The Zurich Film Festival has announced that it will be launching a new competition for German-language documentaries at its seventh edition from September 22-October 2, 2011.

As for Zurich’s other competition categories for  International Feature Film, German Feature Film and International Documentary, this new competition for 8-12 documentaries from Germany, Austria or Switzerland will be open exclusively to first, second and third works competing for a Golden Eye with a cash prize of $22,376 (CHF 20,000) and promotion support amounting to $55,941 (CHF 50,000).

With the introduction of the new competition, Zurich will thus have prize-money and promotion support totaling $313,000 (CHF 280,000) this year.

The festival’s artistic director Karl Spoerri suggested that the new competition would provide “a relative platform” for the German language documentary and “an attractive setting for the launching of new productions.“

The news of Zurich’s increased commitment to German-language documentaries comes as Switzerland’s leading internationally respected documentary festival Visions du Réel in Nyon wrapped with its awards ceremony on Wednesday evening.