Supremacy battle as film agencies pull in different directions
What you need to know:
- The senate wants KFCB Board to shed more light on the punitive new laws which under the proposal, will make it illegal to create any film meant for public exhibition without a film licence from the board.
The Kenya Film Commission (KFC) on Wednesday issued a statement which hit out at the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) for being "obsessed with film fees".
The statement puts the two State agencies at loggerheads as the two are meant to work together to grow the industry.
KFC, in a strongly-worded statement, said the classification board’s move would curtail development of the nascent sector.
“We feel strongly that KFCB has become too obsessed with introducing fees for every work of art thereby curtailing every effort of industry players both existing and upcoming to eke a living from creative content,” said KFC in the statement released Wednesday.
KFC is legally mandated to promote the film industry, while KFCB is the sector regulator.
Last week KFCB issued a 14-day notice to film makers creating videos meant for public exhibition without a valid licence to comply or face the full force of law.
On Wednesday, the Senate summoned KFCB CEO Ezekiel Mutua to appear before them following an outcry on proposals to charge filmmakers licensing fees.
The senate wants KFCB Board to shed more light on the punitive new laws which under the proposal, will make it illegal to create any film meant for public exhibition without a film licence from the board.
The film classification board’s bid to introduce licence fees and stringent regulations for film- makers has been met by outcry from the film makers.
In April 2018 the two agencies resolved to set aside their differences and work together for the good of the film industry in Kenya.
The duo made this revelation during the premiere of Disconnect, a Kenyan movie directed by Tosh Gitonga.
The two have been at loggerheads over what appears to be a conflicting of roles at the two film bodies, a move that has resulted in the industry lagging behind.
In a previous article by KFC Chairperson Chris Foot in the Daily Nation, he accused KFCB of overstepping in its mandate.
“The problem is further compounded by an unashamed land grab on KFC’s mandate by the Kenya Film Classification Board, whose name and mandate under CAP 222 clearly state that its role is purely licensing and classification. Period. Nowhere globally does the regulator also deal with promoting the industry,” said Mr Foot.
In the new laws, the classification board says that any persons or company found guilty of the offence contravenes the law and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both.
“By the way of this announcement, the Board hereby issues a 14 days’ notice to all offenders and defaulters to comply with the provisions of the Film and Stage Plays Act Cap222. At the expiry of this notice, the Board will proceed to institute legal proceedings against the offenders in line with the law,” said KFCB chief executive officer Ezekiel Mutua. The Films and Stage Plays Act Chapter 222 says creation of any film meant for public exhibition without a filming license from KFCB is illegal. The Board has the mandate to confiscate and destroy film where a person or an organisation contravenes the Act.