Country Focus: Belgium
Screen Flanders, a new financing window in Belgium
by Aurore Engelen
- Like Wallimage, the Walloon fund that was created in February 2001, Screen Flanders aims to encourage investment in the audiovisual sector in the Flemish region. It is the fruit of a collaboration between the Flemish minister of economic affairs and the minister of culture. It is therefore not a cultural fund, as are the VAF or the CCA on the French-speaking side of the country, but an economic fund dedicated to cultural players.
Those who are eligible for aid from the fund include animation series, as well as feature films, whether fiction, documentary, or animation. These projects have to be produced by a company based in Belgium and must be able to justify spending at least €250,000 in the Flemish region. They can therefore be foreign (or French-speaking Belgian) projects. Aid can go up to €400,000 for each project (like for Wallimage), and each euro invested should generate at least one euro spent in Flanders. The aid will be an advance of receipts. The jury will be made up of experts in the fields of culture and economics. The budget for the financial support of this first commission is worth €5m, and should in theory be able to benefit at least 12 projects. The submission deadline for applicants is February 28, 2013.
Screen Flanders has therefore just added itself to Belgium's respectable list of available financing windows. Each community already has cultural aid funds (the VAF and the CCA), and now each region also has an economic aid fund, in Wallonia (Wallimage), in Brussels (Wallimage-Bruxellimage), and in Flanders (Screen Flanders), as well as a consequential tax incentive system in the Tax Shelter. Beyond these sources of aid, Belgium is also eligible for aid from the European Union's MEDIA programme and Eurimages fund.