For its 8th session, screen.brussels has selected 11 projects, including one involving virtual reality
The screen.brussels fund has selected 11 co-production projects that showcase Brussels and its filmmaking industry. While the majority of these projects involved feature-length fiction films and series (animation, live action and web), a documentary and a virtual reality experience have also made the cut. The one million euros of investment has generated an €8,677,986 return from the direct filmmaking expenditure made within the Brussels-Capital Region, representing a €8.60 return per €1 invested. Read on for an overview of the selected projects:
5 feature-length fiction films
Produced by Les Films du Fleuve (Liège). Set in present-day Belgium, Ahmed, a young extremist who’s scarcely out of childhood, plans to kill his teacher in the name of his religion. But can his love for life prevail over his desire to kill? Ahmed, the latest film by brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, features a cast of more than twenty actors from Brussels including the lead role, as well as involving a dozen technicians, three of them heads of department. It also benefits greatly from the involvement of Luc Dardenne, who has lived in Brussels for more than 30 years. In terms of companies, the sound and image editing were entrusted to (fledgling) Brussels-based companies such as Manneken Pix (Ixelles), O-dio (Woluwe-Saint-Lambert) and Boxon (Ixelles). The film also received support from Wallimage.
Produced by Scope Pictures (Ixelles) and directed by Esteban Crespo. This feature-length political thriller tells the story of Carlos, a relentless contract negotiator whose past in Africa comes back to haunt him just as he’s trying to get on the straight and narrow for good. Co-produced with Spain (Lazona Films)for Netflix, this project entailed five days of filming in Brussels, where some of the action is set. It involved 20 technicians (two of whom oversaw the entire project) and several Brussels-based companies, notably audio post-production by Agent 141 (Schaerbeek) and VFX special effects by Digital Golem (Schaerbeek).
Produced by Frakas Production (Liège). This feature-length psychological thriller/horror is Patrick Ridremont's second opus as a director. Eva, a former swimming champion-turned-paraplegic, receives a strange advent calendar from her friend Sophie. Each day, it gives her a sometimes pleasant, often terrifying and increasingly bloody experience... All filming was done in Brussels and the project involved around 30 technicians from the capital, including the five heads of department. It also made use of the services of local equipment hire companies KGS and Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek). The sound editing and mixing was entrusted to Alea Jacta (1060), sound equipment and credits were handled by Boxon (Ixelles), Charbon Cinéma (Forest) took care of post-production, Agent 141 (Schaerbeek) managed sound effects and Airs (Schaerbeek) added subtitles. Catering was provided by À chacun sa Madeleine (Brussels).
Rendez-vous in Paradise
Produced by WFE (Ixelles), this movie saw Brusselite Alain Berliner return to the director's chair for a feature-length international film co-produced with Ireland and filmed in English. The director was supported by a wonderful team from Brussels, including three heads of department, for the filming in Ireland of this romantic and satirical comedy. Happily married for over 30 years, Charles and Eleanor are the picture-perfect image of a cool, modern and committed couple. But their silky-smooth outward appearance is shattered when Roman asks for their daughter Ulysses’s hand in marriage. In addition to the Brussels-based technical team, image post-production was handled in Brussels by Cobalt film (Brussels), while audio post-production was managed by Alea Jacta (Saint-Gilles), Boxon (Ixelles), and Studio L’Équipe (Evere).
Produced by Potemkino(Molenbeek) directed by Sven Unterwaldt. Following the success of the books of the same title, Sprite Sisters has now been adapted into a feature-length film based on the four sisters Flame, Marina, Flora and Sky. The young girls, whose magical powers symbolise the four elements, experience a host of fantastic adventures, from music competitions to battles against the forces of evil. This project was co-produced with Germany, Austria and Italy, including Walt Disney Germany, and involved around thirty Brussels-based technicians. Post-production of VFX special effects was handled in the capital by The Fridge (Molenbeek) and audio post-production was carried out by Sonhouse (Molenbeek).
A very Brussels-esque documentary
Produced by Alizé Production(Ixelles). An iconic figure in Belgian and European history over the past 50 years, Etienne Davignon is now the subject of a hard-hitting documentary which looks at power and contrasts with the relative discretion of one of the relics of Belgium’s political-industrial world. This project sheds light behind the scenes both in Brussels and across the continent through the testimonies of numerous different people, in addition to that of the eponymous individual. This documentary is the fruit of the labours of an entirely Brussels-based technical team led by Director Nicolas Delvaulx, while all post-production took place in the capital at Studio 5/5 (Etterbeek) and Adn Studio (Schaerbeek). Equipment hire was provided by KGS and Eye-Lite (Schaerbeek), Axis One and Twins Audio (Evere).
