The surprise of the session is without doubt The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. This fabulous project that we never expected to see in Wallonia was brought to us by Entre chien et loup. The shooting of the new picaresque and surrealistic work of the immense Terry Gilliam will start in November and will last 55 days. Michael Palin and Adam Driver will be the main actors of this dreamlike delirium in which Wallonia will largely participate, notably through the sound post-production (Listen once and Dame Blanche) and especially through the hyper-ambitious special effects that will be realized by Be Digital, which will face the most important challenge of its existence.
Another atypical and exciting project : Mon ket will be the first film directed by… François Damiens. It is naturally produced by Artemis. “Naturally”, because Patrick Quinet has always been by the side of the comedian as he recalled in a very moving way last year during the Magritte ceremony. Co-written by Benoit Mariage(Cowboy, Damiens’ first major role) with the help of Matthieu Donck(La Trêve, Torpedo), the subject of this feature film must imperatively remain secret. We can only say that it could easily become a big box-office success. The sound effects of the film will be done in Genval les Dames and the credits at Digital Graphics. The technical team will be composed of familiar faces of the actor : Virginie Saint-Martin for the image, Pierre Mertens for the sound and Paul Rouschop for the decoration.
Light years away from the world of François Damiens, Tarantula offered us a biopic focused on the end of life of Christa Päffegn, better known as Nico, who died in Ibiza at the age of 50 after a fall on her bike. A cruelly ironic fate for a rock icon who defied death many times alongside Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground or Andy Warhol. Nico, 1988, signed by the Italian Susanna Nicchiarelli, will be partly shot in Wallonia, where districts and buildings of the Liège region will appear… Manchester or Prague at the end of the 80s. A (de)localization made possible by the precise location scouting of Igor Gabriel to which the chief operator Ruben Impens, very appreciated since he signed the sumptuous image of Belgica or The Broken Circle Breakdown , will give all its sense. The sound work will be done at Dame Blanche Genval and Sonicpil.
The Exchange of the Princesses is another ambitious film, produced by Scope Pictures, which will have a majority stake in this project. A great first. Directed by Marc Dugain, this historical film will tell the story of a little known event that shook the Spanish and French courts. In 1721, under the guise of wanting to consolidate peace, Philippe d’Orléans, then Regent of France, proposed to the King of Spain, Philippe V, a marriage between the heir to the French throne, Louis XV, aged 11, and the very young infanta of Spain, Anna Maria Victoria, aged four years…
And he did not stop there: he also proposed to give his own daughter, Miss de Montpensier, aged twelve, as a wife to the Prince of Asturias, heir to the throne of Spain, to strengthen his position and consolidate the end of the conflict between the two kingdoms. Obviously, what appears on paper to be an ingenious (if foolish) idea will turn out to be much more complicated to manage than expected.
In addition to the amazing cast (Lambert Wilson, Catherine Mouchet) in which we find many Belgians (Olivier Gourmet, Thomas Mustin, Vincent Londez, Patrick Descamps …), the film will be shot entirely in Wallonia. Mikros will take care of the special effects and the image lab while the studio l’équipe (Wallonia) will take care of the editing. The sound editing will be done at The Post Box, the mixing at Mute&Solo. Grand slam !
It will also be about castles in The Manor proposed by Nexus Factory. A group of young adults a little bit crazy arrive in a… mansion to celebrate New Year’s Eve and are going to live a crazy night of horror. A genre film that veers into straightforward comedy. No wonder, because it will be performed by the all star team of new French youtubers and directed by a video clip virtuoso : Anthony Celerier (Tony T. Datis). The 24 days of shooting of this film co-produced with Gaumont will be entirely Walloon. The image editing will be done at the Baraque à Films, the sound editing at Dame Blanche (Wallonia) who will also take care of the sound effects. All the studio scenes will be shot at Keywall in Marcinelle while the special effects will be done by FILM FX. You might as well say that more Walloon for a film… French, it’s quite complicated. When we add that the film has a potential audience of several million, we can understand why the Board of Directors did not hesitate for a long time to endorse it.
In addition to projects for the cinema, the experts who work for Wallimage also manage other specific lines such as animation and television productions five times a year. Among the files presented during the month of September, the Board of Directors selected three : two documentaries and one series.
Les enfants du hasard will be signed by a duo : Thierry Michel and Pascal Colson. The two companions planted their camera, as discreetly as possible, in a school in Cheratte located in the heart of a mining town. There, under the benevolent gaze of a highly motivated teacher, almost all the students, the grandchildren of miners, are from immigrant families (mainly Turkish). At a time when immigration feeds the most unhealthy fantasies, the directors wanted to know if integration was a sweet utopia or an opportunity for all. Naturally produced by Les Films de la Passerelle, Les Enfants du Hasard (Hasard being the name of the coal mine) will be seen in June 2017.
On a completely different scale of production, First Man, co-produced by AT-Doc, is a feature film of wild ambition in the tradition of The Rite of Man or the famous BBC documentaries, The Origins of Mankind. This film, which is based on the most recent discoveries in paleoanthropology, is based on a narrative structure in four acts. Each one relates one of the great stages of our evolution. The director has chosen to follow the story of a single clan, a group of ten characters over… 15 million years. At each stage, they are faced with challenges that make them evolve. The great challenge will be to succeed in the special effects of this film which wants to be faithful to the current standards of the genre. And since Mikros Wallonie is the one to inherit this important position, we can already tell you that the excitement is high. The Post Box will take care of all the sound work.
The third project selected is a Flemish series. We will follow, over ten episodes, the thunderous Jan de Lichte and his band. The hero of this saga is a Belgian Robin Hood who really existed. The series will tell the story of his rise and fall and should give rise to an avalanche of exciting adventures, especially since it has been entrusted to renowned directors like Robin Pront(D’Ardennen). The main characters will be played by Matteo Simoni(Marina) and Stef Aerts(Belgica). The shooting will last 90 days, 60 of which will be in Wallonia, while most of the post-production will also be done in the south of the country : the image will be processed at Mikros and the sound at Sonicpil.