The three personalities behind this innovative concept are not newcomers: Philippe Kauffman is one of the bosses of La Parti, Joseph Rouschop is the creator of Tarantula Belgium and Marco Calant, former creative director at Publicis, has been active for several years in the company Tramway 21.
Their company is currently working on the promotion of Fred Fonteyne ‘s Tango Libre after having spent the summer drawing attention to François Pirot‘s first feature film, Mobile Home. Yes, the camper van equipped with a mobilhomaton, which we could see during all the music festivals in July and August, but also at the Locarno Festival, is their idea. The result: ten thousand spectators rushed to see this bittersweet comedy as soon as it was released at the end of August, twice as many as initially expected. In France, despite very favorable reviews and a cast that included two young national stars, the film was a resounding flop. But there, nothing specific had been put in place to catch the eyes.
“We can consider the creation of this company as an unexpected collateral effect of the initiatives taken in Wallonia by Créative Wallonia since the launch of Wallimage CrossMedia,” explains Philippe Reynaert , director of Wallimage.
He supported the board of directors of the Walloon fund with a long report written by Virginie Nouvelle, head of Wallimage-Entreprises, who examined the file in great detail before recommending that the company take a stake in the Walloon fund. This is now done.
To decipher the reasons for the low visibility of Belgian films, Cuistax puts forward some convincing elements. According to its key players, the Belgian public’s interest in “art house” films has declined in recent years due to a lack of image education initiatives. But the poverty of the room stock is another important element. Like the inflation of the number of releases or the competition of dvd and vod. And to finally pinpoint the lack of ambition in the promotion of Belgian films
It is especially to face this last weakness that the Cuistax company has set itself the goal of revalorizing the French-speaking Belgian cinema with its public.
Cuistax’s main objective is to answer the lack of relationship between the producer and the distributor by setting up a creative, unique and personalized communication around each film in preparation or finishing. The idea is to develop a specific concept for each work and to apply it in a coherent communication, at all stages of production and on all the envisaged supports.
Of course, there is no question of limiting ourselves to films produced by La Parti or Tarantula: Cuistax will try to provide a concrete solution to ensure the promotion of the cinematographic creations of any producer or distributor in the Walloon-Brussels Federation who would like to benefit from the company’s services. Tango Libre is a good first example since Fred Fonteyne’s feature film, which will be released on November 7, is an Artemis production.
Before the release of the films, several axes are envisaged: creation of a blog to follow the team of realization at work, feeding of the social platforms, design of a press kit and organization of the press contacts during the shooting, negotiation of first partnerships (Wallimage SA, Tax Shelter,…), assumption of responsibility for the collection of material during shooting (photos of set, interviews,…), creation of the graphic charter to be imposed to all the future supports of communication. If necessary, Cuistax can also ensure the coordination, the writing and the follow-up of the files of requests for specific subsidies (Wallimage CrossMedia line, aid for the promotion of the Walloon Federation-Brussels, WBI, AWEX, Brussels-Export,…).
Around the release of the films, Cuistax also proposes to accompany the distributor in its release campaign: choice of previews, search for “prescriber” partners, practical organization, elaboration of promotional documents (to be reinvented for each film beyond the traditional posters and postcards), setting up of specific partnerships (media,…), creation of original events (parties, exhibitions, games,…) and, of course, elaboration and co-ordination of the film’s web site
This list of services may be long, but it is not exhaustive. Indeed, the company can also extend to the design and publishing of objects (books, DVDs, …), accompanying events highlighting the talents of filmmakers (publications, …), …
The initiative to be put in parallel with the creation of the Magritte of Belgian cinema and the work of Cinevox which has been working for a year and a half to improve the image of Belgian cinema and to increase its global visibility, should enable certain films to finally capture the attention of a more substantial audience.
A public that is not very aware of the national offer and yet likely to find pleasure in the discovery of these feature films that the whole world envies us… but that the locals take little into consideration when they plan their Saturday night outing.