Press 13 SEP 2012

Film selection commission – Second round 2012

50 new projects, 3 million € support

Culture and audiovisual affairs minister Fadila Laanan has approved the recommendations of the second session of the Walloon-Brussels Federation’s film selection commission: 14 feature length film projects, 13 short films, 19 documentaries and 4 television fiction projects have been selected for script development or production support for a total amount of 3,008,250€.

Thanks to the Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel’s support, filmmakers such as David Lambert, Vanja D’Alcantara and Frédéric Dumont, whose debut features received worldwide acclaim, will be able to complete the script of their new film. Among the feature length projects selected for production support are new films by Yolande Moreau, Jawad Rhalib and André Buytaers.

Following his directorial debut Beyond the Walls (Hors les murs), which was selected for the Critics’ Week at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, young writer-director David Lambert is currently writing the script for his second feature I am Yours, in which a penniless young Argentine escort boy presents himself as an apprentice to a lonely Belgian baker. Vanja D’Alcantara, whose debut feature Beyond the Steppes was selected in competition at the 2010 Locarno Film Festival, is now writing the script of Kokoro, an adaptation of Olivier Adam’s novel "Le coeur régulier", in which we follow Sara on her trip to Japan in the footsteps of her brother Nathan, an impulsive, quick-tempered young man with whom she had strong bonds and who has died in a car accident. Following Angel at Sea (Un Ange à la Mer), which won him the Karlovy Vary Film Festival’s Crystal Globe as well as numerous prizes at other festivals, Frédéric Dumont joins forces with young writer Marie Braeuner for the script of his second film La longue marche, the story of a second-rate boxer of Algerian origin who kidnaps his ex-wife’s new-born baby from the Marseille maternity clinic. And after the widely acclaimed On the Sly (A Pas de Loup) the brothers Olivier and Yves Ringer are preparing a new film: Les oiseaux en passage, about young girls Cathy en Margaux’s adventurous attempts to rescue a duck.

After a highly successful collaboration with Gilles Porte for When the Sea Rises (Quand la mer monte) (2004) – 2 Césars! - Yolande Moreau once again moves behind the camera to direct Henri, the story of an encounter between two lonely souls on the edge of society: Henri, a washed-out, resigned and slightly alcoholic man in his fifties and Rosette, a slightly mentally disturbed woman who dreams of love, sex and being normal… Jawad Rhalib, who during the past ten years won his spurs with documentaries about the exploitation, despair and social struggle of little people in the Mahreb (Les damnés de la mer, El Ejido, la loi du profit), now turns to fiction to explore those issues in Insoumise. The film depicts young Moroccon immigrant Laila’s struggle to defend the dignity of the employees at a large Bordeaux brasserie who are being exploited by an u nscrupulous boss. Writer and RTBF television director André Buytaers now also turns towards theatrical filmmaking with Pianissimo, the story of a young violin player who tries to cope with the disappearance and absence of her “I Virtuosi” duo partner to save her music and her life.

Diversity and singularity in 19 documentaries

The documentary has always been in high esteem among our filmmakers. It is, therefore, no surprise that some very promising documentaries feature among the selected projects: three feature-length documentaries - one by Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd (whose Territoire perdu won several prizes in 2011), another by André Chandelle and one by Carmen Castillo. In combination with the television documentaries they reveal a rich variety of themes and interests, from a portrait of Daniel Bensaïd, emblematic figure of the generation of 1968 (On est vivants), the barren winters in the villages of Mont Lozère (Les tourmentes), the eventful life at a psychiatric wing of a prison (Anus Mundi) to the total destruction of the city of Dinant by the German invaders in 1914 (Trois journées d’août 1914). We also highl ight a documentary series about the Red Star Line, which sailed over two million migrants across the ocean from Antwerp to New York between 1873 and 1934. A RTBF-VRT co-production.

Television fiction about Belgian issues

Intent on stimulating creation and production of top quality fiction for television in the Walloon-Brussels Federation, the film selection commission also gave a go for the script development and production of two television series and two one-off television films about typically Belgian issues. Aurélien Bodinaux’s Gang O2 is expected to become a thrilling police series focusing on urban violence and intrigues among the higher judicial authorities. Francisco Palomar Custance’s Ursula & Jeff goes more deeply into the unlikely relationship between two people in a house that balances on the linguistic frontier. Catherine Burniaux and Antoine Russbach’s television film Souffle depicts firemen’s blank amazement at a pregnant young woman’s refusal to be rescued from catastrophe, while Edwin Baily’s Le silence des Eglises follows a young man’s crusade against the church’s cover up of child abuse he himself had been a victim of.

The film selection commission disposes of an annual envelope of about 10.3 million Euro for the support of television and film making in the Walloon-Brussels Federation. Its third and final session for 2012 is scheduled later this autumn.The complete survey of feature-length and short films, documentaries, television productions selected for script, production or development support can be found at:

Selected projects – second round 2012