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Mathieu Volpe

Project Name:

L'OR ROUGE (Red Gold)


Delphine Tomson (Les Films du Fleuve)



Year of lab participation:


Lab edition:



While trying to repatriate the body of her son who died in the South of Italy, Regina (45, Burkinabé) discovers the system that made him a slave and tries to accomplish the mission he was unable to fulfil, turning her grief into revolt.


After learning about the death of her son Isaac, Regina (45) travels from Burkina Faso to Southern Italy to arrange the repatriation of his body. Here, she discovers that he lived in “the Ghetto”, a slum where hundreds of immigrant workers are exploited for the harvest of tomatoes. / Our goal is to work with people from the Ghetto, as actors as well as members of the crew, and to shoot on location. By working on the border between documentary and fiction, we hope to stay true to the complexity of this unique place.

Director's Note

Each era has its slaves. That's what I thought when I discovered the Ghetto, a huge slum in the South of Italy, a few kilometres far from my childhood town. In 2015, I spent almost two months there to make my last short film (“Our territory”, Locarno 2019) in order to show the daily life of tomato workers who live in the slum. The Ghetto is a place that we, as Westerners, would rather not see: it is a system that crushes the lives of its workers and sacrifices them for the profit of capitalism. From that moment on, my intention is to keep exploring this reality in order to make it visible.


Mathieu Volpe (Rome, Italy, 1990) was raised by his Belgian mother and his Italian father in Bari, in the South of Italy. In 2009, he moved to Brussels to study film directing. His short documentaries have been shown in several international festivals such as Locarno, Torino, Dok Leipzig and Fipadoc. He is currently finishing the post-production of his first feature documentary, “An Italian Youth”, shot between Italy and Burkina Faso. "Red Gold", produced by Les Films du Fleuve, will be his first feature film.


Nina Vanspranghe is a young French screenwriter living in Belgium. In France, she has been writing for a daily TV show for 2 years, as a member of a 14-people writing team. In Belgium, she has co-written a dark comedic feature film premiering in Tribeca Film Festival this summer ("Employee of the month" by V. Jadin, Velvet Films). She is co-writing two other feature films : "Searching for the magic dick", a feminist comedy (by L. Sallustio, Kwassa films) and "Red Gold", a feature fiction set in an Italian slum (by M. Volpe, Les films du fleuve).

Producer profile

Directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne founded Les Films du Fleuve in 1994 with the main goal of developing and financing their feature films. Afterwards, they decided to get involved in the co-production of international films in order to enlarge their catalogue by creating collaborations with renowned authors. Today, Les Films du Fleuve, wish to accompany more closely young authors as a major producer in the development and the realization of feature films with an international ambition. After studying photography, Delphine Tomson joined Les Films du Fleuve in 2002 as a production assistant. Since 2008, she has been working as a producer with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

Production company profile

Les Films du Fleuve: 13 Quai de Gaulle, 4020 Liège – Belgium, +32 4 349 56 90

Contact email :

Production Budget

Production budget (USD) : 2 500 000 USD

Confirmed budget (USD) and source : 100 000 USD (writing grant from the "Centre du Cinéma" of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, development fund from RTBF, own funds)




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