by Melina Costas


Inspired by the legend of the Tschäggättä, this short film tells the story of a young lady venturing into the heart of an unexplored valley. Who would dare to face a myth someday?

CHF 5’440

155% of CHF 3’500

"155 %"
This is how it worksä

The «all or nothing» principle applies: The project only receives the funds if the funding target is reached or exceeded.

52 backers

Successfully concluded on 12/4/2014

And here we are, we reached our goal thanks to you ! A BIG, BIG thank you !

The amazing Tschäggättä adventure is not over yet. Your help during these few days left will allow us to refine our project ! Thanks to your support, we will be able to :

  • take shots in a period train
  • discover unique shooting places with the help of a mountain guide
  • get additional technical equipment, possibly rent a drone for incredible aerial views
  • take part in several Swiss and international festivals

Furthermore, your support will save very much time and be a relief to the team that works voluntarily !


In the dying 19th century, a young botanist undertakes a trip toward the unknown, to identify new species in the heart of lands yet familiar. During her journey, the mountain will reveal its hidden face : the Tschäggättä.

The project

Melina Costas, an art director with a number of short films under her belt who takes her first shot at directing, has always nurtured an interest for tales and legends. She discovered Tschäggättä masks hanging from chalets’ walls while vacationing in the Swiss canton of Valais as a child. Years later, she’d come up with the story of a young adventurer searching for rare plants in a remote valley.

Tschäggättä (pronounced «Tshah-gah-tah») are typical folk characters in the Lötschental. They are tokens of an old culture whose origins, tracing back beyond the 19th century, remain mysterious and undetermined. Melina Costas has decided to interpret this mythical creature as an allegory for spring and as a strong masculine figure.


Melina Costas has surrounded herself with an experimented and highly motivated professional team, whose members have all invested from their time and know-how in this project. However, overhead costs of transportation, housing and catering in Lötschental represent a non negligible amount to us. This is why we invite you to take part in our project ! Furthermore, the Tschäggättä costume, which we’ll fabricate ourselves with the help of one of the last Lötschental remaining artisans, adds up another substantial sum to our budget due to raw material prices and technical constraints. Lastly, we need to take care of post-production costs, i.e. film editing and musical score composition. Are you intrigued by Tschäggättäs as much as we are ? Then join us and help us realize our amazing project!

The team

Melina Costas – Director & Production designer

Melina Costas is a Swiss and Spanish experienced art director born in Lausanne (1980). Besides art directing, her skills and credits also cover illustrating, painting, storyboarding, graphic & character design, and production design. She is known for her work on several narrative short films including : «Entre Ange et Démon» (2013), «Lester» (2010) et «Vincent, le Magnifique» (2008).

Thibaut Frere – Cinematographer

Born in 1979 in the French Jura, Thibaut Frere is a self-taught filmmaker and scriptwriter. Graduated with a Master’s degree of modern languages, Thibaut was initially oriented towards a conventional art school in Lyon named «Emile Cohl» where he met Melina before returning to his early interest for film art. After making many student short films including «El Kimiya» and his participation in several Lyon comedies such as «L’île du 30 février» and «Hommes/Femmes, faits divers», Thibaut is now willing to lend a hand to Melina in this great adventure !

Jorge De Silva – 1st AC / 2nd Camera Operador

Jorge De Silva is a Photographer & Filmmaker born on the 5th of November 1985 in Portugal. Jorge discovered his passion for images around the age of 14, playing with old film and video cameras, making small short-movies for fun with friends. He is known for his work on Reflexo (2002), Peixe Fora d’Água (2007) and Falso Lenitivo (2010). Jorge is currently involved in several Swiss and international projects with various production companies and directors. Due to all of his work, his passion and his energy Jorge is also a key contributor to help drive the project «Tschäggättä».

The actors

Tamara Lysek as the botanist

Tamara Lysek is currently studying art history and modern french at the university of Lausanne. Born in Switzerland in 1994, she did 11 years of acting on stage besides performing other forms of expression such as circus arts, body language, singing and film acting. She has always been attracted to everything that is related to dream and the beauty it conveys.

Moïse Ben Khelifa as the Tschäggättä

Born in 1986, Moïse Ben Khelifa is the great-nephew of the famous painter and sculptor Casimir Raymond. Moïse was particularly keen to perform as the character of the Tschäggättä that is, for him, a living artwork.

His physical condition and dance experience offered him his major asset to put on a heavy, cumbersome outfit and to animate the creature through appropriate gestures.