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Public broadcaster supports Swiss films

On the set of the German language film, My name is Eugen

(Keystone)

The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation has confirmed its support for the Swiss film industry, committing nearly SFr60 million ($48 million) over the next three years.

The SBC’s director-general, Armin Walpen, and industry representatives signed the deal at the Locarno film festival on Monday.

Walpen said the goal of the Audiovisual Pact was to encourage the best technical and creative talents working in the independent film industry.

He said the accord also guaranteed that high-quality, home-grown films were available on public television.

The pledge of SFr57.9 million from 2006 to 2008 is a 15 per cent increase over the last three-year period.

The first such deal was signed between the public broadcaster (SBC) and the film industry nine years ago.

Also speaking at the signing was the president of the Swiss Association of Film Producers, Willi Egloff, who said the SBC’s financial support had made a significant contribution to the revival of independent filmmaking in the country.

Cinema and TV

The subsidy is to be divided equally between films destined for cinema release and productions made for television.

Swiss filmmakers receive the largest chunk of their funding from the Federal Culture Office – about SFr35 million annually.

The interior minister, Pascal Couchepin, who is also responsible for cultural affairs, said at the film festival last week that the industry received a total of approximately SFr100 million a year from various sources.

Swiss films currently have a two to three per cent market share in Switzerland.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The Swiss film industry and the SBC signed the first audiovisual pact in 1996.
The first three-year agreement amounted to SFr34.5 million, and was increased to SFr46.4 million before rising again to SFr50.4 million for past three years.
The latest pact totals SFr57.9 million.

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