Belgium has a multicultural and multilingual population and a wide variety of scenery. The country offers flatland criss-crossed by canals in the north and rolling hills covered in numerous castles in the south. Medieval cities, quaint towns and gothic cathedrals can be found throughout Belgium.
There are multiple film commissions for Belgium. The Brussels Film Office offers a wide range of production support. Cinema Made In Brussels is a source of finance and offers a network of specialised and multilingual service providers who will assist with all stages of pre-production, production and post-production.
For the Walloon territory you would be looking to find information from Cinema in Wallonia which functions as a film commission, Le Batch, a film commission in the Hainaut province and L'Agence du Film du Brabant Wallon, a film commission for the Walloon part of Brabant. Le Clap is a film commission for the provinces of Liège, Namur and Luxemburg.
BBC/HBO television series Parade’s End was the very first co-production to receive support from the VAF/Media Fund, partly due to the involvement of Flemish public broadcaster VRT.
The BBC and Lookout Point's major TV adaptation of Les Miserables was lining up to film in Belgium in early 2018.
Other high-profile TV shoots have incldued the BBC's historical drama The White Queen. The attraction of filming in the Flanders part of Belgium is described by the producers on the Location Flanders website.
Cinema Made in Wallonia focuses on the French-speaking provinces of the nation, describing why so many films opt to shoot in Wallonia. The Dardenne brothers, for example, took over the city of Seriang, next to Liege, in order to shoot their 2011 film The Kid with the Bike and also the popular Catherine Deneuve film Potiche choose to film in Bierges. For more productions shot in Wallonia, take a look at the website of Wallimage, which provides funding possibilities to many of the latest productions.
Cinema Made in Brussels focuses on the capital of Europe. Brussels is indeed well situated to give filmmakers access to European financing sources. Producers from Brussels have always been champions when it comes to taking advantage of European co-production mechanisms.
Foreign employees, self-employed people and trainees must declare their activities in Belgium to the government in advance. This mandatory declaration is part of a larger project, Limosa, which is intended to create a better framework for the employment of foreign workers in Belgium. Actors and crew members, however, are exempt from this declaration if their stay in Belgium doesn’t exceed a total of 21 days per quarter. For more information on mandatory declarations, please contact the Limosa Contact Centre website, or call + 32 (0) 2 788 51 57, or email [email protected].
Nationals of countries belonging to the European Economic Area are not obliged to obtain a work permit for their activities in Belgium and neither are employees of companies situated within the European Economic Area. Actors and crew members of other nationalities are also exempt if their stay doesn’t exceed three consecutive months.
For more information on employment authorisations in Flanders consult the website of Employment Division of the Ministry of the Flemish Community; tel + 32 (0) 2 553 43 92.
In order to obtain shooting permits and other local authorisations, please contact: Brussels Film Office.
Belgium has a variety of studios includig Cinequanon in the centre of Flanders, and Eye Light which also has studios in many other European countries. Studio l'Equipe Wallonia in Bierges is a relative young company, set up in 2009 by Studio l'Equipe (Brussels) to strengthen its position on the post-production market and to meet the demand of its customers for a DOLBY mixing studio in Wallonia.
See the post production, sound and multimedia section of this website for details of facilities in Belgium.
Many of Belgium's cities has its own distinctive character:
- Antwerp is Belgium’s second largest city, after the capital Brussels. It has a glittering historical centre, a modern business district and a busy port. Its cosmopolitan vibe includes contemporary galleries, world-renowned fashion houses and the diamond trade.
- Bruges is Flanders’ best-preserved medieval city, attracting millions of foreign visitors every year. But it is also a working city, with its own coastal suburb at Zeebrugge.
- Brussels is the nation's capital and Europe's political hotbed. Thanks to the variety of its architecture and environments, Brussels offers a wide choice of settings for your location shooting offering the more modern street views and recognisable sets you would expect from Belgium.
- Ghent is a major urban centre with a large university, offering a diverse range of urban locations, from quaint historic streets and monuments to modern industrial and residential settings.
- Mechelen combines both a modern small-town atmosphere and a rich heritage that dates back to its position as an important political and trading centre in the Middle Ages.
- Leuven is a university town with a long history and a dynamic modern economy.
See the equipment rental section of this website for details of where you can hire film equipment in Belgium.