In 2010 the Union des Producteurs de Films francophones and Pro Spère founded the Académie André Delvaux, which aims to recognize excellence in Belgian francophone cinematic achievements in order to have a Belgian counterpart of the French César Awards or the American Academy Awards.
The name of the award comes from the surrealistRené Magritte. Charly Herscovici, who created the foundation Magritte, allowed the academy to use the name. The 1st Magritte Awards ceremony took place on February 5, 2011, at the Square in the historic site of Mont des Arts, Brussels. Twenty categories were presented, honoring artists, directors and other personalities of the filmmaking industry of the time for their works during the 2009–2010 period. The ceremony was televised in Belgium by BeTV. Film director Jaco Van Dormael presided over the ceremony, while actress Helena Noguerra hosted the show. The Magritte Award trophy was created by Xavier Lust, a Belgian designer, who drew inspiration from a poster entitled Moments inoubliables du cinema produced by René Magritte for a film festival in 1958.
The Magritte Awards replace the Joseph Plateau Award, awarded from 1985 to 2006. Originally, twenty categories were presented. In 2012, the academy split the Best Coproduction award into Best Flemish Coproduction and Best Foreign Coproduction. All Belgians, Flemish-speaking or francophone, having appeared in films produced by francophone producers, are eligible for the various awards. The board of directors of the Académie André Delvaux assigns a Magritte Honorary Award to a Belgian or international film personality. From 2011 to 2012 was also presented an Audience Award voted on by the general public.