Spain's Catalonia passes controversial film dubbing law
Sunday 04 July 2010
Spain's Catalonia region on Wednesday passed a law obliging cinemas to show at least 50 percent of foreign films either dubbed or subtitled in Catalan, in a move that has angered local cinemas.
The prosperous northeastern region's parliament passed the law by 117 for, including socialists and Catalan nationalists, and 17 against, including the right-wing opposition.
It will come into effect progressively from January 1, 2011, with the aim of having 50 percent of films using Catalan by 2018.
The region, which includes Barcelona, Spain's second largest city, accounts for about one-fifth of the country's box-office revenue, but just two percent of films from the United States or elsewhere were dubbed into Catalan in 2008.
The Catalan Association of Cinemas in January called a strike to protest the law, with its president Camillo Tarrazon saying at the time that the law would be "apocalypse now" for cinemas in the region.
"This is a law which will close theatres, which will lead to a reduction in the number of copies of films and a drop in the number of spectators," he said.
The last time the Catalan government tried to introduce similar regulations, in 1998, it was forced to back down after studios threatened to withdraw distribution in the region.
Dictator Francisco Franco banned dubbing into Catalan as well as into Spain's other regional languages, Galician and Basque, shortly after he came to power in 1939 in a bid to promote national unity but since his death in 1975 use of the three languages has flourished.
Public education in Catalonia, Spain's wealthiest region, is now carried out primarily in Catalan, while a 1998 law obliges businesses to serve clients in Catalan and have signs and information in the language.
Last December more than 160 Catalan towns held symbolic referendums on independence from Spain.
Catalonia, like other Spanish regions, already controls most aspects of government, including health and education.
Under a regional statute approved in 2006, Catalonia's regional parliament was granted enhanced powers in taxation and judicial matters as well as more control over airports, maritime ports and immigration.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Jeremy Clarkson courted by Russian Ministry of Defence TV station to present motoring show
One Direction fans campaign to buy the band after Zayn Malik quits
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest