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CCA annual report 2016: Series take off, with celebrations planned for 2017-2018

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- The CCA gives itself a pat on the back for the creativity brought to light by the success of new Belgian series, and announces a programme of celebrations to mark 50 years of state aid

CCA annual report 2016: Series take off, with celebrations planned for 2017-2018
TV series Unité 42

Last Friday, the Film and Audiovisual Centre of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation published its annual report for the year 2016. The Centre remains the biggest partner for French-language Belgian films. With a budget of €8.47 million, the film selection committee supported 114 projects (of the 433 it examined), of a range of different types (feature films, short films, documentaries, LAB films, TV films and audiovisual series). Funding was notably granted for 13 fictional feature films currently being written, seven currently under development, and 20 in production. Among them are the latest films by Lucas Belvaux (This is Our Land [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Lucas Belvaux
film profile
]
, which was released in February), François Damiens (Dany), Virginie Gourmel (Cavale), Yannick and Jérémie Renier (Les Carnivores, in post-production), Frédéric Fonteyne (La Frontière) and Bernard Bellefroid (La Somme de nos voix). On the co-production side, the number remained stable, although there was a clear drop in French aid, offset by the increase in revenue from other territories. Aware of this change of hand, the CCA is currently working on implementing new international co-production agreement (one such agreement has just been signed with the Netherlands, and others are being negotiated with Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, the Ukraine, and Lebanon).

For several years now, the promotion of French-language Belgian films in French-speaking Belgium has been the hobby-horse of industry professionals and the institutions. In 2015, The Brand New Testament [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Jaco van Dormael
film profile
]
, by Jaco Van Dormael, did exceedingly well at the box office, but it was a case of not seeing the sparse (to say the least) wood for the trees. This year, box office sales were a lot more balanced, and whilst no film broke admissions records, a lot of them had very respectable results on their home territory, which, in the case of French-language films, includes part of Belgium of course, but France as well. In total, 30 French-speaking Belgian films were released in Belgian theatres in 2016, and 18 in France, racking up a total of 1,073,086 admissions. The three films that pulled in the most admissions were After Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile
]
(217,000 admissions), The Unknown Girl [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
film profile
]
(215,000 admissions) and The White Knights [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Joachim Lafosse
film profile
]
 (213,000 admissions). These figures may seem modest, but they tally with the averages of most arthouse and independent films in France and Belgium today.

Certain that better distribution of French-language Belgian films in Belgium is also down to the notoriety of the actors and other artists involved, two years ago the CCA set up a Series Fund, together with RTBF, to get series produced and directed entirely in Belgium onto the market. The first series to benefit from this fund have been released with great success in Belgium. Perhaps what’s even more surprising, moreover, is that they were also widely sold abroad, where they also met with huge success upon their release (2.6 million TV viewers on average clocked up by La Trêve on France, 2. 3 million viewers for Ennemi Public on TF1). In 2016, two new series went into production (Unité 42 and e-Légal), 11 projects received writing aid, and five received development funds. As proof of the much-desired permeability between the big and small screens, it is worth pointing out that three of the six actors awarded at this year’s Magritte Belgian film awards (Jean-Jacques RausinYoann Blanc and Catherine Salée) are also the main or recurring characters in the aforementioned series.

Finally, the Ministry also made the most of the occasion to announce that in 2017 and 2018 the Wallonia-Brussels Federation will celebrate 50 years of state funding to film, a chance to look back on the great milestones in its history, most notably through a selection of 50 works, but also to celebrate the future. The festivities will kick off on 15 June with a one-off screening of one of Belgium’s cult films of the 2000s, Les Barons [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Interview with director and actress of…
interview: Nabil Ben Yadir
film profile
]
by Nabil Ben Yadir.

(Translated from French)

Jihlava
San Sebastián Full
Focal Production Value
 

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