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A federal tax shelter program is one of the few that applies to the whole country, rather than to a particular language community.

Belgium may be going through an national identity crisis but the film and TV production sector in both the Flemish- and French-speaking regions of the country offer tax breaks and maintain funds for productions no matter what language is spoken.

There are specialized intermediary companies set up to facilitate the shelter, and several Belgian banks, such as Fortis and Dexia, have created funds to take advantage of the tax shelter for investors.

But the first step for any foreign producer hoping to benefit from the shelter is to find a local co-production partner. Belgian biz insiders have developed considerable knowhow in the area of international co-production, and local producers have access to the main European sources of financing.

Belgium’s regions also have financial lures for producers, such as the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (vaf.be) and Wallimage/Bruxellimage (wallimage.be). Locations support is extensive, with film offices in Flanders (locationflanders.com), Wallonia (wallonie-tournages.be) and Brussells (brusselsfilmoffice.be) offering services from location scouting to finding hotels to dealing with permits.