LOCARNO: From mid-2016, the Swiss government will be introducing a film production incentive worth 20% on local spend.

The law has been passed initially but further details on exact specifications and will be confirmed in early 2015. It is likely the funding will also cover post production.

It is thought that an initial $6.6m (CHF6m) fund could be made available, although lobbyists from the Swiss film industry are hoping that the level could rise to $11m (CHF10m). “Parliament will decide on the amount…it is part of budget discussions,” producer Michael Steiger [pictured], president of C-Films, told Screen at the Locarno Film Festival today.

The group pushing for the incentive includes producers, technicians and other experts “from all branches of the film industry,” Steiger noted. He said the model was based on successful programmes in Germany and Austria, and the Swiss industry group had been pushing it forward for the past four years.

The incentive would be a boon for both local 100% Swiss productions and international co-productions.

Foreign producers wanting to tap into the incentive would need to partner on official co-productions with a Swiss company.

“It would help to develop Swiss technical and creative work if that money is spent in Switzerland,” Steiger says. “Creative people don’t have to go abroad to work.”

He continued, “When you want to make a movie with mountains, right now you don’t go to Switzerland because it’s too expensive. With this instrument it becomes an option.”

He added: “Our [production] funding is lower than places like France and Germany as well as smaller countries like Norway and Austria, so that means we need an instrument like this to make us a more attractive co-production partner.”