The first unexpected project features a horror film. Not of the fancy and intellectual kind, but a pure slasher with a daring story and a cleverness which should lead to intriguing visuals. Potemkino, the people behind The Spiral, which was a real success in terms of production mastery, now bring us Welp (international title; Louveteau in French). It is the first film for Jonas Govaerts. He has been said to have the same potential as Michael R. Roskam, and shares a DOP with him: Nicolas Karakatsanis.
The pitch? A group of welps arrive deep into Wallonia for summer camp. Unfortunately, they run into a very inventive, bloodthirsty hermit, played by Jan Hammenecker. The actor confirmed the news from Chile, where he is currently filming another Wallimage-co-financed feature, Mirage d’amour avec Fanfare. The national particularisms that have come to make these films more original are definitely present, yet Welp is made such that worldwide fans of the genre will be able to enjoy it. The film might even exceptionally premiere at the BIFFF in April 2014?
Tous les Chats sont gris (la nuit) is another very atypical profile, a first feature film as well. It is solely produced by Tarantula Belgique (Mobile Home, Sous le Figuier), without a foreign co-producer. However, a tiny budget does not mean this film doesn’t stand a chance. The lead roles cast two striking actors: Bouli Lanners and Anne Coesens. These two award-winning actors have been internationally recognized. The lead role goes to a 16 year old girl. The part is much coveted, as the screenplay is fascinating. It tells the story of a young girl looking for her biological father. To pursue this goal, she hires a private detective, who thinks he is the man she is looking for. Young director Savina Dellicour’s story is just as original: after her years at the IAD, she continued her studies in England at the NFTS, under guidance of Stephen Frears. Her senior film project was nominated for a Student Oscar in L.A. and her next financed by Film 4 and the UK Film Council. She also received selections for around thirty international film festivals where she won several awards. Additionally, she directed ten episodes of Hollyoaks, a popular series on British TV. If that doesn’t sound promising…
Tu l’appelleras Jeanne, Anne-Marie Étienne’s newest film, produced in Belgium by Scope Pictures, is also headlining an exceptional duo. For the Rixensart-based company, it will be a first majority Belgian production as executive producers. A first, but a logical first given Scope’s extensive and growing CV.
We will see a 35 year old woman, who is traumatised by her son’s death, seek refuge in a convent where she hopes to be able to put herself together again outside of time. She is mostly trying to escape the world. In there however, Laura will meet warm and empathic women who will be able to break down her wall over the passing of the months. She kindles a friendship with Sister Jeanne, a dynamic forty-something. Back to the very exciting casting: Laura will be played by Marie Gillain, Jeanne by Sandrine Bonnaire. They will be joined by Jacqueline Bir and Marie Casadesus, who already played in another Wallimage film by Anne-Marie Étienne, Sous le Figuier (released 12th June). The film shoot will take 38 days, scheduled between Summer and Fall, all in Wallonia.
The last project is a 100% from Brussels, and another particular case in the history of the fund. The bid for Waste Land, co-produced by Epidemic with Entre Chien et Loup had been selected by the Wallimage/Bruxellimage Board of Directors during one of the 2012 rounds. However, Matthias Schoenaerts retiring from the project and a postposed shoot led the production to reformulate their film. Considering the allocated sum had been entirely recuperated, it was reinvested in the fund’s 2013 budget. Waste Land, directed by Peter Van Hees, is currently filmed in Brussels with a new cast, featuring Jérémie Renier replacing Matthias Schoenaerts. He is joined by Natali Broods (Swooni, La Mercitude des Choses), Peter Van den Begin (Allez Eddy, Frits en Freddy, La cinquième saison), Jacques Delcuvellerie, Mourade Zeguendi and Babetido Sadjo.
The pitch remains the same: when Leo hears his wife is pregnant, he freaks out and tries to forget his blind fear of being a father again by losing himself in a very seedy police inquiry. To solve the strange ritual murder of a young Congolese he needs to enter the heart of a city in the twilight, at the risk of getting lost. Despite its very tight budget, this scary polar film is fascinating on paper, and it should surprise even the Brusselians who think they know their city well.
It will take about a year to discover these films. However, stay tuned for news about their development.