SBC celebrates its 30th anniversary

The Belgian Society of Cinematographers SBC celebrates its 30th Anniversary today

As we approach the end of 2023, SBC marks three decades of existence.

Our society was born out of the relationship between André Goeffers and Luciano Tovoli (aic-asc), shortly after the foundation of Imago in 1992.

At that time, Belgium did not yet have its society of directors of photography.

A small group of 10 individuals (Michel Baudour, Raymond Fromont, André Goeffers, Michel Houssiau, Jean-Claude Neckelbroeck, Patrice Payen, Willy Stassen, Walther Vanden Ende, Yves Vandermeeren and Michel Van Laer), gathered to draft our initial statutes and establish the association. These statutes were eventually signed at the iconic Brussels café

Het Goudblommeke in papier – La Feuille en papier doré

It was immediately decided that the association would be national, bringing together talents from the three linguistic communities of our country. The admission criteria for active members were strict: having worked on three feature films released in theatres. Two additional categories were added: associate members (Louis-Philippe Capelle, Pierre Gordower, Kommer Kleijn, Marc Koninckx, Poskin Jacques, Allesandro Usui, Jan Vancaillie & Chris Renson) and benefactor or honorary members who were not directors of photography but closely associated with our profession. The first president, Walther Vanden Ende, was appointed, and the association had 18 members at that time.

In 1994, SBC joined IMAGO, founded two years earlier, to internationalize our association. André Goeffers, a founding member, took over the presidency of SBC in 1996. He became known for his skills as a mediator in international conflicts, and handed over the reins to Willy Stassen in 2008.

For over 10 years, Kommer Kleijn and Louis-Philippe Capelle held key positions in

IMAGO. Kommer headed the Technical Committee, and Louis-Philippe served as Secretary-General and Treasurer for over 10 years. Within this framework, SBC hosted two international conferences on cinematography education with the help of Ella Van den Hove and Marijke van Kets. Ella still holds the title of co-chair of Imago’s Education Committee to this day. Belgium also hosted three annual general assemblies, a record only recently equalled by Italy.

In early 2018, Lou Berghmans and Louis-Philippe Capelle were elected co-presidents of SBC. This choice facilitated communication between our two linguistic communities and the sharing of tasks, which had significantly increased. Many new members joined SBC, rejuvenating the association considerably.

At the end of 2023, SBC has 101 members (including 8 retired members) and 10 female representatives. This last point is also a priority for our association, and efforts are being made to increase female participation.

To welcome young talent, an SBC- Rookie category was introduced, comprising 12 members, including 4 young women. SBC aims to support young cinematographers at the beginning of their careers by sharing knowledge and experience. Influenced by this group, classical topics extends to matters such as work-life balance, gender equality, and inclusion. Working conditions on sets also touches this young group

To ensure more annual activities, a stronger financial base is required. This is achievable only with a representative number of members. Sponsors, we call them partners, we approach, are major players in the Belgian film industry, encompassing key service providers and suppliers.

SBC has an attractive and informative website,, thanks to our member, Anton Mertens. The website also collaborates with the AFC and English-language specialized magazines (Cinematographers World) to publish interviews with our cinematographers regarding their latest projects. A technical committee has been established to address the challenges of new technologies.

There is also close collaboration with MEDIARTE and certain service providers to organize additional training sessions, led by expert members, on topics related to social, financial, and other crucial aspects directly linked to our profession.

Several times a year, the association organizes screenings and debates around films by its members

Thirty years is both a short and respectable age. The Belgian cinematographers now hold a respected place in the world, and they collect awards at festivals like CAMERIMAGE or MANAKI BROTHERS, representing international recognition for our small country. SBC members can be found on the sets of renowned international films and series (in France, England, USA, Holland, Switzerland, etc.).

The life of the association would be nothing without its members and their active participation. We warmly thank everyone who contributed over these 30 years to make SBC a modern and globally oriented association.

The future is certainly securelong live SBC!

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