Kenya Film Classification Board takes over licensing mandate, targets Sh165b annually
By Graham Kajilwa | January 7th 2016
Nairobi: The once dull film industry is set for rapid growth following the takeover of licensing mandate by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB).
On Wednesday, the Department of Film Services (DFS) officially handed over all regulatory responsibilities to KFCB, with effect from January 1, 2016.
KFCB henceforth has become the soul regulator of the industry overseeing licensing, production as well as marketing of film, dramas, documentaries and advertisements.
The handover is in compliance with President Uhuru Kenyatta's 2013 Parastatal Task Force Reforms that transferred all film regulation responsibility from the Department of Film Services (DSF) to KFCB.
Kenya Film Commission boss Lizzie Chongoti noted that the industry at its current capacity has the ability to inject up to Sh165 billion to the economy.
"Nigeria's film industry is the second contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) after oil. Kenya's has the ability to contribute up to three percent to GDP but it has more potential," said Chongoti.
Chongoti said the 40 percent local content provision should be pushed to over 60: "However, the major debate is on what constitutes local content as we have producers who translate foreign films to Kiswahili and claim it is local content."
KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua said the new regulations will be coming hard on backstreet producers and advertisers who have been flouting the Film and Stage Play Act.
"All industry players should know that there is a new sheriff in town and there is no law for the mighty and for the common citizens," he warned.
Mutua was referring to the tag of war between KFCB and Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) who through their lawyer Oraro and Company Advocates, argued that KFCB has no mandate classifying adverts as their responsibility was pegged on theatres and drama.
Establishment of global multinationals in the country (Fox and Crimson Media) was noted as proof of growth: "However, the challenges of multiple licenses by the national and county government for filming pose threat investors."
As an incentive, the new regulations will effect a nominal non- refundable import charge of one percent or Sh30,000 levied on import duty for international and local film agents with no restrictions on the number of expatriates arriving in the country on visitors' passport prior to the film permit being processed.
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