Belgium Goverment Sets Up 6.5 million Film Fund

The new Screen Flanders fund will target international co-productions.

BERLIN - The Belgium government has set up a new, €5 million ($6.5 million) annual film fund, the Screen Flanders fund, intended to encourage more international co-productions to shoot in the region.

The new fund will provide up to €400,000 ($550,000) against the local spend of a qualifying production.

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Cash for the new inititive will come from the Flanders Enterprise Agency and the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) will manage applications. VAF head Pierre Drouot will present the new inititive at The Producers Network Breakfast in Cannes on Sunday, May 20th.

The Screen Flanders funding can be combined with existing financing schemes, including the Belgian tax shelter but tax shelter financing is not a prerequisite for securing Screen Flanders' support.

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Only production companies based in Belgium can apply to the fund and the applicants can not have a director or indirect link to a broadcaster.

But the fund is structured to encourage international producers to work with Belgium companies, who would make the application.

The fund will back all feature-length formats including drama, documentary and animation but will not finance TV production.

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Every Euro from the Screen Flanders fund has to be matched by a Euro of local spending.

Funding is not automatic, but subject to a decision by a jury of cultural and economic experts who will evaluate the projects on a series of set criteria and rank applications in order of preference.

Screen Flanders will launch in the second half of the year, pending formal approval by the Flanders government.