17 July 2018

Kenya: Mutua Wants One County Permit for Filmmakers

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) is pushing for review of the law to allow for single licensing for public filming and exhibition.

Filmmakers are currently compelled to acquire multiple licences to shoot videos across counties, a requirement that eats into their revenues. This, they add, has pushed others out of business.

The KFCB chief executive Ezekiel Mutua told a Senate committee that the multiple licences by county governments are prohibitive and suppress creativity. "The multiplicity of film licences is frustrating the work of filmmakers. We are seeking amendments to allow them to have just one licence," he told the Senate ICT committee chaired by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.

He said counties should appreciate that the filmmakers help the youth through nurturing their creative talents. He added that there is need to harmonise Cap 222, noting that it is unfortunate to see Kenyan movies being shot in South Africa due to lack of incentives and bureaucratic issues.

While admitting that regulation is a job that calls for concerted efforts from all, Mr Mutua said the matter can be addressed "comprehensively and conclusively" through a review of the law which covers films and stage plays. "We are committed to giving the youth a chance to build their talent," said Mr Mutua.

The KFCB recently encountered a backlash over new licensing fees requiring content creators to pay a fine of Sh100,000 if they post their videos on social media prior to getting licence.

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