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Thursday, 24 February 2022
Sirocco_©Take Five_Sacrebleu Productions

Support for the Brussels audio-visual industry: 13 projects funded during the 18th screen.brussels session

For its 18th session, screen.brussels has invested €1.1 million in the production of 13 projects, which should generate more than €8.6 million in audio-visual spending in Brussels. The selection process was particularly difficult, since 30 valid funding requests were submitted. Brussels-based production companies (12/13) will produce the vast majority of the projects and nine out of the 20 directors are women (45%). The projects include seven feature-length fiction films, two animated projects, three documentaries, and one collection of short films. In addition, 85% of the projects (11/13) are receiving the majority of their funding from Belgium.

Seven feature-length fiction films

Augure

Feature film produced by Wrong Men (Saint-Gilles) and co-produced with New Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Serendipity Films (Belgium). Written and directed by Baloji Tshiani (Ghent), a well-known musician and multi-disciplinary artist. This is Koffi, the exile. Fifteen years ago, he left for Europe to get a new start on life. He never got his degree, but he did find love in Selma. To celebrate their wedding and the imminent arrival of a new member of the family, the couple decides to go back home to re-establish ties with his family. Koffi is apprehensive, but he knows he has to go back. And it turns out that he was right to be wary. His mother, Mama Mujila, has always kept him at arm’s length because of the birthmark on his face: a sign of witchcraft, she says. But that’s nothing in comparison to her reaction when she sees the colour of her daughter-in-law’s skin. Although shooting will take place for the most part in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there will be 65 days of post-production in Brussels. Cameras and lighting will be handled by Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek) and sound effects and post-synchronisation by Studio L’Équipe (Evere). Four crew members, including three department heads, will be mobilised, and four supporting roles will be played by Brussels-based actors: Marc Zinga (The Mercy of The Jungle, Les Rayures du Zèbre, The African Doctor), Lucie Debay (Madly in Life, Our Struggles).

Chiennes de vie

Produced by Helicotronc (Saint-Gilles), this feature film is written and directed by Xavier Seron (Brussels). This is his second feature film after Death by Death. He also recently won the 2022 Magritte Award for Best Short Film with Squish. This project is supported by the Centre for Cinema of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation as part of its aid for limited-budget productions. When his neighbour dies, Tom agrees to take in the man’s dog. While the animal seems inoffensive enough, Tom comes to believe that it drove its owner to suicide and is hoping to do the same to him. Actor and muse for a renowned perfume brand, Greta is devastated. Her dog and personal assistant have both died in a lorry accident. She meets Charlotte who offers to replace her assistant... or perhaps to replace her dog?

The production will be filming in Brussels for 20 days, or almost the entire shooting schedule. The same will be true for post-production, with 87 days of work in Brussels. The entire crew - some 30 people - are Brussels-based, from department heads to post-production. The characters will also be played by Brussels-based actors.

La nuit se traine

Produced by Daylight Films (Brussels), and co-produced with Formosa Productions (France) and A Private View (Ghent). Mady’s van carves a path through the Brussels night. The city has been brought to a fever pitch by the harsh police response to a Black Lives Matter protest in memory of Souleymane Diallo, killed on a previous night as a result of police brutality.

La nuit se traine is the first feature film directed by Michiel Blanchart (Brussels) from his own screenplay. His short film You’re Dead Hélène has been shortlisted for the 2022 Oscars. Cameras and lighting will be provided by Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek) and image post-production by Manneken-Pix (Ixelles). All of the action will take place in Brussels (25 shooting days out of 35), and 95 days will be devoted to post-production. The city will be a character in its own right, with a focus on locations such as the Gare du Nord, Palais de Justice, the Poelart Elevators, Place des Palais and Parc Royal.

