Swiss motion picture honoured in ... Pyongyang

Vitus, a 2006 Swiss drama about a young pianist and his overbearing stage parents, has picked up a diploma and a statuette at a film festival in North Korea.

This content was published on September 30, 2008 - 15:36

The director, Fredi M. Murer, was not in attendance at the unlikely Pyongyang International Film Festival.

A representative from Switzerland's development agency picked up the so-called Special Screening Prize instead.

The 10-day biennial event, first held in 1987, featured entries from 35 countries. It was formerly called the Film Festival of Nonaligned and other Developing Countries and used to show obscure films from far-flung corners of the world.

It is somewhat of an anomaly for the reclusive Stalinist regime, where people are ordinarily thrown in prison for watching unauthorised content, but the country's ruler, Kim Jong-il, is reported to be a giant film buff.

Kim, who was reported to have suffered a stroke earler this year, reportedly owns 20,000 films and is a fan of action films, Steven Spielberg, Elizabeth Taylor and Daffy Duck.

He has written a book on the cinema and in 1978 ordered the kidnapping of a South Korean director and his actress wife.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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