Brussels is in the global spotlight, gaining an excellent reputation in the film and audiovisual sector. Website of Hub.Brussels brings a summary of what makes Brussels the international star of the screen. Here are a few excerpts:
Good reputation of Brussels is due in part to the talent of its service providers, their professionalism and agility. But it is also a result of its ingenious tax shelter system, a federal tax incentive designed to support the production and design of audiovisual works. And it’s garnering growing interest from international co-producers…
Launched in 2003, the Tax Shelter is experiencing growing success with investors: while 10 million euros were raised in 2004, this figure rose to 150 million in 2019. This tax incentive enables companies looking to invest in works destined for television or cinema screens to benefit from tax break of almost 5% as well as gross returns of around 5%.
Co-production as a driver of development
The market in Belgium being too small to cover ambitious production costs, the majority of Brussels-based audiovisual companies are decidedly outward-looking. Be it financial or artistic, partnership with foreign co-producers and distributors is practically essential for any Brussels-based company looking to expand.
The audiovisual economy in Brussels is therefore highly dependent on international co-productions, mainly with its immediate neighbours, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, as well as other European countries such as Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland etc.
Pascal Smet, Secretary of State for European and International Relations for Brussels underlines this significance: “Our capital is the largest media hub in Belgium. Almost half of all Belgian media channels have their headquarters in Brussels. With award-winning films such as Girl and Black, we are proving that the capital is the ideal place to launch audiovisual projects that achieve success outside Belgium.”
The capital is therefore actively marketing itself to countries that have shown an interest in co-productions with Belgium, and more specifically Brussels: Germany, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Lebanon and Latin America.
A growing number of productions are putting the city of Brussels in the spotlight. Notable examples include feature films such as Racer and the Jailbird, Above the Law, The Prime Minister, Ascension Day, The Elephant and the Butterfly, The Happy Prince, The Faithful Son, A Girl from Mogadishu, J’ai perdu Albert, Adoration, Heavy Duty, Adorables and All Of Us…
Meanwhile, TV series with Brussels as a backdrop include Unit 42, e-legal, Generatie B, Transferts, Lucas etc., Les Misérables, Black Spot, The Middleman and Black-out.
The increase in film and TV shoots in the Brussels-Capital Region has had several positive effects, particularly for the hospitality and retail sectors, but also in terms of city marketing.
A creative, innovative and flourishing audiovisual sector also helps to boost tourism and the appeal of the Region in the eyes of investors and decision makers, beyond the audiovisual sector.
Want to learn more? Discover Brussels-based media companies that are making a noise outside our borders and many more valuable information on the website of Hub.Brussels.