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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Belgium

The Wallonia-Brussels Federation backs 5 new lightweight productions

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- The Film and Audiovisual Centre announced its support for new, lightweight-production feature films to the tune of €125,000

The Wallonia-Brussels Federation backs 5 new lightweight productions
Director Paloma Sermon-Daï, whose new project has been supported, with her 2022 Magritte for Best Documentary (© Frederic Sierakowski/Isopix)

Five new projects have just been approved for lightweight production film support. In 2017, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation Film and Audiovisual Centre decided to establish a new finance option for "lightweight productions", in other words works with limited budgets, mainly produced in Belgium and completed in a relatively short space of time; that is, 24 months between aid allocation and presentation of the film’s very first copy.

The aim behind this new aid was to help talented filmmakers, who had notably turned heads in the short films arena, make the leap to directing their first feature films where this transition was proving particularly arduous. In this sense, the idea was to help them gain experience via "simple" projects (with a certain unity of time and place, for example, and a limited number of characters, etc.), leaving the complexities and the inevitable technical and artistic decisions involved in international co-productions - ubiquitous in French-speaking Belgium - for slightly later. In short, the funds are aimed at giving filmmakers the opportunity to try their hand at feature-length formats and to create a life-size calling card for themselves before moving on to more traditional forms of funding.

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On Saturday, Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni’s first feature film Madly in Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Raphaël Balboni & Ann Sirot
film profile
]
walked away with 7 prizes, including Best Film, from the 11th Magritte Film Awards. This was one of the first projects assisted by the system in question, and its producer, Julie Esparbes on behalf of Hélicotronc, was quick to thank the CCA and its initiative, without which, she insisted, the filmmakers wouldn’t have been able to express their oh-so-singular world in feature-length form.

It’s interesting to note that Il pleut dans la maison by Paloma Sermon-Daï is one of these 5 new projects receiving assistance, because she too was awarded a Magritte for her beautiful documentary Petit Samedi [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Paloma Sermon Daï
film profile
]
. Her latest project is produced by Michigan Films (a firm which previously benefitted from the very same lightweight production aid for Simon Coulibaly Gillard’s Aya [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Simon Coulibaly Gillard
film profile
]
, presented in last year’s ACID selection).

Hélicotronc are set to receive a similar boost for Sauvons les meubles by Catherine Cosme, while other supported works include La Grande Patrouille by Noëlle Bastin & Baptiste Bogaert (Naoko Films), All the time by Amélie Derlon Cordina (Matching Socks) and Koue Vwa by Maxime Jean-Baptiste (Twenty Nine Studio & Production) - three production firms who are likewise making their first forays into the world of first fiction features.

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(Translated from French)

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