screen.brussels confirms its take-off
Brussels, 23 January 2020: The regional audiovisual hub screen.brussels is strengthening its role as driver for all of the industry’s needs thanks to its combination of four support and funding services, a strategy that has paid off since its creation in 2016. Intended to support this innovative industry and make Brussels a can’t-miss location for filming, screen.brussels posted encouraging results in 2019: support for more than a hundred businesses in their growth and international expansion (25 missions in 2019), investment in 31 projects (films, series, documentaries, animations, web series, etc.) for a total of €3 million generating €37 million in spending, and support for 1311 shooting days in the region.
Investing in content
Out of 63 candidates, screen.brussels fund selected 31 projects, which generated €37 million in audiovisual spending, helping to structure the local industry. In total, 50% of these productions were directed by Brussels-based directors and 90% were produced by Brussels-based producers. The support given to young Belgian directors in projects such as Carpe Diem, Une vie démente, Loser Revolution, Spaceboy Petit Samedi, La théorie du Y Season2, Chasse à l’homme, La Belge Collection and Lilith en de Gebroeders Schimm should be particularly highlighted. As well, 26% of the projects were directed by women and 42% produced by women.
Project breakdown: feature films (42%), TV series (21%) and documentaries (19%), followed by animated films (13%), a collection of short films (3%) and a web series (3%). In addition, the Brussels Animation Valley has become stronger, with four feature films (Bigfoot Superstar, Titina, Heart of a Tower and Le Tour du Monde en 80 jours) and three major projects targeting Dutch-speaking audiences: Hoodie, Lilith en de Gebroeders Schimm, and Undercover.
“These results for screen.brussels and the combined action of its different entities show how useful it is to have a single point of entry for industry support, both for Belgium and the world. We’ve fully met the initial goal of bringing all the regional agencies involved in developing the audiovisual industry under one roof and combining their efforts for greater efficiency. The 2019 Review proves that our strategy is meeting the industry’s needs,” says Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region.
Combining support and innovation
The screen.brussels cluster, which brings together more than 160 Brussels-based audiovisual companies, has strengthened its role of providing economic structure for the regional audiovisual ecosystem. Benefitting from the resources and services of hub.brussels, the cluster has provided support to more than 100 individual projects, including three high-potential audiovisual companies (Demute, NTTRB, Himeta) that have now been integrated into the regional entrepreneurship programme MY BUSINESS PASS*.
“The support from Brussels authorities for the cultural and creative industry is essential in two ways. Firstly, because it’s an important economic sector for Brussels, and secondly, because culture creates bonds within our society, making profitability not the only concern. I’m delighted that with screen.brussels the Region is acting as a real driver for the many audiovisual trades, which in turn will entertain and inform many Brussels residents,” explains Barbara Trachte, Secretary of State for Brussels in charge of Economic Transition.
Moreover, thanks to its extended network of Belgian and international partners as well as the development of its tools and support services: 25 missions - marketplaces (in particular MipCOM, MIPTV, New Images, Sunny Side of the Doc, Série Mania, and Gamescom) and festivals (Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, SXSW, etc.) - were organised abroad.
“In the coming years, I want to put a lot of effort into the Brussels audiovisual industry. Our capital is Belgium’s largest media hub. Nearly half of Belgian media outlets have their headquarters in Brussels. It’s literally a great occasion to put Brussels under the spotlight nationally and internationally. With award-winning films such as Girl et Black, we are proving that the capital is an ideal location for launching audiovisual projects that are also successful outside Belgium. In this regard, screen.brussels is also a significant player in guiding all these companies, both in Belgium and abroad. Thanks to a consistent policy, we are also anticipating all new industry trends, such as e-sports or even political decisions, such as Brexit. For example, we are striving to bring media firms from the UK to Brussels. Our capital city has this know-how and, year after year, the number of media headquarters based here is increasing. That’s the goal,” said Pascal Smet, Secretary of State for Brussels in charge of European and International Relations.
In 2019, the cluster focussed its support on three innovative areas: developing new business models (cooperatives, circular economy, social entrepreneurship, etc.); developing new writing/new content formats (podcasts, branded content, videos, digital art, immersive technologies, e-books); and lastly, developing and funding audiovisual-related technologies (processes, hardware, software, etc.). The gaming industry also received specific support. By working with gaming federations from other regions, the cluster helped extend the Tax Shelter to video games.
Hosting film shoots and thinking about sustainability
Have you come across a film crew while walking around Brussels this year? It’s normal if you have, since in 2019 the region had 1311 shooting days, representing 51 major projects - films and series. The screen.brussels film commission, whose role is to facilitate film shoots and support film crews, has found that projects are now more evenly distributed over the various Brussels municipalities, reversing the trend of too much focus on the city of Brussels alone.
As well, since supporting film shoots helps raise awareness about the environmental responsibility of this activity, two productions were given comprehensive support in this area, while several dozen others received help with waste management and distributing reusable water bottles.
Strengthening the investment strategy
In 2019, screen.brussels business, the funding hub hosted by finance&invest.brussels, financed five companies for a total of nearly €500,000. Since the creation of the Brussels audiovisual hub, its business department has invested €2,500,000 in Brussels audiovisual companies. The creative industry is one of the five priorities in the regional public funding hub’s investment strategy, whose purpose is to support growth of the Brussels economy. By investing in the future of media, the creative industry and leisure activities, finance&invest.brussels supports a well-established industry whose expansion justifies pursuing these efforts.
Find the annual report thought this link : https://screen.brussels/en/fund/documents
- film commission