Made in Flanders?

Contemporary film policy and national identity in Flanders (1999-2015)

Researcher(s) (CIMS)

Gertjan Willems

Supervisors (CIMS)

Daniel Biltereyst

Co-Supervisors (CIMS)

Roel Vande Winkel

Co-Supervisors (other)

Philippe Meers (UA)

Funded by

Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)


Three-year research project: 1/10/2015 - 30/09/2018

This research project focuses on the relation between national identity and contemporary film policy in Flanders. The aim of the project is 1) to acquire insight into the government film policy framework and to analyse the role of film policy in 2) the professional production context of films, 3) the promotion, distribution and exhibition of films and 4) the sort of films and the representations that are produced. Throughout the analyses, the complex relationships with Flemish identity take a central place. At the same time, several other contemporary film policy issues (e.g. transnational and European dimensions, digital challenges…) are also taken into account. The time period of the study starts with the formation of the film policy body VAF (1999-2002) and runs until 2015.

The relation between film, government (bodies) and national identity will be explored through a multi-methodological (quantitative and qualitative) research, involving policy documents analysis, analysis of film (policy) production and circulation data, expert interviews and textual film analysis. Apart from its contribution to recent Flemish and Belgian film historiography, the project provides an innovative contribution to the international academic agenda by focusing on the understudied aspect of film policy. Moreover, the project contributes to a better understanding of the contemporary relationship between media and national identity in Western Europe.