New digital aid program in Belgium

Fifteen companies will share in $5.7 million

BRUSSELS — Fifteen Belgium companies will share in a e4 million ($5.7 million) aid program for innovative use of digital technologies in the audiovisual industry. The money, from the Walloon regional government’s research and development budget, is intended to consolidate the local digital industries.

The Promimage program supports 50-70% of certain costs in implementing the projects, so it is not clear how much each company will get.

Rather than developing new technologies, the innovations selected involve new ways of deploying software or digital techniques, or of managing workflow, for instance helping animators work together when they are in different countries.

The projects include majority Belgian films and co-productions where Belgian firms are minority producers or providing a service.

For example, in animation Wat Prods. was selected for its work on the Belgian feature “Spike and Suzy: The Texas Rangers,” produced by Skyline Entertainment, while Nexus Factory was selected for “La Veritable Histoire du Chat Botte” (The True Story of Puss-in-Boots), produced by French Herold Family.

In live action, Scope Pictures was chosen for “Cineman, l’homme cinema,” which re-unites French helmer Yann Moix and his star from “Podium,” Benoit Poelvoorde.