Georgia to ban films in Russian language

New law to ensure all films are dubbed into Georgian

MOSCOW -- The Eastern European country of Georgia is preparing amendments to its film law whereby all films will have to be dubbed into Georgian.

"All theatrically released films have to be dubbed into Georgian as of January 2011," Tamara Tatishvili, director of the Georgian National Film Center, told THR. "To my knowledge, the Ministry [of Culture, Monument Protection and Sports] and representatives of local distribution companies are now negotiating a smooth transition to the new scheme."

The legislation is to make releases of films in Russian illegal, but it is not likely to have as big an impact as the adoption of similar legislation in the Ukraine which caused theater closures and public indignation in January 2008 in the country's Russian-speaking areas.

But, unlike Ukraine, which is divided into the Ukrainian-speaking western and Russian-speaking eastern regions, in Georgia, the vast majority of the population speaks and understands Georgian.

Similarly, interests of major Russian distributors are not to be affected as they are not present in the Georgian market. According to Tatishvili, at the moment, only one theatrical distribution company is operating in the country, and it is local.
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