© Anton Maksimov - Unsplash
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The key role in a more inclusive set
A training program organized by Anica Academy ETS in collaboration with Safe Sets, one of the leading international training providers of Intimacy Coordination. In partnership with Sky Italia as the main sponsor, and with the contribution of Sky Studios. Netflix, one of the Anica Academy ETS’ founders, first suggested and strongly supported the need of the training in Italy
Foundation Anica Academy of Cinema, Audiovisual, and Digital – ETS is launching the Intimacy Coordinator course, the first opportunity in Italy that provides professional training for a role that is becoming crucial in the film and television industry.
The Anica Academy of Cinema, Audiovisual, and Digital – Third Sector Entity is a nonprofit organization whose participants include Anica, Medusa Film, Netflix, Paramount Global, Rai, Vision Distribution, and Gaumont. Its primary objective is to conceive, manage, and organize basic and highly specialized training courses in the fields of cinema and audiovisual media. It aims to pursue civic, solidarity, and social inclusion goals by creating new opportunities for young talents and professionals, meeting the growing demand for highly qualified occupational profiles in the entire industrial and production sector. The project originates in Italy with the aim of confirming the excellence of our country and strengthening the established European and non-European relationships over time. The Foundation’s challenge is to invest in human capital and reconnect different generations by enabling increasingly qualified employment opportunities in the audiovisual world, contributing to the development and growth of the sector and the country.
An intimacy coordinator, much like a stunt coordinator is a trained professional who brings choreography, clarity, safety and consent to scenes in television and film that contain intimacy, nudity and/or simulated sex and other hyper-exposing scenes. The role acts as a neutral 3rd party, advocating or liaising between actors and production ensuring performers and other production personnel adhere to safety protocols. An IC is also a creative and choreographic collaborator, a facilitator of consent and boundary and an inter-departmental coordinator.
Intimacy Coordinators come from various backgrounds such as acting, directing, movement coaching, dance/choreography or fight direction etc., and have often been exposed to moments in their professional lives where they’ve felt Artists have not been seen, heard or appropriately treated during scenes that make them the most vulnerable or exposed. Scenes that can leave artists traumatised or victims of abuse.
Intimacy Coordination is a new and exciting role, which for many has been a true vocation.
The role of an IC implements practical, accountable and thorough solutions to high risk and potentially alienating or abusive filmmaking environments. Intimacy Coordinators apply a crucial third-party perspective to support all areas of production to ensure that the creation of intimate content follows a well-communicated and consensual process. This content can include simulated sex, nudity, emotional scenes which will feature cast members (including minors) often feeling exposed and vulnerable. An IC will promote open, transparent and healthy creative spaces minimizing potential risks of intimidation, coercion, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, discrimination and bullying.
By addressing potentially costly and harmful situations, whilst advocating for inclusive representations of sexuality and paving the way for safer exploration of high-risk content, an IC should provide a reassuring presence to a production, allowing for enhanced wellbeing, respect and consent at the core of both cast and crew’s everyday tasks.
What does an Intimacy Coordinator do?
What an Intimacy Coordinator is not:
While working on set as an Intimacy Coordinator they would not utilize specifically skills they may have in the following areas: a therapist, acting coach, chaperone, midwife advisor or stunt coordinator, or double as any other safeguarding and/or specialist personnel required on set for sensitive scenes (which is not restricted only to intimacy). They are not part of human resources (HR) for the production. They are also not ‘consent officers’ or ‘costume standby replacements’. They are also not normally solicitors or lawyers and are therefore not expected to create legal documents for a production.
Anica Academy ETS has decided to partner with Safe Sets, one of the leading Intimacy Coordination companies for stage and sets to organize the first training and mentoring course in Italy. Currently, there is no other course of this kind in Italy, making it a unique opportunity for those who wish to enter this rapidly expanding market.
The role of an intimacy coordinator is becoming increasingly important in the film and television industry, even in Italy. More often actors request the presence of an intimacy coordinator on set to ensure that sex and nude scenes are represented safely and respectfully. Additionally, television networks and streaming platforms are becoming more demanding when it comes to the portrayal of intimacy on screen.
The Anica Academy ETS Intimacy Coordinator course provides a unique opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and certification necessary to become a highly sought-after professional in a rapidly growing market.
