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Swiss films take spotlight at 2008 festivals

Swiss films in 2008 have largely been flops at the country's cinemas but they impressed international audiences at minor festivals.

Swiss Films, an organisation responsible for overseas promotion, announced on Thursday that 64 domestic productions received 136 prizes worth a total of SFr350,000 ($293,255).

Among the most decorated films of the year is Bern director Reto Caffi's short Auf der Strecke or On the line, which impressed audiences from Brooklyn to Sapporo. The Swiss-German film tells the story of a department store security guard who wrestles with his conscience. It garnered 32 prizes worth SFr60,000.

Other noteworthy films include "René" by Tobias Nölle and the animated flick Tôt ou tard (Sooner or later) by Jadwiga Kowalska. They each received about SFr6,000 in prize money. Ursula Meier's "Home" staring Isabelle Huppert won about SFr10,000 at festivals.

The movies had little chance of success at top festivals, such as Cannes, Toronto and Sundance, but 52 of the films, mostly from western Switzerland, were still shown at "important" festivals in 2008, Swiss Films said.


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