The Grand Duchy has been playing a pioneering role on the European media scene. Two media and communications giants came into being in the Grand Duchy and are still continuing to expand: RTL Group, the leading radio and television broadcaster in Europe, and SES, the world's leading provider of communication and broadcasting services, with a fleet of about fifty satellites. Although it is far from able to boast a long and rich tradition of national cinema, the Grand Duchy has in recent years found its place in the international audiovisual industry. Proof of this is that a good number of (co-)productions have been awarded prizes at international film festivals.
Since the creation of RTL Group and SES, a good many companies in the converging fields of multimedia and information and communication technologies (ICTs) have established themselves around these two pillars in the Grand Duchy.
The Luxembourg government actively encourages the development of audiovisual and communication services, supported by the potential generated by the trend towards the liberalisation of the telecommunications market in Europe and by technological progress.
As an expression of this proactive policy, the Grand Duchy has adopted a number of public support schemes in the early 1990s aimed at promoting the development of audiovisual production.
The film production sector
Despite the absence of a long tradition of national film production, the Grand Duchy has developed a rich film production industry that has received recognition from the international audiovisual industry, as evidenced by the numerous prizes and awards obtained at international festivals in recent years.
In the Grand Duchy there are about thirty production companies in the fields of fiction and animation; 17 of them are active internationally. There are five animation studios in the country, as well as two production studios, fifteen post-production companies, recording and special effects studios, and about fifteen services companies directly linked to the sector. In addition, there are about a dozen legal and financial companies in the Grand Duchy which specialise in the audiovisual sector. The film production sector employs around 600 people (technicians, producers, actors etc.).
Professionalisation of the job has expanded the possibilities of co-production with other countries. As a result, the number of productions has increased considerably in the Grand Duchy, not only because of a favourable legal framework, but also because of the excellent technical infrastructures and the expanding skills of the local film production industry.
What is more, the wealth and diversity of the Luxembourg countryside provides a multitude of interesting alternatives for outdoor shoots.
The animated films sector
The animated films sector has developed in the same way as the film production sector. The fact that two Luxembourgish co-productions, 'Ernest et Célestine' (Studio 352) and 'Mr Hublot' (Zeilt Productions), were nominated for awards at the 86th season of Oscars in 2014 illustrates the distance the animation sector has covered in the Grand Duchy.
There are half a dozen animation studios active in the Grand Duchy. They either develop their own productions or co-productions or hire out their services to foreign productions. Support mechanisms for audiovisual production have worked perfectly as incentives in this sector, thereby helping to establish a genuine industrial platform at a very high level.
A two-year Advanced Technician's Certificate (BTS) in Animation Drawing is proposed by the Luxembourg Technical School of Arts and Crafts (Lycée technique des arts et métiers Luxembourg, LTAM). LTAM's professional qualification course functions in close collaboration with the prestigious Gobelins image school (Ecole de l'image Gobelins) in Paris. A number of former graduates currently work for DreamWorks, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Animation and Warner Bros.
The Grand Duchy now has its own 'little Hollywood', at Filmland Kehlen in the western part of the country. This is a one-stop shop for audiovisual production, a real hub for national and international feature film production.
The infrastructure is impressive: more than 4,000m2 of studios for filming, two construction workshops each with an area of 400m2 each, 500m2 of production offices, sound and image editing studios, a final mixing auditorium, a calibration room, units for special effects, and equipment for green-screen filming. A number of Luxembourgish film production companies have pooled their activities there. For more information, visit the website at www.filmland.lu.
Support for the audiovisual sectorThe Luxembourg Film Fund and the National Audiovisual Centre (CNA) provide help and support to professionals in the audiovisual sector.
National Support Fund for Audiovisual Production (Film Fund Luxembourg)
The National Support Fund for Audiovisual Production — the Luxembourg Film Fund — was created in 1990; it is a public institution aimed at supporting, through predetermined financial mechanisms, the production, co-production and distribution of works originating in the Grand Duchy. The government's aim by creating the Film Fund was to promote the development of a genuine film industry.
The Film Fund supports Luxembourg's cinema through indirect grants called AFS (selective financial aid) for screenwriting and for developing and producing short and full-length films and documentaries. This aid constitutes an advance on income.
Between 1990 and 2013, more than 600 audiovisual and cinematographic works have been produced thanks to financial support from the Luxembourg Film Fund.
25 years after the creation of the Film Fund, the dream of a film industry — which may have seemed illusory at the time — has come true.
Guy Daleiden, Director of the Luxembourg Film Fund
National Audiovisual Centre (CNA)
It is the mission of the National Audiovisual Centre (Centre national de l'audiovisuel, CNA) to collect, restore, preserve and screen the national audiovisual heritage. As part of its production activities, the Centre supports the creation of documentaries and other audiovisual productions. It produces exhibitions and publications, and organises public events in the audiovisual field.