Based in Mons, they act as analysis and consultancy companies that dissect files prepared upstream with producers and company managers before investing.
Wallimage supports productions that will make important expenditures in Wallonia and Wallimage Entreprises intervenes in the capital of innovative companies specialized in the audiovisual sector that are created, established or developed in the Walloon Region.
Wallimage also informs about the film activity in Wallonia via its website and its Facebook page and coordinates the reception of Walloon shootings.
A LITTLE HISTORY
The trigger for the creation of Wallimage is the Palme d’Or for Rosetta in May 1999 in Cannes. Following this triumph with international repercussions, the political leaders note that there is an exceptional pool of talent in our country, but no structure to support and supervise them.
Serge Kubla, Walloon Minister of Economy, then set up Wallimage, designed to develop in Wallonia an industry that only exists in Brussels or abroad. A year later, the fund moved to Mons and Philippe Reynaert became its director.
In order to achieve the ambitious objective set, it was decided to take a two-step approach: first, the number and importance of film shoots in Wallonia must be increased. Wallimage does this through its investment subsidiary Sowalim (later renamed Wallimage Coproductions before being absorbed in 2018 by Wallimage) by co-financing audiovisual works.
In May 2019, at the end of the fourth legislature crossed by Wallimage, more than 400 works (fiction films, documentaries, series, animation films…) will have been co-financed. The first consequence : since 2001, Walloon technicians and actors have seen an explosion of work opportunities on larger productions and under very good conditions, while the number of audiovisual companies setting up shop has multiplied.
In accordance with its prerogatives, Wallimage then invests in some of these particularly promising developing companies, thus enabling them to establish themselves and develop harmoniously. This is the work of its sister company, Wallimage Entreprises.
Jean-Claude Marcourt, who became Minister in 2005, is at the basis of the technical set-up of Wallimage Entreprises. It also helped Wallimage to create a line dedicated to more atypical audiovisual projects, which are now grouped under the Wallimage Creative label, and set up an aid for the production of television pilots, an initiative designed to support daring producers capable of renewing the audiovisual offer.
Over the years, Wallimage has helped bring to Wallonia internationally renowned directors such as Costa Gavras, Ken Loach, Patrice Lecomte, Danny Boon, Andrea De Sica, Jaume Balaguero, Terry Gilliam, Jacques Audiard…, and world famous actors like Sharon Stone, Nicolas Cage or Jesse Eisenberg…
Thanks to the feature films supported, Wallimage has competed several times at the Oscars, won a Palme d’or in Cannes (the second one by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne) and a multitude of other prestigious prizes in the biggest festivals around the world. The Walloon fund has also contributed to the emergence of an animation film industry in Wallonia and above all (since it is its mission) to the sustainability of some thirty audiovisual companies that are now solid and recognized.
All this obviously brings in money for the Walloon Region through the revenues to which Wallimage is associated but also and above all through the taxes paid by the companies and professionals of the audiovisual sector who work on the shootings, the production or the post-production work generated by the intervention of the fund.
Impressed by this positive impact, Pierre-Yves Jeholet, Walloon Minister of the Economy since the summer of 2017, has been keen to amplify the action of the funds by strengthening their resources and expanding their fields of competence. It has also helped simplify Walloon public action in favour of the audiovisual sector by moving from six companies to two more compact and efficient entities.