Swiss public broadcaster SRG SSR plans to inject an additional US$11m (CHF15m) into the local film industry between 2004-2007.

SRG SSR director-general Armin Walpen revealed at the Locarno Film Festival this week that the TV station proposes to provide an additional US$2.7m per year on top of the current annual budget of US$12.2m for the so-called Pacte de l'audiovisuel, the agreement in place between SRG SSR and the local film industry.

The Pacte regulates funding for the production of theatrical films, feature animation, TV movies, documentaries and the success-linked "Succes passage antenne" rewarding high TV ratings for Swiss production.

According to Walpen, SRG SSR expects the Swiss Confederation's Federal Office For Culture (BAK) to also introduce "an increase of the same magnitude" over the next four years as part of the funding hike proposed by the new Minister of Culture Pascal Couchepin (Screen Daily, August 13).

In the medium term, the broadcaster is looking to increase its annual support of local filmmakers up to US$16.6m a year from 2007.