Wallonia-Brussels Federation signs co-production agreement with China
by Aurore Engelen
26/04/2012 - On April 17, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles - FWB) and the People’s Republic of China signed a film co-production agreement to encourage exchange between Belgian and Chinese audiovisual professionals, by offering them a legal framework in which to do so, and by ensuring mutual access to financial aid as well as authorisations for funding and shooting facilities. The agreement covers film production, distribution, and promotion, and its spirit of cooperation is to be emphasised through programmes for education in the visual image and film festivals.
This agreement, to initially last five years, will offer FWB professionals new co-production possibilities with a territory famous worldwide for its films. It’s a golden opportunity as most FWB productions are international co-productions. Certain production companies have already turned their attention to Asia, such as Entre chien et loup with The Ditch by Wang Bing (China, 2010) and Tarantula with Face by Tsaï Ming-Liang (Taïwan, 2009).
This agreement also represents the opening up of two markets. Even if Chinese filmmakers are famous worldwide, their films’ circulation in Belgium is still very limited. This agreement could broaden their audience a little. On the other hand, the growing Chinese market, today the second largest worldwide, still remains relatively closed to foreign film productions: Only 20 foreign productions are allowed to enter its market each year! This agreement could help to circumvent these commercial restrictions.
To date, the FWB has signed eight co-production agreements with Portugal, Tunisia, Morocco, Italy, France, Chile, Switzerland, and now China, as well as a cooperation agreement with the SODEC in Quebec. As a country, Belgium has also signed co-production agreements with France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Tunisia, Canada, and Switzerland.
(Translated from French)