Baudouin, King of the Belgians, To all present and to come, greetings. In view of Article 29 of the Constitution; In view of the law of February 15, 1963, containing the budget of the Ministry of Economic Affairs for the year 1963, notably Article 24-3; In view of the advice of the Council of State; In view of the agreement of the Minister of Finance, dated July 29, 1963; On the proposal of our Minister of Economic Affairs and the advice of our Ministers who have deliberated in Council, We have decreed and decree:
Within budgetary limits, a subsidy to production is granted by the Minister of Economic Affairs to producers of Belgian films in respect of the following conditions.
Not to be recipients of the subsidy:
1st: Advertising films, that is to say, those which have as objective publicity in favor of a product, a service, a brand, or a commercial or industrial firm;
2nd: Films commissioned by the State, the provinces, the communities or organizations endorsed by Article 1 of the law of March 16, 1954, with the exception of films for which the commercial distribution is left to the producer.
The Minister of Economic Affairs may, on the advice of the Film Commission cited in Article 8, refuse a subsidy to films which do not possess the required qualities.
Producers are eligible for subsidy benefits with the following conditions:
1. Producers must present to the Minister of Economic Affairs a declaration concerning the film for which a subsidy is requested showing the type of film (for example: fiction, documentary, newsreel, etc.), its anticipated length, its plot, a cost estimate of the film as well as the date for the start of production. This declaration must be presented to the Minister before the start of shooting. After production, the producer is responsible for furnishing the actual detailed cost of his film.
2. The film must have been recognized as Belgian. The title of recognition is delivered to producers by the Minister of Economic Affairs following the advice of the Film Commission cited in Article 8.
When a newsreel is concerned, the title is valid only for those editions produced during the current half of the year. It is renewable upon request of the producer.
3. The film must have a minimum length of 300 meters, except for cartoons and animated films when the minimum is 115 meters, or 275 meters for newsreels. In the last case, the length considered is the average length of editions calculated on the basis of all black and white editions exhibited during the half year, a meter of newsreel in color counting as three meters. It must contain scenes of life in Belgium accounting for at least one-third of the total meterage for the half year.
Lengths are applicable to the 35 millimeter format. For other sizes, lengths are reduced proportionately to the format used.
Films which meet the following conditions are recognized as Belgian films under the terms of Article 2, 2:
1. For all films, with the exception of newsreels:
a) The films must be produced by persons or organizations that are of Belgian nationality and whose technical and commercial activity is carried on principally in Belgium.
The producing person or organization mentioned in the preceding paragraph must not be dependent upon or under the control of a foreign company.
However, foreigners meeting the requirements of Belgian residents and practicing the profession of film producers are eligible to benefit from Belgian film aid, the right of reciprocity being reserved.
b) The film must be shot in Belgium. However, exteriors can be shot outside the country in cases required by the plot, or for reasons of climate. All studio and laboratory work must be done in Belgium, except for those technical processes which are not possible.
c) All workers and all persons contributing to the production must be of Belgian nationality or possess a work permit in Belgium.
In duly justified cases, exemptions from points b) and c) can be requested prior to shooting outside the country.
d) At least 50 percent of the salaries and costs due to all persons engaged in intellectual, artistic, or technical collaboration for the production of the film must be paid to Belgians.
Included in films recognized as Belgian are those films conforming to coproduction agreements concluded between Belgium and foreign countries or between Belgian producers and foreign producers.
The inclusion is obtainable only after prior approval of the coproduction terms by the Minister of Economic Affairs.
2. For newsreels:
a) They must be produced and distributed by a person or organization of Belgian nationality whose technical and commercial activity is carried on principally in Belgium; the administrative agency and management as well as editing and technical production personnel must be of Belgian nationality.
The actual or responsible producing person or organization noted in the preceding paragraph must not be dependent upon or under the control of a foreign company.
This person or organization cannot be dependent either as a subsidiary carrying the trade name of a foreign firm and formed as a company under Belgian rights, or as an editor of foreign newsreels.
b) They must be edited, titled and have sound tracks added in Belgian laboratories.
The subsidy must not surpass, in any case, the cost of the film. If the Minister of Economic Affairs judges the cost of the film to be excessive, he can, by a decision taken at the time of the granting of Belgian recognition, fix the maximum amount of the subsidy at a reduced level.
The subsidy is distributed in the form of premiums. The exhibition of a film which is part of a program for which an admission tax is collected gives the right to a premium.
