Switzerland’s Oscar entry Summer Games was the big winner at this year’s Swiss Film Prize “Quartz 2012” ceremony held in Lucerne at the weekend, picking up the awards for Best Fiction Film, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
Locarno’s artist director Olivier Père handed the main prize over to Colla who shared the Best Screenplay award with co-author Pilar Aguita-MacKay from the hands of slam poet Daniela Dill. The film’s DoP Lorenz Merz received the newly created Quartz for Best Cinematography from internationally renowned Swiss cinematographer Ueli Steiger.
Colla’s story of an adult and a teenage couple during a brief holiday by the sea had premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival and also been shown at festivals in Toronto, Busan, Sao Paulo and the Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival in Saarbrücken, among others.
Two prizes went to Markus Imboden’s local box office success The Foster Boy (Der Verdingbub) - the Best Actor Quartz going to Max Hubacher who had been Switzerland’s Shooting Star at this year’s Berlinale, and the distinction for Best Performance in a Supporting Role to Stefan Kurt – while Xavier Koller’s Eine wen iig, dr Källebach Kari, the opening film at this year’s Solothurn Film Festival, earned lead actress Carla Juri the award for Best Actress. Last year, she had received the Quartz for Best Performance in a Supporting Role for her part in Cihan Inan’s 180 Degrees.
This year saw Fernand Melgar receiving the Swiss Film Prize for Best Documentary for the second time after Exit. The Right To Die in 2006. This time it was for his latest film Vol Special about the Frambois detention centre for illegal immigrants in Geneva, the capital of human rights, which premiered in Locarno’s competition last August.
The prize in the Best Short Film category for Esen Isik’s Du&Ich was also the second time that the short filmmaker had won this award after Stolen Father in 2000.
Meanwhile, the Quartz for Best Musical Score went to Balz Bachmann, Peter Bräker and George Vaine for their composition for Thomas Imbach’s documentary Day Is Done.
Some 300 members of the Swiss Film Academy selected the afore-mentioned winners of the Swiss Film Prize, but a jury of Academy members, chaired by Academy president Christian Frei, was convened to make the first presentation of the Academy’s Special Prize “to honour an outstanding technical and artistic achievement.”
The first recipient was Gion-Reto Killias “for the outstanding editing of the three nominated films [Golden Leopard winner) Abrir puertas y ventanas, Day Is Done and Eine wen iig, dr Källebach Kari.“
In addition, this year’s Honorary Award for “his extraordinary contribution to filmmaking” was presented by Ivo Kummer, head of the film department of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, to the veteran film director and author Rolf Lyssy whose 1978 film Die Schweizermacher still remains the most successful Swiss film production of the past 50 years.
Moreover, Charly Huser was given a special Recognition by the Film Academy for his outstanding technical achievements as a lighting engineer over 46 years at Schwarz Film AG.