Safe Sets is an Intimacy Coordination company, with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg and London, founded by Kate Lush and Sara Blecher in February 2020, offering both intimacy coordinators for film, television and theatre, and also providing Intimacy coordination training.
Founders Kate Lush and Sara Blecher met at the Durban International Film Festival in 2019, while Kate was working as an Intimacy Coordinator in the UK. Sara then came to the UK and trained to be an Intimacy Coordinator during that year.
By a strange coincidence, Kate was planning to relocate to Cape Town, South Africa in January of 2020, so while Sara was in the UK training, they started to hatch a plan to create the company that is now Safe Sets. Since then, Safe Sets has grown exponentially, having taken on additional Intimacy Coordinators, founded the not for profit IPSA (Intimacy Practitioners South Africa), launched the South African Protocols for Working with Intimate Content in TV, Film and Associated Media, whilst collaborating with the South African film industry and with Netflix EMEA created and delivered an Intimacy Coordinator training program in 2021. Then in 2022 Kate, Sara and the Safe Sets team in association with Netflix, the NFVF and the IPO trained the first cohort of South African Intimacy Coordinators. In addition, Safe Sets also have coordinators in the UK and Spain, and collaborators across Europe, America, Brazil, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Eligibility requirements (all applicants must comply to access the selection):
Capable of communication and collaboration across multiple departments.
Anica Academy ETS and Safe Sets training aspire to create a learning environment built through a commitment to community, inclusivity and respect for previously held (prior) knowledge (schema) and contributing experience.
Considering the nuanced nature of the IC role, our aim is to provide:
Furthermore, an Intimacy Coordinator must be able to work in teams, manage stressful and emergency situations, and create a respectful and safe working environment for all cast and crew members. The Anica Academy Intimacy Coordinator course offers comprehensive and professional training necessary to become an expert in this emerging and highly demanded field. Students will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills through theoretical and practical lessons, working closely with industry professionals. Upon completion of the course, participants will be ready to enter the workforce as Intimacy Coordinators, equipped with all the necessary skills to carry out their profession professionally and respectfully.
The teaching methods of the course include theoretical and practical lessons, group work, exercises, role-plays, and case analyses. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with industry professionals who will guide them in managing intimacy scenes on set, communicating with actors, and adhering to regulations and actors’ rights. The total hours of this training exceed the required current industry standard of 75+ hours of direct training (plus additional complementary coursework) and places the Anica Academy ETS / Safe Sets IC Training course content on par with SAG-Aftra (USA) expectations for certification pathways and #BECTU (UK) recommendations for employing qualified Intimacy Coordinators.
The Anica Academy Intimacy Coordinator course will be conducted in English to ensure comprehensive and adequate preparation according to the highest international standards. Inset courses could be held in Italian.
Structure of the course
• Modules 1-8 (24 hours plus 24 hours of self study)
• Module 9-11 (42 hours)
• Inset Courses (18 hours)
In addition to this, trainees are expected to complete the following online courses:
Anica Academy ETS will coordinate and organize those courses through external companies/providers.
At the end of the course the participants are aimed to be set ready (under mentorship) and working to current standard expectations. In fact, as 30 days of on-set experience are mandatory in order to be certified, additionally, and crucially, an ongoing six month mentorship support (at least) is scheduled to effectively integrate learning and application in a real world context:
• Module 12 (minimum 12 hours)
On completion of thirty days of applied practice under mentorship, participants are awarded certification endorsed by Safe Sets, Anica Academy ETS, Netflix, Sky Italia and Sky Studios to acknowledge the skills and experience gained.
A dedicated scientific committee composed of eminent industry and training experts will oversee the educational plan, student selection, and evaluation during and after the course.
The scientific committee is appointed by the management of Anica Academy ETS, in collaboration with the Founding Members and the partners:
Official start of the course will be on Friday 29th September at 6PM with an online Induction session upon reaching a minimum number of 8 students admitted. The Modules 1-8 will take place once a week every Saturday at 10AM starting from Saturday 30th September with mandatory attendance.
The in-person session (6 days in a row, full time) will be held in January 2024 at the headquarters of Anica Academy ETS in Viale Regina Margherita 286 – Rome, with mandatory attendance.
The Inset Courses training must be completed by the beginning of Module 9. Mentoring sessions (Module 12) are provided to the students that have successfully attended all the Modules, in order to support the whole mandatory on-set experience.
