Who does what?

Management and administration

Rachel Schmid and Nicole Schroeder©AyseYavas

Co-Managing Directors

Rachel Schmid
+41 21 312 68 40
E-mail

Nicole Schroeder
+41 21 566 26 17
E-mail

Rachel Schmid (*1964) studied economics, German philology and drama at the universities of Zurich, Berkeley and Paris. She also has a postgraduate degree in cultural management from the University of Hamburg.

She began her professional career in 1987 as a producer of stage plays and films, before taking up an international training programme to become a script development expert in 1999. As such, she has counselled countless production companies, film funds, training programmes and festivals in Switzerland and abroad in connection with project selection and script development.

From 2005 to 2019, she worked as director of MEDIA Desk Suisse, deputy director of the Masters programme in film at ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts), the Swiss Federal Office of Culture’s delegate with Eurimages (European Cinema Support Fund), and as a committee member for various film funds (incl. the Zurich Film Foundation and the Luxembourg Film Fund).

She is committed to diversity in the film branch and a member of several commissions on behalf of gender equality.

 

Nicole Schroeder (*1967) studied Law and Art Education and graduated with a M.A. in the latter field. She started in the film industry as a short film award organiser and open-air cinema programmer. For nine years she worked as 1st assistant director on national and international film sets, followed by four years as line producer. From 2008 to 2018, she taught regularly at the film department of the Zurich University of the Arts.

She began her work as head of department at FOCAL in 2012 and realised various events on film technology, script development, transmedia, digital media, gender / diversity and innovation. She founded the transdisciplinary department CrossFOCAL in 2016.

She is a co-initiator of the first Swiss film study "The Gender Question" and the founder of the SWAN network. She is particularly interested in developing ideas, establishing cooperations and networks as well as creating equal opportunities. In her work, she is committed to the upcoming generation and supports a national-level dialogue on audiovisual narratives.

Anne Perrenoud

Anne Perrenoud
+41 21 312 68 17
info@focal.ch

General administration; administrative coordination of the European training programs.


Cécile Verpoorten

Cécile Verpoorten
+41 21 312 68 17
info@focal.ch

 


Sandrine Oberli

Sandrine Oberli
+41 21 312 68 17
info@focal.ch

 

Katja Schudel

Translations, Stage Pool Administration
Katja Schudel
+41 21 312 68 17
info@focal.ch

Lea Gerber-Maurer

Lea Gerber
stage@focal.ch
stagepool.focal.ch

Born in Solothurn in 1982. After training as a professional photographer, she made her debut in the film industry in 2004. She worked on 30 features, including DER FREUND (2007), DER VERDINGBUB (2010), EINE WEN IIG, DR DÄLLEBACH KARI (2011), and on various commercials, always as a production manager. From 2015 to 2018, she organised technical seminars and workshops on behalf of FOCAL. During her professional career, she also supervised several internships on film shootings. She is now involved in FOCAL’s STAGE POOL where she promotes sustainable young talents.

 

Nicolas Monguzzi

Nicolas Monguzzi
+41 21 312 68 17
webmaster@focal.ch

Websites administration, webdesign, graphic design.


Benjamin Veillon

Benjamin Veillon
webmaster@focal.ch

Websites administration.

Department Heads

Fred Guillaume

Fred Guillaume
Director
+41 26 401 30 32
fred.guillaume@focal.ch

Fred Guillaume was born in Fribourg (Switzerland) in 1976. After obtaining a Baccalaureate in Literature in 1998, he turned to the animated film realm, producing a first film, jointly with his brother Samuel, in 1998: Le petit manchot qui voulait une glace [The little penguin who wanted an ice cream]. The two went on to fulfill several film orders, advertisements, scientific films and shorts for "Cinemagination", their own production company. From 2003 to 2007, they embarked on their first full-length feature film Max & Co (Switzerland, France, UK), which travelled to over 20 countries and won, most notably, the Audience Award at the Annecy Festival. In parallel with their movies, Fred Guillaume collaborated on several projects for shows and installations; he also invited public interest through a children's film club, La lanterne magique, setting up various workshops and lectures as well. He is highly interested in the latest technologies, for which he has developed several tools and joined various research projects in a narrative vein.

