The Rose d’Or (Golden Rose) is one of the most important international festivals in entertainment television. It was founded in Montreux in 1961 and has taken place in Lucerne since 2004. From 2013 onwards it will be held in Brussels, Belgium. Producers, executives from independent and public service broadcasters and heads of production companies from over 40 countries take part. The Rose d’Or is a significant networking and discussion forum for the entertainment television industry. The Festival concludes with an Awards Ceremony at which Golden Roses for the best television entertainment programmes of the year are presented. The Rose d’Or rewards originality, quality and creativity and sets the standard in entertainment television with these prestigious awards. The awards and the festival have evolved alongside the television industry and reflect trends and developments in the global business. In 2009, it was taken over by the Swiss multinational media company Ringier.
In 2010, the festival's fiftieth anniversary year, there are eleven categories in the competition. Since the move to Lucerne, each category receives its own Golden Rose. There is an award for the best of the year. (Until 2004, only one programme won the Golden Rose, with other individual category winners being awarded Silver and Bronze Roses.)
The categories are:
Arts Documentary & Performing Arts: stage recordings and television adaptations of performing arts, as well as documentary programmes on art forms (music, fine arts, dance, drama etc.) or artists.
Comedy: sketch comedy, panel comedy and improvisation comedy programmes including comedy specials.
Sitcom: sitcom serials with scripted dialogue.
Drama & Mini Series: mini series and scripted drama programmes made for television, from single programmes to series not exceeding thirteen episodes per season.
Soap & Telenovelas: ongoing soap opera and telenovela (scripted fiction and melodrama) containing multiple episodes, recurring characters and continuing storylines.
Children & Youth: fiction or non-fiction programmes designed in content and style and intended to entertain, inform and/or engage young audiences (children aged 2–12 or young people aged 13–18).
Variety & Live Event Show: variety show and entertainment live event show programmes (single or continuing programmes that showcase performing talent including music and comedy, usually before a live audience).
Game Show: quiz show and game show programmes.
Reality & Factual Entertainment: factual entertainment and reality show programmes i.e. non-script format-based series featuring celebrities or members of the public in a structured narrative designed to entertain and/or inform the viewers.
Multi-Platform: multi-platform content that enriches and extends a core television programme and focuses on the interface of web and television to achieve 360 degree programming.
There will also be a Social Award to recognise programmes which deal in a direct and enlightening manner with significant social and humanitarian subjects as well as social trends and ethics. Only programmes entered in one of the main competition categories can be submitted for the Social Award. Each category is judged by a jury of international producers and broadcasters. Production companies, distributors and broadcasters can enter programmes. Pre-selection takes place shortly after the entry deadline and the finalists are judged during the festival itself.
The festival was founded by Marcel Bezançon, who was inspired by the need of what was then a small group of international colleagues to find programmes to fill their summer schedules. He had the idea that Switzerland could produce an entertainment programme, which could then be swapped with programmes from other national broadcasters. The festival was held in the spring to have programmes ready for broadcast in the summer, and the Golden Rose awards established as an extra incentive. As the festival grew, programme swaps ceased to be viable and the innovative concept of the Film Kiosk was born. This idea – widely copied since then – rapidly turned the Rose d’Or into one of the world’s most important entertainment programme markets. The awards became an important part of European television culture, and Golden Rose winners usually receive much prestige and publicity in their home countries.