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Cost reduction for film making

Local film makers can expect to pay up to 15 per cent less for their production and distribution licences if a review of the regulations guiding film classifications is successful.

Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) CEO Christopher Wambua said the move to reduce the fees filmmakers and distributors pay is meant to encourage the local film industry to produce more content as a way of generating employment and creating wealth.

It is also hoped that the reduction will result in cheaper locally produced content that local TV stations can then buy for airplay and reduce their dependence on foreign soaps.

Mr Wambua, who spoke in Embu during a public participation forum on the new regulations said the reduction that is expected to come as a great relief to filmmakers and actors across the country is part of the efforts to create a conducive environment for growth of creative arts.

Wambua revealed that among the changes to come is a provision for content creators and distributors to classify their own content without reference to the board, a move that has been necessitated by the huge volume of content created by producers.

This, he said, will ease business by doing away with the time producers would have to wait for KFCB to review and classify their films. Currently, the law requires that all local and foreign films meant for exhibition in the country be classified by the board, a herculean task due to the high number of films presented.

The reforms will also introduce a new classification grade, PG 13 to add to the GE, PG 10, PG16 and 18 currently used.

To encourage higher film attendance, the board hopes to discount charges for exhibitors with more than one screen as a way of encouraging exhibitors to invest in more movie theaters.

He added that they will also be reviewing the licensing model for “series” producers so that they are charged per season rather than per episode, which currently makes it very expensive for young filmmaking companies.

Sheikh Ramadhan Njuguna, who represented the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) at the forum challenged local film makers to use film to tackle social problems saying they concentrated too much on love and sex issues.

He added that the government should give the filmmakers incentives to produce films that improve the well-being of Kenyans and fight social vices.

By Steve Gatheru

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