Cultural diversity

Cultural policies and measures - Best practices

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Culture wants to bolster national art and essai cinema

On August 8, 2008, as part of the Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Culture (FOC) outlined its policies to support cinema for the 2008–2011 parliamentary session.

FOC has set itself the goal for the next four years “to bolster art and essai film production to increase its chances of reaching the public.” It notes that it will be looking into new forms of cinematographic expression like digital cinema and will help launch Switzerland’s new film library. “In order to bolster art and essai film, which struggles to reach its public compared to documentaries and films made for the broader public,” FOC plans to make changes to its encouragement policy. Its press release adds that the cinema section is intended to implement a reform “aimed at increasing and better channeling funding given to developing and producing art and essai films.”

With a view to assessing what new means of audiovisual expression, notably the “digital revolution” bring to the world of Swiss cinema culture, FOC would like to thoroughly investigate new means of audiovisual expression in Switzerland.

FOC also notes that it will help launch Switzerland’s new film archive. In late 2008, “Parliament will rule on the Federal Council’s construction announcement in relation to making the deposits bigger (Penthaz II). The work will be accompanied by a general examination of the new conservation policy so that the institution can better fulfill its mission.”

This year, FOC revised the look and content of its annual statistical publication for the world of cinema. It notes that the figures are accompanied by brief analysis focusing on 2007 cinema trends, for Switzerland in particular. Facts & Figures 07 is a bilingual publication (published in German and French) aimed at not only the various people who work in the world of cinema, both in Switzerland and abroad, but the wider circle of cinema fans and people with an interest in cinema.

On the occasion of the Locarno International Film Festival, with the support of the postal service and the Locarno Festival, FOC presented a second publication, along the lines of Facts & Figures 07. Films & Faces is a single-run publication that brings together 40 Swiss films, supported by the Swiss government or otherwise, that will hit theaters in the months ahead. It also features the teams that worked on them—from the script to sound editing. The special publication will be available from Swiss Film stands and the Pardo Shop. It includes a contest “that encourages the broader public to learn more about the people behind Swiss cinema.”


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