Jessica Hefti

Jessica Hefti
+41 79 523 83 33
jessica.hefti@focal.ch

Jessica Hefti was born in Zurich in 1989. During her apprenticeship with a publishing house in Zurich, she worked as a freelance cultural journalist for several regional newspapers. Due to her interest in telling stories, she then studied Documentary Film at the ‘Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg’ (Germany). At that point she came to realize that as much as she loved working on films, she enjoyed even more following through on other people's good ideas and lending support to filmmakers. She obtained a Master's in Arts Management from the University of Zurich for Applied Sciences in 2013. After five years as a freelance production manager and assistant director for film, event and communication projects, she is now working as a TV Producer for Zodiac Pictures in Zurich.

Anna Luif

Anna Luif
Director
+41 79 373 91 19
anna@niece.ch

Anna Luif is of Hungarian descent. She was born in Zurich in 1972.
After passing the higher education entrance qualification in 1991, she visited India, where she worked in Mother Teresa's children's home.
In 1992 she worked as a trainee with filmmaker June Kovach.
She completed her film studies at the HGKZ (today called ZHdK), where she made several short films. She also worked as a trainee with the artist Pipilotti Rist and played in the women's band Rosebud.
In 1999 she wrote the screenplay for her short film SUMMERTIME. The short was completed in 2000 and won 20 international awards.
In 2003 her first feature LITTLE GIRL BLUE was released and has meanwhile been screened at more than 30 film festivals.
In 2010 her second feature MADLY IN LOVE was released.
Anna Luif is currently working on new film material.


Nicole Borgeat

Head of the Acting Department for French-speaking Switzerland / Assistant in the Department Directing Fiction Film for French-speaking Switzerland
Nicole Borgeat
Screenwriter, director and dramaturg
+41 76 615 67 46
nicole.borgeat@focal.ch

Born in 1966. After her film directing studies at INSAS (Brussels), she initially worked as a production assistant and as a first assistant.
In 2003, she wrote and directed Demain j’arrête, which received an award in Locarno and was nominated for the Swiss Film Award. She then co-wrote two TV comedies: Pas de Panique (2006), directed by Denis Rabaglia, and Sauvons les Apparences! (2008), which she directed herself. She is about to start shooting her first feature called Le vaste monde.
In the theatre she has worked together with Yan Duyvendak, Omar Ghayatt, Alexandra Bachzetsis and Guillaume Béguin. She co-authored the staging of several performances which toured for a long time in both France and Switzerland.

Edgar Hagen

Edgar Hagen
Documentary filmmaker and author
+41 61 681 48 82
edgar.hagen@focal.ch
edgarhagen.com

Born in Basel in 1958. He studied philosophy and German philology at the University of Basel and at the Free University of Berlin. In 1987 he obtained a Master of Arts from the Free University of Berlin. He then worked as a journalist and dramatic advisor. He has been an independent documentary filmmaker and author since 1989. He made the cinema documentaries Zeit der Titanen (2001), Someone Beside You (2007) and Journey to the Safest Place on Earth (2013). Since 2000, various teaching activities in the field of cinema and documentary narration. He has been a member of the Board of the Swiss Filmmakers Association (ARF/FDS) since 2010.

Vanja Baumberger

Vanja Baumberger
+41 79 921 11 50
vanja.baumberger@focal.ch

Born in Geneva in 1962. After completing her studies in the film department of the École Supérieure d'Art Visuel (currently: HEAD) [graduate school] film, she continued mainly in the production field. She participated in the Sputnik art-house movie theater's collective build-up and programming. She also coordinated and managed the Festival Black Movie '91 tour; was a location manager trainee on a film by Claude Goretta and on one by Moshé Mizrahi. She worked as a production assistant for Alhena Films (Roi Blanc, Dame Rouge by Sergei Bodrov), for Apsara Productions (Stairs by Peter Greenaway),and New Morning Productions (HD recordings of the 1994 jazz concerts). Further still, she was Production Director for a short-film series for the M6 TV channel, and for La Rencontre by the Swiss film director Irène Lichtenstein.
Ms. Baumberger went on to work for the ICRC over a fourteen-year period, serving as an interface between the film directors and technicians and the humanitarian experts. As such, she was in charge of the filmmaking logistics, supervising the postproduction stages and managing the stock of audiovisual equipment.
She is particularly at ease with the technical side of the subject, and thus with the ever-evolving technological tools of the trade.