The premium is fixed:
1st: For long films, that is, films of 1,800 meters or more, with the exception of those cited in 3rd and 4th below, at 70, 75, or 80 percent of the amount of the admission tax. The Minister of Economic Affairs fixes the percentage according to the quality of the film, following the advice of the Film Commission.
2nd: For short films, that is, films less than 1,800 meters, with the exception of those cited in 3rd and 4th below, at 18, 21 or 25 percent of the amount of the admission tax. The Minister of Economic Affairs fixes the percentage according to the quality of the film, following the advice of the Film Commission.
Concerning the supporting program, it must be shown at least 100 days within the period of one year from the date of its first commercial exhibition in order to be eligible for premiums.
3rd: For newsreels, at 5 percent of the amount of the admission tax.
4th: For films commissioned by public bodies, but for which the commercial distribution is left to the producer, at 5 percent of the amount of the admission tax.
Only those taxes due from exhibition after the date of submission of the request for recognition of the film as Belgian are taken into consideration for the calculation of the premium.
Those exhibitions more than three years after the first exhibition of the film in commercial distribution for the supporting program, and more than five years after this date for long films, cease to be eligible for collection of premiums.
In cases where the estimated percentages above would be greater than the allotted budgetary credits, the Minister of Economic Affairs can reduce these percentages in proportion necessary to avoid a deficit.
At the risk of being unacceptable, requests for premiums must be submitted quarterly during the year within the three months following the quarter in question.
This requirement is applicable to films of the supporting program even though they have not as yet fulfilled the condition imposed by Article 5, 2nd, paragraph 2.
The request for premium, in four copies, must indicate the places and dates of exhibition and be accompanied by written proof of the amount of admission tax.
All fraudulent declarations nullify the premium request for the film in question, without, however, prejudicing the rendering of penalties.
Advances may be granted on the basis of quarterly estimates.
The final allocation of premiums takes place at the end of the budget year.
Within the Ministry of Economic Affairs is a Film Commission composed of a President and twelve members, four members representing film interests, two members chosen for their technical and artistic competence, and six members, representing public interests, nominated by the Minister of Economic Affairs for a term of two years. The Minister of Economic Affairs nominates a deputy for each of these members.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Commerce and the Minister of National Education and Culture each propose two members and two deputies. The President and the two other members as well as their deputies are designated from among officials of the Department of Economic Affairs.
The Commission is composed in such a way as to insure a just balance between the two language communities.
The Secretariat of the Commission is provided by the administrative service designated by the Minister of Economic Affairs within his department.
The Commission gives its advice to the Minister in cases cited in Articles i, 2, and 5.
The Commission establishes its internal rules of order and submits them for approval to the Minister of Economic Affairs.
The Film Commission delivers to the producer of a Belgian film a letter of identification indicating the title and the registry number of the film.
This title or a duplicate of it must accompany all copies of the film.
The Minister of Economic Affairs, by decision, can withhold future subsidy benefits from a producer who makes false or incomplete declarations or who has not observed the measures prescribed in Articles 5 and 9.
Before taking the decision, the Minister notifies the concerned party of the facts which may justify withholding the subsidy.
Within fifteen days from the date of this notification, the concerned party can submit a statement to the Minister.
Bepresentatives of the General Economic Inspection have the right to verify the declarations submitted by film producers.
For this purpose, they can demand all papers, documents, or books and examine all information relevant to their assigned task concerning film producers.
The present decree is applicable to films on which production has started after its entry into force.
Films started before this date remain under regulations of the Royal Decree of July 25, 1957.
The present decree becomes law on the day of its publication in the Moniteur Beige.
The Minister of Economic Affairs is charged with the execution of the present decree.
Enacted at Brussels, October 23, 1963.
The French and Italian authorities announce with satisfaction the general results of the motion picture policy followed by the two countries.
They decide to continue this policy, endeavoring to expand it within the framework of the present agreement.
The responsible authorities have the conviction that the union of effort and means of the Italian and French film industries, by trade and coproduction, will continue to contribute effectively to expansion of the national cultures and the civilization to which the two countries are related, and will favor their economic expansion.
The authorities of the two countries declare that films able to reflect credit on the cinematic reputation of Italy and France, on the one hand through their technical quality and on the other hand by their artistic or entertainment value, can be admitted to benefits accorded by the authorities to coproductions between the two countries.
Long films made in coproduction and admitted to benefits of the present accord are considered as national films by the authorities of the two countries.
They benefit in full right from advantages accruing to them by virtue of laws in effect or laws which could be passed in each country.
