Building bridges. These words run like a thread through Ellen Onkelinx’ career. In everything she does, Ellen is known for her thorough, hands on and positive can do attitude. She believes in constructively overcoming conflict and finding solutions. Not surprisingly, her life motto is: “There’s a solution to every problem”. She also believes in the power of opposition and the combination of head & heart. Only through active listening, empathy and understanding opposite positions, you can fine-tune your own position and grow.
“In sameness we connect, in difference we grow” (Virginia Satir)
Ellen has been a mediator in business affairs since 2015 (trained by bMediation and Harvard Law School). She’s accredited by the Belgian Federal Mediation Commission.
Chief Executive VOFTP
Ellen Onkelinx was the Chief Executive of the trade association of Flemish film and television producers (VOFTP) for over 10 years (2006-2016). VOFTP defends the interests of the Flemish independent film and television production companies, with members like Studio 100, de filistijnen, deMensen, Eyeworks/Warner Bros, Hotel Hungaria, Panenka, ded’s it, Lunanime, enz.
Ellen built the association into a relevant political and commercial stakeholder. She negotiated new laws, financing mechanisms, joint positions and sector agreements with, amongst others (regional, federal and European) governments and members of parliament, public and private broadcasters, cable distributors, telecom operators, banks, production companies, government agencies, trade associations, authors, performers, collecting societies, etc. She worked closely with VRT, Medialaan, SBS, Proximus, Telenet, Flanders Investment & Trade, PMV/Cultuurinvest, Motion Picture Association of America, SABAM, SACD/deAuteurs, Videohouse, Option Media, Flanders District of creativity etc..
She was the spokesperson for the audiovisual producers and was a member of the conciliation committee of the Media Fund and the general assembly of the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF).
She was frequently invited to speak in the federal and Flemish Parliament. She was also asked as expert in the European, Dutch, Danish and Norwegian Parliament, the Staten-Generaal for Media and round table discussions organized by research institutes and the government.
Ellen was a guest lecturer at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and the University of Antwerp (UA), a member of the strategic advisory council Media and Culture (SARC, advisory councils for the Flemish government) and (board) member of the international associations of Film and television producers (FIAPF & CEPI).
Manager Legal and Business Affairs Scope Invest
From 2005 to 2006 Ellen worked as the Legal & Business Affairs Manager of SCOPE INVEST, a Belgian film financing company, where she bridged the gap between the corporate world and the audiovisual sector. She sought and assisted companies wanting to invest in films through the favorable Belgian tax shelter scheme. She helped finance films like “l’Enfant” (the Dardenne brothers), “Joyeux Noël” (Christian Carion) and “Buitenspel” (Jan Verheyen).
Master in business management
In 2004 Ellen obtained a Master in business management at the European Media Business School. During this program she worked for several months at the London based sales agent CAPITOL FILMS.
Lawyer at the law firm ALTIUS
Ellen started her career (2000-2004) as a lawyer at the Brussels based law firm ALTIUS, where she focused on international copyright, media and entertainment law, business law, trademarks and general contract law. She represented clients like Canon, Microsoft, SBS, Twentieth Century Fox, EMI, Red Bull, Proximus, Jef Nys/Jommeke in negotiations and court proceedings.
Master of Laws and LL.M in intellectual property law
Ellen studied law at the University College London (LL.M in intellectual property (1999- 2000)), the University of Leuven (K.U.Leuven - Master of Laws (1994-1999)) and the University of Barcelona (Erasmus exchange (1997-1998)).
Sabbatical and specialization in mediation and negotiation
“Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible” (Mandy Hale).
When Ellen left VOFTP in the end of 2016, she decided to take a sabbatical, while still doing some ad hoc consultancy work. She travelled a lot, read books, did sports, spent more time with family and friends, committed to several nonprofit initiatives and participated in inspiring networking trips (72hoursreload).
During this period, Ellen attended several courses at Harvard Law School: “Mediating Disputes” “(2016), “Negotiation & Leadership” (2016) and the “Negotiation Masterclass” (2017). She also attended a course at the German Erich Pommer Institute: “The art of negotiation in the creative industries” (2017) and with Finance is Fun: “Finance for non-financials” (2017).
master the gap
In the summer of 2017 Ellen founded master the gap®. master the gap® stands for the art of bringing parties together, conquering their differences, combining head & heart, bridging the gap and coming to decisions that leave all parties satisfied.
Ellen finds daily inspiration in her 3 dynamic daughters (2007, 2008 and 2011). She loves adventurous travelling and discovering different cultures.