The movie-like bickering between Kenya Film Commission Chairperson (KFC) and Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has intensified over the controversial film licenses laws.
On Friday, KFC chairperson, Chris Foot, threw a spanner into the works by declaring that KFCB CEO Ezekiel Mutua has no authority to issue film licenses.
Foot also slammed Mutua’s decision to impose a domestic ban on the Kenyan film Rafiki, which received a standing ovation at this month’s Cannes festival. He termed the ban as “ridiculous”.
“This is about freedom of expression. The constitution is very clear about freedom of expression,” Mr Foot said.
“We will continue to support the film. It did not have any pornographic scenes, it’s the first Kenyan film to be screened at Cannes film festival this year,” he added.
When the film was banned by KFCB, Mutua issued orders against its distribution, exhibition or broadcast anywhere in the country since it will be a breach of the law because it contains homosexual scenes.
Both Foot and Mutua had press conferences in Nairobi on Friday in what is turning into a protracted supremacy battle in the Kenyan film industry.
Foot’s sentiments have only helped in fueling the animosity between the two bodies, amid confusion in the Kenyan film industry on who has the mandate to issue online video content license.
Mr Foot, however, says it is the Director of Film Services at the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology who is mandated to issue the said licenses.
The rules by KFCB would require video publishers to pay an annual registration fee of Sh12,000 and Sh5,000 for every video produced as long as it is under 40 minutes and Sh1,000 for every day you take shooting the video.
After production is complete, one is supposed to send the video to KFCB for approval before publishing. Failure to do so, the Board has warned, would attract a fine not exceeding Sh100,000 or a jail term not exceeding five years or both.