Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Nieuwste Geschiedenis vol:39 issue:1-2 pages:53-92
This contribution surveys the history of newsreels in Belgium from the interwar period to the disappearance of the main Belgian newsreel Belgavox (1994). It is based on original archival materials and secondary literature and contextualises the Belgian film market in a broader international framework. Until the Second World War the open, liberal film market of Belgium was almost completely dependent on foreign suppliers of newsreels. Initiatives to found a local newsreel met obstacles of a structural-economic (limited market), commercial (market agreements and package deals) and political nature (lack of official support). After the Second World War the Belgavox newsreel was established. It was able to compete with large foreign enterprises owing to official Belgian support. This contribution does not only broach the structure of the market, but also the historical reception and the content of the newsreels, which centred on 'soft' and small news items.