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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Covid-19: screen.brussels jump-starts the Brussels audiovisual sector

Despite being badly affected by the health crisis, the audio-visual sector in Brussels is looking to the future with renewed optimism. In fact, today the screen.brussels fund was given €1 million in special funding, a recovery measure aimed at preserving jobs in Brussels and strengthening the economic resilience of film industry companies. The decision comes at just the right time to boost the stimulating effects of urgent actions taken during the crisis and the continuous investment of regional funds into the audiovisual sector.

€1 million in special funding

The government of the Brussels-Capital Region is aware of the sector’s impact on employment in Brussels and the local economy, which is why it has released an additional €1 million through the screen.brussels fund. These funds will be invested directly into audiovisual projects that are supported by the fund (to cover Covid-19 unexpected extra costs and mitigate the loss of other revenue) and help restart activities among businesses and professionals in a sector heavily affected by the crisis.

“The mechanism of the screen.brussels fund has proven to be very efficient in maintaining and developing employment in the Brussels film and audiovisual industry. Since 2016 more than 70 business were founded or relocalised and more than €116 million in direct benefits were generated in our Region. Entirely aware of the crisis’ impact on this sector we felt it was coherent to invest in this stimulus measure in order to consolidate our strategy of making Brussels a dynamic and creative capital,” explains Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region.

10 selected projects during the 13th session

Lockdown has not slowed down work at screen.brussels fund – quite the opposite. Eighteen co-funded projects have been submitted, 10 of which have been selected for the just-released 13th session, amounting to a total investment of €1,075,000. These projects will result in over €8.5 million in direct audiovisual expenditure in the regional economy. Particular attention was evidently paid to projects that could start up quickly, providing work to teams that had to stop working the last five months. The selected projects include five feature-length films (including one animation), three television series, a documentary, and a web series.

Supporting the sector from the outset

Screen.brussels was pleasantly surprised to receive these resources to mobilise and support the sector. The organisation fulfilled its mission by conducting surveys and relaying the demands of the industry alongside other institutions and professional associations. Workers and businesses have been able to benefit from various grants and financial aid (such as €2,000 grants for micro-companies and non-profit organisations, microcredit with reduced interest rates, and loan payment holidays). Meanwhile, film crews have been supported by receiving guides for restarting work in the sector, the creation of a guarantee fund, and being provided with masks, posters and bespoke training so that a dedicated Covid-19 contact person can be available on set.
View all the measures here

  • fund
  • film commission
  • business
  • cluster