President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced yesterday that all foreign-language series, films, and advertisements shown on terrestrial television must be dubbed into neutral, Argentine Spanish rather than subtitled. Cable and digital television channels are exempt from the law.
Announcing the move, which brings into force a 1988 law that had never been implemented, the president said that television should be adapted to the “comprehension of all the Spanish speaking audience”.
Companies which do not dub the programmes will be fined. In a boost to local voice-over artists, the decree also states that the dubbing must be done into Argentine Spanish, but should “be understood by all the Spanish speaking countries”.
President Fernández added that the law, which was welcomed by many, should not “denaturalize the work, particularly if certain characters need a specific language use”.
The Federal Authority for Audiovisual Communication Services (AFSCA) will be in charge of ensuring compliance of the new law, while the National Institute for Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA) has 60 days to establish a panel of fines for non-complying companies. All the money resulting from the fines would go to a fund, managed by the Institute, for subsidies.
The measure was announced yesterday by the president at the the re-opening of the Gaumont Cinema in the Congreso neighbourhood in Buenos Aires.