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The Valais Film Commission becomes fully operational

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Launched at Locarno, the new Swiss body will introduce a cash rebate along with the full implementation of its services

The Valais Film Commission becomes fully operational
(l-r): Damian Constantin, Mathias Reynard, Tristan Albreicht, Vincent Reynard and Sophie Toth during the Locarno launch of the Valais Film Commission

On 6 August, Locarno Pro welcomed the start of operations of a new film institution, the Valais Film Commission. The launch of the body took place at a press conference held at the Davide Campari Lounge, which saw the participation of State Councillor Mathias Reynard, Valais Film Commission President Vincent Reynar, Valais/Wallis Promotion Director Damian Constantin, producer Sophie Toth and Valais film commissioner Tristan Albreicht. The President of the Ticino Film Commission, Nicola Pini, delivered the first words of welcome and greetings to the new organisation.

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Founded last year, the Valais Film Commission is now fully operational. It is the result of a collaboration between the canton of Valais, Valais/Wallis Promotion and the Valais association of audiovisual professionals Valais Films. The institution aims to position the region as a key and attractive location for Swiss and international audiovisual productions. The Valais Film Commission joins the Swiss Film Commissions network, which already includes the Ticino Film Commission, the Zurich Film Commission and the Lucerne and Central Switzerland Film Commission. Members of the network share the common goal of promoting, enhancing and supporting the Swiss film industry as a whole, always taking into account the culture and uniqueness of each reference region.

Speaking about the new body and the added value it can bring to the Swiss film industry, Pini said: “The Ticino Film Commission, established in 2014, was the first of its kind in Switzerland and, with its work, the experience it has gained and above all the results it has achieved – in particular its continuously growing economic impact: CHF 1 million in 2015, 2 million in 2017, 3 million in 2019 and almost 5 million in 2021 – it has stimulated other national entities to move in this direction. It is an honour for us to have led the way and to have contributed to the development of these organisations, such as the Valais Film Commission, which we certainly do not see as a competitor, but rather as an ally in favour of Swiss filmmaking. Our country gains more significance and, united, we can make ourselves even more attractive in the international audiovisual production market in our respective regions. Together we are stronger if we pull in the same direction, and we are certainly willing to do that. Welcome Valais Film Commission, and keep up the good work, we by your side, and you by ours.”

During a panel about new financing models in Switzerland taking place as part of the Locarno Pro programme, Albrecht disclosed that, along with the full implementation of the commission’s services, a cash rebate will be introduced, inspired by the example of CineTirol. The incentive will consist of a 15-35% reimbursement of the expenses incurred in the territory. Eligible projects will be fiction features, animated films and TV series with a minimum shooting period of five days and set to generate at least 100,000 Swiss francs in eligible expenses.

One-off grants ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 Swiss francs will also be provided to back the making of documentaries, shorts and reality TV shows. The cash rebate will be compatible with the Film Investment Refund Switzerland (PICS) programme, which refunds 20% to 40% of eligible production expenses generated in Switzerland and grants up to 600,000 Swiss francs for a single project.

The event was brought to a close by a meet & greet session with the industry professionals attending the festival.

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