Barbara Terpoorten

Head of the Acting department for German-speaking and Italian-speaking Switzerland
Barbara Terpoorten
Actress, director
+41 76 441 36 69

barbara.terpoorten@focal.ch
www.barbara-terpoorten.ch

Barbara Terpoorten, born in 1974 in Visp/CH, obtained her acting degree from the ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts). She subsequently acted in several theatres in Switzerland and Germany such as the Schauspielhaus Zurich, Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin and the Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. From 2000 to 2008, she was a member of the artist group 400asa.
She appeared in several cinema and TV features, for example in Lenz (directed by Thomas Imbach), Vicious Winter (directed by Marcus Hägg), The Two of Us (directed by Barbara Kulcar), Tatort Borowsky in der Unterwelt (directed by Claudia Garde), Nebelgrind (directed by Barbara Kulcar), End Unsung (directed by Rolf Lindblom).
From 2012 to 2018, she played superintendent Anna Maria Giovanoli in the SRF series Der Bestatter.
In addition to her work as a freelance cinema and theatre actress, she is also a director and the founder of the theatre group Sempione Productions. In 2019, she became a member of the board of directors of FemaleAct, an organisation that is committed to equality and diversity in the field of cinema and stage work.
In 2001, she received the encouragement award from the canton of Valais, and in 2014 the Swiss Television Film Award for her main role in the series Der Bestatter.


Nicole Borgeat

Head of the Acting Department for French-speaking Switzerland / Assistant in the Department Directing Fiction Film for French-speaking Switzerland
Nicole Borgeat
Screenwriter, director and dramaturg
+41 76 615 67 46
nicole.borgeat@focal.ch

Born in 1966. After her film directing studies at INSAS (Brussels), she initially worked as a production assistant and as a first assistant.
In 2003, she wrote and directed Demain j’arrête, which received an award in Locarno and was nominated for the Swiss Film Award. She then co-wrote two TV comedies: Pas de Panique (2006), directed by Denis Rabaglia, and Sauvons les Apparences! (2008), which she directed herself. She is about to start shooting her first feature called Le vaste monde.
In the theatre she has worked together with Yan Duyvendak, Omar Ghayatt, Alexandra Bachzetsis and Guillaume Béguin. She co-authored the staging of several performances which toured for a long time in both France and Switzerland.

Carola Stern

Carola Stern
+41 44 450 41 86
carola.stern@focal.ch

 

Jacqueline Surchat

Jacqueline Surchat
Screenwriter
+41 79 245 44 39
jacqueline.surchat@focal.ch

Jacqueline Surchat began her career with the 7-minute feature Au bout du fil, which obtained the school’s best film award in 1989. Her Utopie hors-jeu received the 1992 Award of the Public at the International Comedy Festival in Vevey. Her 30-minute feature Le bonheur à cloche-pied (1994) received the Golden Unicorn at Bludenz and the Best Short Film Award at Upsala.
In 2004, Jacqueline Surchat started focusing mainly on screenplay writing. Between 1991 and 2013, she contributed to the screenplays of some dozen shorts and features. She created Marilou, a series of 24 episodes for RTS and acts as a script consultant for many Swiss, French and Quebec films.
Together with Madeleine Denisart, she published Le cigare et les fourmis, which explores the life of women working in the industry of Canton of Vaud from 1850 to 1950.

