Ghent fest faces 15% funding cut

Flemish government to withdraw funding

BRUSSELS — Fears that the Ghent Film Festival, which hosts the World Soundtrack Awards, will lose its funding from the Flemish government were confirmed over the weekend when reports recommending spending priorities were made public.

Ghent receives 15% of its budget, €620,000 ($770,000) each year, from the regional government. It heard in April that it had passed a business assessment but failed on artistic merit.

Fest organizers subsequently talked the assessment panels around, but despite receiving a double thumbs-up in the latest reports the recommendation is still for zero funding in 2013-14.

Austerity conditions and the number of bids mean that a positive assessment does not automatically open the government’s wallet.

A final decision from the Flemish culture minister is due at the end of June.

Until then, the fest is unwilling to comment on the consequences of losing this coin.

“We are hopeful that the advice will not be followed by the Flemish government,” fest topper Jacques Dubrulle said. He added that there would be no impact on this year’s fest or World Soundtrack Awards.