Screen.Brussels is an association of actors of the audiovisual industry which defines itself as the cluster for audiovisual content production in Brussels. It aims at bringing key institutions and actors of the sector together by hosting networking events, fostering connexions and creating visibility for members. It celebrated its second birthday on the 16th of october.
The event was held in a prestigious event hall in the RTBF building on Boulevard Reyers. The evening started with an introduction by Didier Gosuin, Brussels Capital Region minister of economy and employment, who presented the state of the audiovisual sector in the city and argued that the cluster has become a key player within the industry. He concluded by saying that Screen.brussels activities must be thought in relation with the Media Park Project and the education world, in order to keep new initiatives and entrepeneurs in contact with existing companies.
The introduction was followed by a talk between four actors: a representative of the RTBF as well as Brussels Image, Impulse.brussels and Screen.Brussels. The presenters explained their vision regarding the Brussels media environment related to the creation of projects and innovation. Amongst other facts, they stated that RTBF would move out of its actual building by 2020 and that other parts of the Media Park Project should have started by then.
Where is Screen.Brussels going ?
In its first year the cluster accounted for 90 members. Today more than 120 members have joined the cluster, including the latest member who joined on the day of the event. In the last year, Screen.Brussels organised or participated in more than 20 workshops (a workshop for every two or three weeks) often, though not always, organised with partners such as the CSA. They created two communities including the Brotaru, the first game development community in the city, from which some initiatives have already emerged. The organisers have argued that Screen.Brussels is becoming a key institution on the regional level tightly linked to other regional institutions such as Citydev or Innoviris.
If at the beginning the cluster was built on the companies already existing in the Brussels audiovisual network, Screen.Brussels is looking towards the future, by building and solidifying communities from which initiatives can emerge. Out of around 500 companies in the Brussels audiovisual sector, 120 of them are already members of the cluster. However, Screen.Brussels wants more in order to become a strong actor able to take decisions when future challenges arise.
Between Screen.Brussels and Brussels Media Clusters
It is true that the very notion of cluster is currently gaining traction. We see more and more clusters appearing in europe and in the Region of Brussels, including in the creative, cultural and media sectors. However, one as to be careful as what is understood by a cluster and what its scope is. For our research project, the notion of clusters is used to study the concentration of the media sector in key area of the cities, and is formed by different entities (companies, workers and communities of practice). It is interesting to note how, in events such as the Screen.Brussels anniversary, companies are looking forward to get connected to one another and that they acknowledge the importance of geographical proximity for their business ventures.