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Pacte de l'audiovisuel
SRG fulfils its arts remit in several ways. One of the most important elements of its work to promote the arts – or at least the most financially significant – is its support for film-making. For many years, the legal requirement to promote film was regarded not only by SRG, but also by film-makers, as more of an obligation than an opportunity. The Pacte de l'audiovisuel, which came into being in 1996, broke through this barrier. It saw SRG and five (now seven) partners from the film industry create a dedicated platform to promote the presence and the quality of Swiss film. The film partners include the Swiss Film Producers' Association (SFP), the Swiss Filmmakers' Association (ARF/FDS), the Swiss Animated Film Group (GSFA/STFG), the Forum Romand, the Swissfilms association, the GARP group of screenwriters, directors and producers, and the IG independent Swiss film producers' stakeholder group.
With the new Pacte, signed in January 2012, SRG has undertaken to invest around 90 million Swiss francs in the national film industry over the next four years. Throughout Switzerland, SRG co-produces over 200 cinema and made-for-TV films, as well as series annually. Its steadfast commitment has been a major factor in the growing professionalism of the Swiss film industry in recent times. SRG regards film promotion as cornerstone of its arts work. Director-General Roger de Weck: "Swiss film is a reflection of Switzerland, and a Swiss reflection of the world. A massive commitment to local directors and producers is part and parcel of our public service remit and our raison d'être. Since signing the first Pacte, SRG has invested almost 300 million francs in the Swiss film industry. SRG doesn't just report the arts. It supports the arts". This close relationship is confirmed with the four-year extension to the Pacte de l'audiovisuel.
The new Pacte, like the old, distinguishes between selective and automatic promotion. Around 18 million francs annually is available for selective promotion, 11 million of which is earmarked for television productions and 7 million for the co-production of cinema films. This increases the grants for television productions by three million francs. At the same time, the Federal Office of Culture is reducing the selective funding that it has made available for television productions in the past, and using the money to feed performance-related film promotion, which has been expanded considerably.
For the first time, the Pacte films are no longer produced only for cinema or TV screens alone, but increasingly made for consumption using smartphones or via the internet. The new film promotion framework is SRG's response to this trend in the audiovisual field.
Performance-related promotion is also being expanded. Two instruments are planned: in addition to the "Succès Passage Antenne" award, which rewards the broadcast of films on SRG channels, there is to be a new award – "Succès Artistique" to recognise films of particular artistic value. Swiss films which are invited to participate in major national and international festivals and which also win awards at these events will benefit additionally from this new way of promoting the arts.
SRG, which pursues public service quality objectives, continues to position itself as an active partner to the film industry. Under the Pacte de l'audiovisuel, some 2,000 made-for-TV, documentary, short and animated films have been made since 1996.