110th session : chronicle of a (long) selection

  • 08.07.2022

On Monday 4 July, the Decentralized Council of Co-productions, the body statutorily responsible for investment in co-productions, has decided to co-finance eleven new works audiovisual for a total amount of 1 349 000 euros. Two series, two animated feature films, four live-action feature films, two documentaries and a collection of very Walloon comedy vignettes, which will generate more than 8 million euros of spending in our region, are joining our line-up. Four of these works are Belgian initiatives, seven are minority co-productions. With France of course, but also Canada, Italy, Norway, Germany and Luxembourg. Diversification obliges !

In this heterogeneous panorama, Toto goes green appears as a classic project for Wallimage which has already financed the first part of this comedy in 2019. The big difference between the two films is that this one will be almost entirely shot in Wallonia (28 days out of 36), notably in a farm, in the Liège region. Such an issue, as one can imagine, generates significant direct and indirect expenses in the region. Among these, the salaries of a team of 52 people domiciled in Wallonia, including 7 heads of post (shooting and post-production) and quite a lot of equipment rental (camera at TSF, electro at Eye Lite, machinery at K-Tiousha, sound rental at Ad Hoc, boxes at Location Consulting and Facilities). À Toutes Faims Utiles will take care of the canteen, Cob and Bardaf of the sound post-production and Digital District of the VFX. A proposal that is not to be refused, with potentially interesting revenues, boosted by Frakas, which is again in charge of the Belgian part of the project.

Still in the department of French family comedies designed to capture the attention of a very large audience, Les trois vengeances de Maître Poutifard is the new feature film by PEF (Pierre-François Martin-Laval), which will bring together Christian Clavier and Isabelle Nanty on screen. The shooting here is mainly in Brussels with a breakaway in Flanders and five days in Wallonia (Genval, Villers-la-Ville, Braine-le-Comte). In addition to a solid team of Walloon technicians on the set and some related rent, Umedia who brought us this file offers to do the image editing and part of the VFX in Wallonia. A proposal that comes with excellent upstream revenue conditions.

In a more dramatic register, Superluna is already the 6th collaboration between Tarantula and the Italian company Vivo Film. Thanks to this long-term association, Tarantula is now considered an ideal partner in Belgian-Transalpine co-productions. Joseph Rouschop even had the pleasure of sharing two Donatellos (the national Caesars) crowning the best producers of the year in Italy. Superluna, which tells the story of how a small village gets organized after a devastating earthquake, will be shot in Italy. A few Walloon technicians will participate in the adventure, and the entire post-production will be done here : the sound editing and mixing will be done by Marc Bastien and Franco Piscopo (in his studio in Rosières), a duo that also won a Donatello award. The two men have worked in the past on Nico 1988, Miss Marx and Chiara by Susanna Nicchiarelli, but also on Freaks Out and Piove, all co-productions boosted by Wallimage. The sound effects will be done by Éric Grattepain. Charbon Studio will take care of the color grading while the VFX will be made in Wallonia (studio to be specified). It is to be noted that Superluna should be the first film supported by Wallimage to obtain a Green label for its entire manufacturing process. This is a first recognition of the in-depth work we have been doing in this field for several years.

The last live fiction feature film approved during this session is signed Claude Schmitz and directed by Benoit Roland for Wrong Men. L’Autre Laurens is a fake film noir that hijacks the standards of the genre. Despite a modest budget, it will be shot over a period of 40 days, mostly in the South-West of France, with a small crew. An unusual approach that meets the artistic desires of the director. In terms of overall funding, Walloon expenses are less significant than in other files, but they are balanced across the entire production chain : there are technicians on the set, some rental, and post-production in Liège at Cob, Bardaf and MPC.



The two series received and selected at this session are, on the other hand, large international co-productions.

Beyond Black Beauty is a reboot of the 1972 series, which already resulted in a movie in 2020. Initiated in Canada, this 12 episodes of 30 minutes, with a comfortable budget, will be broadcast in America by Amazon Prime. Hubert Toint(Saga Film), who has made many exciting co-productions for Lars Von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg or Peter Greenaway, is in charge of the Belgian part of this project for children and teenagers. We will follow Jolie, 15 years old, a young Belgian rider of mixed race who dreams of the Olympic Games until the day she has to leave Europe to live on her mother’s American ranch. Her disappointment is terrible, but she will meet there a stallion named Beauty. The formidable complicity that will be established between them will change the course of their lives. 21 days of shooting are planned in Wallonia for the last two episodes of the season 1. They will be mainly managed by a Walloon team (37 technicians for more than 450 000 euros of wages) in Walloon settings intended to be exported throughout the world.

