Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF)
The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) supports films, series and games, from idea to experience.
The VAF is a public funding body that supports audiovisual and games production in, and international co-productions with Flanders.
Set up by the Flanders government in 2002, it is headquartered in Brussels. Its aims are threefold: to develop a sustainable audiovisual industry; to encourage and support emerging audiovisual and games talent; and to promote a vibrant audiovisual and games culture in Flanders and beyond.
Today, VAF consists of three funds:
- The VAF/Film Fund co-finances the production of individual films in various genres: fiction, animation, documentary and experimental film (i.e. “filmlab”). Feature, medium-length and short films are all eligible. In the case of majority foreign co-productions, financing must be at least 50% complete or include a production support commitment from the lead territory's selective film fund. VAF has structural co-production agreements with the CCA in the French-speaking part of Belgium, and with the Netherlands Film Fund.
- The VAF/Media Fund focuses on the co-financing of high-quality television series developed in co-production with a Flemish broadcaster. This includes fiction, animation, documentary and cross-media developments of TV series. For applications concerning foreign series, at least 50% of the financing must be in place, with at least 20% of funding coming from Flanders. It is also required that a Flemish broadcaster is financially involved in the production of the foreign series.
- The VAF/Game Fund co-finances the development of video games by companies in Flanders and Brussels. Entertainment games, artistic games and serious games (including educational games) are all eligible for support. The financial incentives awarded correspond to the successive stages in the game development process, i.e. pre-production support and production support.
There are three types of support that film- and TV-makers can apply for: scriptwriting, development and production support. Support from the VAF/Game Fund is tailored to the game development process. All funding applications are examined by reading committees, members of which have critical skills and a thorough knowledge of the audiovisual field. The Board of Directors ratifies their advice.
A part of the fund’s annual budget is allocated for professional training. VAF grants scholarships, finances professional training, supports and organizes workshops, and is a partner in a number of international training initiatives. It allows both emerging and established professionals to gain specific experience and confidence, mainly in the fields of scriptwriting and showrunning, directing and producing.
Besides allocating a modest budget for research related to the audiovisual field, with a focus on practical surveys, the fund also has a knowledge centre that compiles funding and industry-related data.
Flanders Image is a division of the fund, taking care of the promotion of Flanders audiovisual productions in Belgium and abroad. It attends a number of festivals and markets, such as Rotterdam, Berlin, Cannes and Toronto, and runs its own promotional VOD platform, screener.be. In 2016 it launched CONNEXT, an event aimed at putting the audiovisual creations it supports on the radar of festival curators, acquisition executives, broadcasters and streamers.
VAF also supports organizations that focus on a lively and diverse film culture in Flanders. Initiatives aimed at screening and dissemination of film culture, film education and film literacy can apply for financial support.
Finally, VAF also promotes sustainable audiovisual production. These efforts often lead to inspiring results. To this end, it created the eMission label, which it awards to sustainable productions. The fund is also member of the Green Screen project.