olson (Agent in the Media Finance Department at CAA).

Under the heading “What Are We Afraid Of?”, the 2019 edition of StepIn will address some of the main “fears” haunting the film industry. Chief among these is the worry over whether independent filmmaking will continue to be relevant, both as an art form and as entertainment. There are many related concerns: what does the future hold for production and theatrical distribution of independent products, especially foreign-language films? What will be the impact of streaming platforms and new technologies?

Through an opening keynote session, backed up by four dedicated workgroups, we will address on-going changes in independent filmmaking in terms of formats and funding opportunities; we will explore theatrical box office performance, which in the past year showed highly inconsistent results across various countries; we will analyze promotion and communication strategies for foreign-language films around the world, in collaboration with European Film Promotion; lastly, we will introduce for the first time a sector which is becoming increasingly important and decisive in filmmaking, by taking a look at the role of talent agencies.

Marcello Paolillo, StepIn Project Manager, remarks: “The beauty of StepIn is that it offers a unique vantage point from which international experts from every branch of the film industry take a look at where we are going. The future can be scary, but also exciting. This year, we’ll try to debunk some of the common misconceptions, and - who knows? - perhaps we’ll discover that things are not quite as bad as some people think.”


Thursday 8 August
Hotel Belvedere

11:30 AM - 12.30 PM
Open to all Press, Professional and Industry accredited

Bob Berney (Marketing and Distribution Executive), Rita Dagher (CEO & Producer at Señorita Films), Maren Olson (Agent in the Media Finance Department at CAA)

Moderator: Nick Vivarelli (Variety)

2:30 PM - 4.30 PM
Reserved for 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 table session

Moderator: Nick Vivarelli (Variety)

StepIn is a think tank for interdisciplinary exchange, by invitation only, allowing distributors, exhibitors, producers, international sales agents, funding and promotional bodies, marketing experts, talent agents, VOD platforms, delegates from major film markets and festivals and other professionals to take part in working meetings and discussion sessions on the current state of the international film scene.

StepIn is organized in partnership with Variety and in collaboration with Europa Distribution, Europa International and Europa Cinemas.


Project Manager: Marcello Paolillo

More information at:


The 72nd Locarno Film Festival will take place from 7 to 17 August 2019

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