Balance 2007 for Swiss film productions at major international festivals
Following the upward trend of Swiss film productions in 2006, the presence at international festivals in 2007 – with 43 invitations for Swiss films (11 fiction, 12 documentary, 20 short films (7 of which were animation films)) – was again at a level comparable to 2005 and 2004. There was a distinct increase, however, in the number of awards: 54 films were honoured with 103 awards and won monetary prizes amounting to a total of over 320,000 CHF. Participation in competitions still remained an exception at the largest film festivals worldwide: whereas Swiss film productions enjoyed a striking presence in Berlin, Locarno, Montreal and Toronto in 2007, participation remained below expectations, which were high due to the successful year in 2006, in Park City (Sundance), Cannes, San Sebastian and Venice. SWISS FILMS supported festival participation with financial contributions, print purchases, contacts and networking.
Swiss film productions were screened at nine of the twelve festivals with competitions for long-playing films, which are accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations FIAPF (e.g. A festivals). The film year commenced with festival presence at the Berlinale, where the fiction films “I Was A Swiss Banker” by Thomas Imbach and “Pas douce” by Jeanne Waltz, as well as the documentary films “Heimatklänge” by Stefan Schwietert and “Chrigu” by Jan Gassmann and Christian Ziörjen had their international premieres in the Forum of International Films. The long-playing animated film “Max & Co”, Switzerland’s most expensive film production to date, celebrated ist world premiere at the Animation Film Festival in Annecy and also won the Audience Prize there. The most successful Swiss film production at major festivals in 2007 was Jacob Berger’s “1 journée”, which celebrated ist world premiere on the Piazza Grande in Locarno: it also participated in the competition in Montreal, before being screened at the festivals in Pusan and Tokyo. Thanks to the short films “Le créneau” by Frédéric Mermoud and “Dans la peau” by Zoltan Horvath, Swiss films were also present in Cannes and Venice.
Impressive was the diversity and number of Swiss film productions which gained attention at important festivals. Moreover, Swiss animation films attracted considerable attention again in 2007: together with “Max & Co”, which, after Annecy, was also well received in Toronto, films such as Georges Schwizgebel’s “Jeu” (in Clermont Ferrand, Tampere, Annecy and Namur), “Sainte Barbe” by Claude Barras and Cédric Louis (in Ottawa and Montreal) and “Botteaubateau” by Marina Rosset (in Annecy, Karlovy Vary and Kiev) were present at festivals all over the world.
In 2007, 13 fiction films, 16 documentary films, 25 short films (7 of which were animated films) were honoured with awards at international festivals in Switzerland and abroad and won a total of 320,000 CHF in monetary prizes – 180,000 CHF of which was won at foreign events. Thus, the prizes constitute a front-end financing of films which should be underestimated. Particularly successful were the short films, which generated monetary prizes and non-cash benefits amounting to 175,000 CHF (55% of the entire amount).
The film promotion agency SWISS FILMS supported the presence of Swiss film productions at festivals abroad with networking and financial contributions amounting to more than 205,000 CHF, as well as with the purchase of international prints amounting to 150,000 CHF.
Zurich, December 13, 2007