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Film festival Moving family portrait wins Swiss film festival prize

Solothurn film festival

The 54th edition of the Solothurn film festival attracted an audience of 64,000.

(© KEYSTONE / ANTHONY ANEX)

Director Fanny Bräuning has won her second Prix de Soleure award at the annual Swiss Film Festival in Solothurn for her documentary ‘Immer und Ewig’ (‘Always and Forever’). The film follows Bräunig’s paralyzed mother and carer father on a journey through Europe.

The jury at the 54th edition of the film festivalexternal link praised the documentary for despicting “the story of an extraordinary couple and their unbending will to walk together through life, despite all adversities”.

Bräunig’s mother is paralyzed from the neck down due to multiple sclerosis and is cared for by her husband. The couple fitted out a bus to make it suitable for disabled use before undertaking the road trip. Bräunig accompanied her parents with a small film crew.

The documentary was co-produced by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, swissinfo.ch’s parent company.

The CHF60,000 ($60,390) award was Bräunig’s second Prix de Soleure award, having been honoured in 2009 for her film ‘No More Smoke Signals’. The festival attracted an audience of 64,000 – 1,000 more than in 2018 – who voted Martin Witz’s documentary ‘Gateways to New York’ as the winner of the Prix du Public.

Streaming Swiss boost

Separately, the Swiss Federal Office for Cultureexternal link has unveiled plans to make movie streaming companies, such as Netflix, invest at least 4% of their Swiss derived revenues into promoting the Swiss film industry.

“We already know that national television companies have a duty to invest in independent Swiss film-making,” Ivo Kummer, head of film at the interior ministry, told the Swiss public broadcaster SRFexternal link. “This is about equal treatment.” Kummer wants the measure to be enshrined in Swiss legislation, which would likely bring extra investment to the Swiss film industry to the tune of a single-digit million franc figure.

He pointed out that around 30% of films streamed on the European (including Swiss) platforms of Netflix, HBO and Amazon are set to be of European origin.

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