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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Belgium

Wallimage to back the Dardenne brothers’ new film

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- The Belgian regional investment fund is financing ten new projects, including La Maison Maternelle

Wallimage to back the Dardenne brothers’ new film
Directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (© Christine Plenus)

Walloon regional investment fund Wallimage has just announced the results of its 119th funding session, whose recipients notably include three feature films of Belgian initiative, one of which being the new movie by the Dardenne brothers, who are making their return after Tori and Lokita [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Joely Mbundu
interview: Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
film profile
]
, which was presented in Cannes in 2022, where it walked away with the 75th festival’s Special Prize. La Maison maternelle sees them trying their hand, for the very first time, at an ensemble story focusing on several young women’s experience of motherhood. The film is due to be shot this summer and, as per usual, it will be produced in Belgium by the brothers themselves, alongside Delphine Tomson on behalf of Les Films du Fleuve (Belgium), in co-production with Archipel 35 (France) and The Reunion (Belgium). This is the nineth time that the duo have benefited from this fund.

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Another familiar face and another Liégeois filmmaker comes in the form of documentary-maker Thierry Michel (Empire of Silence [+see also:
film review
interview: Thierry Michel
film profile
]
), who is receiving aid for his upcoming movie, L’acier a coulé dans nos veines, homing in on the impact of the definitive disappearance of Liege’s steel industry in 2013, which made the region’s fortune and whose demise left scores of people unemployed. Expected for January, the film is produced by Les Films de la Passerelle.

The third Belgian feature film set to be supported is also put forward by familiar faces, namely nWave studios (Bigfoot Junior [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ben Stassen
film profile
]
and Bigfoot Family [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ben Stassen
film profile
]
, The Queen’s Corgi [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ben Stassen
film profile
]
, The Inseparables [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jérémie Degruson and Matthi…
film profile
]
) who are currently working on the sequel to the adventures of chickenhare, Hopper. Directed once again by Benjamin Mousquet and co-produced by Octopolis (France), this second opus – provisionally entitled Chickenhare and the Very Very (Very) Old Groundhog – is expected to be ready for the end of 2024.

Three French feature films were also on the agenda of this 119th session, namely Le Million by Grégoire Vigneron, which stars Christian Clavier and Rayane Bensetti, which began filming a month ago, and which is produced in France by GV Production and Curiosa Films, and co-produced in Belgium by Umedia. Another movie granted support is the new work by Thierry Klifa (Rachel’s Game), Madame, which is based upon Liliane Bettencourt and François-Marie Barnier’s relationship and which remains a closely guarded secret, even though the rumours circulating about the cast are particularly tantalising. The film is produced in France by Récifilms, and steered in Belgium by Versus Production. We do know, by contrast, the heroine of Yann Gozlan’s supported film, Dalloway, which is an adaptation of Tatiana de Rosnay’s novel Les Fleurs de l’ombre and which is produced in France by Mandarin et Cie and Gaumont and co-produced in Belgium by Panache Production and La Compagnie Cinématographique: Cécile de France is set to topline the movie, playing a writer confronted with a virtual assistant.

Funding is also winging its way to two genre films, under the Fantastic Wallonia umbrella. The first, Moso, is a low-budget revenge movie whose screenplay is based upon Rashomon, whose director is yet to be confirmed, and which is produced by Scope Pictures. The second film supported in this category is the ambitious Place of Ghosts, directed by Canada’s Bretten Hannam who made his name with Wildhood. This supernatural thriller follows the fate of two brothers who are brought back together by the irruption of an evil spirit into their lives and who explore the primeval forests of Canada’s indigenous Mi’kmaq people. The film is produced in Canada by Shut up & Colour Pictures and Prospero Pictures and co-produced in Belgium by Beluga Tree.

Last but not least, Wallimage is also backing A Day in September, a German film for TV produced in Belgium by Beside, and Moods, an animated series steered by Umedia.

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(Translated from French)

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