Culture Matters

Don’t get lost in translation

Culture Matters

Don’t get lost in translation

Culture Matters

Don’t get lost in translation

Culture Matters

Don’t get lost in translation

U.K. Film Industry Braces for Brexit Backlash

United Kingdom (U.K.) content producers may soon feel the effects from last years’ “Brexit” through greater limits being placed on their access to European VOD (Video on Demand) consumers. Following the leak of a June 8 2021, memo that says “the EU (European Union) is preparing to reduce the amount of British TV and film content shown around Europe” there is concern that unfettered availability of U.K. content is about to end. The memo suggests that while U.K. films and programing are still classified as “European works” as described in the...

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Hong Kong – That Was Then, This Is Now

On June 11, 2021, Hong Kong’s government expanded its film regulations to more closely reflect mainland China’s censorship rules. The regulations, which went into effect immediately, were issued under the stated purpose of protecting “national security” and attempting to provide balance “between protection of individual rights and freedoms on the one hand, and the protection of such legitimate societal interests on the other.” What this means is content that includes “any act or activity which may amount to an offense endangering national...

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Hungary’s New Anti-LGBT Law

In what can be seen as another step towards stifling LGBTQ rights in the only non-democratic government in the European Union, Hungarian lawmakers on June 15th 2021 passed a law that bans the use of any material in schools that can be construed as promoting homosexuality and gender change. In its original version, the law was only intended to combat the menace of pedophilia. However, due to last minute changes submitted by the members of the ruling Fidesz party just days before the final vote on the law, prohibition on the distribution of...

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New BBFC Language Guidelines Questioned

Over the past few months, this blog has examined changes in ratings criteria in India, Australia and reactions to specific titles, such as “Family Guy” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” The purpose has been to look at regulation from a cultural perspective and the practical impacts on content creators. In this post, we’re going to take a different perspective: that of the viewing public and their reaction to regulatory changes. In particular we will look at the recently published language guide by the British Board of Film...

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North Korean Law Curbs Access to K-Pop and Foreign Films

South Korean pop culture has never been more in demand—even making its way to the citizens of North Korea. But Kim Jong-un and his state media are cracking down on this “vicious cancer” he feels is perverting everything from “attire, hairstyles, speeches, behaviors” and, if not regulated, will corrupt North Korean youth.  Kim and his state media have said that if the tide of K-pop, foreign films, and other aspects of foreign culture are not reigned in, the results will be chaotic and North Korea as they know it will “crumble like a damp...

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Content’s Cultural Conundrum

Citing the growth of global content distribution opportunities, the Hollywood Reporter recently wrote about the increase in local-language film adaptation. The piece raises several important points we at Spherex have known for some time, e.g., how important culture is to content, how culture doesn’t always translate well (if at all), yet when done properly can generate significant profits for the content owners. Rather than relying on traditional “subs and dubs” to export foreign content to consumers worldwide, production companies are...

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Amendments to the Electronic Media Law in Luxembourg

Since people increasingly access and depend upon content distributed through electronic communications networks, the Luxembourg legislators introduced the Act of Feb. 26 2021 that modifies the Law of 27 July 1991 on electronic media, otherwise known as the “Electronic Media Law.” The new Act intends to balance the right to access online content services with consumer protection and ensure better protection of minors, which previously applied only to linear media like television services. The changes outlined in the Act are relevant and...

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Scotland’s Small Screen Machine Steps Up to Bat with Big Streamers

With movie theaters closed during the pandemic, moviemakers and -goers alike have had to shift their cinematic expectations. This is no different in the isolated Scottish Highlands and Islands. Before lockdown, locals looked forward to an afternoon rental in the Screen Machine, a mobile auditorium that brings “films to people who have no access to a physical cinema.” With the success of Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and other large streaming platforms, and its auditorium parked until further notice, the Leith-based Screen Machine has launched its...

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Countries Say “No” to ‘Family Guy’

Remember when your parents required you to do your homework before you could watch TV? I clearly recall working to quickly solve my math equations or finish my English essay so I could kick my parents out of the living room, change the channel away from those droning Bob Vila informercials and watch something truly entertaining—like “Family Guy.” At 9-years-old, watching Peter Griffin fight a maniacal chicken or seeing baby genius Stewie Griffin further his plot for world domination may be stupid, but I thought it was hilarious. Sometimes I...

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Mass Appeal of K-Dramas and the “Hallyu Wave” Lockdown Effect

During 2020’s lockdown, we all found ways of coping. For a growing number of people, Korean TV shows and films offer an enchanting escape from pandemic reality. Netflix has reportedly seen a “370% increase in viewership of Korean content in 2020” over the previous year, and this order of growth is expected to continue as lockdown restrictions ease. In 2017 there were only two Korean series, “White Nights” and “Man to Man”; now there are hundreds of K-Dramas available to viewers on Netflix, proving that the “Hallyu wave,” or rise in the...

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