Participant profile: Jacqueline Surchat

We return to our series of delegate profiles, and swivel the spotlight on Swiss screenwriter and filmmaker, Jacqueline Surchat.

Swiss delegat Jacqueline Surchat

Jacqueline Surchat

Jacqueline began her career with a bang  in 1989 when she won the prize for the best school film for her seven-minute short “Au bout du fil”, which she wrote and directed. It was shown at Nimes’ International School Film Festival in 1990.

Her other short films have competed at many festivals. Jacqueline’s  short film “Utopie hors-jeu” won the 1992 ‘Prix du public’ at the International Comedy Festival at Vevey, Switzerland (appropriately, the adopted home of Charlie Chaplin). Her 30-minute comedy, “Le bonheur à cloche-pied” (1994) was shown at numerous festivals and won the ‘Prix de la Licorne d’or’ at Bludenz in Austria, as well as the prize for best short film at the Uppsala International Short Film Festival in Sweden.

In 2003 and 2004 she made two documentaries, each with a running time of 55 minutes: Fribourg autrement and Hafis Bertschinger: l’artiste nomade. Between 1991 and 2009 while creating her own films and documentaries Jacqueline found time to write a dozen short and feature-length films.

She is also the creator and writer of Marilou, a 24-episode series for Swiss television. Currently she has several screenplays in development.

In 1987 a book she co-wrote with Madeleine Denisart was published. Titled Le cigare et les fourmis, it’s a history of women’s work in industry in the Canton of Vaud (Switzerland) from 1850 to 1950.

She is the head of the screenwriting department at FOCAL, the Foundation for professional training in cinema and audiovisual media in Switzerland.