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INSTITUTIONS Belgium

The Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel reveals an encouraging 2017 annual review

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- With support (and applications) up by almost 12%, along with an increase in attendance for French-language Belgian films in Belgium, the CCA’s annual review of 2017 is rather positive

The Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel reveals an encouraging 2017 annual review
The presentation of the CCA's 2017 annual review

Every spring, the Centre du Cinéma et de l’audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles takes stock of the past year, taking the opportunity to reflect on the production and distribution sectors of French-speaking Belgian cinema, two sectors that improved in 2017.

In terms of production, the Commission de Sélection des Films – with a budget of €9.53 million (€8.47 in 2016) – assessed 484 projects (434 in 2016). All sections combined, 128 projects were supported (114 in 2016) with a stable selection rate of 26.45%. This selection rate is relatively high, especially for feature films, where it climbs to 33%. A significant figure if you compare it to neighboring European countries such as France (9%) or the United Kingdom (11%).

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Supported projects included 13 fiction feature films, 10 in development and 28 in production, including Joachim Lafosse (Keep Going), Fabrice Du Welz (Adoration), Nabil Ben Yadir (Animals) and Guillaume Senez (Our Struggles [+see also:
film review
interview: Guillaume Senez
film profile
]
).

The CCA is also investing in television via the FWB-RTBF Fund. Created five years ago to boost the production of Belgian Francophone TV series, which were almost non-existent, the fund has been a huge success, so much so that a record sum of €5,345,459 was invested this year, two million more than originally expected. Since the fund was launched, 56 projects have been helped during the writing stage, 29 in the development stage and eight in the production stage. The aim is to be able to broadcast four new (or seasonal) French-speaking Belgian series per year on RTBF.

In terms of broadcasting, a total of 30 French-language Belgian initiative films were released in 2017 in Belgian cinemas and 13 in French cinemas, racking up a total of 1,099,322 admissions.

After a hard year in 2016 in terms of figures, 2017 sees a clear increase in attendance for Belgian films in Belgium, thanks in particular to the decent turnout achieved by Blind Spot [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nabil Ben Yadir
film profile
]
(41,000 admissions), A Wedding [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stephan Streker
film profile
]
 (40,000) and Above the Law [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: François Troukens
film profile
]
 (30,500). In France (we musn't forget that this is also a natural region for French-speaking Belgian productions), the number of French-speaking Belgian productions dropped slightly by 7% compared to 2016, with the top 3 films including This is Our Land [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lucas Belvaux
film profile
]
 (320,000), Don't Tell Her [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 (147,000) and A Wedding (108,000). 

French-speaking Belgian films also shone internationally and at festivals: In Syria [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Philippe Van Leeuw
film profile
]
 by Philippe Van Leeuw (22 awards, 47 festival selections, 28 territories), A Wedding by  Stephan Streker (10 awards, 47 selections, 13 sales), Let the Corpses Tan [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
film profile
]
 by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (4 awards, 52 seletions, 12 sales) and Lost in Paris [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon
film profile
]
 by Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon (4 awards, 41 selections, 43 territories), providing the most important exposure. The latter was also released in the United States where it attracted more than 100,000 viewers, making it one of the best performing foreign independent films.

The Centre du Cinéma has announced some new projects for 2018, in addition to the continuation of previous activities, especially on the promotion side of things. The documentary sector will benefit from substantial refinancing and an increase of €400,000 in funds. As for TV series, in addition to fiction, special attention will be paid to animation series, with the launch of a call for youth animation series. Support for so-called "light" productions, initiated in 2017, will be renewed again this year, given the quality of the projects received last year.

(Translated from French)

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