Swiss director joins Oscar elite

Reto Caffi, director of the Oscar-nominated film Auf der Strecke (On the Line), has been elected a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

This content was published on July 3, 2009 - 11:29

Caffi, whose 30-minute graduation film has won more than 50 awards around the world, joins more than 6,000 motion picture professionals who, according to the Academy "bring the magic of the movies to life".

The 38-year-old from Bern was hoping in February to become the first Swiss actor or director to win an Oscar since 1991 but was beaten in Los Angeles by Jochen Alexander Freydank for his Holocaust drama, Spielzeugland (Toyland).

Xavier Koller is most recent Swiss actor or director to actually wave around the statuette, for his immigrant drama Journey of Hope, named Best Foreign Language Film.

Caffi was one of 134 professionals invited to join the Academy this year. Eligibility is achieved by an Oscar nomination or some other significant contribution to the field of motion pictures.

The Academy does not publicly disclose its membership – although past press releases have announced the names of those who have been invited to join – so working out how many Swiss can cast their votes at the annual awards ceremony is tricky.

"It's hard to say how many Swiss are Academy members, but there aren't many. You could probably count them on two hands," Micha Schiwow, head of the national film promotion organisation Swiss Films, told and agencies

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