Saga Film celebrates a quarter of a century
by Aurore Engelen
- With productions (Au-delà de Gibraltar, Hitler in Hollywood) as well as co-productions (Lady Chatterley, Darwin’s Nightmare, 2 Days in New York) to its name, Saga celebrates its 25-year anniversary
Cinematic production is a particularly versatile field where one endlessly has to question oneself and reinvent to avoid the traps along the way. In (French-speaking) Belgium, only a very few companies can boast having successfully made it past the 25-year mark. With a background in directing, Hubert Toint in 1987 set up Saga Film to support his productions. He rapidly turned his attention to other auteurs et creators, and set his career as a director temporarily aside to dedicate himself to the production and co-production of audiovisual works of all kinds, short and feature-length films, but also documentaries and films for television. Saga Film’s journey is the fruit of encounters with auteurs from all sorts of horizons.
In 1993, Saga produced Marian Handwerker’s Marie, a film that confirmed the talent of the young Marie Gillain (discovered two years earlier in My Father the Hero), and it was a great success with the Belgian public, which confirmed Saga’s desire to make auteur films targeting the public. Over the years, Saga then accompanied several Belgian auteurs including Frédéric Sojcher, with whom he produced an atypical portrait of a certain type of Belgian cinema (the documentary Born to Film) and a committed, iconoclast reflection on Hollywood cinema with Hitler in Hollywood [+see also:
film profile], a veritable technical and artistic feat (it was the first film to be shot with a 5D).
But Saga also stands out for its very active co-production policy, with a rich international line-up, including Lady Chatterley [+see also:
film profile], Darwin’s Nightmare, and, more recently, When Pigs Have Wings [+see also:
film profile], a film that was awarded a César for Best Directorial Debut.
After 25 years of good and loyal services in production, Hubert Toint today is preparing to take six months “off”, by handing over the reins of Saga to his colleague Jean-Jacques Neira to return to directing. He is preparing to direct his feature debut Mirage d’amour avec fanfare (lit. “Love mirage with brass band”) in Chile in 2013. It’s a project that was originally developed by Bernard Giraudeau, with Bernard Rapp.
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.