The Swiss Association of Film Producers (SFP) and French-speaking Switzerland's film trade association ARC have called for sweeping changes to the country's public film funding structure in their "Locarno Declaration", published at last week's Locarno Film Festival.

Switzerland's production community was recently hit by the news that the Swiss culture ministry (BAK) has already committed its entire $4.7m (SFr7.6m) annual budget for film production and development funding only halfway through the year.

ARC and SFP's Declaration supports BAK's petitioning of the Swiss government to increase production funding by $2.33m (SFr4m) this year. The two associations also propose that, following a working party report on reforms to the Film Law, the existing selective funding programme should be restructured from January 1 next year.

Armin Walpen, director general of Swiss public broadcaster SRG, has also thrown his weight behind BAK's lobby. "We must support each other instead of complaining and having pity on ourselves. We must become a feared pressure group," Walpen said.

Walpen called on the Swiss government to follow SRG's example in increasing its commitment to Swiss films. Last year the TV station almost doubled its co-production budget from $5.4m (SFr9.3m) to $9.6m (SFr16.5m).