Nine projects were funded to support the Brussels audiovisual sector during the 19th screen.brussels session
The 19th screen.brussels session has invested €1 million to help produce nine projects, which should generate more than €8.2 million in audiovisual spending in the Brussels-Capital Region. Project selection was tough since 30 financing requests totalling €2.3 million were submitted. The projects include five feature-length fiction films, one of which is animated, one documentary, one television series, and two web series. This session was also the first to introduce a bonus system to encourage eco-friendly productions. Produced mainly by Brussels production companies (7/9), women make up eight of the twenty directors (40%) and four of the nine producers (44%).
Five feature-length fiction films
A feature-length film produced by Scope Pictures (Ixelles) and Fin Août Production (France), Amal was directed by Jawad Rhalib (Brussels) and written by Jawad Rhalib together with David Lambert and Chloé Leonil (Brussels). Monia, a first-grader of Moroccan descent, comes to terms with her homosexuality and decides to come out with the help of Amal, a French teacher with bold teaching methods. She falls victim to harassment and witnesses hatred with dramatic consequences, while Amal also faces up to her enemies from a past life... This dramatic film, led by a director and screenwriters from Brussels, will be entirely shot and produced here, with 31 days of shooting (notably at the Lycée Henriette Dachsbeck and the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts) and 138 days of post-production in the Region. The crew will also call upon local talent, including four department heads and almost 40 technicians. It will rely on the expertise of three Belgian companies based in Schaerbeek: Eye-Lite for image and lighting equipment, KGS for equipment rental, and Paprika for editing and lab work. The audio post-production will be carried out at Boxon (Ixelles) and SLM Media (Uccle). The cast features many familiar faces in the leading roles, such as Lubna Azabal (The Blue Caftan, Tel Aviv on Fire, Incendies), Fabrizio Rongione (The Benefit of the Doubt, Two Days, One night, Un village français), Catherine Salée (The Break, Keeper, Blue is the Warmest Colour), as well as Babetida Sadjo, Ingrid Heiderscheidt, Benoît Verhaert, Kenza Benbouchta, Evelyn Ariza, Benoît Van Dorselaer and Mourade Zeguendi. Johan Heldenbergh and Jalila Tlemsi are also part of the cast.
Produced by Belga Productions (Braine-l’Alleud] ), Les Films du Cap (France) and Pathé Films (France), directed by Éloïse Lang (France) and written by Éloïse Lang and Pauline Mauroux (France). La graine is the story of a quest: that of two women in love who want a child. They must embark on a road trip across the Belgian border, Thelma-and-Louise style. Inès and Lucie refuse to be crushed by the system, choosing to go off the beaten track despite the obstacles along the way. But they have a dream of starting a family, and are willing to do anything to make it happen... Created for Amazon, half of this comedy (15/30 days) was shot in Brussels and almost entirely post-produced there (150/160 days). It brings together some 30 Brussels technicians and several Brussels-based companies: Manneken Pix, Boxon, ICP, and Little Mountain Pictures (Ixelles) for the sound, image and recording studios; PS Ma Sœur for post-synchronisation; SLM (Uccle) for the audio description; Benuts (Etterbeek) for the VFX and My Melody (Brussels) for musical supervision. The cast is led by François Damiens (Delicacy, Dany, The Bélier Family), Stacy Martin (Le Serpent, Le Redoutable, Nymphomaniac) and Marie Papillon (On the Edge, Marie et les choses, Jeunes et Golri). It will also feature the talents of Brussels-based Guillermo Guiz, Alexandre von Sivers, Aurélien Ringelheim, and Florence Hebbelynck in minor roles.