La vierge à l’enfant

Feature film produced by Playtime Films (Forest), co-produced with Polar Bear (Flanders). Brussels-based woman of Kurdish origin Binevsa Berivan is directing this project. This INRACI-trained director has also co-written the screenplay with David Lambert.  Young Yazidi Kurd immigrant Avesta is seven months pregnant. Freshly escaped from the hellish underworld of ISIS, she has just one thought in mind: getting revenge on the man who forced her into slavery. When she arrives in Brussels, she locates and attacks members of his family in order to force him out of his ISIS-linked hiding and bring him before the courts. At the same time, Avesta finds sanctuary at a refugee centre in Brussels. Despite her post-traumatic mutism, she meets Yassemine, an interpreter of Kurdish origin who offers her support and tries to get her to talk. Most of the filming will take place in Brussels (25 days out of 27), and the entire post-production, or 170 days, will also be done in Brussels. This feature film will prominently feature Brussels locations, including typical, recognisable spots in the capital. The 20 crew members are all Brussels-based as are two of the leads. The cast will include Flonja Kodheli (Bota, Hors les murs), Isabelle de Hertogh (Paris pieds nus, Illusions perdues, 8 rue de l’humanité), Evin Ahmad, Laëtitia Eïdo (Mon fils, L’homme de la cave), and Barbara Sarafian (Brasserie romantique). Service providers will include KGS (Schaerbeek) for grip equipment, Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek) for lighting, TSF (Schaerbeek) for cameras, Manneken-Pix (Ixelles) for image post-production, Boxon (Ixelles) for audio post-production, Benuts Brussels (Etterbeek) for VFX, and Studio Babel (Anderlecht) for translations and subtitles.

L’étoile filante

This feature film is produced by Courage Mon Amour Films (Anderlecht) with Moteur S’il Vous Plaît (France), and is written and directed by Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel. Known for their burlesque taste, the two directors have made four critically acclaimed feature films, including Rumba and Lost in Paris. They are the creators, screenwriters, directors, actors and producers of their own projects. The Étoile Filante is a small bar nestled in a corner of Brussels’ old town. It is run by Kayoko, whose quiet demeanour hides an explosive temper. Her partner Boris is a reserved bartender with a murky past as a political activist. The everyday humdrum of the bar is upended one night when Georges, injured in a terrorist attack in 1986, finds the man who committed it: Boris. Georges bursts into the bar armed and bent on revenge, but he’s stopped by the unexpected arrival of Kayoko’s faithful employee Tim, ex-military man and bouncer at the bar.

The entire preparation for the project as well as part of the shooting will take place in Brussels at outdoor locations (17 shooting days in Brussels out of 44). One hundred days of post-production out of the scheduled 142 will be done in the Belgian capital. In terms of service providers, audio post-production will be handled by Alea Jacta (Saint-Gilles), laboratory work by L’Équipe (Evere), credits and SFX by Benuts Brussels (Etterbeek), and cameras and lighting by TSF (Schaerbeek). The cast will include writers and directors Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel as well as Bruce Ellison (A Town Called Panic; Kill Me, Please), Kaori Ito (Le bruit des gens autour), Philippe Martz (Lost in Paris, Rumba) and Bruno Romy (Le bar des amants, Rumba). The project will involve six Brussels-based crew members.

Le syndrome des amours passées

This feature film is produced by Helicotronc (Saint-Gilles) with Tripode Productions (France), and is written and directed by Raphaël Balboni and Ann Sirot (Brussels). The pair have directed short films such as Much in Common, which was part of La Belge Collection Vol. 1, and the critically acclaimed feature film Madly in Life (12 nominations and seven Magrittes in 2022). Both of those projects also received support from screen.brussels. Rémy and Sandra can’t have children because they suffer from ‘Past Lovers Syndrome’. There’s only one possible cure: sleep with each of their exes one last time. The 35 shooting days will take place in Anderlecht as well as 125 days of post-production in the capital. The cast will include Lazarre Gousseau (Premières solitudes, Les hautes herbes), Lucie Debay (Madly in Life, Our Struggles), Vincent Lecuyer (JCVD, The African Doctor, Death by Death, Pandore), Hervé Piron, Ninon Borsei and Marie Lecomte. Several Brussels-based crew members will be working on the project. Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek) will be in charge of cameras and lighting, and KGS (Schaerbeek) will handle grip equipment. In all, there will be 10 crew members, including three department heads, on the project.

