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Shooting ‘1985’ has started

The gendarmerie and the Nijvel gang in the turbulent 80s

Yesterday the filming of the new series ‘1985’ started, with young talents Tijmen Govaerts, Aimé Claeys and Mona Mina Leon in the leading roles. In addition, Tom Vermeir, Titus De Voogdt, Ruth Becquart, Peter Van den Begin and Barbara Sarafian will be seen, among many others.

This fiction series about the Nijvel gang was produced for Eén (VRT) and La Une (RTBF). It is for the first time that our country’s two public broadcasters are working together on a fiction project for adults. The story of the Nijvel gang, the tensions within the gendarmerie and the numerous events that disrupted our country in the 1980s are engraved in the collective memory of different regions in Belgium.

‘1985’ tells the story of a black page in our Belgian history. The series is based on true events and takes place in the turbulent 80s, when the Nijvel gang spread terror. The series follows three young adults who find themselves in the eye of the storm that turned Belgium upside down, when the gang commits brutal robberies and tensions between the investigators prevent them from solving the case.

Mixed Flemish and Walloon cast with big names

‘1985’ is made with a mixed Flemish and French-speaking cast and crew. Tijmen Govaerts, Aimé Claeys and Mona Mina Leon play the three young adults who are at the middle of it all. Other leading roles and important supporting roles are reserved for Roda Fawaz, Tom Vermeir, Peter Van den Begin, Guillaume Kerbusch, Yoann Blanc, Titus De Voogdt, Tibo Vandenborre, Baptiste Sornin, Ruth Becquart, Barbara Sarafian, Josse De Pauw, Erico Salamone, Philippe Résimont, Lien Thys, François Maquet, Simon Delecosse, Pieter Piron and Michelangelo Marchese.

The series was written by Willem Wallyn (‘The 16’, ‘All of Us’), is directed by Wouter Bouvijn (‘The Twelve’, ‘Red Light’) and produced by Gunter Schmid and Peter Bouckaert for Eyeworks (‘Cordon’, ‘The Twelve’, ‘Red Light’). Stijn Coninx (‘Don’t Shoot’) is involved as creative consultant.

Three friends unintentionally end up in the eye of the storm

‘1985’ follows friends Marc, Franky and his sister Vicky in the turbulent 80s. Marc and Franky trade their native village in the countryside for Brussels, to pursue training and careers in the gendarmerie, the elite corps of law enforcement. With great ambitions and a lot of enthusiasm they start their training. But unexpectedly they end up in a corps in full crisis, when the country is plagued by a series of brutal robberies. Vicky studies law at the VUB in Brussels, across the street from the gendarmerie barracks. Her wild character and progressive ideals clash with everything Franky and Marc stand for. When the influential gendarmerie commander François is brought before the courts for drug trafficking and an assassination attempt is made on Major Vernaillen who uncovered the case, the three young people are drawn into a spiral of events that are later attributed to the Nijvel gang.

The series tells the story of the loss of innocence: not only of the three young people but also of Belgian democracy, when the confidence of the population in the police force and politics is dented by the events surrounding the gang. A loss that continues to resonate in our society to this day.

‘1985’ is a production of Eyeworks, VRT/Eén and RTBF, with the support of VAF/Mediafonds, Screen Flanders, the Brussels Capital Region (Screen.Brussels), and the Belgian tax shelter in collaboration with Casa Kafka Pictures, with the participation of Wallimage (La Wallonie), in co-production with VRT/Eén and RTBF. This production was made with the support of the Flemish government’s emergency fund corona and the Guarantee Fund for the Flemish independent audiovisual production sector.