41th Wallimage investment round: humour, love, adventure and a battle

  • 10.03.2011

First, we are happy to see Frédéric Fonteyne return. Patrick Quinet produces him with Artémis for Quartier Libre, which takes us to prison to … learn how to tango. Presented like that, the pitch might seem slightly strange. However, we shall clarify the story is about a rather dreamy guard (François Damiens) who falls for a visitor (Anne Paulicevich), who in turn is there to visit her husband and her lover (Jan Hammenecker and Sergi Lopez) who share a cell. We understand that more than one cinema lover will be interested in seeing what the director of Max et Bobo, Une Liaison Pornographique and La Femme de Gilles will do with this quite delirious dramatic comedy.

Hors les Murs, as the title indicates, also deals with a prison environment. However, that is not the central theme of the film. David Lambert’s very first feature length film is produced in Belgium by Frakas together with Red Star Cinema from France, the same people behind Bye Bye Blondie. They are joined by Boréal Films, a partner from Québec, offering an extra dimension to this love drama inspired of Xavier Dolan’s world. After Vivre encore un peu, a short film causing tears in more than 25 international festivals, Hors Les Murs gives us a tumultuous passion, shaken up by the surprise incarceration of one of the lovers. It’s no secret that through this touching screenplay and convoluted note of intention, we might just have spotted the next big name in film here. While Quartier Libre will use the dream team of Belgian technicians, Hors Les Murs is working with the young, upcoming generation. Things are in safe hands!

Next to these two majority Belgian feature films, Wallimage’s Board of Directors also decided to co-produce a French blockbuster, presented by Scope Pictures. The reason behind supporting Vivre c’est mieux que mourir is that the production will make massive investments in Wallonia through its shoot, the rental of material and post-production elements which will be taken care of by Benuts Digital, a company setting up in Mons. Its working title, recalls James Bond, but Vivre c’est mieux que mourir is a homage to films with the big Belmondo of the sixties, like Le Magnifique, for example. The commercial appeal of the project lies elsewhere as it is actually the new madness brought to you by the dream team scoring a huge hit in France with L’Arnacoeur. Same director (Pascal Chaumeil, same screenwriters, and a similar casting with Romain Durys, François Damiens and Julie Ferrier. Only the lead female role changes as this time a certain Marion Cotillard was cast, an actress we were told is quite well known…

The fourth project is very peculiar. It is named Waterloo, and intends to make us relive one of history’s best known battles with pomp and historic rigour. The film, started by Création et Mémoire and co-produced by a series of Belgian economic players such as Araneo and the RTBF, will be directed by Hughes Lanneau (Modus Operandi, director of the RTBF news). He will use documents filmed during last year’s gigantic reconstruction, but this project will largely surpass that thanks to work from DreamWall and Digital Graphics, two state-of-the-art companies from Marcinelle and Alleur. Waterloo is set to receive its theatrical release in 2013, and it should also air on European television, serving as an international starting shot for the festivities around the bicentennial anniversary of this clash, to be celebrated in 2015.