The Swiss canton of Ticino is presenting its Film Prize (Premio Cinema Ticino) during this year’s Locarno Film Festival (August 5-15).

The award will be made every two years to honour a personality from the canton who has rendered outstanding services to cinema.

The Locarno festival will be responsible for the co-ordinating and organising the award.

President Marco Solari told the festival’s general assembly that this year’s edition has not seen any reductions in public funding or sponsorship.

He said: “The public authorities and the private sponsors are remaining loyal to the festival despite the economic crisis. This is a clear sign of recognition for the artistic quality as well as the organisational level and the event’s serious financial planning.”

This year’s budget is currently at $9.5m (CHF 10.8m) which would enable the festival to “remain within the circle of the world’s most important film festivals”. Solari added: “from 2011, an adjustment of the public and private support will be essential.”

Locarno’s mayor Carla Speziali also pointed out that the festival will be “dependent on the benevolence of the Canton Government and Great Council  in order to secure the festival’s future and international relevance.”