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Hollywood films dubbed into Catalan to increase from 1% to 7% of all exhibited movies in 2012

An agreement among the Hollywood majors, the movie theatres and the Catalan Government will increase the presence of American movies dubbed into Catalan. In 2011, only five Hollywood films were dubbed into Catalan. In 2012, 25 movies will be available in the language. The reason for this agreement is to promote the presence of the Catalan language in movie theatres, as currently Spanish almost monopolises the market.

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27 September 2011 01:16 AM

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ACN / Violeta Gumà

Barcelona (ACN).- Going to a movie theatre in your home town and watching a movie dubbed into your mother tongue, or at least subtitled into your mother tongue, should be something quite easy to do. Even easier if your mother tongue is an official language. However, it is not easy in Catalonia if yours is Catalan. Excluding movies shot in Catalan almost all movies shown in Catalonia are in Spanish, and almost all those shown in its original version have the subtitles only in Spanish. Catalan is therefore in a marginal minority when it comes to movies shown in cinemas or available on DVD. Some years ago, the issue was particularly shocking regards large productions from Hollywood, with dozens of copies distributed among Catalan movie theatres, all of them dubbed in Spanish, or some exception offered in the original version but with subtitles in Spanish. None were in Catalan; a fact that enabled distributors to save money by dealing only with Spanish and ignoring Catalan. The Catalan Government wanted to change this and started a push with the Hollywood majors twelve years ago to increase the number of copies in Catalan. The Majors were arguing economic reasons. Several Catalan Governments have been pursuing this effort, with poor results and even some episodes of tensions with the majors: the Government pretended to impose a system of quotas and fines, and the majors answered by threatening to stop distributing their productions in Catalonia. However, the situation has slightly improved over the years, with some movies offered also in Catalan, along with its Spanish version. So far in 2011, only five movies have been offered in Catalan. Thanks to the agreement among the Hollywood majors, the movie theatres and the Catalan Government, in 2012 the number of films dubbed into Catalan will increase significantly, passing from 5 to 25, and the number of copies from 74 to 625, according to the Catalan Ministry of Culture. The Government expects that the audience will increase further, from 117,000 viewers to 1,500,000. The total offer of films in Catalan, including those produced in Catalonia and movies from independent distributors, represented 3% of the films exhibited in Catalonia in 2011. Next year, they will represent 11%.


On Monday, the Catalan Minister for Culture, Ferran Mascarell, announced the agreement reached with the Hollywood majors \u2013represented through Fedicine\u2013 and the guild of movie exhibitors of Catalonia. This agreement will multiply the copies of films in Catalan by five in only one year. The majors and the exhibitors have agreed to show the 25 most successful films of the year also in Catalan. The agreement foresees that the Catalan Government will subsidise the Catalan adaptation of the films, as well as part of their promotion. It will spend 1.4 million euros. In addition, the agreement foresees that the Catalan Government will continue helping movie theatres to adapt to digital screening. Mascarell was satisfied with the agreement and wanted \u201Cto deeply thank\u201D the majors and the exhibitors for their involvement. Mascarell underlined that, despite Monday's agreement, there is still a lot to do to promote movies in Catalan.

The share will gradually increase

The agreement foresees that the share of movies in Catalan will gradually increase if it is proved to be profitable and the Catalan audience responds and goes to those movies. The agreement foresees that in 2017, the share of movies in Catalan could reach 35% of the offer. In 2012, the share of films in Catalan will correspond to 11%. This 11% includes: the 7% from the majors (in 2011 it was 1%), the 3% from the films shot directly in Catalan (such as the successful \u2018Pa Negre\u2019), and 1% corresponding to independent distributors, mainly European. The representative from the movie exhibitor association, Camilo Tarrazón, was satisfied with the agreement, \u201Cas common sense has won irrationality\u201D and with the fact of having been included in the agreement.

With the agreement, the showings in Catalan will pass from this year\u2019s 4,299 screenings to 55,000 showings next year. Therefore, citizens will not only have a greater choice of movies (passing from 5 to 25), but greater choices of timing and location. 50 movie theatres of Catalonia have already joined the agreement. In addition, it foresees that the distribution will go beyond movie theatres, and thus the presence of films in Catalan offered in DVD or on the Internet would increase.

An evaluation in one year

A monitoring commission will analyse the agreement and the results in a period between the first six months and the first year of implementation. The representative of Fedicine, Luís Hernández de Carlos, said that if the distributors find the investment to be profitable, it is likely they will assume the costs of the adaptation to Catalan. He also emphasised his satisfaction to have solved \u201Can issue that has lasted for 12 years\u201D.

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  • Ferran Mascarell (centre), with Herández de Carlos (left) and Tarrazón (right) (by V. Gumà)

  • In 2012, there will be 25 American movies offered in Catalan, five times more than in 2011 (by P. Cortina)

  • Ferran Mascarell (centre), with Herández de Carlos (left) and Tarrazón (right) (by V. Gumà)
  • In 2012, there will be 25 American movies offered in Catalan, five times more than in 2011 (by P. Cortina)