Les tortues

Feature film produced by Artémis Productions (Schaerbeek), co-produced with Christal Films Productions (Quebec) and W2 (United States). This project is written and directed by David Lambert. This will be the fourth feature film by the Brussels-based director after Third Wedding, which also received support from screen.brussels. Thom and Henri have experienced the joys of gay marriage, but after 35 years together, love has turned sour. It's time for a divorce. All of the filming will take place in Brussels (25 days out of 25). Brussels will be a character in its own right, and locations such as the Palais de Justice and Place du Jeu de Balle will feature prominently. The cast will include Olivier Gourmet (Rosetta, Le parfum de la dame en noir, The Mystery of the Yellow Room), Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake), Vanessa Van Durme, Brigitte Poupart and Ikram Aoulad (De collega’s 2.0). The project will rely on the collaboration of recognised service providers for post-production and equipment rental, as well as on nearly 37 Brussels-based crew members, including department heads.

Two animated projects

Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds

Feature-length animated film produced by Take Five (Saint-Gilles) and Sacrebleu Productions (Paris), directed by Benoît Chieux (Brussels) and written by Benoît Chieux and Alain Gagnol. Juliette (4) and Carmen (8), two intrepid sisters, are accidentally transported into the kingdom of winds. This fantastical world comes from the fertile imagination of their neighbour Agnès, a writer. Right from the start, their journey takes a bad turn. Transformed into cats, the girls are thrown in prison for contempt. One of them becomes a pet and the other is forced to marry the mayor's son. A major part of the animation will be done at Squarefish (Brussels), thanks to the large talent pool in Brussels, solidifying the position of Brussels Animation Valley on the European map. This is equivalent to 198 days of animation and 110 days of post-production. Boxon (Ixelles) is in charge of audio post-production and Manneken-Pix (Ixelles) will handle image post-production. Two supporting roles will be voiced by Brussels-based actors: Pierre Lognay and Eric de Staercke (Le huitième jour, Les visiteurs : la révolution).

In the Labyrinth of Lies

Animated series produced by Belga Productions (Braine-l’Alleud) and co-produced with Motionworks (Germany). Directed by Theresa Strozyk and written by Paul Markurt and Andreas Völlinger. Theresa Strozyk has directed series and short films in Germany. This project is based on a best-selling children’s book from Germany. In 1985, Paul is living in East Berlin, the capital of the GDR. He is staying with his grandmother Liese. Paul‘s parents had attempted to flee with him to the West two years before. The parents were caught and sent to prison, while Paul was forced to live in a children's home. His grandmother rescued him from the home and since then he has been living with her. This animated series will include 245 days of production at Studio Souza (Koekelberg) out of a total of 380, and all post-production will be done there as well. Motionworks has already co-produced Richard the Stork 2 with Walking the Dog (Brussels). Dame Blanche (Etterbeek) will be in charge of image and sound post-production. About 15 technicians, including 14 animators, will be working on this project.

Three documentaries

Cette nuit-là

Documentary produced by Thank You & Good Night Productions (Ixelles) and co-produced with Iota Production (La Hulpe), written and directed by Safia Kessas (Brussels). Kenza Isnasi tells us about the racist murder of her parents on 7 May 2002 in Schaerbeek. This film retraces the event, which had such a significant impact on Moroccan immigrants in Belgium, in light of new evidence, and raises questions about the responsibility of society at large. Eyewitnesses will re-examine the evidence in detail.

All of the filming and post-production will take place in the capital. The crew is made up of nine technicians, including seven women. The project will be supported by service providers such as Audiosense (Evere), Boxon (Ixelles), and ADN (Schaerbeek).

Les miennes

Documentary produced by Michigan Film and co-produced with Visualantics Productions (Brussels) and Pivonka Production (France). It is directed by Samira El Mouzghibati (Brussels). After getting her training at INSAS and editing several documentaries, she is directing her first feature-length film about her own family. Why was I devastated when I learned I was going to have a daughter? In 1966, my parents got married in the Rif Mountains without ever having met. Two years later, they settled in Brussels. In 1990, their first-born daughter Fatiha was forced to marry her cousin even though she was only 17. Each of the next four sisters grew up and got married in ways that fit their image: marriages based on love, brief or long-lasting unions, civil or religious ceremonies, traditional weddings or ones with bar service.

The production will be setting up its cameras for eight days of shooting in Brussels, and almost all of the post-production will be done in the city as well. The crew will include eight people, including a woman editor, a woman colourist and a woman sound engineer. Service providers will include A Sound (Schaerbeek) for sound editing and mixing, Sonhouse (Koekelberg) for sound effects, Stempel (Anderlecht) for image editing, Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek) for lighting, and Cobalt films (Brussels) for finishing and credits.

Vizorek raconte Goethals

Documentary produced by Switch On Prod (Uccle). Directed by Hugues Jossa (Brussels), written by Philippe Henry (Brussels). Hugues Jossa is known as the director of television series such as Un dîner presque parfait, L’amour est dans le pré, and Expédition Pairi Daiza. For the 100th anniversary of the birth of Raymond Goethals on October 7, 1921 in Forest, and not long before the start of the World Cup, Alex Vizorek, another illustrious native of Brussels, retraces the mad career of the masterful football tactician he so admires. Shooting will take place for 10 days in Brussels, with 19 days allotted for post-production. A crew of nine technicians will be put to work. Service providers include Okiswitch (Neder-Over-Heembeek) as well as RGB Audio (Schaerbeek) for sound equipment.

One collection of short films

La Belge Collection Vol. 2

This project is produced by Angie (Schaerbeek) and co-produced by Brussels Ciné Studio ABSL (Schaerbeek), with six directors, both men and women: Guillaume Kerbusch, Laura Petrone, Fred De Loof, Anne-Lise Morin (Wallonia), Jessica Woodworth (Flanders) and Bouli Lanners (Belgium). The short films are written by Brussels-based screenwriters Fred De Loof, Guillaume Kerbusch, Laura Petrone, Thomas Gunzig, Astrid Jansens, Anne-Lise Morin, with Jessica Woodworth (Flanders) and Bouli Lanners (Wallonia). After the great success of the first edition, La Belge Collection is coming back with a new series of four 100% Belgian short films, funded in Belgium with the goal of helping 16 talented young Belgian actors become better known to both the general public and industry professionals in Belgium and abroad. Bouli Lanners (Eldorado, Les géants, Nobody has to know), Jessica Woodworth (La cinquième saison, King of the Belgians), Fred De Loof (Totem, the series Baraki), and Anne-Lise Morin (All That Remains, and co-screenwriter of Les intranquilles by Joachim Lafosse) will be directing the four segments of the feature film, while the common thread will be directed by Laura Petrone (Baraki, L’Opéra) and Guillaume Kerbusch (La trêve, Les rivières pourpres). The godfather of this second volume is Marc Zinga, actor and recipient of the Magritte Award for Most Promising Young Actor in 2015. All shooting and post-production will take place in Brussels. A crew of two full-time technicians will be working on the project as well as experienced service providers such as Alea Jacta (Saint-Gilles) for sound editing and mixing, Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek) for cameras and lights, KGS (Schaerbeek) for grip equipment, ADN (Schaerbeek) for colour grading, and Studio L’Équipe (Evere) for post-synchronisation and editing.

Nearly half of the directors are women

Out of the 20 directors of these projects, nine are women, or 45%: Safia Kessas (Cette nuit-là), Theresa Strozyk (In the Labyrinth of Lies), Laura Petrone, Anne-Lise Morin and Jessica Woodworth (La Belge Collection), Binevsa Berivan (La vierge à l’enfant), Samira El Mouzghibati (Les miennes), Ann Sirot (Le syndrôme des amours passés), and Fiona Gordon (L’étoile filante).

The majority of the projects are produced by Brussels-based companies...

Almost all of the projects (except In the Labyrinth of Lies) are being produced by production companies based in the Brussels-Capital Region.

...and the majority are Made in Belgium

All of the projects, with the exception of the two animated projects - or 11/13 - are written, directed and get the majority of their funding in Belgium.

Returns for the Brussels audio-visual industry

By investing €1.143 million in the content of audio-visual projects, screen.brussels is helping to put Brussels-based talent to work and generate business for local companies specialising in the film industry, resulting in a return on investment for the regional economy of nearly €8.7 million, or €7.60 for each euro invested.

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