– The young Belgian director who turned heads with his resolutely quirky self-produced film Spit’n’Split currently filming his latest work
Director Jérôme Wandewattyne
Jerome Wandewattyneseasoned director of commercials, web-series and other television programs, has just launched the shooting of his new feature film The Belgian wave. After making an impression in 2017 thanks to Spit’n’Split [+see also:
film profile]totally crazy documentary and self-proclaimed mythomaniac rock on the Liège group The Experimental Three Blues Band, the filmmaker is back with a light production entitled The Belgian wavewhich examines a period of modern Belgian history that is as mocked as it is revered: the wave of UFO sightings recorded in the late 1980s.
In the early 1990s, journalist Marc Varenberg disappeared with his cameraman under mysterious circumstances while investigating this Belgian wave. Nearly thirty years later, two web-reporters reopen the investigation to find out what really happened. The filmmaker has imagined a fictional tale tinged with truth, an entertaining and once again seriously quirky tragicomic film that plays on these events that have since become an essential component of pop culture.
What is striking in this story is that the Belgian government has been the only authority since the end of the 1980s not to deny the existence of UFOs, which has made them the laughingstock of their international counterparts, and in particular Americans.
In this sense, the strong dose of belgitude infused into the film is not entirely surprising and is served by a diverse cast, led by the stage actor Dominique Ronvauxactor and director Karim Barras (seen in the last OSS 117: From Africa with love [+see also:
film profile] the movie and the series The Crimson Riversas good as The breakand recently the director of the short films The swimming pool and The couch in cahoots with Baptiste Sornin) and Belgian humorist and actress Karen De Paduwa.
Strongly influenced by alternative Belgian musical culture, the filmmaker intends to make full use of the freedom of tone offered by national subsidies for light productions, in order to shed a different light on marginal and colorful circles and characters.
As a reminder, this provision launched in 2017 by the Film Center of the Wallonia Federation Brussels offers production aid for projects to be carried out with modest technical means (in teams as well as in equipment) in order to fit into a limited budget defined from the outset (generally between €250,000 and €400,000). This initiative has given rise to films whose crazy in life [+see also:
interview: Raphaël Balboni & Ann Sirot
film profile] by Anne Sirot and Raphael Balboni (winning 7 prizes, including Best Film, at the Magritte Film Awards), Aia [+see also:
interview: Simon Coulibaly Gillard
film profile] by Simon Coulibaly Gillard (selected at ACID in 2021) and Mother Schmucker [+see also:
interview: Harpo and Lenny Guit
film profile] by Lenny and Harpo Guit (selected for Sundance).
The Belgian wave is produced by Alon Knoll and Gregory Zalcman behalf fifth takewith the support of the Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles, RTL and Be TV in co-production, alongside Screen.brussels and the tax shelter.
(Translated from French)