Erwin Provoost is to become the next CEO of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), it was announced by the organisation's Board. Provoost will succeed Pierre Drouot, who was appointed CEO in 2005.

Erwin Provoost"With his many years of experience in the audiovisual field, Erwin Provoost is the ideal person to succeed Pierre Drouot as VAF's new CEO", says Jeroen Depraetere, Chairman of the VAF Board. "Besides his engaging personality, Erwin also possesses all the qualities necessary to lead the Fund in the turbulent times our sector is currently experiencing. The Board supports his ambition to further develop VAF and bring innovative new incentives to our growing Flemish audiovisual talent."

"I'm proud to have the opportunity to continue the wonderful work of Pierre Drouot", says Provoost. "I also look forward to working together with a strong and effective team. The first task is to ensure continuity. However, the audiovisual sector is in full (r)evolution, and in the coming years VAF, together with producers, directors and writers, will have to develop an effective response."

"The Board’s decision to appoint Erwin Provoost wasn’t an obvious one", explains Pierre Drouot, the outgoing VAF CEO. "Strong personalities always have supporters and opponents. But a strong personality with strategic insight, tactical sense, diplomatic talent, broad experience and an independent attitude is what VAF, and the independent audiovisual sector in Flanders, need. As I see it, this puts the last six months of my mandate in a positive light."

Erwin Provoost was born in Ghent in 1954, and studied film direction and production at the RITCS film school in Brussels from 1972 to 1976.

In the early 1980s he created his own company, Multimedia (later MMG), which shook up the dormant Flemish film scene with movies such as Brussels by Night (1983), Istanbul (1985) and Crazy Love (Love is a Dog from Hell, 1987), directed by talented emerging filmmakers such as Marc Didden, Dominique Deruddere and Stijn Coninx. For Deruddere’s second feature, Wait Until Spring, Bandini, Provoost himself went to the USA to work together with Zoetrope Studios, producers of Apocalypse Now and The Godfather.

Besides winning artistic acclaim, Provoost was also responsible for some of the highest grossing domestic hits in Belgium, such as Hector (Stijn Coninx, 1987) and Koko Flanel (Coninx, 1990). The Memory of a Killer (The Alzheimer Case, Erik Van Looy, 2003) registered well over 750,000 admissions in Belgium, and was sold to over 20 territories. Focus Features acquired remake rights to the film.

For television, MMG produced the drama series Storm Force (Windkracht 10) and long running police series Cops (Flikken), which was watched by more than 1.4 million viewers in Flanders every week. The success of Cops in the Netherlands led to a local spin-off series.

Following MMG’s take-over by Dutch production outfit Eyeworks, Provoost became, in 2010, CEO of Eyeworks Belgium. Besides drama, he also took on its entertainment division, responsible for shows and formats such as Dancing with the Stars (Strictly Come Dancing), Masterchef and Young Swans.

In 2013, Provoost left Eyeworks (which in the meantime has become part of Warner Bros. International Television) and took on a new challenge. He was appointed media director at WPG Uitgevers, one of the leading publishing houses in the Benelux. His mission was to turn this traditional “paper” publisher into a media company. Its first production was the 50-part children's series The Kattenoog Mystery Club for VTMKZOOM and RTL Telekids. This was sold internationally by Lagardère Studios.

After taking a sabbatical, Erwin Provoost will start as CEO of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund on 1 January 2018.

Published on Tuesday 4 July 2017

Preferential partners