44th Wallimage investment round: rock, comics, motherly songs, fatherly curses... the foam of the days, really...

  • 06.03.2012

L’écume des jours (The Foam of the Days) is an impressive project proposed by Scoped Pictures, with whom we recently collaborated for À la poursuite du Marsupilami, released on 4th April and the incredible commercial success Il était une fois une fois. Their newest project, directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, La science des rêves), is, as the name indicates, an adaptation of Boris Vian’s cult novel. This alone is exciting news, but the casting certainly adds to the buzz: Romain Duris, Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy, Audrey Tautou and even our very own Benoît Poelvoorde in a supportive role. Part of the project will be filmed in Belgium, and some of our key technicians will take part in it: Christophe Beaucarne (chief camera), as well as Roger Schins (general set manager), Pierre Mertens, Thomas Gauder and Marc Bastien (sound). The sfx will be taken care of in Liège.

The other irresistible co-production is something totally different: it is a live adaptation (with animation) of Boule et Bill (Billy and Buddy), proposed by Nexus Factory. Alexandre Charlot and Franck Magnier drew over 500,000 spectators to cinemas with their first feature, Imogène McCarthery. They now received a big budget and a successful duo of actors to play Boule’s parents: Marina Fois and Franck Dubosc. The producers found their joy for the title role in Belgium: Charles Crombez, nine years old, will play the young boy and he sure does look like it. He goes to the independent school of Soignies-Carrière, and as a theatre passionate he attends the Braine-Le-Comte academy. He participated in the castings thanks to his diction teacher. A fan of Louis de Funès and Harry Potter, he will star together with three Belgium-bred cockers. 22 out of 54 shooting days will take place in Belgium.

The third minority co-production is less spectacular, but possesses an attractive screenplay and cast. Les Conquérants is director Xabi Molia’s second feature, after his debut Huit fois debout which won prizes in Cannes and Stuttgart. As a polemist and writer, he also published several noticed novels with Gallimard and Seuil. Denis Podalydes (Galaad) and Mathieu Demy (Noé) play two losers in their forties, half-brothers, convinced that their bad luck is due to a curse: to lift it, they decide to go on an insane adventure. In France the production is in the hands of the director’s sister, Iota Productions submitted it as its Belgian producer.

The last two projects selected by Wallimage will help reveal new Belgian talent starting out on the feature film path. Versus Production submitted Bici, the story of a young rock star who is a little too round to have it easy with the boys. But this singer compensates for her « social handicap » with with surprising character strength and caustic humor. Dominique Laroche, who has directed several shorts since 2002, is still looking for the perfect chemistry between the four band members she will follow closely. Brusselian actress Ambre Growels however, a strong person with a lyrical voice, is set to play Bici. 30 out of 35 shoot days will take place in Wallonia and the technical team will essentially consist of local talent: Paul Maernoudt (sound), Françoise Joset (decor), Élise Ancion (costumes), Erwin Ryckaert (editor), Marc Bastien and Thomas Gauder (sound): did we hear anyone say ‘dream team’?

Finally, Une chanson pour ma mère will be filmed in Belgium during 29 days. It is Joël Franka’s much awaited debut, after his short La Sortie won awards in various festivals from Canada to Japan over the United States, Denmark and France. Joël certainly has the assets to make his grand entry work : a crazy screenplay inspired by the likes of Little Miss Sunshine, vivid and humourous writing and an attractive cast with François Damiens, Patrick Timsit and … Dave ! Indeed, THE Dave who will play himself with all the self-derision we know him to be capable of. The project was set up by Alizé Production, with La Bonne Pioche as French co-producer.

That’s it for our 44th session !