My Life As A Courgette director Claude Barras’ animated feature Savages! is among the first three projects to be supported by the Swiss canton of Valais through the Valais Film Commission’s (VFC) new automatic cash rebate scheme.

Stop-motion animation Savages! centres on 11-year-old urban girl Kéria who lives with her father in a small town in the Sarawak province on the island of Borneo and has been told by him that her late mother was eaten by a panther.

The $14.8m (CHF13m) animation is a Swiss-French-Belgian co-production by Nadasdy Film with Haut et Court and Brussels-based studio Panique!. International sales are being handled by Gebeka International.

The VCF rebate scheme launched as the first of its kind in Switzerland last year. Speaking to Screen in Locarno after a presentation about the scheme’s first year of operations, VCF film commissioner Tristan Albrecht explained that a total of $456,000 (CHF400,000) will be available to be paid out as rebates for 2022/2023 and $399,000 CHF350,000 is foreseen for 2023/2024.

Feature-length fiction and animated films or series must have a minimum shooting period of five days in the Valais region and generate at least $114,000 (CHF100,000) eligible expenses to qualify for a rebate of between 15% and 35%.

The baseline reimbursement of eligible expenses for any audiovisual production is 15%, but a further 10% is granted if the film is not of Swiss nationality.

Moreover, another 10% will be granted if the film’s action is located in Valais and if the images and/or storyline clearly identify the region as such.

VFC’s scheme is open to all productions but foreign productions must apply through a Swiss executive or service production company, with the maximum rebate of eligible expenses and salaries capped at $114,000 (CHF100,000) per project.

The other two projects backed by the VCF scheme are Maxime Rappaz’s debut feature Let Me Be, and the TV series Espèce Menacée (Endangered Species) by Bruno Deville, Léo Maillard and Marina Rollmann.

Rappaz’s mountain-set drama was the opening film of the ACID section in Cannes this year and is being sold internationally by M-Appeal, while the six-part TV series by RITA Productions is due to wrap its 50-day shoot in the Valais region on August 11 and has Playtime as its international distributor.