43rd Wallimage session : Belgian stars working with French directors, and vice versa.

  • 09.11.2011

Luce is a veterinarian, just like her husband, and she’s pregnant with her first child. However, she starts losing it after giving birth. Every day her depression becomes scarier, soon she is no longer capable of caring for her child, and even becomes dangerous for little Rose. This project was presented to us by Frakas Productions (Bye Bye Blondie), offering to co-produce the first feature film by a young and promising Liège-born director, Delphine Noels. She co-wrote Post Partum with David Lambert (Hors les murs). Mélanie Doutey will play the role of the drifting mother: the role of a lifetime?

On a similarly dark tone, La Parti Production set up shop on Fabrice Du Welz’s first feature film. Alleluia is the second part of a trilogy started with Calvaire, it is the story of innkeeper Bartel’s wife who meets a diddling gigolo with the features of … Bouli Lanners. Virginie Efira will play a radiant (and undoubtedly attractive) widow.
Much like Bouli, Benoit Poelvoorde gets a chance to change acting ranges playing a slightly moony photographer who is enamoured with his neighbour. Fabienne Godet’s Une Place sur Terre (Versus) is a quirky and romantic Fenêtre sur Cour which will be shot in the Marolles neighbourhood in Brussels. Also starring are Céline Valette, Guillaume Gouix and Héléna Noguerra.

The Dardenne brothers, with their company Les Films du Fleuve, have co-produced a number of key films such as Costa Gavras’s Le Couperet, Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric, Renato De Maria’s La Primea Linea and just recently L’Exercice de l’État by Pierre Schoeller. Their newest cross border collaboration certainly fits their list of achievements, as it is Jacques Audiard’s De Rouille et d’Os, who also hired two of the best Belgian actors for his adventure : Matthias Schoenaerts ( !!) and workaholic Bouli Lanners in a strong second role. The (tragic) female lead will be played by Marion Cotillard.

Another big French project with a Belgian star on the bill, Populaire, which is Régis Roinsard’s first feature length film, should really please fans of Mad Men. Déborah François will be coached by Romain Duris, hoping the win the 1958 Dactylographic World Championships. Set in New York, the competition’s finals will be filmed in Liège’s Palais des Congrès. La Compagnie Cinématographique and Panache Productions are the Belgian co-producers for the project.

And thus, 2011 is coming to an end and with it the investment rounds, which yielded support for close to thirty feature films, of which the first was released last week (L’Exercice de l’État). The second, Les tribulations d’une caissière is slated for release on 14th December, and except for the animated films the others will follow in 2012.