Flemish production companies Savage Film (producer of Oscar and César-nominated picture Bullhead) and Eyeworks Belgium (Ben X, The Verdict, Marina) are to join forces, with Eyeworks acquiring a minority stake in Savage Film. The two have been producing features (including Bullhead) and documentary films together since 2010.

Michael R RoskamBullhead director Michael R. Roskam (whose Fox Searchlight pic The Drop will be released internationally in September) has also become a minority partner in the company. He will act as executive producer on several projects in Savage Film's current line-up, including director Robin Pront's feature debut The Ardennes (starring Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval and Jan Bijvoet), which is scheduled to start shooting in early 2015; and Galloping Mind, director and choreographer Wim Vandekeybus' first feature starring Jerry Killick, Natali Broods and Orsi Tòth, which is scheduled to start shooting in August.

'Joining Savage Film means a lot to me,' says Roskam. 'This is the team I made Bullhead with. It’s the consolidation of a professional friendship and I'm looking forward to being part of it.'

'With this merger, we intend to strengthen the company's position and that of our titles on both the national and international market,’ says producer Bart Van Langendock. ‘With new films in the pipeline such as Roskam's The Faithful [a co-production with Stone Angels in France and with Matthias Schoenaerts in the lead] and Flemish director Nathalie Teirlinck's first feature Tonic Immobility, we will be reaching out to actors, distributors, financiers and audiences in France as well as in English-speaking territories.'

‘The collaboration between Savage Film and Eyeworks has proved very successful. With this next step we want both to strengthen this partnership and expand our joint forces in the field of international co-productions,' says Eyeworks' Peter Bouckaert.

In February, it was announced that Warner Bros. Television Group and Eyeworks had reached an agreement under which Warner Bros. will acquire all of Eyeworks’ non-US projects. Eyeworks Belgium will thus become part of WB, and through the partnership between Eyeworks Belgium and Savage Film, both companies will continue to focus on European productions.

A new Savage Film-Eyeworks co-production Labyrinthus, directed by Douglas Boswell, will get a wide release in Flanders and Brussels this summer (Benelux distributor is Paradiso Filmed Entertainment), with Attraction Distribution handling the international sales of this highly anticipated family fantasy.

Savage Film founder and managing director Bart Van Langendonck was in Cannes as co-producer on Fabrice du Welz's Alleluia, selected for Director's Fortnight, and Eyeworks' managing director Peter Bouckaert as co-producer of the Dardenne brothers’ competition film Two Days, One Night.

Published on Saturday 17 May 2014