Switzerland's profile as alocation for international film productions is set to receive a major boostafter the decision by Film Location Switzerland (FLS) to become a member of thepromotion agency Swiss Films.

Commenting on the move, SwissFilms' managing director Micha Schiwow explained in Locarno at the weekend thatthis would "complement the activity of promoting Swiss cinemaabroad." This year, representatives of FLS attended the Cannes FilmFestival and the Locations World trade fair in Bombay, and a third trip isbeing planned with the Greater Zurich Area regional promotion agency thisNovember in New York during the Swiss American Film Festival.

Based in Vevey and a memberof the Association of Film Commissioners International, FLS functions as aninformation centre and first port of call for all foreign film and audiovisualproductions wishing to film in Switzerland.

FLS managing director CyrilJost told Screendaily.com that the location office has around 150 enquiriesfrom abroad about shooting in Switzerland; 30% coming from India, 20% from theUSA, 15% from the UK and 5% each from such countries as Germany, Italy, Koreaand Japan.

Recent foreign productionsshooting in Switzerland include the Steven Spielberg-produced TV mini-series Band Of Brothers; Fabien Ontoniente's People - Jet Set 2, starring RupertEverett and Jose Garcia, which was partly shot in Gstaad and was releasedtheatrically in France by SND in May; and Indian filmmaker Rajiv Rai's actionthriller Asambhav (The Impossible),starring Arjun Rampal, Priyanka Chopra, Shabhir and Naseeruddin Shah, which wasshot completely in and around Locarno and was released theatrically inSwitzerland by Cinedrome at the end of July.

This year has seen the cityand State of Geneva providing the finance for the setting up of the filmcommission Film Location Geneva, and FLS aims to encourage the development of anetwork of regional commissions throughout Switzerland in the medium term.