TheSwiss filmmaking community is in mourning after the news at the weekend of thedeath of one of its internationally best-known filmmakers Daniel Schmid at theage of 64 from cancer.

TheLocarno Film Festival, which awarded Schmid an Honorary Leopard in 1999 inrecognition of his work, reacted to the news by programming his documentary Tosca'sKiss (Il Bacio Di Tosca) about anold people's home for opera singers in Milan. The film, which had had itsworld premiere on the Piazza Grande in 1984, was shown at the same venue onSunday evening in Schmid's memory after the screening of Florian Henckel vonDonnersmarck's The Lives Of Others.

Schmidstudied at the German Film & Television Academy in Berlin from 1966-1969and subsequently worked for Peter Lilienthal, Rainer Werner Fassbinder andWerner Schroeter as well as appearing as an actor in such films as Fassbinder'sLili Marleen and Wenders' TheAmerican Friend.

Hedirected 15 films between 1970 and 2004, including such titles as SchattenDer Engel, Hecate, Jenatsch, andBeresina oder Die Letzten Tage Der Schweiz which was shown at Un Certain Regard in Cannes and at the Locarnofestival and was submitted as Switzerland's entry for the foreign-languageOscar in 1999.

LastDecember, Schmid unexpectedly fell ill shortly after the start of shooting onhis new feature film Portoveroand the production subsequently had to be called off. The Swiss-Spanish-UK co-productionbetween T & C Film, Filmanova Invest and Portpic was due to havestarred Catherine Walker, Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes and David Warner.