For its fourth session, screen.brussels cosies up to fiction and documentaries
To divide up the €1 million investment of its fourth session, screen.brussels fund has selected 11 projects. The seven fiction feature films, three documentaries and one television series selected should generate €7.250.000 in developmental spending for the audiovisual industry in the Brussels Capital Region.
Seven fiction feature films
Cléo: Produced by Lunanime (Ghent). First feature film of director Eva Cools (Flanders), Cléo traces the painful journey of its teen heroine coping with the accidental death of her parents by looking for comfort with Leos, a mysterious thirtysomething man. The action takes place in Brussels, where 25 days of shooting out of 30 will take place, mainly in Anderlecht. As for the technical side, there will be 12 people employed, as well as equipment rental from KGS (Schaerbeek), sound post-production at Studio l’Équipe (Evere) and special effects at The Fridge (Molenbeek).
For a Happy Life: Produced by Tarantula (Liège). A story of star-crossed young love: Sarah of Algerian origin and Machir of Pakistani origin are confronted with the traditions of arranged marriage. For a Happy Life is the first feature film of Brussels’ Salima Glamine and Dimitri Linder who gets behind the camera after having been a long-time first assistant director of Bouli Lanners, Joachim Lafosse, Benoît Mariage and others. Here as well, part of the shooting will take place in Anderlecht and employ 25 technicians. The entire sound post-production will be done in Brussels, from the sound editing to the sounds effects and dubbing (Alea Jacta, Saint-Gilles and Sonicville, Koekelberg).
J’ai perdu Albert: Produced by Climax Films (Evere). For the first time, French author Didier Van Cauwelaert, who has had five books adapted as films, will sit in the director’s chair for this comedy that features jack-of-all-trades Stéphane Plaza in the main role. In this fantasy-like comedy where they are haunted by the spirit of Albert Einstein, the protagonists live and run around in Brussels, which will accommodate part of the shooting (15 days). As well, 30 Brussels technicians will be employed, while sound post-production will be done at Studio l’Équipe (Evere).
Kursk: Produced by Belga Films (Braine-L’Alleud). This latest opus from Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) tells of the tragic demise of the Kursk, the jewel of the Russian nuclear submarine fleet, and of its 118-member crew who were all lost in the summer of 2000. In this drama mixing suspense and geopolitics, the cast features Matthias Schoenaerts (Le Fidèle, De rouille et d’os), Léa Seydoux (Juste la fin du monde, Spectre, La vie d’Adèle) and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man). A major production that will generate a lot of spending in Brussels, notably the wages of 35 technicians including nine set decorators and builders who will work on replicas of the submarine and other sets built in the huge AED studios in Lint (Flanders).
Le milieu de l’horizon: Produced by Entre Chien et Loup (Schaerbeek). After Puppy Love, Brussels’ Delphine Lehericey directs a coming-of-age drama set during the heat wave of 1976, when a young boy called Gus sees his life turned upside down at the family’s modest farm. In this adaptation of the novel of the same name by Roland Buti (Switzerland), Gus takes a tortuous journey that will make him lose his childhood innocence. Laetitia Casta (Gainsbourg, Vie héroïque, Des lendemains qui chantent), Jalil Lespert (Le petit lieutenant, De guerre lasse) and Clémence Poésy (Demain tout commence, Tunnel) are the leading roles. Co-produced with Switzerland, the film will employ some 15 talented Brussels people. The special effects will be done at Nozon (Ixelles) and the sound effects at Studio l’Équipe (Evere).
Patser: Produced by 10.80 Films (Saint-Gilles). After the success of Black and their move to Hollywood, Brussels’ Bilal Fallah and Adil El Arbi have penned an offbeat action comedy where young men from Antwerp dream of a life as ‘show-offs’ in Dutch. Our ‘patsers’ will quickly find themselves in over their heads (drug trafficking, Colombian cartels, contract killers, etc.). A first-time association of Brussels producers Benoit Roland and Nabil Ben Yadir (also writers of the film), the film employs nine Brussels technicians, while sound post-production and French dubbing will be entrusted to A Sound (Schaerbeek).
