The latest issue of the Dutch-language journal Wetenschappelijke Tijdingen includes my article ‘To promote the Dutch language film culture’. The introduction of a Flemish film production policy (1945-1965). This article analyses the development of Belgian film policy after the Second World War, until 1965, with a special focus on the beginning of the government’s policy regarding film production in Flanders.
When the first (attempted) measures to support film production in Belgium originated after the Second World War, like the economically motivated reduced taxation system and the Cinematographic Service aimed at educational films, these invariably were conceived within a Belgian unitary framework. However, when plans were made at the beginning of the 1960’s to create a selective and culturally inspired film susidy mechanism by means of a Belgian Film Institute, the Flemish stakeholders demanded that the Institute would consist of a dual structure divided according to language. The Flemish pursuit of cultural autonomy resulted in the Royal Decree of 14 November 1964 to promote the Dutch language film culture, which meant the beginning of systematic and selective culturally motivated film production aid in Flanders. A film commission was established that advised the Minister of Culture about film production subsidies, taking into acount the Belgian nationality, the Dutch language character and cultural nature of the film projects. The objective was to create in this way a new recognisable Flemish cinema of good quality.