The CBA was created in November 1978 by Belgian filmmaker Henri Storck in the wake of the dynamic initiated by Jean-Claude Batz in the early 1970s. A broader movement around documentary cinema was born, reviving the great tradition of Belgian documentary. In order to support this emergence, the CBA was created in the form of a production (and later co-production) facility, a real centre for film creation at the service of documentary filmmakers.
The CBA adopts at its creation Jean Vigo’s definition of documentary cinema, that of a “documented point of view”, of an author/filmmaker who, after researching and carefully reflecting on his subject, brings to the public his viewpoint, his subjectivity, his share of truth through a singular cinematic approach.
Throughout its history, the CBA has been an actor, a driving force, a discoverer, a witness and an echo chamber for the fertile evolution of Belgian documentary cinema, from direct cinema to more experimental forms or film essays.
The films supported by the CBA resolutely go out to meet the public, whether it is on Belgian and foreign television channels, in festivals, cinemas, museums, cultural institutions, or in VOD-SVOD. Every year, CBA films are selected in more than 200 international festivals and are screened in as many cultural events.
Since its foundation, the CBA has supported, produced or co-produced, nearly 450 documentary films.
The CBA is supported by the Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles, the French-speaking Public Service of the Brussels-Capital Region and the WBI. The CBA’s own resources from film revenues also contribute to its annual budget.
This film workshop is a place of freedom, of excellence, of research and experimentation where cinema can express itself, explore, shake up the system instead of bending to what it expects, to what it thinks it wants.
It’s a place for reflection and risk. This excludes all slackness, all casualness, but excludes, in the same way, all soft consensus. It is neither a subsidy commission nor a production company. It is a place where all is possible, if it is thought out, reflected upon and worked on around documentary cinema. A place to co-produce, meaning, thinking and films.
A place where, precisely, a desire for film is required.
The CBA welcomes all filmmaking approaches that question reality or simply develop a personal view of the world. It is open to all filmmakers, whether experienced, self-taught or recently graduated from school.
It is not a simple commission, but a real place for listening and supporting projects. An infrastructure and people who drive it.
We are seeking projects in the process of elaboration and development, already written or sometimes already shot, submitted by authors and directors who have a documentary point of view on the subject they are presenting. This is linked both to the work and the deep knowledge of what the film should be about, and to the filmmaker’s personal viewpoint, which allows one to see, understand and transmit what a particular awareness offers and opens up to a reality that is not simply informative, but open to cinema.
In a society where the supply of information is exponential and crippling, there is an urgent need for artworks that enable us to learn how to look at the world and tackle its complexity.
The CBA expects projects where the authors are at the forefront, and where the producers, together with the authors, bear the risk and provide a framework for an efficient and professional handling of the film.
The CBA is made up of a General Assembly of 120 film professionals. It is they who take responsibility for the association by appointing a Board of Directors of 13 members tops for a maximum period of 6 years. A commission of 16 volunteer members, half of them being renewed every 2 years, chooses the projects and follows them alongside the Secretary General and the President