Switzerland

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It may be relatively expensive to shoot in Switzerland but the country’s stunning locations are enough to attract many producers.

Switzerland has much to recommend it as a filming location thanks to its iconic Alpine landscape, beautiful lakes, medieval towns and exquisite villages. The cost of production can be higher than in other parts of Europe so the country tends to appeal more to producers working on high-end TV or commercials.

Production costs are offset, to an extent, by the quality of the country’s infrastructure, the can-do attitude of its crews and the fact Switzerland is small, which means everything is within easy reach. There is also good support to be had from Film Location Switzerland, which can make the permit process easier and also has a directory of production and equipment companies.

Cities such as Zurich, Lausanne and Geneva are very evocative, combining historic architecture with contemporary builds.

Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations that can play significant roles in film plots, such as the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

In recent years the country has hosted scenes for high-end BBC drama The Night Manager and The Ink Factory’s Our Kind Of Traitor for Studiocanal. Though perhaps better known for its wintry weather when temperatures can fall below freezing, in summer the temperature often reaches 30°c.

The Lowdown

Financial incentives

Switzerland offers a 20% rebate on local expenses to productions that spend $418,000 (chf400,000) in the country. Documentaries are eligible for support if a project spends around half that figure. The total fund is worth $6.3m (chf6m) annually.

Full details of financial incentives in Switzerland: Switzerland Film Investment Refund

Infrastructure and crews

Switzerland is not known internationally for its studios but does offer StudioGutenswil near Zurich. English is spoken widely by Swiss crews.

First person to contact

Doris Longoni, director, Ticino Film Commission direction@filmcommission.ch

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