Night in Paradise is a German miniseries, very different in its tone and intentions. Inspired by a graphic novel, these six episodes will plunge us into a cab driving through the streets of a bustling megalopolis that can evoke Munich during the beer festival or… Gotham City. Thanks to Belga, the entirety of this huge shoot (64 days) will take place in Belgium. More than 500,000 euros will be spent on technicians on the set, more than 350,000 on equipment rental. In addition, SFX made by Level 9, the catering (Eat me), but also the use of the virtual studio Magic Loom for six days, all the sound postproduction at Studio l’Équipe Wallonie, the VFX at Benuts and, icing on the cake, the composition and management of the original music by Yves Gourmeur (General Score)



A Wallimage session without animation is as inconceivable as a carnival without clogs or ostrich feathers, a Doudou without a dragon, a party in Outremeuse without Peket. Two new and artistically very appealing feature films are joining our line-up.

Brought to Belgium by Umedia, Planets features four dandelion achenes (!!!). Rescued from a nuclear explosion that destroyed the Earth, they are thrown into the cosmos, stranded on an unknown planet and go in search of a suitable ground for their survival. An audiovisual UFO, situated somewhere between Microcosmos and Minuscule, Planets is a visual poem that will offer a family audience an emotional journey and a reflection on the climate emergency. Directed by Momoko Seto, a Japanese scientist working at the CNRS and passionate about images, Planets will mix very original live-action techniques and traditional animation which will be concentrated in Liege at the MPC studio. Seven artists under the direction of Guyone Leroy will take charge of the peregrinations of the plant heroes during six months. The sound mixing will be done at Bardaf.

Valemon, The Legend of the Polar Bear is based on an old Norwegian legend that is somewhat reminiscent of the narrative issues in Beauty and the Beast. This 2D animated feature film, unearthed by Belga, is carried in Belgium by Vivi Film, with whom Wallimage participated in the 2010 Oscars for Brendan and the Secret of Kells. This project has the advantage of setting up a Belgian pipeline to support international co-productions. A Flemish studio, a Brussels studio and a Walloon studio (Dreamwall in this case) will share the Belgian tasks, headed by Viviane Vanfleteren, an animation specialist. 130 days of production will take place in Marcinelle for regional expenses exceeding 700 000 euros. The 17 technicians involved will work a total of 2,075 days, or the equivalent of 9.4 full time over one year. The 3 regional funds are considered, based on a perfect balance of expenses, which makes it a very good case.



In the Shadow of the Heroes of the Resistance is in line with the wonderful documentary Les enfants de la collaboration, broadcast on RTBF in November 2020 and already produced by Les gens. The framework will not be quite the same, but Anne-Cécile Huwart will once again meet the descendants of people who participated in the Second World War, this time on the side of the resistance fighters, to note that being the daughter or son of heroes is not always experienced as a chance or an honor. Tristan Bourlard, co-director of the documentary, will produce with Zest Studio (an animation studio specializing in documentaries, which will also handle the editing and color grading) animated sequences illustrating crucial testimonies. Scheduled to appear on the channel at the end of the year, this second part of a collection that is quite unique in the annals will also benefit from an original music composed by Michel Duprez.

In a very different style and with very different issues, Esport, world of gamers by Bastien Martin will plunge us into the world of esport, which “designates the practice of a video game on the Internet or in a LAN party, alone or in a team, through a computer or a video game console” (thanks Wikipedia!). Many teenagers, keen on virtual immersions, aspire to become professionals. They will soon realize that it is a constant struggle at all levels. Now carried by Les Films de la Passerelle, this documentary with a very modest budget, but also very Walloon, will be programmed on Tipik at the end of the year for a young audience who will discover with greed an addictive universe where the called are not all elected. Far from it.



The last project selected for this 110th session, Les chroniques du Charbon, produced by Big Trouble in Little Belgium, caught our attention during a very successful presentation at a meeting organized by the very dynamic Comptoir des Ressources Créatives in Montpellier. Bluffed by the charisma of its scriptwriter and main interpreter Baba Nezar and by the humble and relaxed professionalism of its producer Thibaut Dopchie, we started with the team a long term work to imagine how Wallimage could intervene in the financing of this project entirely shot in Saint Ghislain for a broadcast on Tipik. This series of 25 crazy capsules of 3 minutes tells the daily life, in a so-called sensitive neighborhood, of a band of friends who became drug dealers by accident. Its realization rests partly on a young but voluntary technical team, the talents of tomorrow if we give them the support they deserve. After the presentation of the file, very professionally put together by this newcomer to our family, the decentralized council of co-productions decided that such a mission of accompaniment was also incumbent upon Wallimage, because the engine of the Walloon audiovisual industry must be attentive to the renewal of regional creative forces. Needless to say, we are very excited about this decision and will devote all the energy it requires.