From the love of American broadcasting platforms to Europe

Non-English speaking local programs, dubbed and subtitled in all languages, find a global audience


Photo by Thibault Penin, Unsplash

Luxembourgish is considered an endangered language by UNESCO. It is practically only spoken in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, an island state with a population of 600,000, the equivalent of Baltimore. Therefore, bringing drama in this language to the screen – any screen – may seem like a very difficult task. But Claude Waringo tried and tried again. for 35 years.

The film and television producer had his first hit with the anti-hero film “De Superjhemp Retörns,” which tells the story of a hardworking Luxembourg government employee who draws his superpowers from “kachkéis,” a local specialty, cheese cooked to consistency. of glue. It made 63,000 cinema tickets – a phenomenon within Luxembourg’s borders. But that was the limit. “Most people don’t even know that Luxembourgish people exist,” Waringo laughs heartily.

A major disruption to the entertainment economy

Until something changes. Subscription streaming services arrived in the United States, and a major disruption occurred in the entertainment economy. The change affected even the cinema of Luxembourg.

It started in 2020 when Netflix bought the crime series Capitani, produced by Waringo Samsa Films for RTL TV. Set in a picturesque Luxembourg village, a baker, a priest, and teenagers gossip. At one point, a masked villain breaks into a police officer too busy eating a croissant to take care of him. The writers created characters with specific actors in mind. The talent pool in Luxembourg is not large enough to make a call. However, for a few glorious and unlikely days this spring, Kapitani took first place […]

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