These advantages are provided to the producer only by the country which grants them.
The competent authorities from the country of the majority partner can ask the authorities of the other country to suspend financial benefits to the minority partner if he does not fulfil his financial obligations to the majority partner.
In order to be admitted to the coproduction system, coproducers must justify in a valid way their choice of technical and artistic elements brought together to participate in the making of the film.
To assure the best functioning of coproduction, a film project can receive the benefits of coproduction only if the majority producer in charge is qualified by his professional activity and, particularly, if he has produced at least three national, or majority national, films in the preceding three years. Exceptional cases may be permitted by the authority of the majority country.
The coproducers, in addition, must give proof of finance permitting them to accomplish the project.
A producer can receive permission to make a film as a minority partner only if he has produced in the two preceding years a national film or, as a majority partner, a coproduction recognized as national.
The number of films which can be made in coproduction by a producer as a minority partner cannot exceed twice the number of national films he has made, or twice the number of coproductions he has made as a majority partner.
Foreign directors, technicians, and actors ordinarily resident in and employed in one of the two countries can, in exceptional cases, participate in the making of coproductions in the name of their country of residence.
However, French ordinarily resident in and employed in Italy, and Italians ordinarily resident in and employed in France can participate in a coproduction only in the name of their country of citizenship.
The participation of actors not having the nationality of one of the coproducing countries can be permitted in exceptional cases only, and after agreement between the authorities of the two countries, taking account of the film’s requirements.
Shooting of exteriors or of natural locales in a country which does not participate in coproduction can be authorized if the plot of the film and the technical conditions of its production require it.
All coproductions require two negatives or, in place of this, a negative and a dupe.
Each coproducer is owner of a negative or of a dupe.
Coproductions are made in a French or an Italian language version, or in a bilingual Italian-French version.
Close-ups must be shot in two versions.
There must be direct recording of sound.
All facilities are accorded for the movement and stay of artistic and technical personnel collaborating in these films as well as for the importation or exportation in each country of material necessary for the making and exploitation of coproduced films (raw stock, technical equipment, costumes, set pieces, advertising materials).
I The budget of a coproduction can be no less than $285,000.
II The minority participation in each film cannot be inferior to 30 percent of the cost of its production.
III 1. The contribution of the minority coproducer must include an effective technical and artistic participation and at least an assistant director, a writer, an actor in a principal role, and an actor in a secondary role.
2. Each film must include employment of an Italian director or a French director corresponding to conditions cited in Article 2.
IV Exceptions to the conditions of the preceding paragraphs can be granted by the authorities of the two countries to films of obvious artistic value or to special entertainment films.
For films in this secondary category, the production cost can he no less than $510,000.
The participation of a minority coproducer can be no less than 20 percent of the cost of the film.
Authorities of the two countries will view favorably the coproduction of films of international quality among Italy, France, and countries to which both are joined by coproduction agreements, the conditions for admitting these films being subject to a case by case examination;
1. The Mixed Commission cited in Article 14 fixes annually the minimum total budget for films made in tripart and multipart coproduction;
2. No minority participation in these films can be less than 20 percent of the budget;
3. The minority coproducer whose participation does not exceed 20 percent of the budget can be exempt from technical and artistic contributions;
4. The contract for a tripart film must designate a deputy coproducer whose participation will not be less than 40 percent of the budget. In case participations are equal, the competent authorities of the two countries can make exceptions to the rule of minimum participation;
5. The contract for a quadpart coproduction must designate a deputy coproducer whose participation will not be less than 30 percent of the budget.
Equality of financial, artistic, and technical contributions from the coproducing countries will be examined annually by the Mixed Commission.
The balance of financial transfers also will be established with respect to equality between the coproducing countries.
For a film to be admitted to the benefits of the coproduction agreement, a request accompanied by necessary documents must be presented to the competent authorities thirty days before the start of shooting.
The balance of the minority coproducer’s financial participation must be paid to the majority coproducer within sixty days from the delivery date of all materials necessary for the making of the minority country version.
Nonobservance of this rule brings withdrawal of the benefits of coproduction.
Clauses of contracts indicating the division of receipts or markets among coproducers must be approved by the competent authorities of the two countries.
I In the case where a coproduction is exported to a country where the importation of films is under a quota, the film is charged, in principle, to the quota of the country which has the majority financial participation.
II In the case of films with equal participation from the two countries, the film is charged to the quota of the country having the best possibilities of exportation.
