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FUNDING Belgium throws its weight behind Alain Berliner, Patrick Ridremont and the Dardenne brothers


- The fund has selected 11 projects for its eighth session, including the features Rendez-vous in Paradise, Le Calendrier and Le Jeune Ahmed throws its weight behind Alain Berliner, Patrick Ridremont and the Dardenne brothers
Directors Alain Berliner, Patrick Ridremont, and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne

The fund has greenlit support for 11 co-production projects (encompassing fiction features, animated series, live action, web, documentaries and virtual reality), most notably throwing its weight behind Alain Berliner’s and Patrick Ridremont’s return to the big screen, and the upcoming film by the Dardenne brothers.

The fund is thus supporting six Belgian majority projects, the most prominent of which is the mysterious new movie by the Dardenne brothers, Young Ahmed [+see also:
film review
interview: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
film profile
, which was shot this summer with an unknown cast, and which tackles the issue of religious fundamentalism via the fate of a young man who plans to kill his teacher in the name of his religion. How can a love for life manage to prevail over his desire to kill? As is the case with all of the Dardennes’ films, Ahmed is being produced by Les Films du Fleuve.

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For his big comeback to cinema (he has done a great deal of TV work since 2007), Alain Berliner is trying his hand at an English-language international co-production called Rendez-vous in Paradise, simultaneously a rom-com and a satire, in which Charles and Eleanor (William Fichtner and Embeth Davidtz) are a couple who have lived together happily for almost 30 years. They are the cliché-laden archetype of a laid-back, modern, committed couple. But their apparently unblemished life is turned upside down when Roman asks for their daughter Ulysses’ hand in marriage. The movie is being produced by the auteur’s own outfit, WFE.

For his part, Patrick Ridremont is getting stuck into an intriguing project that blends psychological thriller and horror flick. After his feature debut, Dead Man Talking [+see also:
film profile
, and The Station, a genre short that he directed a few months ago, he is readying Le Calendrier, which will this time be produced by Frakas

Among the other projects receiving backing are the thriller Black Beach by Esteban Crespo, a Netflix production being staged in Spain by LaZona Films and in Belgium by Scope Pictures, and a film for young audiences called Sprite Sisters, an adaptation of a successful series of novels, and a co-production between Germany, Austria, Italy and Belgium, where the project is being staged by Potemkino.

(Translated from French)

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