104th session: 10 projects selected, over 1.5 million euros invested

  • 09.04.2021

fter having adapted quite remarkably to the exceptional conditions by applying strict and effective measures and then diversifying, Belgian producers are now preparing their weapons to liven up the next few months, those of the recovery with a bang. The number of projects they are preparing is clearly on the rise and this spring session is clearly the one where everyone is predicting a quick exit from the crisis.

Faced with an increasing number of applications and forced to make drastic choices once again, the Wallimage Board of Directors has decided to allocate more than 1.5 million euros to 10 projects, which are very varied as usual. Animation, series, films, both Belgian and foreign, with Walloon spending on the best projects clearly up compared to the last few months : this is excellent news.


Four of the projects selected for this 104th session were initiated in Belgium. Two are feature films. There is also a series and a documentary.


Le plus vivant possible is presented by Versus and directed by Delphine Girard, who was nominated for an Oscar for her short film Une sœur. It is precisely from this excellent film that the director decided to start again to wonder how the characters could have evolved until the trial that will seal the case. Selma Alaoui, Guillaume Duhesme and Veerle Baetens will reprise their original roles and will be joined by Quebec’s Anne Dorval. Shared between Wallonia and Brussels, the shooting will welcome 39 Walloon technicians. Most of the post-production will be done in France to meet the legitimate requirements of the co-production.


J’aime la vie (our regards to Sandra Kim who inspired this title) is a co-production, but this one is entirely Belgian, shared between Lunamine who is in charge in Ghent and Tarantula who proposed us this project. This first feature film by Flemish actor Mathias Sercu is a drama partly defused by the traditional Flemish point of view, willingly mixing emotion, humor and tenderness with the darkness of the subject.  Led by two actresses from the De Twaalf series (Charlotte De Bruyne and Greet Verstraete), the shooting will be divided fairly evenly between Flanders and the Belgian Ardennes with Walloon technicians and equipment. For the post-production, we note the interventions of Mikros for the special effects, Bardaf for the sound editing or Charbon for the color grading and mastering.


Attraction , which was submitted by Les Gens, is a 6X52 minute miniseries, supported in Belgium by the Fonds des séries. This domestic thriller starring Laura Sepul was written by Barbara Abel and Sophia Perié and will be directed this summer by Indra Siera. Half of the filming will take place in Walloon Brabant while 33 technicians from our region will be at work. The entire sound industry will be Walloon, both on set and in post-production (Dame Blanche) as well as color grading and editing. That is, in all, 1844 days of work for Walloon technicians and 112 for actors. This gives the equivalent of 9 full time jobs for one year. Excellent economic prospects for our region.


The fourth project initiated in our country is not of the same caliber financially, but this documentary signed by Christophe Hermans (La Ruche) takes us back to the heart of the University Hospital of Liège in October 2020 when the medical teams must face this second dreaded attack. In the tradition of Waiting for the Second Wave, recently broadcast by RTBF, Des corps et des batailles – volet 2 will complete the experience. A movie will be born from the mix of these two films. Dérives and Frakas are producing this powerful document that will surely be remembered as the first part.


What would a Wallimage session be without animation projects? For the past fifteen years, animation has become one of the most promising sectors of the Walloon audiovisual industry, so much so that new studios are being created and promise to further strengthen the brand image of our region in this sector.


Chronologically, Dreamwall is now the ancestor in this small constellation. An ancestor who is doing magnificently well and multiplying exciting projects that allow him to stabilize in-house teams specialized in 2D or 3D to lead several projects. The season 2 of The Badger-Fox family is a strategically very interesting project since it demonstrates that France and Belgium (Belvision), with the support offered in each of the two countries, can cope with the configuration set up for the season 1, namely a collaboration between France and India. Adapted from a comic book series whose 7 titles published so far have already been translated into 14 languages, this adventure will allow the Carolo company to realize the sets of 14 episodes as well as the 3D layout and the animation of 26 episodes. 14 animators, 6 decorators, 2 layoutmen and a technical director will be at work around 5 managerial positions, that is to say a team of 27 people for a total of 5.626 man-days. Everything we love.


Facing Dreamwall, the new incarnation of Digital Graphics is obviously a newcomer, but the reputation of Alleur’s company, in a very different positioning from its first version, is already impressive. In two years, the studio led by Thierry Tirtiaux has attracted in its nets four international productions. Partie de Campagne was brought to him by Scope Pictures who renewed the Franco-Belgian collaboration started with La station animation on the series Grosha and MrB, already sold in a dozen countries. Digital Graphics inherits 280 days of work on 15 storyboards and on the animation of 39 episodes between March 2021 and July 2022. The storyboarding work for 5 people will represent 240 man-days and the animation 3400 man-days, that is to say the equivalent of 16 full time for one year. As a bonus, the production of the masters of the 52 episodes will be entrusted to Studio l’Equipe Wallonie.

The last four projects are co-productions initiated abroad. Three are feature films, but Karen is a Scandinavian series designed around the Danish writer Karen Blixen, author of the African farmhouse that gave cinema the famous Out of Africa. Produced in Denmark by Zentropa with the support of Viaplay, the leading platform in Scandinavia (Atlantic Crossing), this series was lured to Belgium by Belga Films, which offered to shoot all the dream sequences in the Lites studios. During these two weeks, most of the team will be Walloon. But the company of Braine-L’Alleud also took the opportunity to bring back to us the VFX which will be realized at Benuts and the music of this very prestigious series which will be entrusted to the Montois Yves Gourmeur.

Filmed in Berlin, Black Box is a closed-door film set in a time of pandemic : the courtyard of a large building is blocked by the police because of an ambiguous event that will soon provoke a state of emergency among the residents. As a result, insecurity breeds fear and prejudice becomes polarized. The subject seduced the Dardenne brothers and it is thus the films of the river which co-produce this tense, very metaphorical film. 25 Walloon technicians will join the team of the Turkish director Asil Ozge while Bardaf, COB, Chambre noire, and Mikros will share a large part of the post-production.


The last two projects selected are French comedies which have in common that they are well written, rhythmic and have serious assets to generate a public success in our neighbors.

Umedia brought us Les têtes givrées, a feature film by Stéphane Cazes (Ombline) produced in France by La Bonne Pioche, which lives up to its name. This very intelligent eco-comedy features a former ski coach who has become the teacher of a “difficult” class. When he takes his students to the nearby glacier, it’s a shock : impressed by the beauty of what they discover, the young people want to prevent it from disappearing and launch a fight as exciting as desperate. We can perfectly imagine Clovis Cornillac in the role of this hothead with a big heart. Claudia Tagbo and the young Walloon Louis Durant will also be part of the adventure. If the global expenses are not exceptional, they are structuring with a great Walloon team on site, a 100% regional sound system  and the VFX which will be realized by Umedia VFX Wallonia or by Mikros.


La tête dans les étoiles is the first French comedy co-produced by Benoit Roland(Wrong men). He accompanied the Frenchman Charles Gilibert. The two men got to know each other on the epic Annette adventure. The hero of this crazy story imagined by Emmanuel Gilibert (Teeth, Pee and Bed!) is the successful youtuber Hakim Jemili (Doctor ?) who plays a loser who earns a bad living delivering pizzas for various companies before finding himself, following a series of very funny misunderstandings, in an international rocket. The film will be entirely shot in France, with 50 Walloon technicians (including 8 post supervisors). The image post-production will be done in Wallonia with mastering, color grading and all VFX (for more than 300.000 euros) at the Other Company in La Hulpe.