Country Focus: Belgium
Francophone Development Fund established
by Aurore Engelen
- In recent years, partners from different Francophone film centres have introduced common initiatives that aim to develop and encourage collaborations between Francophone countries.
Faced with globalised film consumption, and the omnipresence of US cinema, the French-speaking world is fighting for cultural diversity in general, and better visibility of Francophone films in particular. Encouraged by the French example, smaller Francophone countries (Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and even Quebec) are indeed combining their forces and means to foster their own film industries.
In 2004 for example, the Francophone partners launched the Francophone Production Forum, which is organised by the Namur International Francophone Film Festival and has just had its sixth edition. Rather appropriately, at the 24th FIFF, Telefilm Canada, the SODEC - Society for the Development of Cultural Industries (Quebec), the Film and Audiovisual Centre of the Belgian French Community, the National Film and Moving Image Centre (France) and the Luxembourg Film Fund, in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Cultural Office, announced the creation of the Francophone Development Fund.
The aim of the fund is to boost transatlantic co-productions between Canada and its European Francophone partners, by financially supporting the difficult and often expensive development stage in this type of project. Funding is intended for producers of projects involving at least one Canadian and one European partner.
A maximum of €40,000 will be granted per project, and five films are expected to be backed at the first session. The call for proposals will close on December 1, and the results will be announced at next year’s Berlin Film Festival.