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INDUSTRY / MARKET Belgium

Film shoots are guaranteed to resume in French-speaking Belgium

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- The Wallonia-Brussels Federation has just confirmed the creation of a guarantee fund for film shoots

Film shoots are guaranteed to resume in French-speaking Belgium
Director Fabrice du Welz, who will launch the shoot for Inexorable

The sector was waiting for it with growing impatience: the government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation has just passed a decree of special powers which allows film shoots to resume thanks to the creation of a guarantee fund, compensating for the insurances stepping back due to the virus. 

Although a health protocol had already been set up, allowing film and TV shoots to resume from 8 June, producers were facing a major problem: the refusal from insurance companies to cover the risks linked to COVID-19, which meant that most production company — many of them independent — could not in fact return to sets. The fund put in place, worth €5 million, will be active from 1 July to 20 September.

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The Union of French-Speaking Film Producers, which worked alongside politicians to put this system in place, evaluates the cumulative budget of the concerned film shoots to reach around €30 million. We are waiting for, among others, new projects from Fabrice du Welz (Inexorable, for Frakas Production, which will also launch the shoot for Giordano Gederlini’s Entre la vie et la mort in mid-August) and Joachim Lafosse (Les Intranquilles produced by Stenola), or the feature debut from Emmanuel Marre, Carpe Diem, starring Adèle Exarchopoulos (produced by Wrong Men), whose filming which began in early Spring had to be interrupted, as well as TV series such as Coyote (Panache Productions), Baraki (1080 Films) or Pandore (Artémis Production).

On the Flemish side, no similar decisions at a communal or regional scale have been announced, which does not prevent film shoots from resuming. Discussions are nevertheless underway with the federal state, which might get involved or involve insurers themselves, which should hopefully take over after the French funds stop in late September.

While the production sector can finally breathe after weeks of negotiations, the situation remains worrying in several respects, in terms of financing at a Tax Shelter level, but also and most of all regarding the support to artists and technicians, after the social measures which were supposed to be adopted last week were postponed indefinitely.

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(Translated from French)

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