The film “Laissez-moi” is currently being shot in Valais. This is the first feature film to be supported by the Valais Film Commission, which aims to position the canton in the film industry.
“The first in a long line,” hopes Tristan Albrecht, whose job as “film officer” is to facilitate the reception of film crews on the territory. “The first thing a director looks at is the set, and as such Valais, with its rich or unfamiliar sets, is preferred. Then it is the money that speaks,” he adds.
The new Valais film funding structure, which was officially launched at the Locarno Festival, is therefore divided into two axes: facilitating the production of films in the region through logistical support and promoting them economically in the form of cost reimbursements.
The Valais Film Commission, inspired by Ticino, is the first institution in Switzerland to combine these two facets, explains Tristan Albrecht. Specifically, it reimburses certain expenses incurred in Valais and up to 40% of the wages of employees resident in the canton. Everything up to an amount of 100,000 francs.
The body has a film promotion fund that is financed simultaneously by the federal government (new regional policy) and by the departments responsible for culture and the economy in the canton of Valais.
Other interested cantons
“And action!” On the dirt road that leads to the former religious community of Cana-Myriam in Collombey-Muraz, the actors begin for the umpteenth time the same scene from the film “Laissez-moi” by director Maxime Rappaz. This French-Swiss co-production wanted to come to Valais anyway, admits Tristan Albrecht, “but we made the production possible with this logistical and economic support”.
Filmed in the Chablais and at the Grande Dixence dam, it tells the dependent relationship of a mother, played by the French actress Jeanne Balibar, and her disabled son, explains Pierre-Antoine Dubey, who plays the latter. The actor, who lives in Lausanne, is happy “to be in a feature film in Switzerland, where there are also stories to tell and talents to be found”.
He hopes for the professionals that this type of initiative will thrive so “we can shoot more” in the country. The episodes of Lex Netflix that will be seen in two or three years should also present opportunities, he adds.
The signals seem to be pointing in this direction: since the Valais structure was launched, there have been many inquiries for commissions that were on standby in the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel and Jura and are striving for the same, observes Tristan Albrecht, who sees this development as positive . Every region has its geography, its culture, its peculiarities, he believes.
“The financial contribution is a plus,” praises Yan Decoppet from GoldenEggProduction, which makes laissez-moi. Similar structures already exist, particularly in Italy, France and Portugal. Or in Croatia, which attracted the production of Game of Thrones and whose tourist assets are very important today, he illustrates.
It is said that for every franc spent on a production, three francs go back to the local community, notes Yan Decoppet, citing a study by CinéForom. According to Tristan Albrecht, the shooting of “Laissez-moi” in Valais will cost around 400,000 francs – food and accommodation, equipment, recruitment of local experts – four times the acquisition costs.
Not to mention the indirect impact on tourism and culture in general. Tristan Albrecht notes that it is also about the possibility of training the next generation in film professions and keeping employed people who emigrate due to a lack of work in the canton.
projects in development
In addition to this shooting, a French short film between Lötschental and Val d’Hérens is planned for September, the new animated film by Claude Barras will follow from January 2023 and several projects are in development.
“The inquiries are increasing drastically,” says Tristan Albrecht, who is hoping for a large production. “That will depend on the promotional work around this commission outside the country and on the competition.”
This article was published automatically. Source: ats
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