Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Movies In Ukraine Now Shown In Ukrainian Language

Until this year, the film distributors in Ukraine, most of whom are either Russian or English-speaking, were being lazy and simply showed the movies that were prepared for the Russian market in Ukraine without changing anything. All the American movies were dubbed in Russian. A few years ago close to 100% of all the movies were in Russian. So, what wasn't happening through the market, happened by court decree. Since most theater goers are teenagers, in Ukraine just like in the States, and they are already educated in schools in Ukrainian, this does not present any major problems for the market. And according to public opinion surveys only 3% of Ukrainians were against the change.

Later in the year, the Ukrainian government chose to ease the requirements somewhat. Movies can be shown in a foreign language as long as they have Ukrainian subtitles.

By the way, Ukraine is now going through a huge boom in construction of movie theaters, because it is one of the few global movie markets that is still growing, and because there aren't nearly enough theaters in Ukraine to meet the demand. I remember reading about a Jessica Simpson flick a couple years ago that flopped in the American market, but was saved by the strong demand in Ukraine.

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