The Film Centre beefs up its promotional strategy for Belgian French-language films in Belgium
by Aurore Engelen
- At the Namur Film Festival, the Minister of Culture has announced new measures intended to strengthen the promotion of Belgian French-language films in Belgium
When the Film and Audiovisual Centre of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation introduced its assessment back in March, the Minister of Culture, Joëlle Milquet, presented a number of new lines of action to film professionals, intended to improve the promotion of French-language Belgian films. However, despite the recent efforts to strengthen the promotion of Belgian French-language films in Belgium, it has been noted, at this year’s Namur International French-Language Film Festival, that the results are not apparent enough in theatres, in spite of the immense success seen recently by the latest Jaco Van Dormael film, The Brand New Testament [+see also:
interview: Jaco van Dormael
film profile] (which has taken over 200,000 admissions in Belgium).
Indeed, the CCA has decided to change its tune, to a certain extent. Following the example of what was able to be implemented in Israel – where national cinema has been enjoying considerable success over the last few years, fostering the creation of a real star system – the CCA has decided to cut financial contributions direct to producers and to increase its own active participation in the promotion of the films it supports. The primary objective of this is to reach a broader audience in Belgium by assuring an enhanced and permanent visibility of the country’s cinema. And the CCA certainly intends to be a key driving force behind this quest to reach a bigger audience.
The main motif behind this new promotional strategy can be summed up as follows: Belgian French-language cinema must be present everywhere, at all times. It must form part of the general public’s day-to-day surroundings and no longer be reserved solely for an audience of insiders made up of those who are aware of the films’ existence. The CCA has called for a study on the prominence of Belgian French-language film (further to the one carried out in 2009) and an overhaul of the existing measures (promotional aid, reinvestment bonuses and the Film Selection Committee). Lastly, there will be a new promotional strategy coordinated by the Film Centre, which will be based on a series of premiere screenings in the provinces, in towns that lack a big, mainstream theatre, and an event revolving around the films that win Magritte Awards. The CCA also intends to strengthen relations with the written and audiovisual press, aside from covering releases; to purchase a platform to circulate Belgian film trailers all year round, ahead of the screenings of arthouse films; and to "invade" the web and social networks.
(Translated from French)