Alice and Celine (Anne Coesens and Veerle Baetens) were the best of friends until a tragic event changed their lives. Worrying? Yes, Olivier Masset Depasse’s (Cage, Illegal) third feature film will be a Machiavellian thriller that plunges two women into an agonizing confrontation.
Shot in the Liège region next May, this psychological drama will be mainly post-produced in Wallonia, notably at Kyoudaï Box, Alt, Genval les Dames, the studio L’Equipe Bierges. Mikros Image will take care of the VFX and Filmik of the 35mm archiving.
Duelles (superb title) was proposed to us by Versus.
Also located in the Liège region, the other Belgian project of the session has a very different profile as it is a documentary dedicated to John Cockerill, his life, his work, the industry that created it. The history of the steel industry in the Walloon Region and its recent developments in more modern sectors will be discovered. The structure of this film is fascinating (we learn so many things…) and could captivate a curious public beyond our borders where the film will be broadcast on RTBF. To make this document, Les Films de la Passerelle has assembled a technical team essentially from Wallonia under the leadership of director Bernard Balteau. As a matter of course, the 20 days of shooting of John Cockerill is a whole story and a very big part of the post-production is Walloon. A well-financed, interesting project, entirely focused on the south of Belgium: what do the people want?
As a result of the new tax credit, we know that fewer and fewer French films are now completing their financing in Belgium. The only project presented at the end of the year that follows this pattern is called The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir. It is in fact a co-production between France, Belgium (Scope Pictures), but also Italy and… India. The main actor of this existentialist fable is indeed a star in this immense country of cinema, answering to the surname of Dhanush.
For the rest, the cast of this film with English dialogue will be international with Vanessa Paradis, Vincent Laffite and the American Erin Moriarty under the direction of Canadian Ken Scott, who is responsible for the irresistible Starbuck! This adaptation of a worldwide bestseller will be partly shot in Canada (even though the action does not take place here) while Mikros, Dame Blanche, Just a mouse click away and Karaboutcha should take care of some aspects of the post-production. Pierre Mertens will direct the sound and Philippe Ravoet will edit the film. Important expenses, very profitable for our region.
Aware of the scarcity of co-productions with France, many producers are now turning to other countries. In the context of Liliane Susewind, it is Germany: a natural step for the newcomer Velvet film directed by Sebastian Schelenz. This film for children (but not in animation) is adapted from a series of books that already has ten very popular volumes. We follow Liliane Susewind, 11 years old, who has an extraordinary gift: she can talk to animals… which is not without its problems. About ten days of shooting will be located in Wallonia as well as part of the post-production. Benuts will work on the special effects, for example, while Genval-les-Dames will work on the dubbing.
Cinema is consumed in theaters, but also on television. Most of the time after a screening, sometimes not. This will probably even be more and more the case with the arrival of new major operators such as Hulu, Amazon or the best established of all: Netflix.
The American content broadcaster, which is accessible by subscription, is trying to diversify its still weak European offer by producing projects in the countries where it is available. For the first time, Netflix will co-produce a feature film in Belgium and has, for this, partnered with Fontana, which paradoxically finds itself at the head of a 100% Belgian film in its financing! This project, if successful, should lead to other productions at least as attractive with the new American player.
For this first project, Jean-Jacques Neira, who will be able to count on the expertise of Nicolas George from Liège as executive producer, will produce a film with a very original title without a European partner. The most murdered woman in the world is Paula Maxa, star actress of the famous Grand Guignol Theater in the Pigalle of the 1930s. She has died more than 10,000 times… on stage and has a rather, shall we say, tumultuous love life.
Shot in Liege (minus four days in Paris for the exteriors), this drama will be performed by Anna Mouglalis and Niels Schneider, surrounded by a large number of local technicians. Mikros and Dame Blanche will also participate in this pioneering adventure in an original financial arrangement that we found very attractive.
More common on the small screen, TV series are becoming, little by little, the favorite treat of viewers around the world. The international successes of La trêve and Ennemi public obviously drew attention to us, but Panache (André Logie) had established contacts with the Swiss producer PointProd long before this exciting triumph.
The plot takes us behind the scenes of a private bank whose very discreet CEO is found dead one day. Suicide or revenge? The question will obsess her sister who decides to investigate in an environment of which she has tried to forget the codes and pettinesses. To lead the casting of Quartier des banques, the co-producers have trusted a Belgian actress, very active on the stage, but who was also seen in Ennemi Public: Laura Sepul. The director Fulvio Bernasconi has a good habit of working with Belgian actors since he has just directed Jonathan Zaccaï in the dizzying feature film Misericorde. Lubna Azabal will also be part of the party, in front of the camera controlled by Vincent Van Gelder (Les âmes de papier). Sonicville, Mikros and Ecoute une fois will be in charge of the sound and image finishing.