🎉 Switzerland Named 2024 Country of Honour of the Marché du Film

Switzerland is set to take the spotlight as the new Country of Honour of the upcoming 2024 edition of the Marché du Film, the world’s largest international film market, taking place from 14 to 22 May 2024 during the 77th Festival de Cannes.

This prestigious designation not only acknowledges Switzerland’s outstanding contributions to the audiovisual industry but also provides a unique platform to nurture international partnerships and spotlight emerging Swiss talents and projects in development.

Organized by the promotion agency Swiss Films, in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR, Switzerland’s participation in Cannes promises to be a major highlight of the film market event. The addition of the Swiss delegation, accompanied by Swiss filmmakers, producers, and industry experts, is expected to elevate next year’s turnout to even greater heights. The country is already confirmed to be participating in several of the Marché’s key programs, including those dedicated to fiction and non-fiction feature films, as well as immersive projects and innovation, with specific details set to be revealed in early 2024.

Switzerland has always made a strong impact in Cannes, consistently ranking in the top ten attending countries. Each year, its impressive film lineup, active participation, and intensified international co-production efforts underscore Switzerland’s pivotal role in the global film scene.

In line with this, Switzerland aims to emphasize its open and welcoming stance toward co-productions and collaborative film ventures at the upcoming event. Boasting a highly skilled multilingual workforce and state-of-the-art post-production facilities, Switzerland offers competitive advantages such as streamlined production schedules, diverse and convenient shooting locations, and easy access to several international airports throughout the region – all factors contributing to its appeal as a favored destination for joint film projects.

As a result, the Swiss film industry has witnessed remarkable growth in recent years, regularly engaging in top European co-productions and earning acclaim at major international film festivals. Notable examples include Swiss director Claude Barras’ stop-motion film My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland/France), which achieved enormous success after premiering at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes in 2016. The film was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards and secured distribution in over 50 territories. More recently, Anna Novion’s drama Marguerite’s Theorem (France/Switzerland) was presented as a Special Screening at the 2023 Festival de Cannes, while Alice Rohrwacher’s fantasy-comedy La chimera (Italy/Switzerland/France) was a recent contender for the Palme d’Or, exemplifying Switzerland’s prowess in cinematic co-productions.

Switzerland’s growing presence in innovation and technology will also take center stage at next year’s film market, providing participants a unique opportunity to engage with the latest innovative tools and connect with Swiss creatives, start-ups, decision-makers and film funding bodies. According to a UN study conducted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Switzerland is 2023’s “global leader in innovation” and continues to hold top ranking (for the 13th year) in the Global Innovation Index (GII), outshining competitors such as Sweden and the United States.

Guillaume Esmiol, Executive Director of the Marché du Film, states, “Switzerland as our new Country of Honour demonstrates the remarkable evolution and impact of Swiss cinema. Their diverse activities planned for 2024 also emphasize their strong commitment to industry growth, and the Marché du Film is honored to be the key moment in Switzerland’s ambitious agenda. They are, most of all, a very innovative country in terms of creativity and technology, which aligns perfectly with the positioning of the Marché, the leading market at the forefront of innovation and industry trends. We eagerly anticipate a fruitful collaboration.”

Switzerland is the third country to receive the Country of Honour title, following India in 2022 and Spain in 2023. This initiative, first conceived by the Marché du Film, aims to spotlight and celebrate the unique industry contributions of a different nation each year in Cannes.

The Marché du Film, also known as “the heart of the film industry,” proudly brought together an unprecedented 14,000 professionals at its previous event and showcased more than 4,000 films and projects in development, along with 200 networking events, including prestigious summits, conferences and workshops. As the film industry’s most important event of the year, the Marché du Film continues to set the stage for global collaboration, innovation and the celebration of cinematic excellence.

In addition to the Cannes spotlight in May, Switzerland is proud to host the European Film Awards in December 2024, with Lucerne as the hosting city, further solidifying its pivotal role in the European film landscape.

“Switzerland stands out for being an attractive hub for co-productions, which are becoming increasingly important in Europe,” states Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation. “Our nation is also home to innovative companies excelling in AI and animation, thus playing a key role in positioning the Marché du Film as a premier industry event for innovation and sustainability. This dual strength underscores Switzerland’s important role in shaping the future of the global film industry.”

The Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes opens its doors on 14 May 2024, with the film market running until 22 May and the Festival concluding its activities on 25 May.