Board

Mariano Tschuor

Foundation Council President
Mariano Tschuor
+41 79 756 63 00
info@focal.ch

Mariano Tschuor, born in 1958 in Surselva (Canton of Grisons), is a journalist and playwright. From 1982 thru 2018, he worked as editor, producer, editor-in-chief and director with the SRG SSR (Swiss Broadcasting Company). He was a member of the national board of directors and responsible for, a.o., the SRG film policy. Today, Tschuor has his own company - "Agradora" - for projects, communication and animation. President of both the Foundation "Denk an mich - Ferien und Freizeit für Menschen mit Behinderung" (Think of me - vacation and free time for people with disabilities) and the Communication and Medias Commission of the Swiss Bishops' Conference, he is also a member of the Swiss Federal Commission on Migration.


Séverine Barde

Séverine Barde
Camerawoman
+41 22 344 11 29
sbarde@bluewin.ch

Born in 1966 in Geneva, Switzerland.
After obtaining her higher education entrance qualification (Latin section) from Collège Sismondi in Geneva, she studied film between 1987 and 1989 at the “Institut des Arts de Diffusion” (IAD) in Belgium.
She worked first as second and then as a first assistant camera in Switzerland, Belgium and France. From 1998 she has been as a director of photography in feature and documentary projects.
Among these projects are: Feature documentaries: Made in India; Fiction feature films: Attention aux chiens.


Anke Beining-Wellhausen

Anke Beining-Wellhausen
Media Executive / Attorney-at-Law
+41 79 101 83 35
anke.beining@utofilm.com

Anke Beining-Wellhausen was born in Germany and studied Law and Political Sciences in Bonn (DE), Geneva (CH) and at Ohio State University (USA). She holds a PhD in law and is admitted to the bar in New York and Germany.
She is the founder and managing director of Utofilm and - on behalf of Teleclub - coproduced over 60 feature films (e.g. HEIDI, ZWINGLI), documentaries (e.g. BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES, #FEMALE PLEASURE) and TV series (QUARTIER DES BANQUES) on behalf of Teleclub. In 2017 she was CEO of worldwide sales company Global Screen and from 2011 to 2015 managing and programme director of Swiss digital TV and media platform Teleclub and responsible for its pay TV channels and VOD services. Prior to that, and for ten years, she was general counsel and member of the leadership team of The Walt Disney Company in Munich and headed TV-channel distribution and affiliate sales in German-speaking Europe. She started her career with production and distribution companies Senator Film and Kinowelt. Anke lives in Zurich with her husband and their twin daughters.


Ivan Madeo

Ivan Madeo
Producer
+41 44 508 12 34
ivan.madeo@contrastfilm.ch

Born 1976 in Bern (CH). After graduating as a film journalist and psychologist at the University of Fribourg, he has worked as creative director and agency producer for some of the largest advertising agencies in Switzerland and Italy. He directed short films, before co-founding the two production companies Contrast Film Bern and Contrast Film Zurich that has produced several award-winning fiction films and documentaries since 2010 such as THE CIRCLE (2014), WONDERLAND (2015), MIDNIGHT RUNNER (2018) and STORM (2019). Ivan has been a jury member at several prestigious film festivals (Biennale Venice, Molodist Kyiv, FICG Guadalajara, Filmfest Hamburg), was Switzerland’s ‘Producers on the Move’ in Cannes and is an EAVE graduate. He is board member of the Swiss Filmproducers’ Association SFP as well as member of the European Film Academy, the Swiss Film Academy and the official commission for documentaries of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (BAK).


Gianclaudio Meyer

Gianclaudio Meyer
Animation director and producer
+41 71 223 78 08
megi@swissonline.ch

M.Sc.ETH, M.A.HSG. Born in 1960. Studies in electronics, marketing, communication, and finance at ETH Zurich and the universities of St. Gallen and Klagenfurt. Partner of the digital animation studios Animagination Sàrl in Lausanne, director and producer of animated films. Long-term instruction in telecommunications, image and sound techniques at the University of Applied Sciences St. Gallen. Member of the Board of the Swiss Animation Film Group. Expert of the Swiss Federal film fund’s grant committee for seven years. Specific interests: animation and experimental films, film financing.


