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Catalan cinemas shut over language row

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Catalan cinemas shut over language row


A majority of cinemas in Spain’s northeast Catalonia region remained shut yesterday. Their owners were protesting against a proposed law which would force them to show 50 per cent of foreign films in the local Catalan language.

Currently most such films are dubbed into Spanish while Catalan-dubbed films account for just three per cent of the market.

Unions and cinema owners are dismayed at the prospect

Camilo Tarazon, a representative of the Catalonian Cinema Union, said he disagreed with the arbitrary nature of the law and that it was up to the public to decide.

Currently 80 per cent of films shown in the region are US-made. It is feared distributors will send far fewer if they first have to be dubbed into Catalan.

But local nationalists, who accuse cinemas of discrimination, see the proposed law as a way to safeguard their local language.

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