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Moderated by Variety’s correspondent Nick Vivarelli, the opening keynote will introduce some of the topics of StepIn 2023 through the points of view and experiences of three remarkable panelists.
Arianna Bocco (Film Distribution and Content Strategist)
Arianna Bocco brings with her over thirty years of leadership and expertise in the independent feature film space. Most recently as President of IFC Films, Bocco oversaw all aspects of film acquisition, marketing and pr as well as business and distribution strategy for AMC Networks’ film portfolio including IFC Films, a leading U.S. distributor of independent film, Shudder, the premium streaming service dedicated to the best in horror and RLJE Films, as well as the subscription service IFC Films Unlimited. Under Bocco’s leadership, the brands were consistently recognized for their impeccable taste and championing of diverse first-time directors. Bocco spent almost 17 years at IFC Films curating a library of critically acclaimed and award-winning films. Prior to joining IFC Films, Bocco was a svp of Acquisitions and Production at Miramax and began her career at New Line Cinema/Fine Line Features. Bocco is currently based in the NYC area.
Rishi Coupland (Head of Research and Insight at the British Film Institute)
Rishi Coupland is Head of Research and Insight at the British Film Institute, where he is responsible for the National Lottery Research Fund and National Lottery Innovation Challenge Fund. Rishi leads the BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit, overseeing the production of statistics and the production and dissemination of reports such as An Economic Review of UK Independent Film, Screen Business and the sustainability-focussed Screen New Deal. Rishi has over twenty years’ experience within the arts, culture and digital media sectors and in 2017 was awarded a Clore Fellowship in recognition of his work. Prior to his role at the BFI, he held the roles of Head of Data Intelligence and Head of Audience Strategy at the Royal National Theatre, where he launched and lead the sector flagship Data Studio, Marketing Services Manager (Southbank Centre), and Senior Producer (Buzz-erk Productions). Rishi began his career as a technologist and engineer with multinational companies in locations across the UK and Europe.
Mariëtte Rissenbeek (Managing Director | Berlin International Film Festival)
Mariëtte Rissenbeek is the Managing Director of the Berlin International Film Festival. Born in the Netherlands, she studied German language and literature, theatre studies and sociology at the Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht and the Freie Universität Berlin. In 1986, Mariëtte joined the film
distribution company Tobis Film, handling acquisitions as well as the exploitation of ancillary German-speaking rights. In 1995, she moved into film production and worked as a producer at Ziegler Film where she produced several different film formats. In 1998, she established her own production company in Hamburg and worked with Mika Kaurismäki before moving to the Munich-based production company Hofmann & Voges in 2000. In 2003, Mariëtte Rissenbeek became responsible for international festival relationships and public relations at German Films, the German organisation for the international promotion of German cinema. She became Deputy Managing Director at German Films in 2006 and Managing Director in 2011.
Nick Vivarelli (Variety | Italy and Middle East correspondent)
Born in Florence to an American mother and an Italian father, Nick Vivarelli has spent plenty of time in both countries. After studying comparative literature at New York University, he dabbled as a literary translator and art gallery organizer before venturing into journalism and film. Since then, he has worked for several media outlets, including The Associated Press and Newsweek. A regular on the international festival circuit, he is currently Italy and Middle East correspondent for Variety. He is also the author of Slalom, a Tuscany-set thriller published by Manni Editori in Italy and co-director of the documentary Life As a B-Movie: Piero Vivarelli that went to Venice and won Italy's Nastro D'Argento 2020 for best doc on cinema.