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Switzerland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

The Film Act and Film Ordinance have been in force since 2002. The Film Decree was elaborated by the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) together with the Federal Film Commission and the Swiss film industry. The current Film Promotion Ordinance has been in force since the beginning of 2006. The Dispatch on Culture, as the concrete implementation of the new Culture Promotion Act, determines the scope and nature of film promotion for the period 2012-2015. Film promotion includes financial support for projects, as well as the funding of production, marketing, and distribution endeavours. The term film culture refers to various measures such as support granted to film festivals, the publishing of film journals, or programmes aimed specifically at children and young people. In the form of financial contributions to cinemas, distribution, and dissemination, the federal government aims to promote the diversity and quality of the films on offer in Switzerland. Further, another focal area is co-production and international cooperation by means of an active co-production policy.

In 1997, "succès cinéma", a reward system for film production, was provisionally introduced to provide additional funds to those producers (their team, production company, distributors, and the cinema) whose films attracted the greatest number of viewers. This support scheme will definitely continue. For 2007, a minimum admission requirement for profit-based film promotion was additionally introduced (CHF 10 000 for feature films and CHF 5 000 for documentary films).

A major role is played by the Federal Film Commission, whose function is to give expert advice regarding federal regulations.

As already mentioned, the federal government can support "domestic" as well as foreign-Swiss productions and film culture through financial contributions, quality awards, and prizes (see also chapter 8.1.4). It also supports film festivals and provides resources for education and further training in this sector.

The relevant laws in the area of film, video, and photography are:

  • Federal Act on Film Production and Film Culture (FiA) of 14 December 2001
  • Film Ordinance of 3 July 2002 (FiO)
  • Ordinance on Film Promotion (FiFV) of the of 20 December 2002
  • Ordinance on the Swiss Film Award of the of 30 September 2004
  • Ordinance on the Promotion and Enhancement of the Applied Arts of 18 September 1933

Chapter published: 13-11-2014

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