A very Walloon 45th investment round for Wallimage

  • 04.07.2012

This exceptional session first of all means back to business for one our most famous directors: Benoit Mariage will shoot his fourth opus in Belgium and Ivory Coast with his friend Benoit Poelvoorde and newcomer Marc Zinga, singer of the band The Peas Project. Akwaba (work title) will tell the story of a football agent specialised in finding new African talent. It is the occasion to show the North/South relation, but also the one between father and son. Produced by Michael Goldberg and Boris Van Gils, this film should be released end of 2013.

Alla Carbonara, co-produced by Les Films du Fleuve and started by Eyeworks, has a few points in common with the previous project. This work also brings us part of our country’s legacy. A biopic of Rocco Granata, who became famous with his hit song Marina, is indeed the occasion to bring up the Italian immigration to Belgium to work at the collieries. As usual with Eyeworks, they have a tight budget, but every cent spent will show its worth on the screen. Henry Morelle, Thomas Gauder and Marc Bastien (sound), Philippe Ravoet (editor) and Catherine Marchand (costumes) will work on the film while Marcus Himbert and Els Verhaeghe signed up as assistant-directors to Stijn Coninx (Koko Flanel, Daens, Soeur Sourire).

What is more unexpected, is that the two outspoken comedies this trimester stem from newcomers. Frakas, who have just produced Bye Bye Blondie, Hors les Murs and Post Partum, are back with Morrocan Giggolo’s, in which three friends from Brussels (a black, a white and a Middle Eastern one) get the idea to become …gigolos to finance their sandwich shop. Their casting is impressive. First, there is Rachid Badouri, a one man show star from Québec, as well as Thomas Ngijol who showed what he was capable of in Case Départ. Then, there would be a young and very talented Belgian actor, thus far mostly known for his theatre work. To be continued! There is one certainty though: Ismaël Saïdi, who is not part of the “inner circle”, will certainly make an impression with this very funny film he wrote himself. On set, he will be assisted by excellent Walloon technicians such as Philippe Baudhuin and Quentin Colette (sound).

Panache Productions, who mostly worked on international co-productions up till now, such as Le Grand Soir and Populaire, start on a different path with Je te Survivrai, a 162% Walloon film, written and directed by Sylvestre Sbille. With music by Jean-Pierre François, the film throws a shameless property developer into …a well. His only hope to get out of this precarious situation, is an old lady he despises and harasses, because she refuses to sell him her property. Of course, this does not incite her to hurry up and help him. Surprisingly, this will be the first big role on the white screen for Renaud Rutten. He will be joined by theatre actress Bernadette Riga and excellent secondary roles: David Murgia (La Tête la Première, La Régate), Laurent Capelluto (Fils Unique), Benoit Bertuzzo (Mr. Justine Henin) and Tania Garbarski (Mrs. Charlie Dupont).

Finally, the last project is a co-production with France, entirely in line with what has recently been co-financed by Wallimage: a uniting and ambitious project which will allow Belgian companies and technicians to work on a popular film capable of drawing masses to the cinemas: a new version of Angélique, Marquise des Anges, directed by Ariel Zeitoun. He believes so strongly in his project that he is co-producing it in France. Philippe Blasband co-wrote the screenplay. The young and charming actress Nora Arnezeder (Faubourg 36) will play Angélique, joined by Tomer Sisley (De Plesis Bellière), Gérard Lanvin (Peyrac) and … Olivier Gourmet (Desrey). In Belgium, it is Climax which will co-produce this film full of fantastic adventures, emotions and strong thrills.