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Azerbaijani cinemas are allowed to demonstrate films in other languages - OPINION

International law firm Baker & McKenzie commented on the issue

Baku. 23 September. REPORT.AZ / International law firm Baker & McKenzie gave an official reply to the question whether there are any requirements in the law "On state language of the Republic of Azerbaijan", or in other legal acts concerning the dub ans sub of foreign films into Azerbaijani language prior its demonstration in cinemas.

Report informs, the law firm noted that the legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic does not impose any requirements on the dub and sub of foreign films into Azerbaijani language prior its demonstration in cinemas: "Article 21 of the Constitution entitled Official Language, states that the official language in the Republic of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani Language and the Republic of Azerbaijan guarantees the use, protection and development of the official language. However, point 2 of Article 21 of the Constitution provides that the Republic of Azerbaijan guarantees independent use and development of other languages spoken by its population."

According to the specialist of the international law firm, Section 6 of the Law provides that dubbing of all films and programs aired through television and radio broadcasting should follow the language requirements set forth by the state. The above provision relates to dubbing of films showed through TV and radio channels. However, the Law prescribes for no specific provision in connection with the demonstration of films in cinemas."

Also he added, according to Section 1 of the Rules on Transmission and Demonstration of Films, approved by Resolution No. 165 of the Cabinet of Ministers, these Rules regulates the transmission of all films within the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Rules does not require all the films to be translated (dubbed or subbed) into Azerbaijani prior their demonstration in cinemas. Thus, no document evidencing the translation of the film into Azerbaijani is listed among the documents to be submitted for state registration of films with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Additionally, a unified transmission card sample, enclosed to the Rules as an attachment, includes no note related to the requirement to translate a foreign film into the official language.

Consequently, since not specifically required by the existing legislation, based on Article 21 of the Constitution and referring to other above cited legal acts, along with Azerbaijani language, cinemas are allowed to demonstrate films in other languages spoken by the Azerbaijani residents."

Notably, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan adopted a decree on translation of all the films demonstrated in cinemas of the country, as well provision of translation works by the companies broadcasting the films in cinemas. 

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