Nicolas Bideau,the incoming head of the film section at Switzerland's Federal Office ofCulture (BAK) from October 1, has called for concentration of funds into fewerprojects and an improvement of Swiss cinema's image at home and abroad.

Speaking at the weekendat the Locarno Film Festival, Bideau said that he was looking to focus infuture on "popular quality films" by auteur directors.

"There are lots of talents but one must acknowledge thefact that Switzerland is a small country and we have to concentrate thefunds,".Bideau argued, pointing out that the BAK - which has an annual budgetof $28m (CHF 35.5m) to support the local film industry - should be put in aposition of being able to provide more than the usual maximum of $800,000 perproject.

"We have to getaway from the watering can principle," he suggested. "With more concentration(of funds), we then have more money for promotion and for the image of Swisscinema."

Bideau announcedthat he also wants to look at ways of improving the promotion of local filmsbetween the linguistic regions in Switzerland as well as abroad. "For theoldergeneration there is an image of Swiss cinema from the films of the60s, 70s and 90s. But for the younger people, there is no image. That'sterrible," he commented.

In addition, hehas set a goal of increasing the local films' market share from the present2%-3% to '5%-10%' within the next four years andsuggested that thepresent funding system in Switzerland might be reformed to have a single personresponsible for the funding decisions akin to the 'Intendant' model aspractised by Germany's Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.