Ernst & Young report confirms the success of Wallimage's strategy

  • 08.05.2014

“Wallimage Coproductions is taking advantage of the Cannes Film Festival, which starts next week, to draw a flattering balance sheet of the last five years,” explains L’Echo in its subscribers-only edition.

Flattering indeed, but totally impartial as Michel Visart details on the RTBF website in its economy section: “Following a call for tenders, the consultants of Ernst & Young were asked to answer this question: how many benefits for one euro invested? The period chosen is five years, from 2009 to 2013.

To avoid suspense, we can watch this report from The economic channel Canal Z . He begins with strong, indisputable and impressive figures: “66 million euros of spin-offs in three years”. Who can say it better?

“Wallimage Coproductions has signed 134 agreements to provide financial support to cinematographic works (…) since January 1, 2009,” says Sud Presse and newspapers that chose to pass on Belga’s statement that “The investments made by Wallimage have increased from 3.5 million euros in 2009 to 5.2 million in 2013.”

When it details these investments, the Belga agency notes that: “The shooting sector (41%) is the one that generates the most expenses, after the manufacturing and post-production costs (33%). Finally, Belgian films saw Wallimage invest 6.9 million euros against 9.5 for international films, for economic spin-offs of 27.6 and 38.9 million respectively.”

In all cases, the success is undeniable. To find a surprise, you should instead look to the name of the all-time ROI champion. Various media inform us that it is … Largo Winch 2, a spectacular international co-production partly shot in Belgium.

This observation allows La Libre Belgique to qualify “Wallonia” as a “hotspot of European cinema” in the title of an article that retraces the main lines of the history of Wallimage and its philosophy: “Six months after the Palme d’Or won by the Dardenne brothers in Cannes for their film “Rosetta”, Wallimage was born. We are then in the early days of the 2000s and the economic dimension of cinema at the heart of a Walloon company. This company, an economic fund that receives grants from the Walloon and Brussels governments, has to date co-financed more than 200 films. If their catalog is so eclectic and does not follow a precise editorial line – blockbusters, small productions, animated films, genre films, Belgian or foreign – it is because the only eligibility criterion retained is the economic impact of these films for Wallonia.”

Finally, in this RTBF radio podcast Michel Visart, again, also discusses “the complementary strategy of Wallimage Enterprises and the 10 million invested to enter the capital of 29 companies, but also the ACA, support for skills created by Wallimage to meet the need for skills of new audiovisual companies in Wallonia.
A synthetic and interesting post to get a global and reliable idea of the situation.

The Free also dwells on these two aspects specifying that “(…) the subsidiary Wallimage Entreprises was created in 2008. Today, it provides funds to 29 service industries present in the different stages of production – from filming (e.g. TSF.Be) to distribution (e.g. Belga Films) and special effects (e.g. Digital Graphics). Finally, Wallimage has also recently given birth to the ACA (accompaniment of audiovisual skills), a cell dedicated to the learning of specific techniques linked to the audiovisual professions in order to train future workers for whom the sector is in demand.”

The Ernst & Young study is clear : the strategy and choices made by all the components of Wallimage have proven to be undeniably successful and very profitable for the region. An observation that goes against the grain of a certain ambient moroseness that sometimes resembles grumbling bad faith

To get a concrete and complete idea of the objective effects of the investments made by the Walloon region in the audiovisual sector via Wallimage, we invite you to download the reports that are available on our website.