Couchepin defends Swiss cinema

Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin, also head of the Federal Culture Office, has put a positive spin on Swiss cinema for 2008.

This content was published on August 7, 2009 - 16:33

Speaking at the Locarno International Film Festival on Friday, Couchepin claimed Swiss cinema had improved – "not only regarding quality but also in terms of visibility".

In 2008, cinemas reported their worst figures since records began in 1995. The film Max & Co, an animation that at SFr30 million ($28 million) was the most expensive Swiss film ever, attracted fewer than 30,000 cinemagoers.

It was also important to bear in mind the audience, Couchepin added, saying it must be possible "to combine popularity and quality".

Although Swiss films in 2008 had little chance of success at top festivals such as Cannes and Sundance, they impressed international audiences at minor festivals.

Among the most decorated films of the year was Bern director Reto Caffi's Auf der Strecke (On the Line), which was shortlisted for Best Short Live Action Film Oscar. Ursula Meier's "Home" starring Isabelle Huppert won about SFr10,000 at festivals.

On Friday the Federal Culture Office also rejected accusations by Swiss film producers that it had broken legal agreements, engaged in cronyism, delayed decisions and not acted with appropriate transparency. and agencies

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