Bettina Oberli

Bettina Oberli
Director
+41 44 241 47 28
b.oberli@bluewin.ch

Bettina Oberli was born in Interlaken in 1972 and studied filmmaking at the Zurich University of the Arts. Her graduation film Supernova was awarded best newcomer movie of the year.
She has been working in New York for the directors Hal Hartley and Steve Buscemi.
After her awarded debut Im Nordwind (2004) she wrote and directed Late bloomers in 2006. The film became the most succesful Swiss film since 30 years and was sold all over the world. It was the official entry at the academy awards 2008.
In 2009 she directed Tannöd – the murder farm in Germany. The film was shown in theatres and at festivals around the world and won several awards.
In 2013 she directed her first theatre play, Anna Karenina, at the Theater Basel.
Her film Lovely Louise (2013/14) was succesfully released in theatres in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and shown at film festivals all over the world. Stefan Kurt and „the grande dame“ Annemarie Düringer play the leading roles.
Bettina is currently working on a TV Series for Swiss National TV and developping her next feature films Le Vent Tourne, with co-writer Antoine Jaccoud, and Wanda, with co-writer Cooky Ziesche.
Bettina Oberli lives with the DOP Stéphane Kuthy and their two sons in Zürich.


Michael Steiger

Michael Steiger
Producer
+41 44 286 79 90
steiger@turnusfilm.com

Michael Steiger was born in Berne in 1965. After receiving his degree (Matura) at the Ecole de Commerce in Neuchâtel, he studied business at the European Business School in Reichhartshausen (D) and enjoyed various exchange semesters in London as well as in Paris. In summer 2005, he became general manager of C-FILMS AG in Zurich and co-owner since 2006.
In July 2015, Michael Steiger and Anita Wasser joined Turnus Film as producers and partners. They are known for many box office hits like: nighttrain to lisbon by Bille August, youth by Paolo Sorrentino, i am the keeper by Sabine Boss, the foster boy by Markus Imboden as well as many TV Movies, like tatort, die akte grüninger by Alain Gsponer and upload by Tobias Ineichen. The productions rascals on the road, grounding – the last days of the swissair and the foster boy and night train to lisbon count among the biggest Box-Office Successes in recent Swiss film history.


Sven Wälti

Sven Wälti
Head of Coproductions SRG SSR
+41 31 350 94 60
sven.waelti@srgssr.ch

Sven Wälti has been in charge of SRG co-productions at a general management level since April 2012. He coordinates all of SRG's film funding activities within the framework Pacte de l'audiovisuel and represents SRG's interests in collaborations with ARTE. Previously he was the managing director of Cinésuisse, the umbrella organisation of the Swiss film and audiovisual sector, and a collaborator of SUISSIMAGE. He read law at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and completed further training in political communication and cultural management. He is a member of the Federal Film Commission. He is in the Steering Committee of the Prix Europa and on the board of directors of the Ciné-Bulletin.

Members of the Foundation Council

Founders

  • ARF/FDS Association suisse des scénaristes et réalisateurs de films
  • GSFA Groupement suisse du film d'animation
  • SSFV Syndicat suisse film et vidéo
  • ASITIS Association suisse des industries techniques de l'image et du son
  • SFP Swiss film producers association
  • SFA Swissfilm Association
  • ASJC Association suisse des journalistes cinématographiques
  • ACS Association cinématographique suisse
  • fds filmdistribution suisse
  • PROCINEMA Association suisse des exploitants et distributeurs de films

Further members

  • SSM Syndicat suisse des mass media
  • Cinélibre Association suisse des ciné-clubs et des cinémas à but non lucratif
  • Fonction : Cinéma Association professionnelle pour le cinéma indépendant
  • GARP Groupe Auteurs, Réalisateurs, Producteurs
  • IG Groupe d'intérêt des producteurs indépendants de films suisses
  • HEAD Haute école d'art et de design, Genève, Département cinéma
  • écal École cantonale d'art de Lausanne, Unité cinéma
  • ZHdK Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Departement Darstellende Künste und Film
  • SSA Société Suisse des Auteurs
  • SUISSIMAGE Coopérative suisse pour les droits d'auteurs d'œuvres audiovisuelles
  • SRG SSR Société suisse de radiodiffusion et télévision