Swiss short films weave their web
by Emmanuel Cuénod
04/05/2012 - A year of short films for Swiss news website users. This, in brief, is the content of a new agreement between Swiss film promotion agency Swiss Films and news content provider Newsnet, in charge of managing the websites of many Swiss dailies, including the unmissable Tages-Anzeiger (Zurich), La Tribune de Genève (Geneva), and Le Matin (French-speaking Switzerland). From May 4, for 12 months, these newspapers’ readers will now be able to watch a Swiss short film every Friday. Each film will be available to stream for 24 hours on the newspapers’ website.
Ursula Meier (pictured), whose last feature Sister [trailer, film focus] is currently out in Swiss cinemas, will have the honour of launching the new project, as Table Manners, her third short film, has been chosen by the Newsnet editorial teams to be the first short film to be shown. Shot in 2000, the title contributed to the filmmaker’s fame, snapping up three awards at the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival and being nominated for a Swiss film award. This was an unexpected twist in the tale because, Ursula Meier reminds her viewers in the interview published alongside the video, she hesitated for a long time before finishing the film, which was first and foremost supposed to be an experiment.
Newsnet, a subsidiary of Swiss media giants Tamedia, has committed itself to publishing a similar article with each short film made available online, whether it is new or older, while Swiss Films has made its catalogue and operational competence available to the content provider. According to Simon Koenig, who is in charge of short films at the promotion agency, the initiative is a way for it “to reach a new audience, to add to the more traditional distribution channels of film festivals, cinemas, and televisions”.