Nairobi News

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Filmmakers clash with Machawood over copyright

A local film festival has come under fire for negotiating with broadcasters to air productions without consent.

Machawood film festival, which held its inaugural event in December 2015, received 90 entries and is now being accused of selling the films to broadcasters.

According to a complaint letter seen by Nairobi News written by Kevin Njue of Rocque Pictures, the festival organisers have already delivered all films to two stations.

Mr Njue’s film, Plastic Maasai, was not among the top ten that would be availed to television stations as indicated in the registration form’s terms and conditions and in his protest letter he sought a clarification on the same.

“Kindly clarify on why a film that was not among the shortlisted films (top ten films) will still be made available to TV stations for airing without consent from the filmmakers,” said Mr Njue.

PROMOTING FILMMAKERS

Machawood Marketing and Communication Manager Justus Musyoka told Nairobi News in a phone interview that the initial plan was to avail the top ten films to televisions but organisers proposed that all films be aired as a way of promoting all filmmakers.

“We communicated to them (filmmakers) and from the response we got it was clear that they were not interested. We then contacted the stations we had talked to and have since withdrawn the strategy,” said Mr Musyoka.

The official added that the withdrawal was done in mid-January and the only films that will be aired are the top ten as agreed during registration.

According to a registration form with the terms and conditions available on the festival’s official website; ten films will be shortlisted for screening, all the films will be published in a DVD and circulated by Machawood and the top films will be made available on local TV stations for airing.