The 107th session of Wallimage is historic as it will be arbitrated by a brand new decentralized council that will be dedicated to our investments in terms of co-production for the next five years. This board is an emanation of the board of directors put in place in December and chaired by Richard Miller, a board of which you will find all the details here.
This final submission of 2021 is also noteworthy for the quantity and quality of the files that were submitted to us. From the beginning of the analysis, we knew that the choices would be difficult, but that the selected projects would also be exceptionally interesting for the Walloon region.
In the end, this session is a new record with twelve audiovisual works co-financed for a total of 1,760,000 euros invested and expenditures in Wallonia that will exceed 9.5 million euros : a boon for our technicians and our animation and post-production industry.
One of the trends of this year-end collection is the return in force of feature films. Another peculiarity : three of them are led by Belgian production companies whereas they have a very marked international character and will be directed by foreign artists.
This will be the case for The Pod Generation, a science fiction production that evokes Gattaca or Her in its ambition to confront humans with a technology that can quickly become (very) invasive. Scope Pictures will produce this feature film directed by Sophie Barthes, which brings together a more than attractive Anglo-Saxon cast : Emilia Clarke (Game of thrones) will work alongside Chiwetel Ejofor (12 years a slave) and Neve Campbell (Sex crimes, Scream). The entire shooting will be Belgian with an armada of Walloon technicians immersed in impressive challenges. In addition to the rental of equipment and the canteen, all the special effects will be done at Mikros for 650,000 euros while the image and sound postproduction will be shared between Genval-les-Dames, which has a large majority on this project, and the Walloon Team. An additional jewel to pin to our catalog of genre films that this session will enrich in unprecedented proportions.
With The Taste of Death, Fontana, its executive producer, offers us a fantastic and anguished thriller directed by Jean-Luc Herbulot and starring Didier Morville (aka JoeyStarr), Asia Argento and Riccardo Scamarcio. Heavy stuff! The scenario which was originally set in the United States has been (masterfully) adapted to Europe and this diabolical road movie now extends from Brussels to Marseille. Twenty of the thirty days will be filmed in the Walloon countryside with an impressive technical team. The taste of death is already in the hands of the XYZ magicians for international sales : a sign that does not deceive.
Le Tombeau des Géants is the first feature film by Loïc Tanson from Luxembourg, co-produced in Belgium by Artémis. This “Alpenwestern” takes place in the middle of the 19th century in a Luxembourg that is being transformed into a modern state. Raped as a teenager, the heroine narrowly escapes death after seeing her parents killed by the cruel local lord. When she returns to the village, transformed by a stay among the Amerindians, she dreams only of revenge. The film will be shot in a period Luxembourgian, entirely in Wallonia, near La Calamine. It will bring together a Walloon team of 28 people, including 4 station managers. In addition to the rental of the cameras and lighting from Eye-lite and the machinery from KGS, the catering will be taken care of by Mille et une saveurs. Most of the post-production will be done in Luxembourg, but the VFX will be Belgian, like the SFX executed on the set by Lionel Lé and the Carolos of Level 9.
Genre film again and again, historical film too, but this time the drama takes place in the icy seas of Northern Europe. We are at the end of the 19th century in a small Icelandic fishing village where anguish sets in. Famine threatens and the inhabitants, afraid of having to share their meager pittance, refuse to help a ship that is wrecked near the coast. Supernatural events then begin to shake the natives who disappear one after the other. Co-produced in Belgium by Wrong Men with the Irish company Brightside Pictures limited, The Damned is written by Jamie Hannigan, already author of Pilgrimage and the promising series Testament in development at Wallimpact. The shooting will be Irish, but the sound team will be Walloon as well as some of the technicians for the underwater shots at Lites Studios in Vilvoorde. Apart from the image editing, the entire post-production will be done in Wallonia, and the VFX will be done by MPC Film & Episodic (ex-Mikros) for more than half a million euros.
Lites will also welcome Apnea, proposed by Versus, its delegate producer. Directed by David Rosenthal, Apnea is a romantic drama set in the world of freediving competitions. Camille Rowe (who already played a diver in The Deep House) and Sofiane Zermani (Les Sauvages) are the main performers. Bardaf for the sound postproduction, Benuts for the special effects, Genval-les-Dames for the sound effects, and TSF Wallonie, for the rental of cameras and lighting, will participate in this adventure stamped Netflix like The Most Murdered Woman in the World and The Land and the Blood that we have co-financed in the past.