The Mercy of Jungle: Produced by Néon Rouge Production (Laeken). A voyage into the Congolese jungle of Kivu where the Rwandese war hero Sergeant Xavier and the inexperienced soldier Faustin will face the dangers of war, nature and their own demons. This second film by Joel Karekezi (Rwanda), co-written with Aurélien Bodinaux (Brussels), hands over the main role to Brussels’ Marc Zinga, who received a Magritte Award for Most Promising Actor in 2015 (Les rayures du zèbre). The film also employs some 20 Brussels technicians. Sound and image post-production are also ‘made in Brussels’, thanks to Charbon Cinema (Laeken), Audio Sense and Studio l’Équipe (Evere).
Three documentaries for every taste
Brussels sous les étoiles: Produced by Kaos Films (Schaerbeek). This 90-minute documentary paints the portrait of five bright personalities that make Brussels shine: the five chefs who have two Michelin stars to their name. By discovering these men, their daily lives and the testimonials of their colleagues, it is the gastronomical side of Brussels that we encounter, deliciously so. An entirely homemade project led by Brussels director François Gonce (RTBF, MSF), flanked by a crew of 10 Brussels technicians, with sound post-production cooked up at Thank God it’s Friday! (Evere).
Er was eens: Produced by Diplodokus (Aarschot). This documentary series of six 50-minute episodes planned for CANVAS analyses the mysteries of the Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles through the work of its researchers, climbing the steps of the famous tower that overlooks Brussels to discover priceless and varied collections. Five directors will be involved in this series. Among them, two are from Brussels: Jérôme Guiot and Liesbeth de Cleulaer. Fifty-five days of shooting have been planned in Brussels with the support of seven Brussels technicians, while sound post-production will be done at Studio l’Équipe (Evere).
Football made in Russia: Produced by Take Five (Saint-Gilles). By focusing the camera at the heart of the passion for football, Brussels directors Pascal Colson and Kenneth Rawlinson offer us an original vision of Russia in this unnarrated documentary series of 30 1min30 episodes. After having travelled across Africa and Brazil to document the places having hosted the last two World Cups, it is now the turn of the world’s biggest country to show itself in 30 singular phases on a pitch that extends from Saint Petersburg to Vladivostok. Besides the directors, a team of eight Brussels professionals will follow the project. Sound editing and mixing have been entrusted to Chocolat Noisette (Brussels-Ville) and animated sequences to Squarefish (Molenbeek).
One television series
Champion: Produced by Nexus Factory (Forest). A return to comedy for an all-Brussels series supported by the FWB-RTBF fund for Belgian series. Champion is the sharp-edged journey of Souli, a football prodigy who rubbed shoulders with the greats and who lost it all due to his flamboyant character. Dropped by everyone, will he make a comeback? Carried along by Mourade Zeguendi (Les Barons, Dikkenek, Brussels) in the role of Souli, the series is directed by Brussels’ Monir Ait Hamou and Mustapha Abatane. Shooting is entirely located in the capital (80 days) and employs a team of almost 60 Brussels professionals, while the special effects are handled by UFX (Ixelles).
Women and first-time directors in the spotlight
Among the 11 projects selected, four will be directed by women: Delphine Lehericey (Le milieu de l’horizon), Liesbeth de Ceulaer (Er was eens), Eva Cools (Cléo) and Salima Glamine (For a Happy Life). The latter two are sitting in the director’s chair for the very first time.
This could not come at a better time since from the very start, screen.brussels has supported the Boost Camp programme aimed at accelerating the development of film projects and fiction series initiated by Belgian women. http://leboostcamp.com/
For Dimitri Linder (For a Happy Life) and Didier Van Cauwelaert (J’ai perdu Albert), it will also be the first feature films they direct.
One euro invested, more than seven euro spent in Brussels
Once again, the investment in the 11 selected projects, out of 22 dossiers submitted, should generate a great deal of local economic development, with an expected return of more than 700% in eligible audiovisual expenditures in the Brussels Capital Region.
Seven is also the number of mostly Belgian projects out of the 11 selected.
The submission of dossiers for the third and final session of 2017 is planned for 2 October at the latest. The decision on the projects selected is expected on 3 November.