Shooting has begun this week in Switzerland on The Ring Thing, a Swiss parody of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, which will bereleased theatrically at Christmas in Switzerland by the local outpost of BuenaVista International (BVI).

Speaking exclusively to,Kristian Widmer of Condor Communications, which is producing the film with theElevator Group, explained that the project had been initiated in response tothe deadly seriousness of the Lord Of TheRings trilogy and would reveal that Middle Earth is actually in Switzerlandwith the Swiss as the Hobbits. Intended to follow in the tradition of such filmparodies as Scary Movie, The Ring Thingwill also take humorous potshots at "bizarre curiosities" of Swisstraditions and way of life.

The film is being directed by Marc Schippert, whose creditsinclude the cult TV series Scharmoerand Fuzzy Logic and was written by Good Bye, Lenin! co-author ChristophSilber.

BVI began promoting the film even before production startedwith flyers at this year's Locarno International Film Festival and teasersbegan screening on 120 cinemas throughout Switzerland from August 19 just two days into principal photography.

According to Widmer, the project was financed solely out ofSwitzerland and is initially targeted at this home market, although talks arealso underway for distribution later in Germany as well. "After BVI'ssuccess last year with the local comedy Achtung,Fertig, Charlie! [which was the third most successful release with over529,000 admissions] and now the popularity of the Bully film [(T)Raumschiff Surprise - Periode 1] weare confident that our film will reach its audience as well," he said.