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IRIS 2004-10:7/12


New Rules for the Swiss Cinema Prize

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Patrice Aubry

RTS Radio Télévision Suisse, Geneva

On 30 September 2004 the Département fédéral de l'intérieur (Federal Department of Home Affairs - DFI) adopted an order regulating the conditions for awarding the Swiss Cinema Prize. The order specifically covers the conditions for participation, the procedure for nominating candidates, and the designation of prize-winners. The Swiss Cinema Prize was created in 1998 on the joint initiative of the Office fédéral de la culture (Federal Office of Culture - OFC), the Locarno International Film Festival, the " Journées Cinématographiques " in Solothurn, the " Visions du Réel " international cinema festival, the Swiss radio and television broadcasting company (SRG SSR idée suisse) and the Swiss cinema centre (Swiss Films). Since the start of 2004, responsibility for the Prize has been entirely in the hands of the OFC.

The Swiss Cinema Prize is founded on Article 7 of the Federal Law of 14 December 2001 on cinematographic culture and production (see IRIS 2002-2:12 and IRIS 2002-8:12), under which the Swiss Confederation may award prizes or other distinctions for outstanding contribution to cinema. According to Article 2 of the DFI's Order of 30 September 2004, the aim of the Prize is to reward quality Swiss films and to generate interest in Swiss cinema in the media and among the general public. The scheme is open to Swiss films and official coproductions involving a producer of Swiss nationality or domiciled in Switzerland. Films may only be considered for the Prize if they have been selected for a Swiss or foreign cinema festival, or have been shown in a cinema in Switzerland. Television films by independent producers may also be considered for the prize if they have been shown in cinemas in Switzerland. Performing artists of Swiss nationality or domiciled in Switzerland are also eligible.

The Swiss Cinema Prize is awarded annually by the OFC. In a decision made public on 1 October 2004, the OFC defined the rules for the 2005 edition of the Prize, in which it lists the prize categories and the sums of money to be awarded to nominees and winners, and lays down the conditions for participation. In 2005, the Swiss Cinema Prize will be awarded in seven categories ­ full-length fiction film, full-length documentary, short film, animated film, performance in a leading role, performance in a supporting role, and the Jury's Prize for an outstanding artistic contribution. According to Article 11 of the DFI's Order of 30 September 2004, the prizes awarded to films are, unless agreed otherwise, divided equally between the producer and the director.

  Order of 30 September 2004 by the DFI on the Swiss Cinema Prize