Les enfants perdus
Produced by Velvet Films (Forest), directed by Michèle Jacob (Brussels) and co-written with Benjamin Dessy (Wallonie). Ten-year-old Audrey, her sister and her two brothers are getting ready to spend their holidays in a house hidden away in the forest. When they realise their father has disappeared, they band together to survive and look for a way to return home. However, the forest prevents them from leaving, and the house goes after Audrey. To save her siblings, Audrey must fight her nightmares and understand their meaning... This feature-length horror-drama film was produced on a small budget (with support from the FWB Cinema Centre) and brings together a crew of 30 people almost entirely from Brussels. The entire post-production was done in Brussels, drawing on the experience of Eye-Lite and Key Grip Systems (Schaerbeek) for the cameras, lighting and equipment, Audiosense (Evere) for the sound equipment, Citizen Ciné Services (Anderlecht) for control equipment, Manneken Pix (Ixelles) for post-production editing and Chocolat-Noisette (Brussels) for audio post-production. The cast includes young Brussels actors such as the sisters Iris and Liocha Mirzabekiantz in the starring roles.
Produced by Stenola Productions (Brussels) with Les Films du Losange (France), Samsa Films (Luxembourg) and Prime Time (Brussels). This is the latest project by Brussels’ Joachim Lafosse (The Restless, Keep Going, Our Children), co-written with Thomas Van Zulen, Pablo Guarise and Chloé Duponchelle (France). This new film by Joachim Lafosse employs around 20 Brussels technicians and involves lighting companies Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek), Manneken Pix (Ixelles) for editing and Studio L’Équipe (Evere) for the calibration and lab. The cast features Emmanuelle Devos (A Long Lost Silence, Le Fils de l’autre, Those Who Remain) and Daniel Auteuil (La Belle époque, Entre amis, 36th Precinct, The Eighth Day), as well as Brussels’ Salomé Dewaels and Matthieu Galoux in the leading roles and Catherine Salée, Karim Barras and Kris Cuppens in minor roles.
One feature-length animation film
Valemon: The Polar Bear King
A feature-length animation film produced by Vivi Films (Koekelberg) with Belga Productions (Braine-L’Alleud) and Maipo Film (Norway), directed by Mikkel B. Sandemose and written by Maja Lunde (Norway). Valemon: The Polar Bear King is a modern animated film based on one of Scandinavia's most beloved folk tales. It is a story of love, greed, courage, and nature’s wonders, packed with suspense, humour, music and breathtaking scenery. Coming hot off the success of Titina, this new feature-length animation project is being co-produced by Belgium and Norway and reinforces the expertise and standing of the talent found in #Brussels #AnimationValley. This project will involve an animation team of around 20 Brussels technicians, and will enlist the experience of Studio Souza for the animation and Sonhouse (Koekelberg) for the dubbing.
Le souffle court
A documentary produced by Playtime Films (Forest) and Eklektik Productions (Brussels). Since the first day of lockdown in March 2020, a group of filmmakers has maintained a long-term dialogue with Brussels and Walloon healthcare professionals, via Skype. Weakened by the pandemic, these healthcare professionals share their practices, expertise and missions. Bonds of trust and friendship are forged with the filmmakers, as they candidly share their experiences, feelings and struggles. It features 12 filmmakers, including 11 from Brussels: Olivier Magis, Stéphane Bergmans, Charlotte Grégoire, Pauline Beugnies, Stéphanie Brumat, Benjamin Colaux, Jean-Baptiste Dumont, Coline Grando, Anne Schiltz, Sébastien Wielemans, and Christopher Yates, as well as Juan Sepulchre (Wallonia). The entire post-production (170 days) will be completed in Brussels, for a project where almost the entire crew is also from Brussels (some 15 technicians). Manneken Pix will take on the visuals, Boxon (Ixelles) the sound post-production, and Babel Central (Anderlecht) the subtitles.
