Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Press Release: CINEMA – TRANSLATION “I promise not to go to showings of foreign films with Russian translation”


The Initiative “I promise not to go to showings of foreign films with Russian translation” has reached its declared aim – 1,000 people have promised not to go to foreign films with Russian dubbing.

Our next task is to gain the support of over 10 thousand people by 1 February 2007.

The objective of this initiative is to put economic pressure on distributors who claim that translating films into Ukrainian is not economically viable.

Your help is very important to us. For this initiative to succeed, we need each person who hears about it to not only take part but also pass the information on to others.



We want foreign films in mass distribution to have decent Ukrainian dubbing.

We want to watch films translated into Ukrainian at convenient times and in any cinema.

We want the right to choose which lobbyists for Russian dubbing are trying to take away from us. We are not against Russian dubbing but only if there is an opportunity for viewers to choose a session where the same film can be watched with Ukrainian translation.



We are organizing a mass economic boycott of films with Russian dubbing. In the first instance we are talking about Hollywood movies which make up more than 90 percent of the films on distribution.

The point of the boycott is that the participants publicly make a promise on the relevant Internet site:  not to go to cinema films with Russian dubbing. This is specifically about mass Hollywood production which draws in more than 90 percent of the ticket office taking. We are not aiming this at festive and art-house films with 2-3 copies.

If there is a sufficiently large boycott it will become profitable to translate films into Ukrainian. According to the lobbyists for Russian dubbing, the translation of one film costs between 20 and 50 thousand dollars. 10 thousand people who once a month boycott one film with Russian translation will cause the lobbyists losses of between 40 and 60 thousand dollars.

We are hoping in the first instance for active support from people in Kyiv which provides between 35 and 50 percent of the ticket office profits for all of Ukraine. Kyiv residents are also very positive about Ukrainian translations.

We are not expecting support from the authorities. We are acting ourselves, with our form of pressure being purely economic. Nothing personal – pure economics.



In less than a week (from 23 to 28 November) more than 1,000 people have joined the Initiative “I promise not to go to showings of foreign films with Russian translation”, launched on the website:

At the initial stage, support for the action came only through the Internet, without the involvement of the traditional mass media. We are however hoping that the mass media will help us attract an even greater number of people to the “I promise not to go to showings of foreign films with Russian translation” initiative.

A working group has already been formed from among those who have supported the initiative, and it will be drawing up plans for future actions.



To increase the number of people who will promise not to go to films with Russian dubbing to at least 10 thousand;

In the next few days to have a coordination site for the initiative up and running;

To involve all potential allies – from cinema goers to prominent figures;

To organize and hold a number of direct actions for participants in the Initiative;

To support Ukrainian subtitling for free circulation – some of the participants in the Initiative are already engaged in this;

To determine the real state of affairs in the field, to carry out market research of the cinema industry and publicize its results.



As well as 1100 wonderful people, we have also received the following support (in chronological order):

  • Information support from the “Maidan” Alliance
  • State Deputy Ruslana Lyzhychko
  • A letter of support from State Deputies Yury Hnatkevych (BYuT) and Viacheslav Kyrychenko (“Nasha Ukraina)
  • The youth initiative VARTO!  [varto means “it’s worth it” – transl.]


At present on the Ukrainian film distribution market, according to unofficial information, there are the following main distributors:

В&H – distributor for UIP and  Buena Vista International
Gemini - distributor for Twentieth Century Fox
"Synergia" and "Cascade" - Time/Warner
"Caro" - Columbia/Tristar
Central Partnership
"Art-house traffic"
The number of American films on the Ukrainian market – 95% (2004); the figure is now around 91%.

In 2003 around 8 million cinema tickets were sold in Ukraine; in the USA – 1.4 billion; in Germany – 163 million; in Russia – 80 million (according to the weekly “Kontrakty”).

The geographic divide of the market between major cities (on the basis of Peter Jackson’s  blockbuster “King Kong”, according to figures from “Telekritika” and the owner of the cinema network “Kinopalats” [“Cinema Palace”] Bohdan Batrukha:

Kyiv  - 31%
Odessa  - 14%
Dnipropetrovsk - 8%
Kharkiv  - 7%
Donetsk  - 3%
Lviv  - 2%.
The rate of growth of the cinema market in Ukraine (according to figures from “Multiplex – Holding”): 2000 – 3 million dollars in ticket office takings; 2001 – 6 million; 2002 – 9 million; 2003 – 16 million; 2004 – 24 million.

According to unofficial figures, the ticket office proceeds in 2006 will be nearly 40 million.



kino.pereklad SOBAKA

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