109th session: French comedy back in force (but not only)

  • 25.04.2022

Eight files co-financed, 1.4 million invested for an estimated 11.3 million spent in the Walloon Region: this second session of 2022 was characterized by an influx of very large projects and an inevitably very tense competition. Meeting on April 1st, the members of the Decentralized Co-Production Council had to make a difficult selection, knowing that once again, some proposals that were not selected could very well have been included in our line-up if our scope of action had been a little wider. But administration is about choice and any selective fund can be cruel in the end.

As often, the selection is very diversified and, if no animation project was submitted to us, the list of winners includes feature films in co-production, a Scandinavian series and two Belgian series, fiction and documentary. Comedies, dramas, discoveries and confirmations.

La vie pour de vrai, which will make impressive expenditures in Wallonia, is the new comedy of Dany Boon, which was presented to us by his Belgian production company 26DB Productions. To give life to a scenario with a rather implacable mechanics, the film will gather around the writer-actor-director-producer, Charlotte Gainsbourg and the unmovable sidekick of Dany Boon, Kad Merad. 26 days of shooting are planned in Belgium, including 5 in Wallonia, with a team of 20 Walloons. The rental of filming equipment involves Macadam Car, Eyelite, KGS and Panavision. Dany Boon will also call upon the popular Magic Loom Virtual Studio for a spectacular action scene, while the VFX will be done by Benuts and the sound post-production by Bardaf.


We remain in the field of comedy, with the new feature film by Rémy Bezançon, which we co-financed a few years ago Un heureux événement, already co-produced in Belgium by Scope Pictures. A master stroke is the remake of the Argentinean hit Mi obra maestra (My masterpiece) by Gaston Duprat. It is based on an exciting duo of actors: Vincent Macaigne and Bouli Lanners, who have already proved their complementary skills in Samuel Benchetrit’s Chien. Even if the project was initiated in France (without tax credit), the budget is 70% Belgian. 20 of the 35 days of shooting planned in Belgium will be in Wallonia with an impressive team of 59 regional technicians. Eye-Lite, KGS and Macadamcar will rent the filming equipment. The image editing and color grading will be done at Studio l’Équipe Wallonie, the sound postproduction at Bardaf and the VFX at MPC Liège (ex-Mikros).


In addition to the fact that her father and brother are stars, Victoria Bedos is known for being the author and co-writer of La Famille Bélier, whose remake, Coda, won three Oscars in March, including Best Picture. With Leo et moi, co-produced by Frakas, she delves into teenage emotions through a dizzying exploration of the concept of “gender. Philippe Katerine, Pierre Richard and Chantal Lauby will surround the young actors in this luminous fantasy. If there is no Walloon shooting on the program, 11 regional technicians will participate in the shooting while Bardaf will take care of the sound postproduction. Leo and I is one of the “smaller” projects that have stepped into the pack of the session’s behemoths by offering, among other things, very attractive revenue conditions.


On an identical scheme, with an analogous positive result, Toutes pour Une, brought to us by Versus, is a rereading of The Three Musketeers… in a feminine way. Directed by Houda Benyamina, who won three Césars and the Caméra d’Or at Cannes with Divines, this atypical and unbridled adventure film will reunite Oulaya Amamra, Lou De Laâge, Héloïse Letissier (Chris, without the Queens), and Deborah Lukumuena. Enough to put in PLS all the obsessed of the supposed wokism which fight against the current feminist wave. If the Walloon expenses of this project are not colossal, focused mainly on the sound system, audiodescription, VFX at the Other Company, some technicians and Walloon equipment on the set, the file has risen in our line-up thanks to a reduced demand and a boosted revenue proposal that have aroused the enthusiasm of the Council.


The last feature film selected in this session is initiated in Canada and co-produced in Belgium by Gapbusters. Niamh Algar (Raised by wolves), Michael Shannon (Take shelter), Marisa Tomei (May Parker in the Marvel movies, The Wrestler) will be the performers of this tense thriller under the direction of Maxime Giroux. All the shooting of In Cold Light is planned on the other side of the Atlantic, but Vincent Cahay, Fabrice Du Welz’s usual collaborator, will compose the soundtrack and all the post-production, except for the image editing, will be done in Wallonia, including VFX! These are therefore very structuring expenses for our industry. It should be noted that the company XYZ, with whom we have already collaborated on many occasions, is already involved in the project: a guarantee of effective international distribution in the increasingly popular genre film niche.

As it is more and more complicated to attract special effects for French works in Wallonia, Belgian producers no longer hesitate to explore other territories to satisfy the appetite of our excellent studios. In Finland, André Logie(Panache) found Estonia, a prestigious series co-produced by Estonia, Sweden and therefore also by Belgium. In the manner of Chernobyl, the narrative immerses us in the investigation that followed the sinking of the MS Estonia on September 28, 1994, while it was sailing from Tallinn to Stockholm. Of the 898 passengers, 852 will perish. A little more than a quarter of the shooting is planned in Vilvoorde in the aquatic studio Lites. During this period, 15 Walloons will work, in particular on the construction of the hull of the boat. All the post-production (except image editing) will be done under the leadership of Bardaf with the majority of the expenses in Wallonia (sound editor, mixer, soundman…). At least 800,000 euros will be invested to develop the very important digital special effects at the Other Company. This represents 850 man-days, i.e. a team of 10 to 12 people for several months for the company based in La Hulpe.

We remain in the series but we radically change the register with the return of Baraki, still produced by Koko arrose the culture with the support of 10.80 films. Concentrated in twelve 26-minute episodes, this season 2 will pick up the saga right where its progenitors left off at the end of season 1 after 20 crazy episodes. Apart from a few reinforcements, the team will be globally identical to that of the first season with 51 Walloons working for 50 days in Wallonia (+ 10 in Brussels). The rental of the electro and shooting equipment is planned at EyeLite, the mastering and color grading at Studio L’Equipe Wallonie. It should be noted that season 1 has been sold to Netflix for the Benelux and France, pending an extension of the international broadcast.


Did you know that Belgium ranks second in the number of BioTechs per capita, behind Israel and ahead of the United States? This is what you will discover in Wallonia Life science, the last project selected during this 109th session. This eight-episode documentary series, conceived and directed by Frédéric Moray and Jeanne Hebbelinck, and produced by Limited Adventures SPRL and La colline d’en Face, will explain this little-known success by popularizing scientific research and its commercialization through the portraits of Walloon researchers and entrepreneurs. Most of the technicians associated with this project will be (obviously) Walloon while the entire post-production will be located in Liege at Bardaf (obviously the big winner of this session). The icing on the cake, the soundtrack will be signed by the band Glauque from Namur who already collaborated with the production team on the project “In search of new models” broadcasted last year on Tipik. Another guarantee of quality!