One Swiss television series
Produced by Entre Chien and Loup (Schaerbeek) and Box Productions (Switzerland). A five-season series with 52-minute episodes directed by Delphine Lehericey (Brussels), inspired by the animated series by Camille Rebetez and Pitch Comment (Switzerland), and written by Olivier Volpi, Aurélie Champagne and Joanne Giger (France). Jura, 1973. Lulu, Joe and Chiara have a solid friendship. Over four decades, they free themselves from the shackles of society and build a pioneering community: the Ferme des Indociles. The trio spend their lives side-by-side trying to change the world. Director Delphine Lehericey (Last Dance, Le milieu de l’horizon) will lead a crew reinforced by around 10 talents from Brussels, including many department heads. The entire post-production will be done in Brussels, with the help of Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek) for lighting, Boxon (Ixelles) for sound, image editing and mixing, and Studio l’Équipe (Evere) for image post-production. It also features Brussels actor and director Jean-Benoît Ugueux (Krump, Trop Belge pour toi, Above the Law) in one of the leading roles as well as Catherine Salée, Vincent Lecuyer, Bruno Georis, and Guillaume Le Marre in minor roles. They join a large cast with Thomas Blanchard, Thibaut Evrard, Maya Sansa, among others.
Two Belgian web series
Hacked, Season 2
Web series with 10 episodes lasting 10 minutes each, produced by Dingie (Kruisem), directed by Leni Huyghe (Brussels) and written by Una Kreso and rno Huysegems (Brussels). The second season has been long-awaited after the first one won Best Short Form Series at the Canneseries festival: young xel has reason enough to hate his popular classmates, Nilou, Adanne and Malick. When he starts to manipulate their lives by issuing challenges through an app he created himself, he slowly loses himself in a diabolical game. Entirely shot (over 22 days) and post-produced (80 days) in Brussels, a trio made up of one director and two screenwriters from Brussels created this Streamz web series. mong its crew are five other technicians from the region and support from Sonhouse and The Pack (Koekelberg) for sound and image post-production. The cast also features Brussels actors, including Helena Tengan and Misha Van der Werf in leading roles.
Messieurs Pipi, Season 2
Produced by Cerf-Volant Production (Watermael-Boitsfort), directed by Grégory Beghin and written by Pablo Andrès (Brussels) and Guillaume Wattecamps (Namur), this web series is made up of 20 three-minute episodes and marks the return of Pablo Andres and GuiHome playing Marco and Robin. Messieurs Pipi is the story of two losers who man the public toilets at a train station. And they are still there, after a whole season! Everything and everyone around them is in motion, but they’re still stuck in the same place. They hope for so much more, but for now, it's just a pipe dream. This new season is likely to bring its share of new customers, new encounters, new situations, and with them, new failures. Life may be sad, but with these two, it's hilarious. The 15 days of shooting and 50 days of post-production all take place in Brussels. This web series streams on RTBF Tipik’s social media, as well as on Pablo Andres and Guihome’s channels, and has utilised an all-Brussels crew: some 20 technicians and four department heads. What’s more, camera and lighting equipment will be provided by Jeckyll N’Hyde (Forest). Folks will be delighted to see Brussels faces Zidani and Fred De Loof as customers, along with other cameos.
Nearly half the directors are women
Of the 20 directors, eight of them (40%) are women: Éloïse Lang (La graine), Delphine Lehericey (Les indociles), Michèle Jacob (Les enfants perdus), along with the female members of the directors collective in the documentary Le souffle court:Charlotte Grégoire, Pauline Beugnies, Stéphanie Brumat, Coline Grando, and Anne Schiltz.
For this funding session, screen.brussels introduced a bonus point system to the project evaluation points table to encourage productions to be more environmentally responsible. One bonus point is awarded for having an environmental consultant working on the project and obtaining an ecodynamic label for the production company. In doing so, five of the projects introduced had an environmental advisor on board, while a dozen Brussels production companies are currently awaiting to be accredited with the Ecodynamic Enterprise Label awarded by environment.brussels.
Mostly Brussels projects
Almost all the projects (except Hacked and La graine) are produced by companies based in the Brussels-Capital Region.
Returns for the Brussels audiovisual industry
By investing €1.01 million into the content of audiovisual projects, screen.brussels helps fill the diaries of specialised companies and put many Brussels talents to work, which leads to a return in the regional economy of nearly €8.2 million ̶ more than eight euros per euro invested.