At the end of the third session of 2019, the Wallimage Board of Directors decided to co-finance nine productions, of all sizes and formats, ranging from wildlife documentaries to prestige series, including a few feature films with very diverse ambitions.
The highlight of this selection is the new film by Bouli Lanners, which the actor from Liège will share the direction with the Flemish Tim Mielants, who is used to Anglo-Saxon series such as Peaky Blinders, The Terror, The Tunnel or Legion.
BOULI IN ENGLISH
With Wise Blood, Bouli ventures to the Isle of Lewis in the west of Scotland where he has set the scene for a poignant melodrama he wrote there, on the edge of the raging ocean. Fascinated by the role he created, he decided to take it on to play the role of the British Gina Mc Kee. A challenge since he will have to play in English ! A team of 27 people, including 17 station managers, will accompany Versus in this adventure. The equipment will be rented from TSF and Karaboutcha and, great news : all the post production will be Walloon ! The sound work will be done by Bardaf while the sound effects will be done by COB. The image will be entrusted to Mikros for the laboratory as well as the credits and VFX. Grand slam for the Pôle image liégeois.
Wallimage already co-financed the animated series based on the Toto comics. The Walloon fund is doing double duty by supporting Frakas and Bidibull on a live family comedy, also inspired by the characters and adventures imagined by Thierry Coppée. The 22 days of shooting in Wallonia will be divided between Seneffe, Mons and Arlon. 26 Walloons will participate in the adventure during 38 days. The rental of equipment will be done at TSF, Macadam Car will take care of the boxes, the canteen will be provided by Auguste Traiteur while Benuts will manage the VFX. With an excellent cast composed of children, but also Guillaume de Tonquedec, Anne Marivin, Ramzy or Daniel Prévost, Toto should be one of the big releases of 2020 in France, carrying all the hopes of SND and M6, determined to make it a huge success.
Do you know the daughter of Karl Marx? After the death of her famous father, she valiantly tried to take up the torch, adding to the communist discourse a feminist approach very much ahead of its time. In private life, however, the young lady is in love with a ball and chain, a bit of a cad, very profiteering, who clearly prevents her from blossoming. It is this story of thwarted emancipation that Susana Nicchiarelli, director of the very convincing Nico 88, already co-financed by Wallimage, proposes to tell us. The team formed around this Mrs Marx is in fact a copy-paste of the one that ensured the success of the previous project with a co-production Vivo-Tarantula and 34 Walloons including 8 postmasters engaged on a shooting that will stop during 18 days in Wallonia. The rental will be Walloon with Eye-Lite, KGS or TSF and Macadamcar. À toutes faims utiles will take care of the canteen while Mute and solo will again be invited to edit and mix the sound. Not surprising since the die’s work on Nico 88 had been awarded a Donatello in 2018.
Tarantula is also doing a double at this session with another historical project. Ostend 1936 is the new feature film by German director Uli Edel (I, Christiane F, Last Exit to Brooklyn, The Baader Gang,…). The story is not well known, but at that time, a series of Jewish intellectuals met on the Belgian coast and contemplated together their future, but also that of Germany and its people. They write, they love each other, they tear each other apart, but they are forced to admit their powerlessness, because during this time, the situation is deteriorating all over Europe. 8 days of shooting are planned in Spa, 15 others in Ostend and 7 in a studio in Germany (Aachen). 38 technicians including 7 heads of post will work on the film to varying degrees, Iris Soldani will take care of the canteen, Macadam Car, the dressing rooms and Benuts of VFX.
HITLER AND UFOS IN SERIES
Two series are also on the menu for this session. Very different series in their purpose and budget.
Like Albatross (shooting in progress), Een goed jaar is a Flemish project, this time initiated by Mockinbird, which will also shoot in Wallonia. And for good reason ! A penniless Fleming inherits a house near Bruly de Pesche, where a bunker in which Hitler was buried remains. Unfortunately, the building is subject to exorbitant inheritance fees that the heir cannot pay. Determined to get his hands on the riches left in the house, he unearths only a case of wine bottles dating from 1935 in a hidden room at the bottom of the cellars. From there to make them look like Hitler’s property, it’s only a step that he crossed under the impulse of a comparse as dishonest as clumsy. 34 days of shooting are located in the Ardennes, 21 people including 6 heads of post will be at work while Walloon audiovisual companies will work on sound effects, editing, sound mixing and the canteen. All equipment rental will also be Walloon.
Initiated in France by Montebello, OVNI-S is co-produced in Belgium by Be-Films and will first be programmed on Canal Plus France, which handles international sales. If the budget is consequent and the Walloon expenses very impressive, it is especially because the series plunges us in 1979 in full wave of observation of UFO. Punished by his hierarchy for the failed launch of a rocket in Kourou, Didier, who is rationality incarnate, is sent to the field to investigate with the geeks of Gepan. The opportunity for him to discover a confusing and colorful universe. Melvil Poupaud, Alice Taglioni, Nicole Garcia and Michel Vuillermoz are the main actors of this series directed by the excellent Antony Cordier (Happy Few). All the shooting (minus two days) will be Belgian with 55 days in the Walloon Region. 23 Walloons will be at François Dubois’ side, including 7 heads of post. The rental will be done at TSF while ALL the VFX of the series will be done by Benuts, which represents 750 man-days of work.
THREE DOCUMENTARIES, A RECORD!
Three documentaries complete the line-up of this eclectic session.
Produced by Les Gens and directed by Tristan Boulard, Les enfants de la collaboration will be broadcast in prime time on RTBF. And we should talk about it a lot. It is the adaptation in Wallonia and Brussels of a documentary series that was very successful in Flanders. It evokes the Belgian collaboration to the Nazi regime through the testimonies of the children and grandchildren of the collaborators. The pilot already available is an exciting teaser, full of contrasts, based on some very interesting confidences, archival images and… animation. These highly stylized sequences will be produced by Zest studio, a new structure based in Genval and specialized in the production of very artistic animations for documentaries. A nice niche positioning that hits the nail on the head since we find Zest on another project : Game of Truth.
Game of Truth is produced by Domino and plunges us into Ireland at a time of deadly unrest between locals and English, Protestants and Catholics. Decades later, it is clear that many Irish people who lost loved ones are still in the dark about what really happened. It is on this ground that Fabienne Lips Dumas will investigate by developing the hypothesis that the English secret services were infiltrated in all the camps that were fighting each other. Through a few shattered destinies, the journalist will explain the double game of the authorities, which today takes the form of an absolute retention of information. Zest will work for several months on the animation and VFX of this project. As for the previous document, Dame Blanche Genval will be in charge of the image and sound postprod.
The last file selected during this session is a film that will explore the Walloon biotope. Wallonie sauvage will show us that the fauna in our region is not limited to crows, magpies and rats as city dwellers too often believe. Directed by Robert Henno and Jean-Christophe Grignard, two very complementary specialists in the genre, Wallonie sauvage promises striking images, patiently captured (that’s the right word) during more than a year and a half in the nooks and corners of Wallonia. By co-financing Wallonie Sauvage, Wallimage intends to help professionalize very competent production structures in a sector, the wildlife documentary, which does not yet have a leading figure in our country. Long live Art Ocean SPRL and Into the wild.