Swiss pick up honours at Locarno film festival

The Golden Leopard is Locarno's top film award

The Locarno Film Festival has handed out prizes totalling SFr50,000 ($30,000) to five Swiss screenwriters. A new prize for the best cinema soundtrack was also awarded for the first time.

This content was published on August 9, 2000

The Swiss German scriptwriters, Gaby Schaedler and Christian Felix received SFr20,000 for their film "Les Immortelles de Geneve", while the French Swiss team of Francis Reusser, Emmanuelle de Riedmatten and Julie Gilbert walked away with SFr10,000 for their television production "Le Fils".

The comedy, "Lillys Chance", directed by Bettina Schmid, also picked up SFr10,000, and two other films were awarded prize money of SFr5,000 each.

For the first time, the film festival honoured the talents of a composer working in the domain of cinema. Alex Kirschner, a Zurich-based guitarist born in the United States, took home SFr10,000 for the score of the film "Irrlichter", by Christoph Kühn.

Another celebration at Locarno was the 25th birthday of the Zurich-based Swiss Film Centre, which promotes Swiss-made films.

The centre's director, Micha Schiwow, said the most important priority now was to improve the image of Swiss films.

"The past 10 years have been disastrous," he said. "But that is no reason to give up in despair. On the contrary, it should encourage us to increase our efforts."

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