A very international selection for the 23rd session of screen.brussels
For its 23rd session, screen.brussels has invested nearly €1 million in the production of eight projects slated to generate nearly €8 million in audiovisual expenses in the Brussels-Capital Region. In the end, the selection focused on four feature films, two animation series, one television series, and one documentary.
Four feature films
A feature film co-produced by Umedia (Ixelles) with Fair Play Productions (France) written and directed by Carlos Abascal Peiró (France). Nino, a young parliamentary attaché to the next Prime Minister, sees his future bleakly when a financial scandal reshuffles Matignon’s cards. His father, an old-school socialist with a revolutionary past, now a recluse in Brittany, is then approached. However, he refuses. The only chance for Nino to stay politically relevant is to convince his father to accept the position. The problem is, they haven’t spoken in years. With part of the filming (15/45 days) and the post-production (45/165 days) located in Brussels, this political comedy will count on the expertise of eight Brussels-based technicians and the know-how of UFX (Ixelles) for VFX, TSF (Schaerbeek) for lighting and Studio l’Équipe (Evere) for sound editing and mixing. As for the cast, there are supporting roles for Brussels’ Marc Zinga (Omen, The Mercy of the Jungle), Vincent Grass (An Officer and a Spy, The Break) and Benoît Strulus (Match, Habib, la grande aventure), while Karin Viard, François Cluzet and Jean Chevalier make up the main cast.
A feature film co-produced by Scope Pictures (Ixelles) and Gabman (France), directed and written by Nicolas Keitel (France), in collaboration for the script with Raphaële Moussafir (France). The destiny of a young girl is told over two eras: Marion becomes Louise and finds herself plunged into a life of lies, despite herself. Fifteen years after running away from the family home, Marion tracks down her little sister and plans to meet her. However, the latter does not recognise her. On the spur of the moment, Marion decides to introduce herself under her new name, Louise. The project will be almost entirely shot (29/30 days) and post-produced (225 days) in Brussels and employ 25 Brussels-based technicians, with a number of service providers helping out: Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek) for equipment rental, Kino Rental (Anderlecht) for cameras, Studio l’Équipe (Evere) for sound effects, Benuts Brussels (Ixelles) for VFX, Boxon (Ixelles) for audio post-production, Ps ma Sœur (Uccle) for post-synchronisation, Sondr (Brussels) for the film laboratory, and SLM Media (Uccle) for post-production management. The cast will combine a good number of Brussels actors in leading and supporting roles, such as Salomé Dewaels (Lost Illusions, L’absente, Filles de joie), Myriem Akheddiou (Pandore, Young Ahmed, Une part d’ombre), Laurent Capelluto (Les amateurs, Into the Night, Moloch), Erika Sainte (Le Grand Bain, Bronx, Les Rivières Pourpres), Michaël Erpelding (Fils de, Unité 42), as well as Kynan Carmeci and Mathilde Goffart. The main roles will feature Diane Rouxel (Volontaire, Fou d’amour, La Terre des hommes, Standing Tall).
Nino dans la nuit
A feature film co-produced by Wrong Men (Saint-Gilles) with Marks (Antwerp) and Haut et Court (Paris). The film was directed by Laurent Micheli (Brussels), who co-wrote the script with Clara Bourreau (Brussels). It’s an evening that goes wrong. Nino Paradis, 20 years old, manages to escape. After a failed attempt at the Foreign Legion, it’s back to square one. Nino finds Lale, the one who sets his heart on fire, as well as Malik and Charlie, his two brothers in arms. From dirty, badly paid jobs to evenings full of all the drugs imaginable, Nino searches for his place in a world that doesn’t seem to give him any hope. After Lola vers la mer, the Brussels director is back with a project of which half will be filmed (22/40 days) and post-produced (70/135 days) in Brussels, with the help of four Brussels-based technicians and the experience of TSF (Schaerbeek) for the cameras, equipment and electronics, while 10.80 Films (Molenbeek) handles the editing. This feature film is a book adaptation of the eponymous Capucine et Simon Johannin, featuring Brussels actors Mara Taquin (Fils de, La Bête dans la jungle, Rien à foutre) and Oscar Louis Högström (Hacked, The Chapel, Habib, la grande aventure).
Une part manquante
A feature film co-produced by Versus production (Liège), Savage Film (Zaventem) and Les Films Pelleas (France). The film was directed and written by Guillaume Senez (Brussels), who co-wrote the script with Jean Denizot (France). Every day, Jay drives around Tokyo in his taxi, looking for his daughter, Lily. Separated for nine years, he was never able to get custody. When he gives up hope of ever seeing her again and gets ready to return to France, Lily gets into his taxi without recognising him. Filmed in Japan, this project will have its entire post-production done in Brussels, which amounts to 201 days. In doing so, it will employ 22 Brussels-based technicians, including a director and three chief operators. Joining in will be service providers Benuts Brussels (Ixelles) for VFX, Alea Jacta (Saint-Gilles) for mixing, Studio l’Équipe (Evere) for sound effects and subtitles, Stempel (Anderlecht) for sound and image editing, as well as TSF and Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek) respectively, for cameras and equipment and lighting. In front of the camera, the director will have Romain Duris, whom he directed in Nos Batailles, in the lead role, who will play opposite Judith Chemla (Les goûts et les couleurs, Le sens de la fête, Une vie).
