Tag Archives: Philippe Meers

Small cinemas conference

Small cinemas poster

The last three days, I’ve been attending the Small cinemas, small spaces conference at the University of Lisbon. The organizing team (Filipa Rosário, Inês Ponte, Mariana Liz and Pedro Figueiredo Neto) did a great job in facilitating discussions on various matters of space in the cinemas of small nations, with presentations considering representations, industries and audiences.

small cinemas organizers

Organizers and keynote speakers

Quite remarkable for me was the presence of Belgian cinema in the conference: Philippe Meers’ (University of Antwerp) keynote discussed the national cinema concept from a Belgian perspective, thereby focusing on young Flemish film audiences, Michael Gott (University of Cincinnati) talked about the family as a metaphor in francophone Belgian cinema, and my own presentation focused on national identity and Belgian cinema in general. A sign of ‘Belgian cinema’ becoming a kind of research field?

small eigen panel

Panel on the nation in small cinemas

A highlight of the conference was the screening of Cães sem coleira (Dogs without a leash, 1997) at the Cinemateca Portuguesa, followed by a Q&A with director Rosa Coutinho Cabral and the documentary’s protagonist António Feliciano. The extremely self-reflexive film tells the life story of Feliciano, who has been a film exhibitor in Southern Portugal since the 1960s up until the present day. While writing a history of Portuguese film and cinema culture, this little gem also examines questions of truth and memory, and how film relates to these concepts.


António Feliciano’s ambulant cinema at the Cinemateca

Pictures by Mariana Liz

Renewal postdoctoral fellowship

I’m very happy to announce that the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) has granted me a renewal of my postdoctoral fellowship! This means that after having done three years of postdoctoral research, the FWO allows me to continue my research for another three years. I will conduct my research on the film industries and cultures in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg at the Centre for Cinema and Media Studies at Ghent University. A big thank you to my supervisors for their support – ever since I received my first FWO fellowship in 2010 as a PhD fellow: Daniel Biltereyst (Ghent University), Philippe Meers (University of Antwerp) and Roel Vande Winkel (KU Leuven).



Publication on film policy and media convergence

For the first time since Albert Moran’s 1996 volume Film policy, a new edited volume focusing on film policy has been published. Reconceptualising film policies (Routledge) is edited by French scholars Nolwenn Mingant (Université de Nantes) and Cecilia Tirtaine (Université Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle) and features a chapter that I wrote together with my PhD and postdoc supervisors Daniël Biltereyst, Philippe Meers and Roel Vande Winkel. The chapter is titled From film policy to creative screen policies and focuses on media convergence and film policy trends in Flanders. You can read the full chapter here.

Book cover reconceptualising film policies

The article starts from the observation that in recent years, digitization processes and media convergence trends have changed the film industry in various ways. Scholars have indicated various alterations in the aesthetics, production, distribution, exhibition and reception of films, thereby pointing at new technological possibilities and challenges, an increasing participatory cinema culture, changes in the broader creative and economic strategies of film and media companies and an overall convergence between film and other media. The expansion of film industry activities from film to various other media has a long history. Media convergence trends, however, have recently intensified this expansion. In a European context, the role of film policy is particularly relevant in this respect, as film policy forms a crucial cornerstone for the organization of European film industries.

By focusing on recent developments in Flanders (the northern, Dutch-language region in Belgium), this case study examines how, in tune with digitization and media convergence processes, government film policy in Europe has increasingly expanded its scope. More specifically, we analyse how film policy has evolved from a focus on the production of films into a more complex set of policy measures towards ‘creative screen media’ production. With this case study, we argue that contemporary film policy should be seen within the broader media environment and media policies, which are characterized by the growth of a conceptual and practical convergence between various (old and new) media, information and communication technologies and creative arts. This transition process is not ‘new’ as such, but has remarkably intensified since the turn of the millennium. Indeed, the evolution from film policy to broader creative screens policies runs parallel with and is connected to a more general shift in government policy (in Flanders and elsewhere), from a ‘cultural’ to a ‘creative’ industries policy paradigm.