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Industry / Market - Switzerland

Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming

SRG extends its co-production agreement with the Swiss film industry until 2027

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The Swiss pubcaster has also increased its annual budget by CHF 1.5 million

SRG extends its co-production agreement with the Swiss film industry until 2027
(© SRG SSR)

Swiss pubcaster SRG has officially extended its co-production agreement with the national film industry from 1 January 2024 until 31 December 2027 and has increased its annual budget by CHF 1.5 million (€1.562 million), bringing it to a total of CHF 34 million (€35.4 million). The new “Pacte de l’Audiovisuel” will see the yearly budget available for co-producing Swiss features grow from CHF 9 million to CHF 10 million, in response to inflation and the rising costs of film productions. Moreover, the annual backing of animated films will be doubled from CHF 1 million to CHF 2 million.

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Among the most recent projects supported by SRG are the Berlinale competition title Ingeborg Bachmann – Journey Into the Desert [+see also:
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by Margarethe von Trotta, the animated project Timbuktu by Anja Kofmel, the Locarno-screened Ricardo and Painting [+see also:
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by Barbet Schroeder, and the series Davos (see the news), Neumatt [+see also:
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, Tschugger 3 (see the news), The Pressure Game, La Fraternité and Les Indociles [+see also:
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.

Commenting on the new agreement, SRG’s director, Gilles Marchand, said: “With this new agreement, SRG reaffirms its priorities. Film plays a central role for the expression of our Swiss identities. It’s essential for Switzerland to ensure a national production output because films – whether they are documentaries or fiction movies – speak about our realities in a way that complements other information. The size of the Swiss market doesn’t allow this production output to refinance itself through commercial revenues. Therefore, it’s important for SRG to take on its responsibility in this area and to ensure the development of this creative industry, together with independent producers.”

In the previous four years covered by the provision (2020-2023), SRG earmarked CHF 32.5 million each year for the production of films for television and cinema. Of these funds, CHF 19.5 million were bestowed upon TV productions and multimedia projects, CHF 9 million were awarded to films (including animation), and CHF 4 million were granted to the “Succès Passage Antenne” programme.

Under the Pacte de l’Audiovisuel, through the years, SRG has invested CHF 400 million in domestic productions, which has resulted in the release of about 3,000 films, 20 series and 140 co-productions. Negotiations for the new Pacte de l’Audiovisuel began during the Solothurn Film Festival earlier this year, in January.

Notably, the new pact redefines exploitation rights. From now on, producers may exploit the rights for their fiction and documentary films for 18 and 12 months, respectively, before these can be broadcast by SRG networks. Later, these films will also be made available on Play Suisse, the SRG-owned streaming platform.

In addition, SRG’s rights for the streaming of series are now extended up to 18 months. Meanwhile, both documentary and fiction series will remain exclusively available on Play Suisse for six months.

Furthermore, the new pact regulates the collaboration with third-party platforms, which will force partners to align with the investment obligations set to enter into force by 1 January 2024 (the so-called “Netflix tax”).

Additional guidelines cover subjects such as green filming, the commitment to pay fair remuneration to writers, the creation of a dedicated workgroup to define new rules ahead of the 2028 agreement, and the development/upskilling of specialised manpower.

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