From Iceland to Guadeloupe, from Luxembourg to the French Riviera, this session makes us travel like never before. She also takes us to Scotland where a group of German bankers on a team building trip in a dilapidated manor house will meet a Lord, a Lady and their strange staff, an outdated coach, an over-ambitious cook… and a crazy peacock. The Peacock is the first co-production between the Liege-based Frakas and the German MMC Movies Koln, the production company attached to the impressive Cologne studios. Even if it is supposed to take place in the UK, The Peacock will be filmed in Germany and… in a Walloon castle (7 days). A team of 12 regional will be at work and nearly two hundred thousand euros will be invested at Bardaf in post-production. The icing on the cake is that TSF Wallonie will provide the material that will equip the studio. A very interesting opportunity for Laurent Simon’s team.
In the past, Wallimage has already co-financed two feature films by Susanna Nicchiarelli : Nico 1988 and Miss Marx. The Italian director will close this feminist trilogy with Chiara, the story of a young Christian woman who leaves her family to join Francis of Assisi and create, against the advice of the very patriarchal religious authorities, the order of poor women, known today as Poor Clares. As on the previous films of the director who can always count on Tarantula to support her at the Belgian level, the sound system will be Walloon. You don’t change a team that was awarded a prestigious Donatello of Italian cinema for its work on Nico 88. Ostia on the cake, the VFX will be designed in Liege at MPC.
Children’s films are not very common in Belgium, but in Germany they are part of a very popular tradition. A few years ago, Wallimage co-financed the feature film Liliane Susewind which, after a successful run in theatres on the other side of the border, was broadcasted here on Ouftivi. The same Belgian producer, Velvet Films, brings us The Chaos Sisters, a zany tale full of fantasy and twists. Five days of shooting have been (de)located in Wallonia and a team of 27 Walloons will work on this project. The sound postproduction will be done mainly at Genval-les-Dames, while part of the VFX will be done in Wallonia.
When we talk about audiovisual works intended for children, we think more readily of animation for the small screen, always omnipresent in our sessions. This is still the case here with two files quite similar in spirit, but carried by different producers and studios.
Belvision thus presented us with Les Filles de Dad, adapted from the editorial success of Nob, created in 2014, published by Dupuis and already translated into a dozen languages. Out of 10.288 working days, 3.910 will be located at Dreamwall for the realization of the sets, the box anim, the clean posing and the animation of 21 episodes out of the 52 that the series counts. The total duration of production in Wallonia will be 16 months and will employ 17 people, including 4 managerial positions. This will ensure the sustainability of the 2D teams of the Marcinelle flagship, which currently has three teams working in parallel on various projects.
For some time now, Umedia has been taking a close interest in animation, much to the delight of the Waooh! studio, one of its privileged partners, whose agenda is expanding spectacularly. Shaker Monster is a hilarious series published by Gallimard. Mr. Tan its author, alias Antoine Dole, is also the creator of Mortelle Adèle and many novels for teenagers. With Naissance des cœurs de pierre, he won the Prix Vendredi, considered the Goncourt of children’s literature. 18 people will be busy for twelve months at Waooh! to complete almost half of the animation and sets, which represents 4159 days of work or 19 full-time equivalents over a full year. It should be noted that the GO-N group which is at the base of this project has so far optimized its manufacturing costs by collaborating only with Asian studios. This is the very first time that he has turned to Wallonia, which, boosted by the Tax Shelter + Wallimage combination, can finally face the competition from the East.
MADE IN BELGIUM
There has been a lot of talk about gender in this article and Queerying Nature will be no exception, although this is about gender as identity, dealt with in a documentary that promises to be exciting. Aline Magrez and Léonor Palmeira will indeed interview established scientists around the world in an attempt to translate into film an ethological and anthropological reflection on a “Queer” reality and prove that behaviors that some consider subversive or abnormal have always been part of nature. The essential particularity of this shock documentary presented by Les films de la passerelle is to integrate a part of animation which will be taken in charge by a Walloon team in order to illustrate in a poetic way a sometimes very theoretical subject .
The final project selected, entirely financed in Belgium, is a hybrid project imagined by Alec Mansion and Ben Suys. Alec fait son cinéma will be shown in cinemas, interspersed with live musical sequences that will draw on French variety standards from the years 60, 70 and 80. Original! The shooting will last twelve days, eleven of which will be located in Wallonia, with 21 Walloons on the set. Some VFX and a sound postproduction entirely done at Genval les Dames finished to convince us. The newcomer Jungle Films is in charge of this project and will rely on the strength of Brightfish, the advertising agency for the 7th art, to make this initiative a great public success at a time when attendance is down.
No doubt about it! 2021 ends on a high note for Belgian producers. No sooner will we have recovered from our end-of-year celebrations than the first session of 2022 will be upon us. Filing on January 20 . From the 11th, we will be at the disposal of project leaders to boost the files that will animate Wallonia in the coming months.