Some 50 cinemas, festivals or film distributors will be supported during the coming years by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. This was announced on Wednesday. In total €3.37 million per year will be granted to them. This compares favourably to previous years.
Out of 60 applications received, the Commission for Support to Audio-visual Operators (known as “the COA”), part of the FWB, has chosen some 50 projects which will be supported over two to four years. Nine of them are receiving assistance for the first time.
Eighteen festival organisers were accepted (being for a total of €719,000), including the Ramdam Festival (Tournai), À Travers Champs (covering the provinces of Namur and Luxembourg), the Liège International Festival of Comedy and the Pink Screen Festival (Brussels).
Ten cinema operators will also receive assistance for a total of €1.01 million. Additional assistance of €110,000 was released for the opening of the Palace cinema in Bruxelles. After several delays, this is now anticipated for the end of February. Four film distributors will have a combined €161,000 in annual subsidy.
The Commission has granted €1.29 million to 14 workshops for film schools, facilities and production workshops. For the first time, film dissemination facilities have received help (to the tune of €22,500): these are Screen Box and Vidéothèque Nomade. Moreover, the digital dissemination platform, Universcine, will obtain €60,000, as part of a two-year agreement.
The COA has concluded a significant funding session. This is because all audio-visual operators receiving funds now have a common deadline to work towards. All of these matters will, from now on, be reviewed every four years. The system thereby envisages a fairer distribution of funds between players.
However this balancing act doesn’t please all organisations. Examples of dissatisfied organisations are the Nova and Galeries cinemas in Brussels, which are both losing some €20,000 per year. Financial assistance to Quai 10 in Charleroi and Caméo in Namur has actually been increased, to respectively €135,000 and €100,000. Clearly taking the Quai 10 and Caméo examples into account, in a communiqué, the Nova cinema is requesting that the Minister for Culture, Alda Greoli, reconsiders her decision as to funding allocation. It considers that she is “out of kilter with the public’s overall perception of the industry.”