Switzerland

Funding bodies

Fund Goal

To encourage co-operation between professionals working in different countries by providing financial support to European co-productions.

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Fund Goal

The Swiss fund Visions Sud Est was initiated by the Foundation trigon-film Baden and the Fribourg Film Festival, with the collaboration of Nyon's Visions du Reel and the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. It supports film productions from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern...

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Fund Goal

In a small country such as Switzerland, public funding is essential to television and cinema films. SRG stands alongside the Federal Office of Culture as the mainstay of Swiss film promotion.

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Fund Goal

It's the first regional Fund in Switzerland and we are committed to support writers, directors, producers and distributors. Our target is to support film business on a high professional level in Zurich. With an annual business volume of about CHF 9 million we finance projects and we support filmmakers...

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Fund Goal

In close consultation with professional associations, the Foundation for French-Speaking Switzerland (cinéforom) was founded in 2011 by the cantons of Fribourg, Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, Valais and Vaud and the cities of Geneva and Lausanne. The Foundation aims to promote and strengthen the creativity,...

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Fund Goal

The department of education, culture and sport is supporting the ticino film industry by delivering four grants annualy to feature films and documentary projects.

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Fund Goal

The fund aims to create attractive conditions for the cinema creation and sustain a high quality cinematography in Berne canton.

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Fund Goal

To suppport diversity and quality in the cinematographic offer and to promote Switzerland cinematographic culture

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Regulation

Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa: Schengen area, EU, Canada, United States, Australia, UK.

For more details please consult: https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/publiservice/weisungen-kreisschreiben/visa/liste1_staatsangehoerigkeit.html

Work permits are linked to residence permits, therefore it will depend on nationality, type of employment contract, place where the job is on offer and the Swiss labour market demand.  Since the EU bilateral agreement of 2002 it is easier for EU nationals and citizens of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to get residency and work permits.

For non EU members, an employer has to prove that the job on offer could not be filled by a Swiss worker or an EU national. The employer has to send an offer of employment and then apply for a residence permit in the canton's local police section for foreigners.  If this is successful, the non-EU national will receive a pre-authorisation of residency. When the employee arrives in Switzerland to begin work, this must be shown at the local Cantonal Population Office (OCP) when application for a residence permit is made.  The whole process of obtaining a work permit can take many months and there is no guarantee that a work permit will be issued.

To obtain permits for film shooting is relatively easy in Switzerland and is, in most cases, simply a matter of formality. However, some arrangements need to be done in advance and it would, in most cases, require the assistance of a local co-ordinator with the necessary contacts. Municipal authorities in Switzerland are competent to grant the necessary authorisations to shoot in cities and other public places. Shooting on private properties requires the owner’s approval. Things are a bit more complicated for the shooting of action films where larger areas or even military equipment needs to be used. In this event, the involvement of the police or even the army would be required. However, the authorities are usually very co-operative. There might be different rules and regulations in different cities and cantons. It is, therefore, recommend that you contact the municipality where you intend to do shooting in advance to get the necessary information and permission to make your arrangements accordingly especially for parking permissions for the accompanying generator vans, coach, etc. In general terms, with every application, the following details should be furnished to the municipal authorities where the shooting takes place:

  • Number of persons participating in the shoot- ing unit/cast.
  • Date and time of the shooting.
  • Request for possible availability of parking places.
  • Request for possible temporary closure of roads/streets during the shooting.

The temporary import of cinematography material such as cameras, negative film rolls and other technical material falls under the international Customs Convention of 6 December 1961. Switzerland has adopted this Convention. The basic rules covered by the said Convention are that items imported under the scheme have to be re-exported within a given period of time. Duty-free temporary import of said material is granted upon presentation of a ATA Carnet, an internationally recognised customs document which is valid for one year from the date of issue.

Standard VAT rate in Switzerland is 8%. Special rate of 2.4% for accommodation services.Reduced 2.5% rate for: food, water, agricultural & medical products, newspapers, magazines, books and some cultural services. The following conditions should be fulfilled for a foreign business to recover VAT refunds in Switzerland: -the company is not liable to be VAT registered in Switzerland; -the VAT is concerned with the applicant’s business activities; -original invoices showing Swiss VAT can be provided.; -the company is in a country with whom Switzerland businesses have a reciprocal right of VAT recovery. Claims to recover VAT are submitted in the January to June window period following the year of claim e.g. 2010 dated invoices would be submitted for reclaim between January and June 2011.

Copyright protects works, i.e., intellectual creations of literature and art which have a unique character. This includes literature, music, pictures, sculptures, films, operas, ballets and pantomimes. Computer programs are also protected under copyright. The Copyright Act also regulates related rights (also referred to as neighbouring rights). They include: the rights of performing artists (musicians, actors) to their performances; the rights of producers of phonograms and videograms to their products (CD’s, DVD’s, etc.); the rights of broadcasters to their radio and television broadcasts. Ref: https://www.ige.ch/en/about-us.html

Pension and lnvalidity 10,1% (50% employee/50% employer) / Unemployement 2% / Other insurances possible

Film Commissions

Zurich

A gorgeous array of film backdrops and a highly-qualified local film industry make Zürich a first-rate international filming location. The Film Commission Zurich is your contact point for film projects, industry contacts and further information.Services Film Commission Zurich: -Offers contact to...

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Geneva 11

Film Location Geneva: - Provide information on Geneva - Deal with local authorities - Simplify administrative procedure - Gain access to locations and actors directories - Find location scouts, technicians or partners for coproductions

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Luzern

We offer breathtaking scenery, professional infrastructure, profound know-how, international networking, first-class cooperation with local authorities and attractive financial conditions in the very heart of Switzerland. How our office can help you: - Providing information about Lucerne - Dealing...

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Vevey

Welcome to the Montreux-Vevey area. Here you will find an incredible variety of film locations, from the deep blue waters of Lake Geneva to the year-round winter landscapes of Glacier 3000. Local expertise is also readily available for film crews: location scouts, set decorators, camera assistants,...

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Berne

The Swiss Film Commission can help you to find the right locations in Switzerland and to assist you to fill out your needs.It offers decisive advantages to filmmakers: its unique and magnificent scenery is just the beginning; they can also benefit from the country’s highly skilled and competitive workforce...

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Locarno

The Ticino Film Commission encourages and supports the creation of every type of audiovisual product in its region - for cinema, television and multimedia - proposed by international and national producers and production companies, promoting and encouraging the involvement of the producers themselves,...

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Coproduction treaties

Professional Associations

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