In case of difficulties, the film is charged to the quota of the country which has jurisdiction of the director.
III If one of the coproducing countries is accorded free entry of films by the importing country, coproduced films in this case benefit in full right, the same as national films.
Coproduced films must be presented with the title “French-Italian Coproduction” or “Italian-French Coproduction.”
This mention must be in a separate box and must be included in commercial advertising and during their presentation at artistic and cultural gatherings, notably at international film festivals.
In case of disagreement between coproducers, films are presented at international festivals by the country having the majority financial participation.
Films with equal participation are presented by the country which has jurisdiction of the director.
The film authorities of the two countries fix, in common, the procedural regulations for coproduction.
During the duration of the present agreement, a Mixed Commission is convened each year, alternately in Italy and in France, on the initiative of the competent administrations.
However, in case of important modification in the internal legislation of one of the two countries, a special session will be called within a period of one month.
The Italian delegation is presided over by the Directeur General du Spectacle.
The French delegation is presided over by the Directeur General du Centre National de la Cinématographic
The delegations are assisted by administrators and experts qualified in this respect.
This Commission has the mission of examining and resolving difficulties of application of the present agreement, studying possible modifications of it, and proposing conditions for its renewal.
In addition to the annual session, each administration has the right to demand a special session of the Mixed Commission.
The present agreement becomes effective on the date of its signature and replaces that of October 7, 1961.
It is in force until December 31, 1966.
It is renewed annually by tacit agreement, except for cancellation by one of the contracting parties with written notice of at least three months.
Application Procedures of the French-Italian Film Agreement
Requests for admission to the benefit of coproduction must be made to our two administrations a minimum of thirty days before the start of shooting.
Documents for admission must include the following items, prepared in the national language of each of the countries:
I a detailed prospectus,
II a document proving that the copyright for the film adaptation has been acquired legally or, in place of it, that a valid option exists,
III a coproduction contract (a signed copy and three certified copies) entered into with approval reserved by the competent authorities of the two countries.
This document must specify:
1. the title of the film,
2. the name of the author of the story or of the adapter if a story drawn from a literary work is concerned,
3. the name of the director (a safeguard clause being acceptable in case of change),
4. the total budget,
5. the total contribution of each coproducer,
6. the division of receipts and markets,
7. the responsibility of the coproducers to participate in possible deficits or to benefit from savings on the budget of the film, proportional to their respective contributions. The contribution to deficits can be limited to 30 percent of the film’s budget,
8. a clause of the contract must indicate that admission to the benefits of the agreement does not obligate the competent authorities of the two countries to deliver an exhibition permit.
Another clause, accordingly, must specify the conditions of financial accounting between the contractors in case the competent authorities of one or the other country do not permit the requested admission after examination of the complete file.
A similar clause also must take into account the case where the competent authorities do not authorize exhibition of the film in one of the two countries or abroad.
A special clause also must anticipate the nature of relations between the coproducers in the case where payment of a financial contribution could not be made according to the requirements cited in Article 9 of the agreement.
9. the anticipated date for the start of shooting.
IV the financial plan,
V a list of technicians and artists, with their nationalities, and the roles given to actors,
VI the work schedule.
The competent authorities of the two countries can demand, in addition, all documents and related details deemed necessary.
The editing plan and script of films must reach these authorities, in principle, before the start of shooting.
Contract modifications, including the change of one of the coproducers, can be provided for in the first coproduction contract delivered; they must be submitted for the approval of the competent authorities of the two countries before the end of production.
The replacement of a coproducer can be permitted in exceptional cases only, and for reasons deemed valid by our two administrations.
The request for admission to benefits of the agreement can be accompanied by documents comprising:
a) a synopsis of the story permitting evaluation of the principal roles given to actors of the two countries,
b) the coproduction contract.
The exchange rates below were used as the basis for computations in which foreign values were converted to American dollars. They are based upon data in the International Monetary Fund’s International Financial Statistics. Unless noted, the rates are for the years 1950 through 1967.
|Currency Units Per United States Dollar|
|German Mark||4.2; 1961 to 1967, 4.0|
|Netherlands Guilder||3.8; 1961 to 1967, 3.6|
|Norwegian Krone||7.15; 1959 to 1967, 7.16|
|Italian Lira||625; 1959 to 1962, 621; 1963, 622; 1964, 625; 1965 to 1967, 624|
|French Franc||350;; 1957. 420; 1958 and 1959, 491; 1960 to 1967, 4.9|
|United States Dollars Per Currency Unit|