Country Focus: Belgium
Wallimage/Bruxellimage’s third session
by Aurore Engelen
- Investment fund Wallimage/Bruxellimage’s third session took place at the end of February.
Financed in equal parts by the Walloon and Brussels regions, this investment fund supplements financing of productions that will involve substantial expenditure, that is to say at least €100,000, in each of the above-mentioned regions. Like most regional support funds, this system has in the past helped to significantly develop the Walloon audiovisual industry, and is now expected to boost the Brussels sector.
This third session was in line with previous ones. On the one hand, there was reaffirmed support for prestigious Francophone co-productions, and on the other, backing for local productions aimed at a more limited audience.
Wallimage/Bruxellimage will thus help finance the second instalment of Largo Winch, which will reunite actor Tomer Sisley and directorJérôme Salle. The duo will fly off to Thailand, China, Germany and Switzerland for the shoot, with a short stop in Belgium. The film is produced by PanEuropéenne and Climax Films.
In a different tone is Samuel Benchétrit’s Chez Gino, starring José Garcia and Anna Mouglalis. This homage to Italian comedies of the 1960s is scheduled to start shooting soon in Brussels, before relocating to France.
Wallimage/Bruxellimage will also back Montana, the second film by Stephan Streker (Michael Blanco). This Belgian feature is produced by MG Productions on the Francophone side, and Minds Meet on the Dutch-speaking side.
Finally, the 37th session of the “historic” Wallimage fund (which only concerns Wallonia) was held at the start of February. The committee decided to back two very different films: Rien à Déclarer (“Nothing To Declare”), by Dany Boon, who has found a priceless sidekick in Benoît Poelvoorde; and Bye Bye Blondie by Virginie Despentes, who is back behind the camera ten years after Fuck Me.
In another adaptation of one of her novels, Despentes will fuel fantasies by focusing her lens on Emmanuelle Béart and Béatrice Dalle as two women carried away by a destructive and passionate love. The film will be co-produced by Belgium’s FraKas.