Esperanto Language Blog

Asternauts film – official Esperanto subtitles! Posted by on Aug 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today I’m with Marta Masferrer, the director of Conlang: the movie, a 15 minute short film about a fictional conlang community (people who make their own languages). Even though her next film isn’t related to languages, she wants to also have official Esperanto subtitles for that too. Read on to learn how you can help Asternauts! (In Esperanto: Kosmernaŭtoj)

Why did you decide that you wanted Esperanto subtitles officially for Asternauts?

To be completely honest, after all the incredible support I got from the Esperanto community in raising funds to distribute my last film, Conlang, I thought it would be a nice way to just say thank you! Plus, as far as I understand, there are simply not enough movies out there made available with Esperanto subtitles. And while Asternauts may not be specifically about language, I feel the message it brings about believing in something truly extraordinary again will speak to the Esperanto community.

How can supporters know that the subtitles will be high quality and not just an afterthought?

All of the subtitling will be done by the same amazing translator who did the subtitling for Conlang. It’s all high quality… he’s the real deal! I’ve also toyed with the idea of dubbing the film in Esperanto… but it would all depend on if there is a demand for it 🙂 I love the possibility of working with fluent Esperanto actors to do this!

Concept art illustration by Tom Schirdewahn

Could you give more details about the support you received from the Esperanto community for Conlang?

The support we received for Conlang from the Esperanto community was just incredible. We had screenings in The Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and all across the USA. Other huge supporters were Filmoj sen Limoj, Radio Verda, Libera Folio, Esperanto USA, Esperanto-Jugend Berlin, and Varsovia Vento. With the money we raised, we are able to buy the distributions rights to be able to make Conlang available to the public via and some smaller retail shops… but we hope to find a distributor in the near future!

I also heard that you tried to incorporate Esperanto into the script of Asternauts, but it didn’t really fit. Could you elaborate more on that?

Yes, we did! There is a scene where secret service agents arrive to retrieve this mysterious “fallen object” from Earl and Joel’s pasture. We thought it would be wonderful if the agents spoke Esperanto. But since we want the agents to appear simply as American government agents, we were afraid that having them speak in Esperanto would cause some confusion among our viewers.

If you would like to learn more about the film, please do check out our Kickstarter campaign. And hopefully we can have an official screening of the film in Berlin with Esperanto subtitles next spring!

Concept art illustration by Tobias Trebeljahr

In any case, thanks so much for remembering us!

She’s already raised $17,590, but now there are only 3 days left for the film to raise $2,410 more and make her goal. She will either raise the money and the movie will happen or if she doesn’t make it, the film won’t happen, so your support is very appreciated. Also note the Esperanto pledge option on the right!

Update: Thanks to the Esperanto community, her project has now reached $20,000, but you can still donate money as either a preorder or to help the movie even more. Thanks to everyone for your support!

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About the Author: Chuck Smith

I was born in the US, but Esperanto has led me all over the world. I started teaching myself Esperanto on a whim in 2001, not knowing how it would change my life. The timing couldn’t have been better; around that same time I discovered Wikipedia in it’s very early stages and launched the Esperanto version. When I decided to backpack through Europe, I found Esperanto speakers to host me. These connections led me to the Esperanto Youth Organization in Rotterdam, where I worked for a year, using Esperanto as my primary language. Though in recent years I’ve moved on to other endeavors like iOS development, I remain deeply engrained in the Esperanto community, and love keeping you informed of the latest news. The best thing that came from learning Esperanto has been the opportunity to connect with fellow speakers around the globe, so feel free to join in the conversation with a comment! I am now the founder and CTO of the social app Amikumu.


  1. Anja:

    Just for the records: The “amazing translator, who did the subtitling for Conlang” and others, is none other than Chuck Smith. :]

  2. Tony Sar:

    Esperantistoj de la tutamondo: UNUIĜU! Helpu ni ĉi tiun interesa projekto por kino-amantoj kaj por ESPERANTO -uzantoj. Mankas nur malgranda kvanto da mono!!! Kunhelpu pluporti la torĉon!

  3. Enrique:

    I believe that, when the director appreciates Esperanto, the film should be doubled into Esperanto. Otherwise, we first have to convince the director.

    We did that with the film “Atako de la Lunaj Zombioj”, and all the participants of the USA Esperanto annual convention were very happy after they saw it.

    You can read how we did it in this page:

    We need films spoken in Esperanto.