Any changes to the start and end dates will be communicated well in advance to the selected students. The schedule and days of classes may be subject to changes during the course due to unforeseen needs. Similarly, some classes may be canceled due to force majeure or sudden unavailability of the instructor.
The intimacy coordinator training has a very high price (international benchmark). Anica Academy ETS can offer the course for a lower fee compared to the international benchmark thanks to the support and funding of Sky Italy and Sky Studios and thanks to the support and funding of the Anica Academy ETS Founders, Netflix in particular.
The fee (required as a contribution to the training expenses) is 5.000 euro.
It is not included in the fee the cost for attending and completing the online Inset Courses (estimated cost 600 euro to be paid during the training period – instructions will follow).
Anica Academy ETS is aware that the high cost could be a barrier to entry for many people and can offer 2 scholarships at half the training fee (2500 euro instead of 5.000 euro) for people with ISEE of/under 20.000, thanks to the funding offered by Francesco Rutelli (President of ANICA and Anica Academy ETS) and dedicated to the memory of Sandra Gentili Rutelli (“A Sandra Gentili Rutelli, donna, madre e piccola imprenditrice, 1931-1973”). The scholarships will be assigned based on both ISEE and merit and will be evaluated and assigned only upon specific request during the application process (see point 10).
The course will be open to a maximum of 8 students.
The application process is formulated to be rigorous and diligent in its capacity to attract the most suitable candidates for the training. The aim is to extend a widely cast net, addressing those prerequisite experiences best suited to successful learning and a capacity for the professional demands of the IC role.
The opening of application call, the publication of the announcement, and the application procedure will be communicated and updated on the website and social media pages of Anica Academy ETS. Applications submitted through different methods than the specified one will not be accepted.
Candidates who wish to participate in the selection process must pre-register by completing the online pre-registration form provided on the Anica Academy ETS website (https://www.anicaacademy.org/). The candidate will subsequently receive a confirmation email of the pre-registration to the address provided on the form. In addition to the confirmation, the candidate will also receive instructions to complete the registration with the required documentation by the deadline (6PM Friday 22nd September 2023), to be sent to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “name, surname – Application for Intimacy Coordinator” and containing the following documentation:
All candidates who have submitted the required materials and who meet the requirements specified in the announcement will be registered for the selection process. Anica Academy ETS reserves the right to verify the accuracy of the candidate’s declarations and request certified copies of the certificates claimed by the candidate. In case of false or misleading statements, the candidate will be automatically excluded, and Anica Academy ETS may take appropriate actions as provided by the applicable regulations. After the registration process is completed, instructions will be sent for participating in individual selection interviews.
Anica Academy ETS is not responsible for any discrepancies arising from inaccurate information provided by the candidate or attributable to third parties or force majeure.
The Committee reserves the right to close enrollments in advance if suitable students are identified.
The selection process will involve an initial screening of the received documents, and a selected group of individuals will be invited for individual interviews. The interviews, conducted by the Scientific Committee on a one-on-one basis, will be based on the materials submitted during the registration phase (curriculum vitae, motivational letter) and will focus on the candidate’s biography, aspirations, and attitudes in order to assess their merit-based qualifications. The interviews will be conducted remotely via an online platform and will be recorded for documentation purposes. The recordings will be deleted once the selection phase is completed. The interviews will be scheduled according to time slots starting the 28th of August and ending the 25th of September. If suitable students are identified before the deadline, the Committee reserves the right to close enrollments in advance.
The Scientific Committee will determine the ranking of the admitted students, at the unquestionable judgment of Anica Academy ETS. Anica Academy ETS, in consultation with the Scientific Committee, may decide, at its sole discretion, to admit a number of students that is lower or higher than 8. Admission to the course will be directly communicated to the selected candidates through the email address provided during registration. Upon receiving the communication, the admitted candidate must accept or decline the enrollment by signing the required documents and paying the registration fee before the course starts. If the admitted candidate fails to complete the enrollment within the specified timeframe, their admission will automatically be forfeited, and the opportunity will be offered to the next candidate on the waiting list.
Anica Academy ETS is not responsible for any failed or delayed communications due to inaccurate information provided by the candidate, or any discrepancies caused by third parties or force majeure. The decisions made by Anica Academy ETS and the Scientific Committee during the selection phase are final and not subject to review. Anica Academy ETS and the Scientific Committee are not committed to providing feedback for the selection and admittance process.
© Anton Maksimov - Unsplash
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