Swiss Film Award 2013: documentary-maker Jacqueline Veuve to receive honorary award

(Last modification 13.03.2013)

Bern, 19.02.2013 - The 2013 Swiss Film Honorary Award will go to renowned documentary-maker Jacqueline Veuve. The award ceremony will be held on the evening of 23 March at the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva. Guests at this illustrious event to honour the outstanding achievements of the Swiss film industry will include leading lights from the worlds of film, politics and culture.

Alongside the nominees for the 2013 Swiss Film Award, the Federal Office of Culture announced that Jacqueline Veuve has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the lifetime achievement award ("Honorary Award"). The film director from Western Switzerland is considered one of the finest storytellers of our time.

Jacqueline Veuve recognised for her outstanding contribution
Jacqueline Veuve is the undisputed doyenne of Swiss documentary film-making. Through her body of work, she has become an unofficial custodian of Switzerland’s collective memory. During her career she has directed over 60 documentary films, which have been shown at festivals around the world and honoured with international awards. Born in the French-speaking town of Payerne in 1930, Ms Veuve trained as an archivist and librarian in Geneva. In the 1950s she worked at the Musée de l’homme in Paris with the ethnographer and film-maker Jean Rouch. In the 1970s she directed her first short films at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the wing of the "direct cinema" pioneer, Richard Leacock. Jacqueline Veuve is frequently described as a chronicler of the everyday. People going about their day-to-day work, rural life and craftsmanship are recurring themes, as evidenced by the titles of some of her films: "Jour de Marché" (Market Day); "Chronique vigneronne" (Vineyard Chronicle); "Chronique paysanne en Gruyère" (A Peasant Chronicle in Gruyère); "Les frères Bapst, charretiers" (The Bapst Brothers, Carters), and "Boîtes à musique et automates" (Music Boxes and Automata). Many of her films are intimate, faithful and moving portraits, such as "La mort du grand-père : ou le sommeil du juste" (Death of the Grandfather, or Sleep of the Just); "Claude Lebet, luthier" (Claude Lebet, Lute Maker) and "La petite dame du Capitole" (The Little Lady of the Capitole).

A prestigious event
The 16th Swiss Film Award ceremony will be held on 23 March 2013. The venue for the gala evening, which will be co-hosted by Fabienne Hadorn and Alain Croubalian, is the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva. Awards are given in ten categories: "Best Fiction Film"; "Best Documentary Film"; "Best Short Film"; "Best Animation Film"; "Best Screenplay"; "Best Actress"; "Best Actor"; "Best Performance in a Supporting Role"; "Best Film Score"; and "Best Cinematography. The Swiss Film Academy will also present the "Special Academy Award" and documentary-maker, Jacqueline Veuve, will be receive the "Honorary Award".

Federal Councillor Alain Berset will attend the event and the following personalities have been confirmed as guest presenters:

  • Therese Affolter
  • Daniel Cohn-Bendit
  • Müslüm
  • Anatole Taubman

Swiss Film Award 2013
The venue for the 16th Swiss Film Award ceremony on 23 March 2013 will be the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, Geneva. This gala ceremony, which officially recognises the work of the Swiss film industry, is organised by the Federal Office of Culture in partnership with SRG SSR, the Association "Quartz" Genève Zürich, SWISS FILMS, the Swiss Film Academy and the Solothurn Film Festival.

Nominations fact sheets
From 1 March detailed fact sheets on all 2013 Swiss Film Award nominees will be available on the following websites: ("Media" section), and

Address for enquiries

Ivo Kummer, Head of the Film Department, Federal Office of Culture
+41 (0)79 251 22 40,

Susanne Goldschmid, Head of Communications of 2013 Swiss Film Award, Federal Office of Culture
+41 (0)31 322 92 34,


Federal Office of Cultural Affairs