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Luxembourg

Frédéric Zeimet • Creator of W.

"Luxembourg produces a lot of things, but the world of the web is still unexplored"

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- His detective web-series W., taken from the word "Wëssen" (“knowledge” in luxembourgish), has proven so popular, that a second season is now being prepared

Frédéric Zeimet • Creator of W.

A woman is found in the middle of the forest by the Luxembourg police. She doesn’t know who she is, where she comes from or why she is here… and yet, she knows a lot of things. This was the first season of the series W. created by Frédéric Zeimet, produced by his own company Six.-Letters, and broadcast on social media with great success. Amounting to a total of 43 minutes, the series divided into six episodes has met its audience: so much so that the Film Fund Luxembourg has unlocked funds (read the news) for the production of the second season of this well-realised web-series about memory and forgetting, which should be ready for 2022.

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We talked to Zeimet, a 37-years-old screenwriter who has worked on several feature films such as Blind Spot [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christophe Wagner
film profile
]
(2012) and the series Comeback (2012-2013), on which he has become co-showrunner.

Cineuropa: Tell us about the genesis of W. which you describe as a unique adventure into the country’s media landscape. Why?
Frédéric Zeimet
: This is the first time that a work of fiction in the Luxembourgish language, produced in Luxembourg, has been created to be broadcast exclusively online. There were examples of sketches for the web of course (the most famous one being Duckfeiss) but W. is the first series of this kind in the country. Luxembourg produces a lot of films, co-productions, series, VR content, but the world of the web is still without any forms of creative or production initiatives… While abroad, in Belgium (through new writings), in France (via France TV Slash, Arte.tv, OCS), the sector is more active. The Grand Duchy hasn’t really launched itself into that territory yet. W. is in some ways a pioneering work. But the first chapter was created with a budget 5, 10, sometimes even 15 times inferior to the ones given in neighbouring countries.

What will this new season be about, and in what form will it unfold?
After having re-discovered her identity, W. attempts to put the pieces of her past back together and to build herself new foundations, all the while helping the police find elusive criminals, the ones responsible for the kidnapping of her husband and child… We keep this idea of short but serial episodes. The second season will however be composed of 8 episodes (instead of 6).

You have shot, and will shoot, mostly in the Luxembourgish language. Why is that important for you?
From the beginning, it just felt natural. I speak Luxembourgish every day, I talk to my wife, my children, my family, my friends in that language… Although I can speak French, I couldn’t see myself writing a series that would take place here but where characters wouldn’t speak Luxembourgish. The question of the English language was broached by certain readers, with the idea that it would make showing the series abroad easier: but this wasn’t how I was thinking about it and the reactions at festivals, as well as those from foreign viewers, only further confirmed my choice. The multilingualism of Luxembourg is very dear to me in general.

Which local artists and craftspeople will be involved?
We will continue to work with Rae Lyn Lee, the director of photography. Catherine Elsen will of course be part of the cast, as will the recurring actors from the first season (such as Frank Grotz) and new faces. Luxembourg is a breeding ground for extremely talented actors who however do not always have the opportunity to show all that they can do. This kind of project can be a place for them to explore their abilities. Unfortunately, some of the craftspeople of the first season won’t be part of the rest of the adventure. These last few months during the pandemic have been very difficult for some of them and they have changed jobs. For us, it is essential to draw on Luxembourgish talent because it is there and it deserves to be put forward.

You specifically used YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to broadcast the series and talk about the series: how are these platforms important for you?
Social networks are and remain the best methods for communicating with the public, to reach it. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves in with this adventure, but we knew that a web-series had to be on social media.

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(Translated from French)

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