04/12/2015 – Nearly €410 million were allocated to 600 audiovisual works between 1990 and 2015. And Luxembourg is just getting started… by Vitor Pinto
The Film Fund Luxembourg is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month – a quarter of a century dedicated to supporting film and audiovisual production, during which nearly €410 million were allocated to 600 audiovisual works (across several formats).
1990-2015 was also a period during which the Grand Duchy saw its professionals grow stronger, embarking on a growing number of international co-productions and building up a vibrant animation sector – all of which took place against the backdrop of a national film body, which proved to be both an attentive supervisor and a key supporter of the industry.
The Film Fund’s selective production schemes are open to local professionals applying with projects in various formats and genres: animation, short films, documentaries, feature-length fiction films and – since 2014 – transmedia projects.
The Film Fund’s budget increased over the years, and in 2014, it was able to boast a total of €39,679,352, which was used to back 22 projects in development and 37 titles in production (mostly co-productions). The selected projects included, among others, the Cannes 2015 entry The Brand New Testament by Jaco van Dormael and Mammal by Rebecca Daly, which will compete at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.
Turning 25, it’s time to ask what’s in store for the years to come. The Film Fund recently hosted the second Assises du cinéma luxembourgeois (“Meeting on Luxembourgish Cinema”), at which approximately 100 professionals gathered to discuss several aspects of the industry. Although no official decisions have been made yet, a number of proposals and new points of view have been brought to the table.
Film support is, unsurprisingly, the organisation’s main concern. Over the years, Luxembourg has been particularly active, taking part in minority co-productions with its neighbours Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France. This type of project is not likely to be neglected in the future, but it is probable that the focus could be switched to investment in projects initiated by local talents.
Given the rising number of companies applying to the fund, local producers suggest reducing the maximum amount that can be allocated to any given project. Such a measure would contribute to maintaining the diversity of the production. Quality, rather than quantity, must prevail, however. There is also the possibility of introducing a new slate-funding scheme, in parallel with the current selective schemes.
Furthermore, promoting local talents – including actors – abroad is set to continue, as is the search for potential new partnerships.
Regarding visibility and the exhibition sector, measures need to be reinforced in order to ensure that a wide range of local titles are on offer throughout the country. A promotional portal is also expected to be instigated by the Film Fund, and so is a VoD platform developed by the Filmakademie.
Training and life-long learning will also be important topics, with a particular focus on new technologies and special attention being paid to scriptwriting. Lastly, synergies need to be reinforced between the industry’s different key players and institutions such as broadcasters ARTE and RTL Group, as well as the videogame sector.
All of this input serves as a testament to the motivation of an industry whose commitment is inversely proportional to the country’s size. There is certainly much more to come from Luxembourg over the next 25 years, at least!