From the love of American streaming platforms to Europe

Local non-English speaking programs, dubbed and subtitled in all languages, find a global audience

From the love of American streaming platforms to Europe Photo by Thibault Pennin, Unsplash

Luxembourgish is considered an endangered language by UNESCO. It is practically spoken only in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a state island of 600,000 inhabitants, roughly equal to the city of Baltimore. Putting drama on screen in that language – any screen – can therefore seem like an extremely pipe-dreaming undertaking. But Claude Waringo tried, and tried again. for 35 years.

The film and television producer had his first success with the anti-hero film De Superjump Returns, which tells the story of a studious Luxembourgish civil servant who derives his superpowers from ‘cachkis’, a local specialty, a cheese called of gum cooked to consistency. This generated 63,000 cinema tickets – an event within Luxembourg’s borders. But that was the limit. “Most people don’t even know that Luxembourg exists,” Waringo laughs heartily.

A major upheaval in the entertainment economy

Until something changes. US subscription streaming services have arrived, and there has been a major upheaval in the entertainment economy. A change that also affected Luxembourgish cinema.

It all started in 2020 when Netflix bought ‘Capitani’, a crime series produced by Waringo’s Sansa Films for the RTL television channel. It takes place in a picturesque Luxembourg village where bakers gossip, priests plot and teens mope. At one point, an outlaw villain comes across a police officer who is too busy eating a croissant to care. The writers created the characters with specific actors in mind. Luxembourg’s talent pool is not enough for a casting call. Yet for some spectacular and unexpected days this spring, the Capitani was topped […]

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About the Author: Rusty Kemp

Tv ninja. Lifelong analyst. Award-winning music evangelist. Professional beer buff. Incurable zombie specialist.

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