4 series: fiction, animation and web
Produced by Gapbuster (Liège) directed by Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret. Olivier is an estate agent so strapped for cash that he is squatting in the flat he's supposed to be selling. The death of his mother leads to certain revelations, including an unexpected inheritance: a building in the heart of Paris! The cast for this series (4 x 52 min) by Arte, which flirts with fantasy, includes Eddy Mitchell and Mathique Amalric. Most of the filming (33 of the 36 days of shooting) took place in Brussels, and involved the work of around twenty Brussels-based technicians. Audio and image post-production was also handled in the capital by Piste Rouge (Forest), Alea Jacta (Saint-Gilles) and Studio L’Équipe (Evere), while catering was provided by À chacun sa Madeleine (Brussels).
Produced by Jonnydeponny (Grand-Bigard). A television series dealing with a subject that resonates (unintentionally) with current affairs, Blackout plunges Belgium into darkness for 10 x 47-minute stints. During a citywide blackout, the Belgian prime minister receives a video informing him that his 18-year-old daughter has just been kidnapped… and that she'll die if the lights are turned back on. Made for VRT, all post-production for this Flemish series directed by Brusselite Joël Vanhoebrouck was handled in Brussels by Sonhouse (Molenbeek), while VFX special effects were provided by The Fridge (Molenbeek). The project also involved 30 days of filming in Brussels, where a large portion of the plot is set.
Produced by Les gens (Schaerbeek) and directed by Emmanuel Sapolsky. 30-year-old Fei-Fei is a young mother struggling to make ends meet. When she posts a video on Instagram of her and her 2-year-old daughter dangling in space, Jade, an Internet troll, sets in motion a series of unfortunate events for her in real life. This web series was co-produced with France (Noon et New Bee Production)for France Télévision, and involved 12 days of filming in Brussels. The 8 x 10-minute episodes put to work a dozen Brussels-based technicians, including two heads of department, and required equipment hire from Eye-Lite, KGS, TSF and Audiomania (Schaerbeek).
Jean-Michel, Super Caribou
Produced by Panique! (Saint-Gilles) and directed by Mathieu Auvrey. Adapted from Magali Le Huche's successful novels, this animated series transports us to the charming village of Vlalbonvent over the course of 52 x 11-minute spells. Everything seems enchanting, and you’d have nothing to fear were it not for the inhabitants themselves, who are each more surprising than the last. Fortunately, Jean-Michel the super reindeer is watching over the village. The result of 322 days of production in Brussels, with image post-production by Cobalt Films (Brussels) and audio editing and mixing by Piste Rouge (Forest), this ambitious French-led animated series reinforces the key role of Brussels and its Animation Valleywithin the European animation scene.
A virtual reality experience
Produced by Les films de la récré(Ixelles). Deep in the trenches of the Great War, an infantry regiment has somehow survived and is preparing to launch a crucial assault, when, all of a sudden, the soldiers learn that a peace treaty has been signed that very morning. So what do they do? Which path should they follow: war or of peace? Through virtual reality, the spectator is immersed in this gripping tale and becomes a real protagonist. This innovative project involved a 100% Brussels-based team of over a dozen technicians, including directors Django Schrevens and Sebastien Tixador. Audio post-production was taken care of by Demute (Molenbeek), while image post-production was handled by Poolpio (Etterbeek). The audio equipment was provided by Audiosenses (Evere).
Directors from Brussels and predominantly Brussels-based projects
Among the 11 selected projects, there are 7 directors from Brussels; Alain Berliner(Rendez-vous in Paradise), Patrick Ridremont (Le Calendrier), Luc Dardenne (Ahmed), Joël Vanhoebrouck(Blackout), Django Schrevens and Sebastien Tixador (11/11/18), and Nicolas Delvaulx (Etienne Davignon). These six projects were also largely financed by Belgium. France remains the main co-production partner (in five projects), while Spain, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy feature once each as co-producers.
Benefits for the Brussels economy
By participating in the funding of these 11 projects, screen.brussels has generated a significant impact on employment in the region and its economy. Moreover, for each euro invested, 8.67 euros was spent on technicians’ salaries or invoices issued by companies based in the Brussels-Capital Region.