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Theme Festival - Non-English Language Drama


Theme Festival - Non-English Language Drama

About this Festival

Non-English-language drama has moved beyond noire to provide a stylish alternative for audiences who now have a voracious appetite for subtitled drama. This festival shines a light on some of the most distinguished shows on offer from international suppliers.

Programming Profile

Local produce on the menu


The Covid-driven streaming boom of the past year has increased opportunities for producers and distributors of non-English-language drama, and all the new global players now realise they need local produce in order to grow.


Demand for dramas in languages other than English was already rising long before lockdown, but the events of the past 14 months, and the pandemic-driven boost to streaming services provided by stay-at-home audiences, has lifted global demand for non-English-language drama even further.


Netflix, for instance, said at the end of last year that US viewing of its foreign-language shows increased by over 50% in 2020 compared with 2019, pointing to content such as The Platform (from Spain), Barbarians (Germany) and Rogue City (France). Meanwhile, viewing of Korean dramas including Kingdom and The King: Eternal Monarch almost tripled in the US and Netflix’s audiences for animé titles more than doubled in the US.


“The foreign-language barrier has been breached and it has changed the landscape. In some instances, it means there are huge hits that were not previously available. Plus, foreign-language content can cut costs, as it tends to be less expensive than mainstream content,” explains Bruce Tuchman, co-chairman of international streaming service Rialto International. “Shows like the Spanish-language Money Heist [aka La Casa de Papel] would not have performed well 10 or 15 years ago. But now that show is doing wonders for Netflix.”