Rarely has the end of the season been so agitated at Wallimage.
This June was not only our 100th funding session, but also an impressive post-COVID refinancing session designed to boost the Walloon audiovisual industry.
Not to mention, but how could we, the appointment of Virginie Nouvelle as general manager of Wallimage. The current director of Wallimage-Entreprises will take over the reins of the company in the autumn, succeeding Philippe Reynaert, who has been director of the fund since its creation.
While we were expecting a rather quiet classic session, the producers surprised us again by presenting us with sometimes surprising projects that naturally required a long in-depth analysis and a precise final arbitration by the board of directors.
The Board of Directors met in the offices of our Minister of supervision Willy Borsus in Namur and chose six files. The overall investment is 785,000 euros, which should generate 4.3 million euros of expenditure for a return to the Walloon Region of 546.88 %.
THREE GREAT FRENCH DIRECTORS
Three great French talents will direct their next feature film with the support of Wallimage.
Among them, Philippe Lioret will soon direct 16 years, a contemporary and urban version of Romeo and Juliet which, like all his work, breathes humanism and a scriptwriting skill that owes much to the immoderate love he has for all his characters. Gapbusters has been awarded the position of Belgian co-producer of this highly anticipated film, which will follow major titles such as Je vais bien ne t’en fais pas, Welcome or Le fils de Jean (to name but three). Significant expenses will be made at Benuts, Bardaf, the Walloon team, but also through technicians who will accompany the shooting which should begin in October.
For her part, Katell Quillévéré is preparing to direct her fourth feature film after Un poison violent, Suzanne and Réparer les Vivants. On the heels of her last film, she will be co-produced in Belgium by Frakas for a love story atypical that starts in 1947 with the meeting of a young single mother repudiated by her family and the son of a rich family who seems to be the black duck of the house. Anaïs Demoustier (César for Best Actress 2020) and Vincent Lacoste are the magnificent heroes of this moving drama. No Walloon filming, but structural expenses such as a team of 11 people on the set, sound and image post-prod (at Dame Blanche Genval and Hush) and some rental for TSF. With this scenario, this director and this cast, the chances of finding Le temps d’aimer at Cannes next year are obvious.
As he loved working with Tarantula on his previous film, Poissonsexe (soon to be released), Olivier Babinet explicitly expressed his desire to renew the experience. With Benoit Poelvoorde, he will tell the touching, but also hilarious and surreal (of course) story of a teenage girl caring for her father who has multiple sclerosis. VFX and mastering will be done at Mikros, sound editing will be done by François Aubinet, sound effects by Cob and sound mixing by Franco Piscopo at Mute and solo. Why change a winning team ? It should be noted that the film has just received support from Eurimages for the sum of 280 000 euros.
A DIVE INTO SF
The fourth feature film selected by our Board is a highly original co-production between Lithuania, France and Belgium. In our country, it is 1080 (Benoit Roland, Nabil Ben Yadir) that accompanies this science fiction film set in a post-apocalyptic universe. With a budget of just over 4 million, Vesper Seeds is on a mission to challenge the American giants on their own turf. A challenge, but the great international seller XYZ believes in it since it has invested 500,000 euros in the project to ensure the exclusivity of the worldwide negotiations. Fourteen Walloons will work on the Lithuanian shoot, most of them in key positions such as set design, costumes or live special effects (SFX) which will be signed by Lionel Lé. The entire sound sector is also Walloon with post-production planned at Genval les Dames which, it should be noted, will henceforth mix the Wallimage films at Genval and will regain its eligibility in this niche. Finally, a significant part of the VFX will be done in Liege at Mikros.
A Wallimage session would be very strange without a series on its menu. Despite its title, Endless Night is an original French creation intended for Netflix and co-produced here by Versus, which thus follows the TV experiences after No Man’s Land (es -Fertile Crescent) and La Corde, also supported by Wallimage. As this fantastic work is not a Netflix original, real revenue prospects obviously are offered here. 24 days of shooting out of 42 will be located in Wallonia (Jambes and La Hulpe) with a team of 48 regional. On the technical side, we note the rental of TSF, the post production of sound and VFX at Benuts.
Every other week is probably the most amazing project that has been submitted to us this session. Média Services is proposing a series of fifty three-minute television vignettes that will be broadcast in the fall just after the RTBF news program. A divorced father (Jean-Jacques Rausin) will welcome his children in the home of his new girlfriend (Carole Matagne). Every other week, then. Twenty-six Walloons are involved in the production of this program, which is shot entirely in Liege. On the technical side, we note the renting of course, but also all the post-production sound at Bardaf.
Photos : Unifrance