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Celebrating Swissness

Celebrating Swissness

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Some days after the celebration of the national holiday on the First of August, the Festival del film Locarno is paying tribute to Swiss film productions with several movies in the section Panorama Suisse. The Objective of the section is to present some of the best national films that have already been screened nationally and internationally within the last few months. For the first time in its 15-years-long existence, a new collaboration between the Locarno Film Festival, the Solothurn Film Festival – the showcase of Swiss cinema – and the promotion agency Swiss Films has been established. “We are very happy to collaborate closely with the Festival del film Locarno and SwissFilms” Seraina Rohrer (Director of Solothurn Film Festival) claims, “together we are aiming to reach an always larger audience, both nationally and internationally. Film aficionados from all over the world have the opportunity to discover current filmmaking from Switzerland.

In this sense the section Panorama Suisse as a window on the world. At the same time, the strategy is based on the national and international market, and a close collaboration between the three partners is key to develop both these aspects. A perfect example of this new formula is Nicole Vögele who is at the same time a jury member of the Pardi di domani jury,”. At the same time, she presents her latest film Nebel in the section Panorama Suisse, which will provide a yet larger visibility for the film.

There is not sort of fil rouge between the twelve movies (ten feature and two short films). Themes, genres and form vary greatly. Within the variety of films represented in the selection, there are movies which have been succesful at box office  as well as low-budget films shot by very young auteurs who have demonstrated all their talent”.
All the works have a strong international potential which we are sure can be exploited more thoroughly.
In fact, being so close to the Swiss film production Seraina Rohrer has observed the international emergence of innovative and highly talented filmmakers in Locarno.  “Andrea Staka and Fernand Melgar, both with a film in this years’ competition, are undoubtedly two very important Swiss directors, who have been able to create a renown international reputation and win several awards, some of them at the Festival del film Locarno: Staka won the Pardo d’oro with Das Fräulein in 2006, Melgar the same prize with La forteresse two years later. ( I don't believe that. It was in CdP not int. Comp.  As of this year, they are both competing again in the Concorso internazionale with their new films, Cure – The Life of Another and L'abri. And we are all proud of them”.

Panorama Suisse, then, deserves all the attention of the Locarno audience. “It does, and we will be happy to see how the selected movies gain new fans and delve into a wider context where networking and promoting can really offer big chances to our auteurs and to whole Swiss film production”.
No better way to celebrate Swissness, then. Even if the First of August is gone.

Mattia Bertoldi
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