For the first time since Albert Moran’s 1996 volume Film policy, a new edited volume focusing on film policy has been published. Reconceptualising film policies (Routledge) is edited by French scholars Nolwenn Mingant (Université de Nantes) and Cecilia Tirtaine (Université Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle) and features a chapter that I wrote together with my PhD and postdoc supervisors Daniël Biltereyst, Philippe Meers and Roel Vande Winkel. The chapter is titled From film policy to creative screen policies and focuses on media convergence and film policy trends in Flanders. You can read the full chapter here.
The article starts from the observation that in recent years, digitization processes and media convergence trends have changed the film industry in various ways. Scholars have indicated various alterations in the aesthetics, production, distribution, exhibition and reception of films, thereby pointing at new technological possibilities and challenges, an increasing participatory cinema culture, changes in the broader creative and economic strategies of film and media companies and an overall convergence between film and other media. The expansion of film industry activities from film to various other media has a long history. Media convergence trends, however, have recently intensified this expansion. In a European context, the role of film policy is particularly relevant in this respect, as film policy forms a crucial cornerstone for the organization of European film industries.
By focusing on recent developments in Flanders (the northern, Dutch-language region in Belgium), this case study examines how, in tune with digitization and media convergence processes, government film policy in Europe has increasingly expanded its scope. More specifically, we analyse how film policy has evolved from a focus on the production of films into a more complex set of policy measures towards ‘creative screen media’ production. With this case study, we argue that contemporary film policy should be seen within the broader media environment and media policies, which are characterized by the growth of a conceptual and practical convergence between various (old and new) media, information and communication technologies and creative arts. This transition process is not ‘new’ as such, but has remarkably intensified since the turn of the millennium. Indeed, the evolution from film policy to broader creative screens policies runs parallel with and is connected to a more general shift in government policy (in Flanders and elsewhere), from a ‘cultural’ to a ‘creative’ industries policy paradigm.