Last September, the Walloon government decided to increase Wallimage Coproduction’s budget from 5 to 6.5 million euros, effective immediately. Wallimage was quick to invest the extra 1.5 million euros in nine new film projects to the delight of the producers and audiences. With four Belgian films, two animated series and three international feature films to come, there is something for everyone.
The four projects under the Belgian initiative include three fiction films and one documentary.
For the third time Wallimage will support a promising project produced by Ben Stassen’s state-of-the-art animation studio nWave. After attracting 8 million viewers globally in 2017, The Son of Bigfoot returns with a new episode. The bulk of regional expenses is related to work performed by animation teams at the studio and the sound postproduction.
After making several documentaries, rising Belgian director Christophe Hermans presented to Wallimage his first fiction film produced by Frakas. “The Hive” (“La Ruche”) is a film about three young women dealing with a bipolar mother. The script, both funny and tragic, is supported by a prestigious cast led by Ludivine Sagnier and Sophie Breyer. The production will hire 40 Walloon film technicians, rent local equipment (Eye-lite) and use a regional caterer (Iris). Dame Blanche will handle sound mixing while Charbon Studio will be responsible for film editing.
Known for The Barons, The Marchers and Dode Hoek, Nabil Ben Yadir comes back with a sensitive project named “Animals” which is produced by 1080. Inspired by actual events which happened in Liège, the films tells a story about the brutal murder of an openly gay man. The filming will involve 35 Walloons and equipment rentals from Eye-lite. Genval-les-Dames will manage sounds and sound mixing, while Mikros the VFX and Ibats Katé will be responsible for sound editing.
The fourth and last mostly Belgian project to receive funding this session is the Season 2 of H.A.N., presented by Agent Double. This time, Sébastien Derave will solely concentrate on the writing of the series and leave the direction of the project to Xavier Ziomek. The postproduction will entirely be handled by Genval-les-Dames. Overall, 94% of the Belgian expenditures will be made in Wallonia.
Co-produced by Tarantula in Belgium, The Shift is an Italian action movie that follows the chase of a heavily armed, injured terrorist who took hostage an ambulance. The bulk of the Belgian production expenses will also be made in Wallonia. Although the story is supposed to take place in Brussels, the shooting will take place in the Charleroi and Liege, Wallonia, with a crew comprised of 52 Walloons. TSF Liège and Écoute will be providing technical rentals, Igor Gabriel will be responsible for the set design and Iris for the catering services.
The Sound of Philadelphia is more of a dark film than a thriller, co-produced in Belgium by Gapbusters and directed by Jérémie Guez. Featuring Matthias Schoenaerts as a gangster trapped between the Italian and the Irish mafia ruled by his cousin. 30 Wallons will be hired for the filming which will mainly take place in the region of Anvers (20 days), adding 4 days in Philadelphia. Eye Lite, TSF or KGS will rent out equipment rentals and Genval-les-Dames will manage the whole postproduction.
The Bites (« Morsures » in French), a genre film by first-time director Romain de Saint-Blanquat, follows a community of vampires but is above all a coming-of-age teen story. Co-produced in Belgium by Velvet Films, 10 days of the 25-day shooting will take place in Wallonia with 20 Walloons on set, KGS providing equipment, Iris providing the food and Genval-les-Dames providing sounds and image postproduction services.
The last two projects of this selection are animated films with a high international potential. The first one, presented by Belga, is a production for kids named Coconut the Little Dragon. The storyboards and animatic will be created by Waooh! while Dame Blanche will handle the sound, the mastering (audio postproduction) and the delivery.
Grosha et Mr B is the second animation project and is co-produced by Scope Pictures in Belgium. This is a comic series of 52 episodes of 11 minutes each, made for a 6 to 9 year-old audience. The animation work will be entirely made in Belgiun, including 26 episodes created at Waooh! studio, 17 at Dreamwall and 9 at a Brussels-based studio.