"The results speak for themselves"

By Pascal SteinwachsMike Zenari Switch to German for original article

Film Fund managing director Guy Daleiden has put his heart and soul into the seventh art and is proud of Luxembourg's film industry.

Founded in 1990 and restructured in 1999, the Film Fund's mission does not consist in earning money, but in promoting and stabilising the Luxembourg sector. Film Fund managing director Guy Daleiden pointed this out again last week in a very detailed interview with the Lëtzebuerger Journal.

Lëtzebuerger Journal: As managing director of the Film Fund, you more or less single-handedly determine what happens in the luxembourgish film world and have been doing so since 1999. Quite a lot of power for one man, isn't it?

Guy Daleiden: You're not going to get involved in "Urban legends" now, are you? The fact is that a director is the figurehead of his administration, for which he bears responsibility and must make and defend decisions. However, it is not a civil servant, and certainly not the director, who decides on the allocation of subsidies; it is always committees that decide.

Meaning?

It means that the director may be represented in one or another committee, where he participates in the decision-making process, but he certainly does not decide on his own.

How many decision-making committees are we talking about here and how many people are they composed of?

Until the law was changed in 2014, we had two such decision-making committees. The "Comité de lecture" and the "Comité économique et financier", which was then merged into a "Comité de sélection". According to the legislation, this committee is composed of five people: two international experts and one local expert, the director and another administrative employee. The current president is film critic Boyd van Hoeij.

So who decides whether and how much support a film receives? What are the criteria?

Decisions are made based on the money available and the projects submitted. These must have a certain quality on various levels. Artistic quality is particularly important here. After a thorough analysis, everyone on the committee assigns their points on a scale of 100. Projects with the most points are then retained, but a project must have at least 70 points.

On average, how many requests for funding do you receive each year and how many of those are ultimately approved?

We usually have four sessions a year during which we have to take decisions, and we are generally dealing with at least 30 requests.

So around 120 requests a year?

Exactly. These projects include grants for script writing and project development as well as those for production. On average, probably 40 to 45 per cent of all requests are funded.

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