de schutter van lombeek

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Christian De Schutter, Barbara Van Lombeek

European film executives Christian De Schutter and Barbara Van Lombeek have teamed up to launch The FYC Academy, an agency for global awards strategies.

FYC – which stands for For Your Campaign – will launch officially in Cannes next month. The company’s focus is to set up international campaigns and develop strategies aimed at achieving optimum visibility for films during awards season.

It will include, but is not limited to Academy Awards campaigns, and will work initially on around five titles per year, from any international territory.

The FYC Academy will operate separately from Van Lombeek’s The PR Factory and De Schutter’s strategy firm Hype Park. He will continue providing festival consultancy to Danish sales and aggregation company LevelK, which he joined after leaving Belgian promotions agency Flanders Image in December.

“Campaigning has evolved into a fine art form,” said a statement from De Schutter and Van Lombeek. “It requires a precise blend of ads, high-profile interviews and one-on-one interactions. To execute it effectively, you require a compelling narrative – a story to share with potential voters and the media. Interestingly, today’s awards campaigns increasingly exhibit similarities to political campaigns.

Although operating without a one-size-fits-all approach, the FYC Academy will use three key points in its strategies:

  • Coaching, including coaching the filmmaker on conveying the narrative around their film to international audiences
  • Consultancy, including festival and screenings strategies, and guiding filmmakers on securing a North American distributor and/or US awards publicist
  • Communication, including media coverage and organizing voter-only screenings in international cities

The agency took shape after Van Lombeek and De Schutter collaborated on an international campaign for Ilker Catak’s The Teachers’ Lounge. Van Lombeek had been approached by the film team after the title was shortlisted for the Oscars in December 2023. With De Schutter, they promoted the film to an Oscar nomination for best international feature, as well as the European Parliament’s Lux Prize.

Van Lombeek has over 25 years of experience in film publicity. She is a founding partner of The PR Factory, and has worked on campaigns for Laura Wandel’s Playground, Baloji’s Omen and Lukas Dhont’s Close.

Former Screen International and Moving Pictures journalist De Schutter was manager of Flanders Image from 2003 until last year, during which time he worked on campaigns for Michael R. Roskam’s Bullhead, Felix van Groningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown and Dhont’s Girl and Close.