Belgium is a tempting, multi-layered cake when it comes to film financing, offering multiple attractive incentives to international co-productions on different levels, which can easily be combined.
The federal Belgian Tax Shelter incentive applies to the whole of the country and is open to European co-productions or productions set-up within the framework of a bilateral co-production agreement between Belgium (or one of its communities) and another state.
Belgium has signed co-production agreements with Israel and Tunisia, and is signatory to the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production and to the Council of Europe’s revised Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production.
The Wallonia-Brussels Federation (French Community) has signed bilateral agreements with Portugal, Tunisia, Morocco, France, Switzerland, China, the Netherlands, Chile, Canada, Uruguay, Senegal and Burkina Faso.
The Flemish Community has signed bilateral agreements with Jordan, France and Canada.
On the level of its Communities, Belgium has two cultural funds aimed at supporting local productions, as well as international co-productions involving key local talent. They assess projects based on cultural criteria.
- The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) is the cultural and media public funding body of Belgium’s Flemish Community. It includes three specialised funds: the VAF/Film Fund, VAF/Media Fund and VAF/Game Fund.
- The mission of the Cinema and Audiovisual Centre (CCA) is to encourage and support the creation, dissemination and promotion of audiovisual media in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, with respect to the diversity of genres and audiences.
On the level of the Regions, there are three economic funds and film commissions, aimed at supporting both local and international co-productions with Belgium. These funds assess projects based mainly on economic criteria.
- Screen Flanders is your first stop for audiovisual activities in the Flanders Region, providing financial support through its economic fund and information and services via its film commission.
- screen.brussels is your first stop for audiovisual activities in the Brussels-Capital Region, providing financial support through its economic fund and information and services via its visit.brussels film commission and its play.brussels cluster.
- Wallimage is your first stop for audiovisual and gaming activities in Wallonia (French-speaking southern Belgium, excluding Brussels). The fund co-produces audiovisual and gaming projects, finances audiovisual and gaming companies as a shareholder and/or a lender, and offers services free of charge as a film commission.
Belgian broadcasters, both public and private, can also invest in independent productions, either through co-producing or via pre-sales.
The first step for any foreign producer wishing to benefit from one or more of the above-mentioned incentives is to find a local co-production partner.
VOFTP - Independent Film & Television Producers in Flanders: www.voftp.be
UPFF - French-Speaking Producers' Association: www.upff.be
Flanders Doc: www.flandersdoc.be