Two animation series
An animation series co-produced by Panique ! (Saint-Gilles) with Lunanime (Ghent) and Darjeeling (France) Directed by Antoine Colomb (France) and written by Alice Carré, Alice Zeniter and Marie Banville (France). Operation Médinah is a serial animated mini-series aimed at children aged 6 to 12 about the daily lives of Khadija, Malek, Lyes, Philippe, and Ahmed, children living in Algiers at the start of the conflict in 1955. A large part of the series will be created in the Brussels Animation Valley (305/465 days), where some 15 Brussels artists will be working with Studio L’Enclume (Molenbeek) and Sonhouse (Koekelberg), respectively, for the backgrounds and composition on the one hand and the dubbing and audio description on the other.
Upside Down River
An animation series co-produced by Vivi Films (Koekelberg), Dandeloo (France) and Sparkle Animation (Portugal), directed by Paul Leluc (France), written by Guillaume Mautalent and Sébastien Oursel (France). The series is adapted from a novel by Jean-Claude Mourlevat, La Rivière à l’envers. Hannah is searching for the source of the Qjar River to save her bird and honour her father, while Tomek longs for adventure and has questions about his origins. Over the course of the story, these two quests merge to become one. Aimed at a young audience, this series will be entirely created in Brussels (250 days of creation), where it will also be post-produced (20/200 days of post-production) at the heart of the Brussels Animation Valley at Studio Souza and Sonhouse (Koekelberg), which represents almost a year of work for a dozen Brussels animators.
One television series
Marie Antoinette, Season 2
A television series co-produced by Beside Productions (Braine-l’Alleud) with Banijay Studio France and Capa Drama, directed by Edward Bazalgette (United Kingdom) and Raf Reyntjens (Belgium), written by a team of British script writers: Deborah Davis, Louise Ironside, Charlotte Wolf, Francesca Forristal, and Andrew Bampfield. While Marie Antoinette and Louis seem at the height of power, they must face an unprecedented financial crisis. The incessant attacks from Provence and Chartres against the royal couple fuel the hatred of the nobility, while disastrous consequences loom with the Affair of the Necklace. From Versailles to the Palais-Royal, the revolt is rumbling. For the second season of this historical series, eight Brussels-based technicians will join the team, including two chief operators, as well as several Brussels companies that will use their experience, such as Elsen Film (Evere) for the cameras, Boxon (Ixelles) for image and audio post-production, Studio l’Équipe (Evere) for subtitling, KGS (Schaerbeek) for the equipment, and Ps ma sœur (Uccle) for post-synchronisation. As for the royal couple, with Emilia Schüle in the title role and Louis Cunningham as Louis XVI, there are small Brussels roles for Martin Swabey and Vincent Londez.
One documentary series
In The Dark, The Mysterious Case of The Belgian Triangle
A feature film documentary co-produced by Diplodokus (Louvain) with Kwassa Films (Brussels), directed by Maarten Bernaerts and Bram Conjaerts (Belgium), who also penned the script. In the Dark, The Mysterious Case of the Belgian Triangle tells the fantastic story of the Belgian UFO wave, which captivated our country in the late 1980s. For a year and a half, thousands of Belgians reported strange glowing triangles in the sky. This three-part documentary series of 52-minute episodes took 10/45 days of filming in Brussels and 66/216 days of post-production, employing three Brussels-based technicians, including the chief operator. As for service providers, there’s Lites Films (Forest) for lighting, Sondr (Brussels) for audio post-production, Thank God it’s Friday (Watermael-Boitsfort) for sound editing, and Camescoop (Schaerbeek) for the cameras.
A very tight selection
As with previous sessions, screen.brussels had to make a choice among the many projects presented. And so, eight co-productions were supported, out of a total of 23 eligible projects, for a rate of 34.7%, while the average of the previous years was above 40%.
Among the eight projects, seven are international co-productions (six with a Belgian minority), attesting to the expertise of Belgian companies as partners of choice for ambitious projects. As well, except for the documentary Into the Dark, all projects are co-produced with French companies, which remain privileged partners of our national talent.
Serial success for the Brussels Animation Valley
Not one, but two, top-notch animation series will get the Brussels Animation Valley treatment. Brussels animation artists and talents will be working on the series Operation Médinha and Upside Down River, both aimed at a young teenage audience.
Significant ROI for the Region’s economy
By investing €1,014,500 in the eight projects selected during this 23rd session, the expenditures generated in salaries and order books for companies are estimated at €7,911,105. In other words, every euro invested by the Region will generate nearly €8 in expenditures in the Brussels audiovisual sector.