Country Focus: Belgium
CCA review: a system in transition
by Aurore Engelen
- Yestrday in Belgium, it was spring and time for the Cinema and Audiovisual Centre of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation’s annual review. Professionals from the sector came together to review 2011, a year in transition. There were the usual far-fetched suggestions, such as Jan Bucquoy’s (perhaps not so absurd) suggestion to hand over the RTBF’s weather reports to Abel & Gordon, but also novelty. To start with, in 2011 the decree to support cinema and audiovisual creation was finally adopted, thus giving a long-awaited legal framework to the sector.
In 2011, the institution’s Film Selection Commission, in charge of handing out financial aid to film projects, was reformed. A system with three categories (first films, second films, and third films by established filmmakers) turned into a two-category system (first and second films on one hand, and films from established filmmakers on the other). A decision to award fixed amounts to all selected projects, instead of deciding the amount case by case, saw more feature film projects supported, with 46 films receiving aid instead of 43 and 31,3% of applications accepted instead of 26%.
Investments also increased for partners in the sector. The budget for television co-production editors and distributors went up from €4,87m to €5,1m. As for the funds gathered by the Tax Shelter, they have hit the roof. While 2011 predictions were for €84m, a final budget of €100m would not be surprising as a confortable part of these funds have been invested in notable minority co-productions such as Astérix and Cloclo [+see also:
film profile]. Since the Tax Shelter’s creation, €57.7m, or around 30% of funds, have been invested in majority productions.